My apprenticeship with Odd Nerdrum had a profound impact on my work. I abandoned the photograph as an instrument of creation and began to create paintings based on direct perception. Much of this work focuses on Nature and a striving to capture a sense of the timeless in figurative works.
(Pictured Above: Odd and I working on one of his paintings together in Norway)
When I finished this painting I brought it into Odd's Studio. He had watched it develop over the course of the 8 weeks I worked on it. But this time his expression was different. He studied the painting for a few moments then he looked at me and said in a matter-of-fact of tone: "I would be proud if I had made that painting, even if I was your enemy I would have to admit that you have made something very special here."
For me this painting is a representation of a goal achieved. I traveled across the world seeking out a living master. I made his technique my own. I took the mystery out of his process and used it to make my own magic. I am unselfconsciously proud of what I made while I lived with my friend and mentor Odd Nerdrum.
For a long while my dog Dylan truly was my best friend. She would come with me wherever I was painting. She was one of those dogs that never needed a leash. She was one of those dogs that would literally listen to you. The coolest thing about Dylan, was that she looked you right in the eye and would just stare, just gaze at you. My grandfather used to say... "Dustin, thats not a dog... what you have there is a person in a dog's body."
I know everybody says this about their pets but... She really was the best.