When Dale Terbush witnesses a captivating landscape, something in his subconscious, uninhibited mind takes over—and what results is a work filled to the brim with emotion and imagination, inspired by that real-life scene but far from a rigid depiction of it. He doesn’t plan or sketch out his paintings beforehand, but simply moves straight to the canvas with his acrylics, applying layer after layer.
“I just keep building and building and building. It’s like composing music, the melody just keeps coming out. I stand back, I hear more music, and I go back and apply it,” says Terbush. His landscape scenes— inspired by locales with striking skies like Arizona, California and New Mexico—feel electrifying, sometimes literally, with scenes of booming thunderstorms. Although Arizona has some of the most stunning sunsets, Terbush’s paintings seem to push them a
notch higher, creating new worlds that can only be achieved through art.
“Everybody knows somebody who’s taken a picture of the Grand Canyon, and when they show a picture of it, they inevitably go, ‘You should have been there.’ The picture is not expressing the emotion you felt when you were there. I am an emotional painter, I speak through my paintings, and I am fortunate that I have enough people out there who understand what I’m trying to say,” says Terbush. “It’s like the great painter Albert Bierstadt; he composed ideas, landscapes that he had seen, but he moved them together or pulled them apart, and with lighting, he wanted to make you feel something. And I’ve always believed that art should make you feel something.”
Illustrious Lights, an upcoming show at Manitou Galleries brings to light new works by Terbush, many of which were inspired by Monument Valley on the Arizona-utah border. The exhibition will be held at the gallery’s Palace Avenue location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from October 4 to 27 with an opening reception the first day from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Terbush explains that many of the pieces in the show were inspired by photos he’d seen of Monument Valley taken by Manitou Galleries director Cyndi Hall. “And I thought, ‘Wow, I should go to Monument Valley and just absorb it. Just pull it in.’” He ended up staying for two days, and while he took some reference photos as a rough basis for his work, he imagines everything else: the lighting, the trees, the sky, and nuances in the foreground and background terrain.
“I cannot stay in the lines, that’s not who I am. My brain starts seeing things differently on the canvas,” says the artist. “It’s like listening to a great piece of music, and it slows beautifully from one area to the next...there is composition to all things. All of the arts, the creative process, there is a balance unto each one.”
Standing Guard, acrylic, 20 x 24"
And Bring Me Back Some Magic, acrylic, 12 x 16"
Takes Your Breath Away, acrylic, 8 x 10"
This Valley of Mine, acrylic, 16 x 12"