Gallery Artists > Randal Dutra Biography :

Randal Dutra (b. 1958)  Artworks >>

Artist Randal Dutra says of his work: "I try to let the subject and its surroundings dictate the artistic approach I will take, whether in paint or bronze. Rather than impose my preference from the onset, I try to openly absorb what I can see before me--then work with the medium that will best communicate my impressions." At an early age, he began drawing, sculpting and then animating clay figures, mostly dinosaurs and monsters, because of his fascination with movies such as King Kong and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. During his youth, he spent nine summers studying animal drawing and composition in British Columbia with well-known wildlife artist, Clarence Tillenius. After high school, Dutra attended the Art Students League in New York City, where he apprenticed with mod animal sculptor, Jose de Creeft. A major influence on Dutra's impressionist style was Robert Lougheed, who taught Dutra to love the physical act of painting. In 1982, he learned the art of bronze casting at a foundry. Then he returned to California where he accepted a job as a mold assistant for sculpted creatures to be used in movies. Working with a stop-motion specialist in the creature shop, Dutra did special effects for Return of the Jedi. For the next twelve years, he followed this type of endeavor with numerous movies, doing everything from designing creatures to sculpting, molding and fabricating to puppeteering and animation. In 1991, he became senior animator for Jurassic Park, and then became Director of Animation for Jurassic Part II, breathing life into creatures sixty-five million years old. However, Dutra regards his primary occupation as that of fine artist, painter and sculptor, and has a prestigious reputation in both areas. Completing about two canvases a week, he paints figures, animals, landscapes and seascapes, with many of these works completed outside, "en plein aire." He is fascinated by the unpredictability of nature and strives to stay in touch with its variances and to observe first hand "how animals and people use their body language and gestures." He also applies this realistic approach to his wildlife sculpture. Having spent much time researching dinosaurs, he is looking for connecting links, "the spark of life that has been passed like a torch since the dawn of pre history." He resists pressures to create prints from his paintings and asserts that "there is nothing like an original work of art. You have the artist's fingerprint. There is no arguing with an original." Dutra has traveled extensively--Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States--and has won many awards including membership in the Society of Animal Artists. He shares a love for animals with his wife Maureen, a veterinarian who also occasionally serves as his model. Source

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