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story.lead_photo.caption (Courtesy of Jim Dyke) This 4-by-3-foot oil painting in progress by artist Jim Dyke depicts a Cardinal that was sitting on a post and eating seeds from a paper plate in the 15-inch January snow three weeks ago.

This week's featured artist is Jim Dyke.

While attending Jefferson City High School, Dyke was able to take classes at Nichols Career Center and enjoyed the commercial illustration class, which he took for two years.

"It was a course that lasted three hours a day all year long and I had the class for the maximum time available, which was two years," Dyke said. "I have always been interested in art/music and never really gave a second thought to what I was going to be doing."

Dyke received a bachelor of science degree in commercial art from Southwest Baptist University, and continues to write music and sing. Dyke also draws caricatures of customers on the street or in his downtown High Street business, Cottonstone Art Gallery & Frame Shop, and he is the editorial cartoonist for the News Tribune.

"I enjoy developing ideas for editorial cartoons, hand painting neckties, doing extremely detailed realistic paintings and doing really loose impressionistic paintings. I like capturing local Jefferson City and Missouri history in paintings," he said.

When asked which kind of expression he likes doing most, he answers oil painting as his favorite. However, Dyke also said there are many art forms and styles that are all his favorites and "so, maybe being able to do all of them and sell them and work it into a business is my favorite."

When painting, the kind of colors Dyke uses depends on the mood of the image he is depicting. He said a sunrise on the Missouri River can be very moody and mysterious — sometimes lots of yellows, sometimes pinkish.

"I used a pink and orange sunrise on the Missouri River that I photographed in October as the background for the official painting of the U.S.S. Wichita Ship that I was commissioned to do," he said, noting the painting was presented at the commissioning ceremonies for the ship in Florida in January and will hang on the ship. "I also used a very different sunrise on the Missouri River for the official painting I was commissioned to do for the S.S.N. Missouri Submarine."

Dyke said he is also fascinated with forgotten things in Jefferson City's past, like the old Bolivar Street Bridge. He recreated it using a few of his favorite things to paint: the river, trains and snow. The style of the old bridge reminds him of the bridge in the movie "It's A Wonderful Life," and he supposed they were both from the same time period.

"Painting it as a nighttime scene seemed mysterious. Kind of lonely but not too lonely because there are cars on the bridge overhead and people on the train so that adds warmth to the scene, which is in contrast to all of the cold snow and the otherwise lonely night scene by the river," he said. Dyke later added, "All of the darkness in the scene is very important because without it, the warm light from the locomotive and from the cars on the bridge would not stand out. The contrasts in life are important. The super hot days make water taste super good. A super cold frigid day makes a hot humid day sound like a great idea. Sweet cookies go well with a cup of strong black coffee. Noticing these kinds of relationships are part of painting."

Most recently, Dyke noticed a bright red cardinal sitting on his deck during the recent big January snow storm. He started a large painting of the cardinal and a series of smaller ones.

"The weather was gray, the yard was gray, the sky was gray, snow was blowing and cold, and in the middle of all that, the bright red cardinal was a warm and cheerful site. A cheerful bird in a dreary snow storm goes a long way as far as brightening things up. I put a paper plate of bird food on the deck to attract the birds so I could photograph them," he said. "My Aunt Dorothy sent me a Christmas Card one year with a poem on the front that I memorized instantly without even trying. I don't even know who wrote the poem but it said: 'I heard a bird sing in the dark of December a wonderful thing and sweet to remember.' That message translates to almost every area of life and relates to much more than just December and snow and darkness and birds. Finding happiness in conditions that don't seem very happy is important. I think everyone can relate to and be sympathetic to the bird's circumstances and can appreciate the bird's good attitude. It makes for a good painting that is about much more than just a bird on a post."

View art at Cottonstone Art Gallery and Frame Shop, 116 E. High St.

Jefferson City Art Club, Capital Arts and Mid-Missouri art news

Are you interested in art or do you have a friend who is? The Jefferson City Art Club meets the third Monday each month from September through May. The next art club meeting is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at 409 Ellis Blvd. in the community room. Professional Artist Peggy King, who works in fused glass, will give a presentation about "Snow Flake Glass." For more information, visit

Artist Leann Porrello is Jefferson City Art Club's featured artist through Feb. 17. Her exhibit is on display at Department of Motor Vehicles, 1617 Southridge Drive, open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. Watch for Porrello in an upcoming video show with Rick Jey on YouTube. There is also a collection of her artwork available to view at

The Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance in Ashland hosts one-day art workshops, "Missouri Sketchers," the first Wednesday each month. The next workshop features Marilyn Cummings, who will offer an urban sketching program at 7:30 p.m. March 6 at the organization's gallery and facility, 115 E. Broadway in Ashland. For more information, call 573-657-0711 or visit

I have fine tuned my directions for learning to paint. In three easy steps, you and your family can learn together. You will fill your home with artwork, done by the entire family.

Artist and Jefferson City Art Club member Gary Cadwallader shows viewers how to paint with traditional watercolors. As a well-known professional artist, he makes it easy to learn to paint with watercolor. Find his videos at or by searching "GaryCadawallader - Painting" on YouTube.

Larry Carver, artist and Jefferson City Art Club member, introduces you to acrylic paint, which is primarily water-based. One way to use it is similar to traditional watercolor painting, and it will break down in water until it dries. He teaches you to paint two of his pieces — "Luna Landing" and "Tribute to Frazetta" — in his video, which you can find along with more information about Larry at the "Member Artist Links" at

Now, take your family to the Imagination Station at Capital Arts Gallery, which is filled with supplies for the best family projects. Paint in many different mediums on many different surfaces. Call ahead to have someone explain the possibilities or simply stop by, with use of the supplies and room available for a $1 donation per person. For more information, call 573-635-8355.

Professional artist Jimmy Mustion does club promotions and publicity for Jefferson City Art Club and Capital Arts.

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