Sandi Dahl is a Pastel Artist in Fargo, North Dakota.

Artist's Statement Biography  Resume

Technique and Materials

My pastel technique is that of layering expressive strokes over one another. As my technique of layering covers the surface, I call my pastels "paintings", as opposed to a vignette, which some pastelists call drawings.

My paintings are not of a specific scene, but of a sense of place in a moment in time. They are emotional responses to that scene in front of me, whether painting on location or painting from memories in the studio. I strive to communicate the FEELING of a space. I would like the viewer to walk those paths in their subconscious, allowing them to explore their own feelings, in a meditative way. Often people state to me, in response to one of my artworks, "I feel as though I've been there. Exactly where is that place?"

Sandi Dahl is a pastel painter of the landscape. Her landscapes are intuitive landscapes of the mind, an emotional response to the land. The artist searches for the simplest, strongest concept of the land, the statement, which, in its‘ simplicity, allows her to develop artistic expressions of colors, shapes and a "special" light. She strives to communicate the feeling of a space, to convey a sense of place in a moment of time.

The artist grew up on a farm in North Dakota and has resided in North Dakota most of her life.

Several members of her family are artists and this family background played a role in her development as an artist herself. Dahl is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and cites Wolf Kahn and Albert Handell as her most influential teachers. She has received grants and commissions from both the Minnesota State Arts Board and the North Dakota Council on the Arts. Corporations such as the Radisson Hotel, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, AT&T, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, Northrup Corporation and the University of North Dakota.

She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America. Another step towards artistic awareness came with a one month fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center.

Galleries representing her are; Underbrush Gallery, Fargo, ND, Editions Limited, San Francisco, CA. Currently. The artist also shows her works at art festivals such as, Old Town Art Fair, Chicago; Coconut Grove Art Festival, Miami; St. Louis Art Festival; Lakefront Festival, Milwaukee; State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor, and others.



Exhibitions - Selected Juried and Group Shows
2006, 2nd Annual Pastel International, Taiwan Center, Flushing, NY
2005, "Barns and Farms" National, Kewaunee, Wisconsin
2003 Pastel Society of America, Annual Show, NY
1999, "Art on the Plains" Juried, Plains Art Museum,
1992, Pastel Society of America Annual, New York
1992, Pastel Society of the West Coast Annual, Sacramento, CA (Daniel Greene, juror)
1992, UND Witmer Art Center National Juried
1991, Midwest Pastel Society Annual, St. Charles,IL
1989, Pastel Society of America Annual, New York
1988, Kansas Pastel Society, Wichita, KS (Bettina Steinke, juror)
Selected Awards, Honors, Memebershps and Grants
• BEST OF CATEGORY, Reston Arts Festival
• FELLOWSHIP; Vermont Studio Center, October, 2000
• SIGNATURE MEMBER, Pastel Society of America
• AWARD, the Artists' Magazine, 1994, 1992
• BEST OF SHOW, Art in the Park, Lake Geneva, WI
• SIGNATURE MEMBER, Kansas Pastel Society
• BEST OF SHOW, Fargo Regional Art Show
• BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Plains Art Museum, Fargo
• PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANT, ND
Council on the Arts
Education
• University of North Dakota, Bachelor's Degree.
• Additional studies, Art, Minn. State Univ., Moorhead
• Workshop studies with Wolf Kahn, Albert Handell,
• Charles Reid and Individual studio studies with James
• Conway, Hamline Univ., St. Paul, MN and Bela Petheo,
• St. John's University, Collegeville, MN

Commissions - Selected

• POHLAD CORP., MINNEAPOLIS, MN
• COMMUNITY FIRST NAT'L BANK,
Corporate offices, Fargo, ND
• MENASHA CORP., Neenah, WI
• KIMBERLY CLARK, Neenah, WI
• UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA, Grand Forks, ND
• ABBOTT-NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL, Minneapolis, MN
• JOHNSON-HIGGINS INSURANCE, Minneapolis, MN
• RADISSON HOTEL, Fargo, ND
• BURLINGTON NORTHERN RAILROAD, St. Paul, MN
• FOSTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE, Carrington, ND

Collections- Selected

• PLAINS ART MUSEUM, Fargo, ND
• FANNIE MAE MORTGAGE, Chicago, IL
• MOTOROLA, Chicago, IL
• ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR, hdqts. St. Louis, MO
• WAUSAU INSURANCE, Wausau, WI
• DORSEY AND WHITNEY LAW FIRM, Minneapolis, MN
• NORTH WESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INS., Milwaukee, WI
• ECOLAB, Minneapolis, MN
• NORTH DAKOTA SUPREME COURT, Bismarck, ND
• NORTHRUP KING CORP., Minneapolis, MN
• CHESTER FRITZ LIBRARY, Univ. of ND, Grand Forks, ND
• WAUSAU HOSPITALS, Wausau, WI
• METROPOLITAN FEDERAL BANK, Minneapolis, MN
PERCENT FOR ART Minnesota Per Cent for Art, Minnesota State Arts Board, Commission for the Brainerd Department of Transportation


My technique is somewhat influenced by my desire to create childhood memories of my time on the family farm. I have spent my years of study in on-location painting, sketching, photographing and I continue to renew these habits each year.

However, I now approach the easel with the intent to compose from memory as a studio painter, building upon each "series" of subjects. When I compose, I feel as though I am in a state of "automatic writing". I search for basic elements that convey the mood of the land.

After composing, my main thrust is to lay in colors and shapes. This is most important to me. I feel the choice of colors and the balance of colors set the style and the mood of the artwork. I also believe in letting the stroke of the pastel be lively, expressive and passionate. And lastly, as COLOR IS THE SPIRIT OF THE PIECE, LIGHT IS ITS' SOUL and I strive to portray that as a fleeting moment in time.

Of late, I have enjoyed returning to the acrylic medium on canvas. Also included in that endeavor have been pastels sealed with varnish and mixed media collage.

I have chosen to work with various "series" of subjects and I keep exploring them. It is with this concept that I have been able to approach the easel with the freedom of a meditative state of "automatic" drawing. This technique allows me to create emotional responses to color, light, shapes and, to the subject.


The Artist's Materials

I use soft pastels throughout most of the painting. My surfaces are pastel papers, such as Canson Mi-teintes. I also make my surfaces by using pumice on the surface of rag board. When pumice surfaces are used, there is little need to spray with workable fixative.

Pastel is NOT colored chalk (which is a limestone substance). Pastel is pure pigment--the same pigment used in making all fine art paints. It is the most permanent of all media when applied to a permanent ground and properly framed. There is no oil to cause darkening or cracking, nor other substance or medium to cause fading or blistering. Pastels from the 16th century exist today, as fresh and alive as the day they were painted!


ArtistGalleryItineraryContact
©All images copyright of Sandi Dahl, the artist. Any use, reproduction or publication, including, but not limited to internet or other digital or print use of any image contained herein is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited.