Artist Carol Dalton is interested in how things evolve. Her new exhibit, The Physicality of Books, which opens at the Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Gallery August 18, was inspired by her observations in this regard. “I’m an outdoors person,” says Dalton. “I’m very attracted to seeing how things age and erode and eventually turn into dust. I like to observe things in nature—seeing soil that’s wet and rich and watching it become drier, then cracking and blowing off into the wind through the seasons. I’ve been observing how things that humans make run the same course and become non-existing.” She also loves reading, holding and looking at books.

Dalton is primarily a painter who also works with mixed media, printmaking and collage. As for her process, the exhibit’s information says, “she starts with collaged  and pigmented paintings on board, and scores, scrapes, and abrades and marks, creating rough textured surfaces.  Washes of pigment  are added, distilling the surfaces and infusing them with a powerful and balanced presence.” Recent works are connected with communication issues, environmental issues and her love for the outdoors.

Carol Dalton


After studying at the Santa Barbara Art Institute from 1971-4, Dalton moved to the Bay Area and has shown her art here for many years, including work in corporate offices, museums and private collections. She works at her studio in the  Benicia Arsenaland is currently represented by the Jen Tough Gallery.. As the information notes, “Dalton’s sensitivity to her materials and her regard for her subjects bring depth and authenticity to the pieces.  She inspires non-artists and artists alike with a layered beauty and intensity to her work.”

The Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Gallery is located within the Benicia Library. The exhibit is open during library hours and there’s an artist reception, which is open to the public, at the gallery Saturday, August 18, 3-5pm.