1973 print entitled "OBSCURITY." Windberg's subject barn was located in the "BIG THICKET" of the Davy Crockett National Forest in East Texas.
Image size is 18 x 27 inches
Dalhart Windberg began painting when he was a child on his parent’s farm in Goliad, Texas. At his mother’s urging, he sought the best art training in the area, first taking lessons from sister Mary Eligius, a Catholic sister in Goliad; then with Mr. Simon Michaels in Rockport, where he studied seascape, landscape, still life and life drawing.
While in Mr. Michael’s school, Windberg painted hundreds of shrimp boats and fishing piers, oak trees, and bluebonnets, fence posts and barns; and, although this was the same subject matter for which he would later become well known, his efforts bore little resemblance to his later work.
The experience that would ultimately cause him to embark upon the grueling odyssey toward his present style occurred, ironically, thousands of miles from Texas. It was in the museums of Europe, while he stood in awe before the classic, smooth-canvas works of the old masters, that the dynamics began. Windberg was thereafter driven by one all-consuming passion – to paint America in the style of the masters.
It proved far easier to dream than to do, for it seemed that no one alive still knew the masters’ techniques. There were no schools, no books, no teachers to light the way; but after years of frustrating experimentation, something new and special began to happen. Although his new look did resemble the technical style of the old masters, there was something else in it – a quality uniquely Windberg. The world depicted in his paintings had soft edges, his forests held no threat, his shadows no evil. He was painting the world not as it was, but as it should be – the way we would all like it to be.
His works embody a strenuous, lifelong devotion to the classical technique and a gentle view of an often harsh and weary world – a subtle combination which creates the unmistakable Windberg style.
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