Family portrait leads artist to his calling

Will at work“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter.” – Oscar Wilde

It was a portrait of his late-grandfather that helped William Dallimore find his true calling as an artist.

The Sun Peaks artist, who works primarily with an airbrush, decided to paint the portrait as a tribute to the grandfather’s life.

“It turned out pretty good,” Dallimore said. “I’ve been an artist all my life, but it took me a really long time to define my style. I guess I had 20 years of practise to work out what I was really good at.”

Since that first portrait five years ago, Dallimore has honed his craft, culminating in a showcase of his work at his first solo exhibition, held at Kamloops’ Old Courthouse Gallery throughout July.

“It’s pretty much all portraits. Some from my personal collection, some that I’ve done for commissions, and some new work,” he said.

Dallimore has been an artist in various mediums for most of his life, but it was when he picked up his first airbrush 15 years ago he found the ideal tool to put his skills to canvas.

“It’s so versatile. I can paint on canvas or paper or vehicles or walls. You name it, I can paint on it.”

Putting those words to the test, Dallimore has recently painted his images onto several motorcycles and helmets.

“The first one was for my Dad. He’s always been into bikes and cars, and I painted one of his helmets for him. Recently I painted a portrait of a gentleman’s wife onto the front of his Harley Davidson.

“I really enjoy painting bikes. You could say I’m a biker without a bike.”

Dallimore said painting a motorcycle brings with it different challenges than a canvas.

“It’s a curved surface, and paint doesn’t absorb, so you can make a real mess if you aren’t careful,” Dallimore said.

“If I make a mistake on a canvas, I can scrap it and start again. You can’t do that to a bike. It’s somebody’s pride and joy.

“And quite often these are big guys, so you’ve got to get it right,” he joked.

Originally from south Wales, Dallimore had been coming back and forth to Sun Peaks for his entire life, eventually making a permanent move five years ago after meeting his fiancée, Izzy Hamptonstone, in Sun Peaks.

“She’s actually from south Wales too, but we met in Sun Peaks. It’s one of those funny things in life.”

While Dallimore has just wrapped up his first solo exhibition, he said he hopes to hold more in the future, and plans to keep working the Kamloops Art Council and Art Zone Sun Peaks where he can.

Check out some of William Dallimore’s work online here.