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More than a painting

There’s always a moment, just before he reveals a portrait for the first time, when William Dallimore gets a little bit nervous. “There’s always that thought just before I hand it over — I’m all nerves and butterflies,” he said.

There’s always a moment, just before he reveals a portrait for the first time, when William Dallimore gets a little bit nervous.

“There’s always that thought just before I hand it over — I’m all nerves and butterflies,” he said.

“Because obviously to them it’s more than a painting, it’s someone they know or someone they really care about or someone they have cared a lot about.”

It was the same last week, when the Sun Peaks-based artist showed off one of his latest works. But, this time around there was a twist: Dallimore was showing off a portrait of 98.3 CIFM radio hosts Stan and Hank, during their morning show.

The idea to tackle a painting of Stan and Hank came as Dallimore was trying to come up with an idea for a TV spot he’d been given for donating art to CFJC’s annual television auction.

“The best idea I came up with was a start-to-finish portrait, so each time I was partway through I’d take another photo of the portrait so you could see how it progresses,” he said. 

“And I wanted to pick someone who is well-known in Kamloops.”

Thankfully for his nerves, the two hosts — whose portrait will be featured in Dallimore’s first solo show at the at the Old Courthouse gallery, 7 Seymour St. West, from July 9 to Aug. 1 — had a good reaction.

“The guys were pretty stoked on it. I think they felt I did them justice. In fact, I think they felt I made them look a bit better than they thought they were,” Dallimore joked.

Dallimore’s paintings, about a dozen of which will be on display at his show, are creating using an airbrush, rather than typical paintbrushes.

To create his portraits Dallimore starts with a reference photo which he projects onto a canvas in order to mark out key features.

The rest of the work is freehand.

It’s a technique the Welsh-born artist picked up as a teen from his older brother, an artist in his own right.

All it took was one demonstration, and he was hooked.

“It just felt like the right thing,” he said.

“Paintbrushes, I can use them, but I can’t get the grades and differences in colours that I really like on canvas. The airbrush is in a total league of its own.”

Other portraits in the show include members of Dallimore’s family and commissions from private clients.

Besides portraits, Dallimore also paints a variety of other subjects, not necessarily on canvas. Visitors to Erwin’s Bakery will also be familiar with his work — the caterpillar-like creature painted on the bakery’s vents is one of his creations.