Exibition of Schmonson Dalglish in CM Gallery



The style of this artwork is called Neo-Synthetism. It means that the artist uses personal symbolism to portray the subject matter.
This style is a combination of several different influences. Having been born in South Dakota, the first art that the artist saw were paintings done by Sioux artist Oscar Howe. Oscar painted in gouache (opaque watercolor) and he broke the drawing into separate sections and filled each one in with color.  Dennis, however in his early years, drew from life or copying other artwork. Later after absorbing the life style of the late 60’s he began to draw his subject matter right out of his head. The influences grew to include art from the Middle East, China, Japan, traditional African art, India, Mexico, and various other native cultures. The work is also based heavily on some of the modern art styles of the time, poster art from the 60’s, Op Art along with Abstract Expressionism, and various forms of classical painting. All of these are combined in an original style.

The media used is gouache on watercolor paper and acrylics on canvas for the paintings. He later picked up the use of a new media, gemstones, as well as various other rocks, and minerals. The style remains the same only the media varies. The gouache and gemstone pieces tend to be small, whereas the acrylic paintings can be much larger. In the future, do to modern technology; the gemstone pieces can be cut by a water jet in far less time and allow for an increase in the size of the artwork.

The artist draws the cartoon on the surface and then numbers many of the sections to keep track of the color modulation. The first image of an American gemstone mosaic he saw actually was copied from a “Color by Number” kit, the kind used by children. The artist conveys what he wants to express by the use of lots of color variations and simple geometrical design.

In this exhibition are samples of the range and diversity of both media and subject. The artwork is placed in chronological order.


Dennis Paul Batt was born on April 20, 1952 in Woonsocket, South Dakota. His family moved to Massachusetts during his youth. He started creating art at the age of three and continued throughout his childhood. After graduating High School in 1969 he traveled around the country and then abroad. A year of living in Istanbul, Turkey imbued him with a sense of universal harmony. There he started painting and developed an original style using complex geometric patterns to represent natural objects. Dennis began painting in tempera but soon worked primarily in gouache.

During most of his stay in Istanbul in 1971 he painted almost one painting every day to learn his craft and experiment with ideas. Within this exhibition are several examples of those early years. He gave away dozens of these paintings to his friends and family. He then moved onto Boston, Massachusetts where he began his formal art education.
Dennis attended the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston. He painted during the day and attended classes at night. After leaving school he went on to exhibit in several one-person, invitational, and juried exhibitions throughout the greater Boston area. Several paintings produced during this time are shown here.

In February of 1976 Dennis noticed a “Lapidary Journal” with a commesso (intarsia) on the cover. He immediately saw a style similar to his own and realized that stone was an ideal media for him. He then left Boston in June 1976 and moved to San Diego, California where coincidently both his family and the “Lapidary Journal” were located.

For 18 years while working as a commercial artist Dennis collected articles on commessi. He got to meet William Grundke in 1984 at the Pacifica Gem Show in Long Beach, California, where he saw his first commesso; William’s magnificent “Silent Night”. In 1994 at the local Vista Gem Show Dennis met William’s son, Conrad Grundke and saw his beautiful artwork. Conrad invited him to attend the Saddleback Community College Emeritus Lapidary class where he taught Dennis how to make commessi.

With the assistance of hundreds of lapidaries and their families, Dennis created a comprehensive database of stone-to-stone artwork called “American Masters of Stone.” The work was published on a CD and distributed to hundreds of Art Libraries throughout the continent. The purpose of this work is to introduce lapidary as a fine art. A few years later, with the help of Conrad Grundke, this project evolved into a new website featuring hundreds of artists and thousands of images, biographies, how-to articles, and commentary. The site is www.americanmastersofstone.com. In 2005 Dennis was inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame in the Lapidary division.

His paintings have been sold to many national and international collectors in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, New Haven, Providence, San Francisco, Chicago, Istanbul, etc. Now Dennis has added the Commesso di pietre dure e tenere to his repertoire.

