Interview with Dale Threlkeld

 Always a delight, Dale Threlkeld answered the serious and kooky questions for this week’s artist interview.

 1) When did you know the arts were what you wanted to do, long-term?
Dale Threlkeld: I always had art in my life but I didn’t really think about making a living with it. I started working when I was 16 and always survived on my own, paid for college on my own, then drafted and served in Vietnam, then had GI Bill and went on to get a master’s and taught art….just never really thought about doing anything else because I didn’t have to do anything else.

2) What inspires you the most?
DT: I am moved by “world class” anything….the best of the best….that which inspires…and the last painting I did that makes me want to make another.


Dale Threlkeld’s “Tempest Dei” (Detail)

3) What is your current favorite medium?
DT: I prefer to work with oil on canvas or linen.

 4) When you’re working, what do you listen to, if anything?
DT: I sometimes listen to music when I start a painting but I block everything out when I am in the “heat” of it. I work very, very fast and block it all out…just total focus on what is in front of me….


“Rue Lux” by Dale Threlkeld behind “Tenderness” by Georgina Faria de Arellano

5) What piece are you most proud of?
DT: I don’t have a favorite painting; that is like picking a favorite child. What the viewer thinks is far more important to me.

6) Not to be morbid, but what would you like to be remembered for?
DT: I feel I have had a magical life, not easy, but one that has not been boring. I feel it is a “sin” to bore and though I have been bored, I avoid it. I am most inspired by the last painting I did that I thought moved me…made me aware and created within me a sense of wonder.


(Left) “Max Moment” (Right) “Far Mystic”

7) Have you ever regretted making something and showing it?
DT: I prefer not to deal with regrets….life goes on.

8) What is the best comment you’ve ever received?
DT: “I guess I better go get my checkbook!”  I have had so many best comments….but what is better than having someone tell you how much they love your work….?


9) What would you like to accomplish within the next five years?DT: In the next 5 years I hope to reach a much larger audience, paint some of the best paintings of my life, be WAY more experimental, but more than anything try to enjoy those I love more.

10) What’s your go-to snack when you’re working?
DT: Sometimes in the heat of a painting I will stop and drink something but I do not think about food when I am working. To get what I want I have to work very fast and so there is little time to even think about food or drink.

11) If you could be anyone (Seriously, anyone. Past/present/future/nonexistent/existent. You get the idea.) who would you be?
DT:  I have never thought about being anyone but me.

Thanks so much to Dale for taking the time out for this interview!

Come check out his work at the Schmidt now through December 18!

Posted by student intern, Kailey Kirkley.


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