daryl thetford artist

True to His Vision

After being introduced to the world of art galleries and shows, Daryl Thetford pursued his passion and now he makes certain to attend the La Quinta Art Celebration.

Jessica Dickerson Arts & Entertainment, Current Digital

daryl thetford artist

Artist Daryl Thetford posted this work on his Facebook page in July: "New unnamed western piece. 60” x 90”. Digital collage with paint, paper, artist medium, chopped up and reassembled."

Growing up in rural Tennessee, Daryl Thetford never thought being an artist could replace a more traditional way to make a living. After working in the community health industry, he and his wife, Dana Shavin, both felt burnt out. They had artistic inclinations throughout their lives but doubted their ability to survive off it.

After befriending another couple interested in art, they were introduced to the world of art shows and galleries, and learned what it took to make a successful body of work. They took the risk and quit their jobs to pursue this new dream full-time.

Now, Daryl Thetford’s work has been commissioned across the United States. From Tennessee to New York City to Los Angeles, and the Coachella Valley for this year’s La Quinta Art Celebration., Nov. 11-14 at the La Quinta Civic Center.  The La Quinta Art Celebration will feature 200 artists’ work and offer daily live entertainment, gourmet dining from local restaurants, and premium drinks. Daryl’s work can be found at booth 318.

Daryl has contributed and commuted to this event over the past 8 years. “Most of my pieces are too big to fit in a car,” he laughs, “so I like to use it as an excuse to make a trip out.” While Thetford always creates a new collection each year for the art celebration, Daryl has challenged himself out of his comfort zone to create intriguing pieces for this year’s show.

Palm Springs Life discusses Thetford’s art in this year’s celebration and what to expect in his future pieces.

Art of the Swing by Daryl Thetford.

How long does it take to create these pieces?

It’ll take me about a week to do a digital version. Let’s say, overall, as I work on several pieces [at once], probably a couple weeks to start and finish one. Sometimes a commission will take longer so that I can ensure the visions [for this piece] are combined. I want to hold true to my vision, but I also want them to be happy with it.

What type of pieces should we expect to see from you in this show?

Primarily large contemporary pop-art. It’s very bright and colorful with a lot of texture. It’s funny, the best way to describe it is photographs and I combine them digitally to create an image.

Then I’ll paint and collage paper, and then add other textures over that or even leave it simpler. It’s a physical and digital collage. I do a lot of female faces, city scapes, and I’m always experimenting with new images. Every year, for the gallery and the festival, I change my whole booth. I normally have maybe one piece leftover from the previous year.

Is there a theme or aesthetic you followed for the pieces this year?

I’m always experimenting. I normally do a city-scape, but I’m doing a very different one for this year. They’re never a specific city. It’s different cities put together and they always have a lot of detail. This year, I’ve been experimenting with doing something simpler and bolder. The colors are a little different and it’s a different feel [that] I’m excited for. I also like to use faces for projection, [so] I’ll use a face and insert a lot of things from contemporary society like progress, struggle, career, money, news, etc.. A lot of people think the art is very contemplative and thoughtful. Others think it is sad. Some think it is helpful. It’s amazing to see how people interpret these faces and [are] essentially projecting onto some of the things that they’re feeling at the moment.

Contemporary Desert Woman by Daryl Thetford.

Do you have a favorite piece that is on show for this event?

The female face that is for the posters (Contemporary Desert Woman). I’m [also] very excited to put this new type of cityscape out there. It’s different from what I normally do. There’s a little bit of excitement and a little bit of fear to see how they perceive it.

Can we expect to see you at the next event?

I will absolutely be there. The crowds in the desert have always received my work well. That’s a great part, obviously, [but] I love Southern California and we almost always meet up with friends and play a little bit.

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