AHA! 606 | George Dirolf, An Artist with Many Talents
Artist George Dirolf spent many years exploring diverse mediums while teaching high school art at Bethlehem Central. His many talents include oil painting, charcoal on mylar, and wood engravings. Take a trip inside George's studio in Loudonville, NY to see what he's working on now.
(gentle electronic music)
- Currently I'm working in oil painting
with pastels as a sketching medium.
Large scale charcoal on mylar.
And I'm working in relief work.
I see my fellow artists and friends
that work in a single medium
and really refine it.
And I sometimes wonder,
like I should just pick one
and really focus on it.
I don't think I could if I wanted to.
And I don't know if that's like,
schizophrenia or it just seems,
I love all of them.
And I'm loath to you know,
(gentle piano music)
What I'm working on here is a sketch
for the final of oil painting,
This is a pastel painting.
I really wanna get an idea for my mostly tonality,
the lights and the darks and a balance here.
And also some ideas of the kind of colors I wanna use.
I'll be enlarging this piece in a final painting.
I like to work it out I guess on a small scale,
kind of because I got used to doing the plane air work,
small paintings and then making them bigger.
So currently though am working with pastels
and you know I'll go from that to develop
then into a full scale,
a larger painting.
I work in a lot of media's because I think it's
because of my background which is high school arts.
I taught for quite a while Bethlehem central.
And having to teach everything I became
proficient in everything and or had to
and so I just you know kept that up.
So this is my set up for the charcoals.
And I have a sheet of mylar here over my drawing.
Charcoals and mylar was probably 15 years ago
when I walked in into an architectural supply store
and they had a three foot wide roll of mylar,
and it was on sale for pennies.
No one is using mylar to draw on anymore.
And I tried it out its wonderful,
its like it's the closest thing to painting in a dry medium.
With the charcoal on mylar its like its almost greasy
you can smear it and I use my fingers quite a bit
to my palms and you know, make it to whatever tools I want
but it really is almost like liquid.
And the mylar just I won't say it soaks it up but
the tooth on the mylar is just perfect.
I bought a press and that changed my direction
where I became more interested in the wood engravings.
The press is an old golding proof press
that I picked up from a print maker in
or a printer in Worcester.
1889 is when this press was in use
and it still works today as well as it ever did.
I put my paper in the press and will make a print.
This is the print.
One of the most important things
to know about wood engraving is
that its a form of relief print making.
So if you think of a stamp that is really print making
and you stamp it in the ink and you stamp your image.
Most of the time I would do a sketch proximate size
of the block that I want to use
and then transfer that to the block
by simple you know I trace it, I flip the tracing over
to reverse it and I use a piece of transfer paper
and just draw on the back of the tracer
and it transfers to the block.
And then you know its a matter of cutting it .
The details aren't all there, its a very rough drawing
but I have enough wood engravings under my belt
that I know where I want to put different tonalities.
I have always made art since I was a kid.
But honestly I don't,
I look at everybody's art its always like its great.
I have a problematic ego and I love a piece
when am working on it and am thinking this is
the greatest thing I have ever made,
and the you know a month later am like I fall out of love
with it and I gotta do something else, and go beyond.
It's real hard to describe my art.
But I realized I don't want to compare myself
to other people and I really have
to remind myself of that and just do what I do.
You know if it's four or five mediums
or six mediums, so be it.