Dale Riley’s art is derived from his passion for people and the community around him. Riley’s vivid illustrations greet the viewer in a way similar to the enthusiastic and robust way he greets and engages with people every day. Riley expresses that the inspiration of this energy he shares and receives from other people, “sends my thoughts into outer space.” The freedom and excitement that comes from this sentiment defines the aesthetic that Riley is known and revered for; one cannot help but be transported while viewing his visual vignettes.
Riley is known for incorporating largely abstracted figures of people as well as animals such as turtles, dogs, and frogs. He enjoys reimagining them with different shapes and colors, as he works to illustrate their “energy.” There are also environmental markers such as flowers and similar signs that suggest a landscape in these illustrations of life from Riley’s point of view. While talking through a drawing, Riley will relate tales of his adventures and experiences in life with family and friends throughout the breadth of a large, detailed piece. He assigns personalities and relationships to animals and people by designing their outward appearance to reflect the characteristics he associates with them. His use of a bright and eclectic color palette seems to indicate the vivid energy and emotion that he associates with the world around him. Each illustration boasts dozens of smaller creatures and drawings etched in colored pencil or Sharpie that comprise an electric community. When viewed as one larger piece, the resulting patterns and shapes are visually mesmerizing.
Dale Riley hails from California and has been making art since 1998.