Katie M Dahl

Artist Statement


Two Opposites intertwined

My work is centered around two main areas: oil painting and digital collage. These areas give me the freedom to express my awareness, emotions and thoughts of what is happening today in the world. I use reference and personal photography to create my work both oil paint or in digital collage. The process for each painting is dynamic and unique from one painting to the next. Imagery evolves as ideas pop into my head, then disappears as the composition comes more into view. Layer upon layer of paint is applied, some places more than others, creating textures of varied depth through both the thickness of the paint layers and my painting techniques. The use of different brushes and palette knives give me a multitude of options for the textures or effects that I wish to employ in a painting. I paint in two different worlds, abstract and realistic. Both accomplish the imagery I am looking for in a painting.

My other area of interest is creating digital collages. I use my personal photos of places I have been, and occasionally I will use an outside source if I find it necessary. Parts or selections of my paintings are also used. My collages are very much like my paintings in that they look similar both stylistically and in their subject matter. The difference is in my approach and my process with the collages. They are much more structured in their design, and precise planning goes into making sure my vision for the project is realized. My collages weave in and out of each other. There is a flow to them which evokes the feeling of my painting style. They explore the topics that interest me in an exciting and captivating way. I want to hold the viewer's eye for as long as possible so they will see, think about, and understand my purpose for the painting or collage. I prefer this digital method of collage over the cut and paste method because I want everything to look completely smooth with the illusion of texture rather than the actual layer of the paper.

In the end, my collages are like paintings. They have multiple aspects to them with little connecting parts that each tell their own story, but also contribute to a larger story. My paintings are like photographs of memories I have of a world that once was, is becoming or that is now gone and slowly diminishing to its own ends due to human disturbances and a society that continues to show indifference.