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Making a scene: Travel inspires Dahl's art

A change of scenery can do an artist good. Fargo artist Sandi Dahl's travels through Europe and around America inspired her works with pastel painting. Dahl's show at the VIP Room (about her 40th, she estimates, with about 10 of those being solo ...

"Poppy Walk"
"Poppy Walk," a pastel by Sandi Dahl, was inspired by both the French countryside and the area around Hawley, Minn. Special to The Forum

A change of scenery can do an artist good.

Fargo artist Sandi Dahl's travels through Europe and around America inspired her works with pastel painting.

Dahl's show at the VIP Room (about her 40th, she estimates, with about 10 of those being solo exhibits), includes views from Ireland and areas painted by her idols, Vincent Van Gogh (Arles, in southern France) and Claude Monet (Giverny, outside of Paris). It also includes stateside studies from Vermont and even closer to home in the Hawley, Minn.-area along the Lake Agassiz ridge.

What is the connection between travel and art for you in this show?

There was a reason I went to France and a reason I went to Vermont. I was looking for color and light. In France I wanted to walk in the footsteps of Monet and Van Gogh. The gites (farmhouses) that I rented in France, I realized when I walked down the road one morning this was exactly the same spot where Van Gogh painted a certain painting. It was thrilling to realize.

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Are there some places where you could always go and be inspired to work?

The inspiration for me can be just about any place. It's the color and quality of the light. ... The longer I'm away from France - it's been since 1999 - I don't dare go back there because the bubble will burst. I have this image in my head that becomes more poetic as each year goes on.

Do you find yourself setting aside certain color schemes, thinking you won't use them in certain areas?

I found I had to change my palette scenes for Ireland. I learned how to work with green. Most artists don't like to work with green. My palette's pretty warm. Those who live up here, we just love those warm colors because we have so many months of winter. I think you see that in Scandinavian colors, lots of reds and yellows and beautiful warm colors.

If you go

  • What: Sandi Dahl reception
  • When: 5:30 to 8 tonight
  • Where: VIP Room, 624 Main Ave., Fargo
  • Info: This event is free. (701) 293-1999

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

Related Topics: ART
For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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