Tales of inspiration and creativity, behind-the-scenes glimpses at art-making, in-depth arts features, and narrative portraits of LAL artists.
Dan is second career artist who enjoys the outdoors, hiking and canoeing, and Plein Aire painting. Twentieth Century British and American landscape painters have been influences to McGrath, especially David Sawyer, Marc Hanson, Michael Alexander, Edward Seago, and Scott Christensen.
He has studied with Mary Neely, Kevin Menck, Booth Malone, Bill Fletcher, Jay Moore, and Yvonne Todd. He is the founder of the Plein Air Painters of the Bluegrass and a member of the Oil Painters of America and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. He has a studio in Artist's Attic Studios and Gallery on Main Street in Lexington, Kentucky.
LAL (Lexington Art League): What choices or influences in your life inspired you to become an artist?
DM: (Dan McGrath): My mother occasionally sketched animals when I was young and was supportive of my drawing.
LAL: What are your motives for creating new art?
DM: I love the outdoors and became a plein air painter to capture the landscape. It's both challenging and relaxing, but also hard work. I try to stretch myself and continually improve
LAL: What media do you typically work in? What appeals to you the most about those media?
DM: Oil: it's easy to correct mistakes, I like the texture of oil paint, the ability to create various edges (lost and found).
LAL: What inspired the creation of Late Summer Fields?
DM: Taking a road trip in eastern Fayette county looking for landscapes. I love trees and fields and hay bales. This composition had good eye travel through the view/painting.
LAL: What went into the creation of Late Summer Fields for the Here and Now: Selections from the Artist Archive?
DM: I didn't create it specifically for Here and Now, but it's representative of my work as a landscape painter and Kentucky resident and artist.
LAL: Where do you feel Late Summer Fields stands among your other works?
DM: In complexity, subject matter, composition, and color it's a good representative of my work the past few years; I'm working of looser, more atmospheric compositions of late and enjoying this change.
LAL: What goal do you typically have in mind whenever you create a new work?
DM: Good drawing and composition first of all, then light, shadows, and color.
LAL: Do you have any artists that inspire you? What about their works inspires you?
DM: Zillions of contemporary American and British artists: Kami Mendlik, Scott Christensen, Clyde Aspevig, David Curtis, Kenn Backhaus, Matt Smith and Bill Fletcher of Kentucky!
LAL: Are there any pieces of art that you are most proud of?
DM: Seascapes I've done this summer after a trip to Myrtle Beach.
LAL: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
DM: Develop good drawing skills, analyze the paintings of other artists whose work is appealing- figure out why it appeals to you. Take workshops, read.
Visit his website: danmcgrathstudio.com
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The Loudoun House
209 Castlewood Dr.
Lexington, Ky. 40505
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