Dennis is a Past-President of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild and a former trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art. He is the author of “The Living History of the Guild” and was the creator of and contributor to a cutting-edge online magazine called the Artists Ezine.

Now a long-term resident of Carlsbad, California, he is currently the co-managing trustee of the Outdoor Art Foundation. He also serves on the boards of COFAC (Consejo Fronterizo de Arte y Cultura – Border Council of Arts & Culture) and the Synergy Art Foundation. Dennis works with the committees of the San Diego Visual Arts Network and Oceanside Museum of Art Artists Alliance. He is the founder and web-person for the San Diego Visual Artists Guild, and aided in the creation of a cooperative artist gallery in downtown San Diego (1098 9th Ave.) called the SDVAG Fine Art Gallery. Dennis also is the founder and the executive director of a charitable organization called, the Museum Artists Foundation (MAF).

As director of MAF, in accordance with its policy of sharing with other organizations, presented an elegant fundraiser called “Façade” in conjunction with the Small Opera of San Diego on May 21, 2005. He helped create and designed a multi-phased curated Wildlife Art Exhibition & Sale, which was open to all regional artists, in the San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, dates August 12, 2005 – January 1, 2006.

Recently he assisted in the creation of two Carlsbad Masquerades, held on February 25, 2006 and February 24, 2007, to benefit the Outdoor Art Foundation’s Outdoor Art Initiative. He also partnered with Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS) to create “The Unveiling” an Art and Opera fundraiser held on May 19, 2007. He created and keeps current a comprehensive database of over 2,800 regional visual artists including 2,000 email addresses. This database has been shared with several organizations looking for artists to donate work or enter exhibitions. It is growing, kept current, and is made available on request for museums and qualified art organizations.

In January 2007 Dennis launched a new business venture called Virtual Fine Art. He is the owner and President of the company, which features a 3D Interactive Virtual Art Museum. Dennis recently became a member of the executive steering committee for a local think tank, Imagine Carlsbad. In May 2007 Dennis was invited to join the San Diego Group Leaders, a multi-organizational networking group of professionals and leaders of various charitable organizations. He was then put on the Campbell Networks with his own events list, which provides information on events for artists, fans of art and those who wish to support the arts, primarily those with an interest in the visual and performing arts.

Since then, Dennis assisted Martin E. Petersen, curator emeritus of the San Diego Museum of Art to publish his manuscript called “Alice Klauber” online. He also has become the curator of a new art gallery, part of the New Village Arts Theater, in Carlsbad.


Senator Edward Brooke (R. Mass.) 2/5/74   “Dennis Paul Batt’s bold exciting ‘Vibrations’ bespeaks a powerful, original artist at work”. 

Richard Dymond “New England Business Journal” 6/25/74   “These paintings are poly-chromatic: colors laid side by side in flawlessly engineered geometric configurations… The individual patches of color seem to vibrate like the strings of a harp trembling long after the last chord has become audible”.

Mary Lou Kelly “Christian Science Monitor” 5/18/76   “His most distinctive compositions are horizontal rows signifying land, water, and sky, each decorated with repeated details such as mountains, waves, and clouds, often garnished with one or more figures”. 

Richard Reilly “The San Diego Union” 3/27/77   “Gouache is a difficult technique, but one that is particularly suited to the work of Dennis Batt, for his compositions draw one’s attentions to the freshness and lightness of ‘things’… all creating a unique harmony of colors, rendered with the artist’s own stylization”. 

Jan Jennings “The San Diego Evening Tribune” 1/19/79   “Dennis Batt plays with a myriad of disciplines in visual expression… Particularly impressive are his renderings of interiors where he juggles the inspirations of Picasso, Pollock, and Vaserely, as well as primitive influence and comes up with strong compositions, which invite eye movement all over the canvas… he fuses a variety of artistic approaches, he is also cunning enough to blend them skillfully and gracefully… In each of Batt’s paintings there is precision and color modulation”.

www.dennispaulbatt.com  ”

Schmonson Dalglish

You can visit Schmonson Dalglish exibition at CM Gallery: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Steine%20Gardens/47/92/31


~ by C. M. on March 10, 2008.

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