"... my friend, when I see you my heart soars like a hawk..."
This is the greeting you will most likely encounter when you meet Darrell. His eyes will twinkle, a wry smile will curl upon his lips and you will immediately fall under his spell and be transported into DarrellWorld.
That's what happens whenever I see him. The man is a dynamo... full of creative energy just bursting from his fibers. His child-like enthusiasm for just about everything is as disarming as it is contagious. If horses, art or low-powered firearms should be involved, then all the better even...
Darrell was my first real photography teacher. He taught an Introduction to Black & White Photography course an Maui Community College (now University of Hawaii Maui Campus) for several years back in the day. Before we were halfway through the first class session, I had already begun to think of him as a sort of Mr. Rogers on Acid, if one can imagine such a thing. I immediately liked him... found him to be very inspiring.
Several years later, when I was a little more established in my career, we met again when Darrell was hired as the Director of the Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Since the time of our first encounters, Darrell had served as an Officer in the Coast Guard, deployed as a combat artist in Desert Storm, the first Gulf War. We've become friends and he continues to teach me... about art, about life, about how to get through the day... against all odds... with a smile and electric enthusiasm.
Darrell is a modern day renaissance man; prolific painter, photographer, genius installation designer, cowboy, sharpshooter, RC Model Plane builder & pilot, dispenser of charming, corn-pone humor & wit, sailor and stellar human being. Presently, he is assembling his past work, all while frantically producing more each day, to be exhibited in the very near future as a retrospective ( and other projects to come) of his creative life.
I recently had the opportunity to engage Darrell for a formal portrait sitting... don't know why I have never asked before. After the customary greetings (see above) we got down to business BEFORE I allowed him to lead me into DarrellWorld. Afterward, we celebrated to successful images with the customary firing of pistols, reviews of recent output, old Leo Kottke cassette tapes, the swilling of wine and a million laughs.
Watch for the coming retrospective. Details to be announced here & everywhere soon.