INTERVIEW with DANIEL GREENE
LOCATION: North Salem, NY
CAREER: Fine Art Artist, Portrait Painter, Teacher, Author
EDUCATION: Studied with Robert Brackman at the Art Students League 1953 -1955
WHAT IS A LITTLE KNOWN FACT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
I decided to quit high school at the beginning of my senior year to begin learning to be an artist after concluding that I was not going to have a career in professional baseball.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST, AND WHAT LED YOU DOWN THAT PATH?
I knew from the age of 5 that I would be an artist. All through my childhood and teens, drawing and painting were my favorite skills. When I left high school to lead a life as an artist it was sink or swim, there was no second choice.
YOU WORK WITH A METICULOUSLY PREPARED PALETTE. AFTER ALL YOUR YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, WHY DO YOU STILL FIND IT VALUABLE TO PREPARE YOUR TINTS?
My original orientation as an artist was working in pastel. The pastel sets were organized in a series of gradations of value; generally six shades and tints from dark to light. I concluded that this method of having mixed colors available in oil painting would greatly expedite the work and eliminate time spent mixing colors for every stroke. I now pre – prepare approximately 57 mixtures plus my regular 13 pigments before starting a portrait or figure painting.
YOU ARE AT THE TOP OF YOUR PROFESSION. IF YOU COULD PROVIDE 3 ART RELATED TIPS TO ASPIRING ARTISTS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
First - My first choice obviously is to draw and paint from life as much as possible. Thousands of hours painting from models is just a beginning.
Second - Steep oneself in knowledge of the history of art and study solutions of the greatest artists of the past to determine what constitutes a high level of achievement.
Third - Most important, do your own work in your own way, be yourself and try to eliminate any influence of any other artists' work.
DO YOU FIND MANY PAINTERS STRUGGLING WITH ANY ONE SPECIFIC PROBLEM? IF SO, WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OVERCOME IT?
In the realm of representational painting there are a number of problems that many painters seem to be struggling with. One is improving one’s accuracy in drawing, which can be overcome by observation and practice. Another is the ability to see and match values, which can be mastered by paying individual attention to the light and dark qualities of colors. Squinting and thinking in black & white terms is also helpful.
IF SOMEONE WAS INTERESTED IN TAKING CLASSES WITH YOU, WHERE COULD THEY LEARN MORE?
I offer portraiture classes in oil and in pastel in my studio in North Salem, NY from July 27 – August 22. For more information contact my assistant Karen by phone at 888-890-9887 or outside the US at 914-669-5653, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE HAVE TO ASK... WHAT IS YOUR NEW WAVE PALETTE OF CHOICE?
The Grand View
, the Expressionist
and the disposable Grey Pad hand-held model
. I have begun using these terrific light weight palettes after many years of using a large heavy palette that I kept on a table while painting. These new brilliantly designed hand-held palettes now allow me to move more easily while painting and enable closer matching and comparison of color to my subject. I love using the grey middle-tone disposable palettes that now eliminates the need for cleaning and can be easily placed in a refrigerator overnight to keep some colors fresh.