The Norwegian former teacher, arctic meteorologist and air taxi pilot Dag “Wizard” Kjelldahl from Oslo took his first course in traditional oil painting at Oslo University when he was only 12 years old.
After an unsettled life when he had worked on different ships, learnt to fly in Miami, been a journalist in Oslo and nearly crashed twice in the Bermuda Triangle, he moved to Whitby in 1999 and married his 1966 summer love.
In Whitby, he started a small science centre museum on the West Cliff which was open for 10 years. It was crammed with hands-on exhibits demonstrating easy to do and understand scientific principles like gravity, aerodynamics, light, our senses, colours and mechanics.
When Dag retired in 2012, he joined the Whitby Art Society and started to paint pictures for real.
When he first arrived from Norway in 1999, Dag joined several social groups in Whitby and quickly became well connected through presenting his talks about exotic themes like Bear Island, Egyptian Mythology and the Vikings.
He received valuable help and further insights into oil painting through established members of the Art Society; the artists John Freeman, Robert Brindley, Peter Hicks, Paul Blackwell and Anne Thornhill.
All his life, Dag has visited art exhibitions and maintained his keen interest in visual arts, even though he did not paint much before meeting the inspirational professional and amateur painters of the Whitby art scene. Now he hopes to go on painting during summers, when the light is good.
Dag is trying hard to develop his art with each picture that he paints. There is no repetition of themes or colours, every picture contains new challenges.
This means that every picture takes long to finish, often half a year. When Dag has taken his time considering how to proceed, he only makes a small change or addition before the picture is given another week to dry again.
Only then is he ready to put in another small adjustment or addition with just a few, well considered brush strokes.
Dag’s solo exhibition is tomorrow and Sunday at the Pyman Institute, Sandsend.