Voices of Experience - Dan Beck
Voices of Experience
direct observation and instinct, control and spontaneity,
even between the literal and the symbolic.
It seems to me that although a painter is deeply involved
with his own private investigation,
his real aim is to communicate something
to the viewer that resonates on a uniquely personal level."
I grew up in an Air Force family, so naturally we lived in a lot of different places, from Maine to Colorado. But mostly and especially during my formative (teenage) years, we lived in the South—Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana. I’m pretty sure both the frequent moves and being immersed in the southern culture and the beauty of spanish moss, magnolia trees, bayous, beaches, etc., affected and influenced the direction I took as an artist. On the other hand, it wasn’t until I got out of the Army, in Colorado, that I heard about art schools and people actually making a living as artists. I had always filled up sketch books and knew that’s what I loved to do but until then I had no idea it was possible to make a living as an artist. I went to Denver the day after I heard about Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I used my GI bill to attend and never looked back.
Have you had the opportunity to travel internationally? How has living in North Carolina influenced your landscape work? Please tell us a little about your processes.
I liked to stay loose with what I’m working on. I keep a travel easel in my car so that if I get up and feel like going out, I can do it easily. I rarely plan what I’ll specifically work on on any given day. But I generally have some kind of art idea regarding shapes, or edges or color that I want to address..
Along with responding to what was in front of me, I also wanted to create a surface that by itself was interesting and rhythmic, sort of a story within a story or one story supporting the other—and for the surface to make obvious the idea that this is a painting—and the idea that we are translating what we’re seeing in nature.
And, just for fun, if you could sit down and have a long conversation over dinner with an artist from the past, who would you choose, and why?
To see more of Dan Beck's paintings,
go to: Dan Beck Fine Art
All artwork copyright Dan Beck
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