White squared at the Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Jolene Perron

It’s never too late to venture out of your comfort zone.

This rings true for local artist Dennis White, who is currently showing a number of his newest art pieces at the Gibson Gallery with his son Dylan.

White said he started creating art when he was 28-years-old. He wasn’t sure he had the talent to create art until he asked his wife for some canvas and paints one year for Christmas.

“I always liked art but I didn’t know I could do it. I tried a few things and I really got a lot of encouragement from people. It’s slowly progressed,” said White. “I like realism, but I’ve been leaning a lot more toward some impressionistic stuff. I’ve been trying to experiment with different styles and such, and I’m kind of liking doing things out of the norm, where I was always afraid to go that route.”

White started working with his son on art about four years ago, when he got a contract from Pet Valu to create murals for each of their Dog Wash stations at location across Canada. He said Dylan always had a talent, ever since he was a young boy.

“When I got working with Pet Valu, I couldn’t do it alone,” said White. “I didn’t start off that way. I was going to start working alone and then he came in to help me. I just saw that it was going to make my life a lot easier if he came along, so we have been doing it ever since for almost four years.”

“I love it,” added Dylan. “I wouldn’t want to work with anybody else.”

Since then, the duo has worked together every day steadily.

Dylan said having grown up with a father who was an artist allowed him to be constantly surrounded by art. It wasn’t until one of his high school teachers pushed him into art that he realized he had a talent. After high school he went to college for interior design.

“That structured me more as far as perspective drawings and really detailed kinds of things,” said Dylan. “Then working with my dad every day, we bounce our ideas off of each other and I think we make each other better artists.”

They’ve expanded on their abilities, White said. One day Dylan will paint a dog, and the next he will do it in a completely different fashion. Dylan said the outcome is always similar, but the way you get there is totally different.

Every mural the team paints has a special spin on it from the town it involves. White explained their painting for British Columbia includes a lot of mountain ranges. If they were to paint one for Amherstburg, it would likely include some picturesque pieces from the Navy Yard Park.

Dennis and Dylan White work on their murals for Pet Valu dog wash stations across Canada at their studio in Amherstburg. See their current exhibit at the Gibson Art Gallery until August 6. Join them for their reception Saturday from 7–8:30 p.m.

Dennis and Dylan White work on their murals for Pet Valu dog wash stations across Canada at their studio in Amherstburg. See their current exhibit at the Gibson Art Gallery until August 6. Join them for their reception Saturday from 7–8:30 p.m.

With the Pet Valu project taking up a large amount of their time, they weren’t sure they were going to do the exhibit at the Gibson Gallery at first, but it all came together and White said he’s very happy with the exhibit.

“There is some realistic stuff, some semi-impressionistic stuff, nothing too bizarre,” said White. “Dylan is really, really good at doing graphite pencil … I was always reluctant to do that kind of thing. I never thought I was good enough. But people really encouraged me. You get a lot of encouragement when you finally put yourself out there and I think it’s good for Dylan. I think it will be good for him.”

In the show, they have managed to pull together as many different art mediums as they could including colored pencil art, paint, graphite pencil and more.

White said he feels incredibly blessed. He never could have dreamed they would be able to do this.

“I hope this lasts a long time,” said White. “I would really like, I think both of us would, if we could get a following with art where even on the internet people like your pieces and if you get enough people, neither one of us thinks we’re going to get rich off of this but if we can make a living we’re happy. If we can make a living as artists, we’re thrilled.”

The exhibit at the Gibson Gallery runs through this Sunday with a reception this Saturday (Aug. 5) from 7-8:30 p.m.

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