Emerging Artists | David Dibble

Celebrating land, home, and family

David Dibble, Last Crop, oil, 8 x 10.

David Dibble, Last Crop, oil, 8 x 10.

This story was featured in the May 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  May 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Painter David Dibble’s interest in portraying weathered barns, rural western landscapes, and other agrarian scenes runs deep, reaching back into childhood memories of his family’s fourth-generation farm in rural Utah, cherished familial ties, and an enduring connection to the land. “We paint what we know,” the artist says simply. “This is where I came from. The miles surrounding my home are as much a part of me as my house.”

Last year Dibble received an honorable mention at the Oil Painters of America’s Western Regional Exhibition for his portrayal of a sunlit barn in layered earthy hues of amber, ocher, and flax. “What I love about barns is they create dynamic, large shapes of light and dark,” says Dibble, who describes his style as organic formalism. “They push that idea of abstraction to a very formal place.” He also garnered a merit award last fall at the American Impressionist Society’s national juried exhibition for LAST CROP, a poignant scene of winter squash he painted during a visit to his parents’ home at Dibble Farms after the harvest, while his father was dying from cancer. “This painting is a record of my father, of an impending loss,” he says softly. “It was also an attempt to connect with him through the land he cultivated.”

Dibble’s affinity for landscape painting emerged during his graduate studies in fine art at the Academy of Art University. After graduating in 2008, he moved with his wife, Liz, to New York, where Liz studied dance and he landed a job as a color artist for Blue Sky Studios. “It was really the threshold of becoming a professional artist,” says Dibble, who created concept designs for animated films such as Epic, Rio 2, and Ice Age 4. More than anything, he adds, the job pushed him to solve creative problems, refining his eye for color themes, focal points, atmospheric conditions, and light direction.

Dibble returned to Utah in 2014 to teach illustration and concept design at Brigham Young University. He lives with his wife and three children in Orem, where he paints in the nearby mountains and valleys. “Farming and agriculture are changing here, and I’m responding to that,” he says, “mourning the loss of it in some respects, but also celebrating the resilience of family and heritage.” —Kim Agricola

representation
David Ericson Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT; Cad Yellow Fine Art Gallery, www.cadyellow.com; and www.instagram.com/dibbleart.

This story was featured in the May 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  May 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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