Dan Wilson

The famous religious painter Carl Bloch was said to have dipped his paintbrush in his heart. As an artist, I relate to that statement because painting for me is a way to turn myself inside out and share what is there on canvas. Sometimes I see things that are so painfully beautiful that I can find no adequate words to describe them. My art has become a spiritual language where I can express myself without speaking. And hopefully those who view my paintings will feel what I am trying to say with no words passing between us. I have found that it is through visual imagery that I can best reveal my passions.

As an artist I am more interested in painting my emotional reaction to a subject than in creating a photorealistic rendering of it; consequently my paintings lean more to impressionism than realism. I tend to work in an abbreviated style where the suggestion is more important than the completed statement, and where the parts or details are sacrificed for the good of the whole. I’ve learned that the less I give away in my paintings, the more people seem to read in them.  To me, there is more poetry in an image when not every detail is spelled out and the viewer is allowed to solve some of the mystery.

I love to capture the abstract patterns of light and shadow in the subject as, paradoxically, I find this creates a more realistic image when viewed from a short distance. I generally paint things that I am close to, both in distance and in feeling. I am not about depicting vast expanses of nature, but rather of close, intimate corners of personal spaces. Any subject is game for my brush as long as it is beautifully lit. In truth, light is always the subject I find most exciting, as anything it touches is enhanced in depth, dimension, vibrance, and beauty. This is the spiritual implication art has for me.

I consider it the greatest of privileges to be an artist–to notice the grandeur in small things around me, to celebrate them on paper or canvas, and to share my passion for life though my artwork. 

“My main purpose as an artist used to be all about mastering the disciplines of painting. Shapes, values, edges and colors all had to be perfect. It wasn’t so much about the subject matter or the message, it was 100% technical. Don’t get me wrong I am very grateful for all the necessary technical training and all my mentors that have pushed me to strive for excellence and perfection in those areas, but I was missing something crucial in my art. A number of years ago a woman came to talk with me about a painting that she had recently purchased, this painting happened to be a very thoughtful, expressive piece (to be honest one of my first). As she started talking about this painting in her home she started to cry as she was explaining how that piece uplifted her family and the overall feeling in that room. And then the light bulb went off like it has never before. I knew from that point on that I only wanted to paint images that would speak to and uplift the viewer, pieces that would remind them of the beauties of life, the reasons for living and loving existence. Vibrant colors and brush strokes working together with the disciplines of art to create beauty and emotion you can’t achieve in any other way. Although I still strive for excellence in the technical, the constant questions running through my mind as I paint are now: What do I want to say? What tools can I use to convey my message? How can I uplift? It is all about the feeling, the mood and the WHY of the painting!”

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