Take a Peak: Daniel Rajala

Powell River-based abstract artist loves painting sport scenes

Painter Daniel Rajala discovered his talent and passion for abstract art in junior high school when his skill was first recognized and awarded. He went on to study at Vancouver Art School, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and Vancouver Island University. He was one of the founding members of both Gallery Reflections and Gallery Gachet and served on the board of directors of the Unit/Pitt Gallery.

Can you describe the style of your art?

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I paint in acrylics on canvas and my style of art would be considered abstract realism with a surrealistic quality.

Are you originally from Powell River or the upper Sunshine Coast?

I was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, grew up in Campbell River and lived in Vancouver for 27 years. I also lived in Nanaimo for seven years taking courses at Vancouver Island University and I've lived in Powell River for a total of 10 years now.

When did you first get into painting?

I first started making abstract art paintings when I was in grade eight in high school in Campbell River and then did some pottery and silk screening. I won the top art student award in grade nine and because my work was quite different the librarian in senior high school recommended me for a Rotary Club trip to Ottawa. I attended the Vancouver School of Art from 1973 to 1977 and graduated with a diploma in painting. I took a post-grad year at the now Emily Carr University of Art and Design with Don Jarvis.

What do you most love to paint and who or what inspires your work?

What inspires me to paint is sports and nature. This includes landscapes seen in places where I have lived. I love to paint sports figures in action: soccer players, basketball players or baseball players. I have followed soccer for a long time and played baseball for a few years in Nanaimo.

Where can people see your work in person or online?

People can see my paintings at Vancouver Island University Powell River campus until March 24.

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