When did you sell your first painting and what was it of?
Before I went to art school I was using my GI bill going to a traditional four-year college. I knew I was wasting my time so I tried to take some art classes there but they were pretty lame- pretty typical “do your own thing” art classes On my own, I was doing some figure drawings and some pastel landscapes. A woman who was also going to the university happened to see them and offered me a couple of hundred dollars for three or four of them. I was thrilled.
Which artists influenced your work?
The first artists who influenced my work are the French impressionist painters: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot and Edgar Degas. Around the same time, I really liked the abstract expressionist works of Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. They instilled in me a love for expression in my work and understanding that as an artist I’m not just trying to copy what I see but rather find something deeper or personal. Later on, I found the Russian impressionist painters, especially Nicolai Fechin, as well as the turn of century Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. Over the years I have learned that I don’t want to reject influences, I want to embrace them. I continue to be influenced by those master artists as well as my contemporaries
What was your proudest professional moment of 2017?
Winning the Gold Medal of 2017 Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Show. It’s a big deal.
Who was your most memorable live model and why?
I met my most memorable live model 20 some years ago when I happened to stop by the Art Student League of Denver for a live model session. The model there was a beautiful Asian woman. I asked her if she would model for me privately. She agreed. A few days later she came to my studio and after posing for me agreed to take a walk with me around a lake. We have pretty much been together ever since. This model became my wife.
What advice do you have for a new artist?
My advice to a new artist would be to love and respect art and the artist journey more than the business side of art.
Nationally acclaimed artist and sought after teacher, Dan Beck was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. After graduating from high school in Shreveport, Louisiana and spending four years in the U.S Army/Infantry, he used his GI bill to attend art school at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, Colorado where he began the pursuit of his lifelong passion as a fine artist. Since then his work has been shown in numerous group and one-man shows in top galleries across the country. He has had feature articles in many major national art magazines, and his paintings have found collectors in both the private and corporate worlds such as Coors Brewery and the Littleton Historical Museum. He has received awards at many national competitions including two gold medals and one silver medal from the Oil Painters of America. Dan, his wife, and his two daughters moved to Wilmington nearly five years ago because they fell in love with the natural beauty, the culture, and the people of the Cape Fear region. Stop by and say hi to Dan at his gallery/studio at 545 Castle Street in downtown Wilmington.
Check out more about Dan and his work at www.danbeckart.com