Interview with Featured Artist Dalton Banister

February 24, 2020

 One of many of Banister’s ink drawings. The Chase Photo: Owen Crowlie

 

Local artist Dalton Banister has returned to Eastern New Mexico University to present “Limited,”
a series of original ink drawings at the Runnels Gallery.


Being an ENMU alumnus, Banister said he was honored for the opportunity to display his work.
“I feel like it's such an honor to be asked to return for a personal show. I remember being a
student and thinking about one day being good enough at art for someone to want to display my
work,” he said. “I hope coming back for this show is inspiring for young artists to know that it is
possible to get to a place where people want to see their work displayed as well.”


The exhibition features rows of intimately detailed renderings of animals and scenes of nature,
all made in less than three hours. Within this time constraint, Banister was able to home in on
his subjects and express their unique geometry. Speaking on his inspiration for this direction,
Banister commented, “As an artist, time is hard to come by. An oil painting can take weeks or
months to complete, and a watercolor painting can take a few days to work out,” he said. “Small
pen and ink drawings that had a time constraint forced me to create things that pushed and
challenged me without dedicating a full-time schedule to the work as well....” Banister said by
putting a time limit on his work, he was forced to stay in certain parameters. “It sounds
restricting, but in reality, it was very freeing.”


Banister cited the natural scenery and animals of New Mexico as a large source of inspiration,
as well as sights he witnessed in his travels to Canada, Honduras, Mexico and the United
Kingdom. He shared his childhood memories of driving through the mountains and watching for
wildlife. “During these excursions, I remember seeing wild sheep, elk, and deer. It's one thing to
see livestock or our pets that have become such a normal part of our lives, but there is
something special about non-domesticated animals," he said. “We share this planet with so
many creatures, and I like getting to know them.”


Banister recognized that his art is being seen by the next generation of aspiring artists at
ENMU, and he offered them some advice. “Do not be afraid to do you.” He said that art is
supposed to be fun, but if you want it to be a job, you have to work at it. Banister added to find
your one thing and go with it. “It is great to have fun and be efficient in several styles and
mediums but find the one thing that makes you crazy if you can't do it. The one thing that
without it you're incomplete. Find the one thing that you can spend hours doing and walk away
angry only to find yourself going back to it the next day for a redo. Find your one thing and give
it everything.”


Banister’s work is available to view on banisterart.com, which features his portfolio of ink
drawings and watercolor paintings.

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