2017 IWAF Featured Artist
David Palmer
“Desert Dreaming”  by David Palmer

“Desert Dreaming”

Original 48”h x 36”w acrylic painting canvas.
This is a 6-color hexichrome print with outstanding reproduction.
Print size 18” x 24” fits standard frame size.

Artist David Palmer

David Palmer

Raised in upstate New York on the Pennsylvania border, David Palmer’s childhood home was surrounded by dairy farms with Holstein cows meandering practically everywhere. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Art from the University of Florida and an MFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Palmer ventured west to California where he began a lustrous art career in the film industry as a digital effects artist. With more than a dozen feature films under his artistic belt, including Air Force One with Harrison Ford, The Polar Express, Spider-Man 3, and the first Harry Potter movie, Palmer returned his palette to his first love, oils and acrylics on the canvas.

The Los Angeles-based artist’s paintings combine the vocabulary of Pop Art with an Italian Renaissance sensibility. They are inspired by dreams and childhood memories, and a fascination with the physical world. Their surfaces reveal patches of underlying color, reminiscent of aging frescoes and peeling billboards – a reminder of the beauty in things changing over time.

Artist David Palmer

“We were thrilled to have David as this year’s Feature and Commemorative Artist,” says Indian Wells Arts Festival producer Dianne Funk. “I gasped when I first saw Desert Dreaming,” she adds. “With its brilliant colors and exacting detail, it perfectly captures our beautiful desert and is sure to be one of our most sought-after prints.”

Desert Dreaming (48 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas) was inspired by the abundance of plant and animal life in the California desert, and is a meditation on the extraordinary beauty available to us in quiet moments. The quail in the foreground is rendered in profile, in the manner of a classical portrait, surrounded by nature in bloom. There is a dreamlike quality to the image, but is the bird the dreamer, or is the dream ours? To find his inspiration, Palmer explored some of the Coachella Valley’s well-known repositories for nature and beauty such as the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium, along with a few trails more off the beaten path.

“Until fairly recently, I hadn't spent much time in the desert,” Palmer explains. “As I get to know it; however, I'm discovering just how much life and beauty it contains: plants, animals, colors, sounds, smells. There's so much to experience in the desert, and wandering around in it feels a bit like being in a dream.”

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