I have received a lot of email over the years about a relatively small number of topics. In an effort to satisfy inquisitive visitors to the site, and perhaps cut down a bit on the number of emails I have to answer, I offer this list of my most frequently asked questions, and their answers. -SCD
Q: Will you paint commissioned work?
A: Not as such. I am not interested in doing "work-for-hire". I prefer to develop my own ideas rather than someone else's. However, from time to time, I have developed an existing field study into a larger painting at the request of a client.
Q: I missed out on a painting I really wanted. Will you paint another one just like it?
A: No. The only time I "duplicate" paintings is when developing a field study into a larger painting, and even then the larger piece is not a duplicate in the true sense, but rather a fresh interpretation of the sketch. I'm an artist, not a copy machine.
Q: Do you teach workshops?
A: Occasionally. At present none are scheduled. If and when I do offer a workshop, this website will be the first place you will hear about it.
Q: Are any of your paintings available as prints?
A: No. For the present, and forseeable future, I have chosen to sell original, one-of-a-kind paintings exclusively. I allowed one of my images to be used on a poster promoting my show at Main Street Gallery a few years back, but that is it. If you see anything professing to be a "fine art" print of any of my work, it is a FAKE, and an unauthorized use to boot. If you should encounter something like this, be so kind as to let me know so that I can put a stop to it.
Q: Do you sell directly from your website?
A: Yes. Visit the studio gallery to see what is available from me. Please keep in mind that I will not undersell my galleries.
Q: Is that painting (insert title here) still available?
A: If it appears in the "Recent Work" or "Studio Gallery" section, then it may be. Contact me, or the gallery listed under the thumbnail image, for the most up to date availability info. The works appearing in the Archive are SOLD. They are included on the site so that visitors can see a broader body of my work.
Q: What materials do you use?
A: PAINT: I use Daniel Smith (Hansa Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Viridian, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Deep, Alizarin Crimson, Venetian Red, and Titanium White), Rembrandt (Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson), and Winsor & Newton (Permanent Rose).
MEDIUM: I use three types of medium, depending on my situation. For field work and paint-out events, I generally use Winsor & Newton Liquin. In the studio, I use Artist Grade Walnut Oil. I varnish with Damar.
BRUSHES: I use Robert Simmons Series 40 Hog Bristle Brights for the most part, though I have a few sable and mongoose brushes from other manufacturers, most notably Isabey.
CANVAS: I use Daniel Smith Artist Grade 12 oz cotton canvas, mounted on either 1/8" birch ply or standard masonite for field work, or on 1/2" Gator Board for larger studio work. I triple prime each canvas with Daniel Smith White Acrylic Gesso.
FIELD EQUIPMENT: I use Open Box M pochade boxes and panel storage boxes at present, with a Bogen tripod.
Q: What artists have influenced you?
A: I believe that ANY work of art we see (or hear) can influence us, to some degree. Among living painters, my most direct influences have come from Skip Whitcomb, Ned Jacob, Dan Young, Michael Lynch, and longtime friend and painting companion Varouj Hairabedian. I also admire the works of Andrew and N.C. Wyeth, Greg McHuron, T. Allen Lawson, Ed Mell, and James Reynolds tremendously. But they aren't the only ones.
It is difficult to narrow down a list of the artists, past and present, who have had the most significant influence on my work simply because I admire a great many of them for a variety of reasons. The best I can do is assemble a list of those whose techniques and ideas have most directly informed my own. The list, in no particular order, including those already mentioned, and likely not entirely complete: The French Impressionists, John F. Carlson, Edgar Payne, William Wendt, Robert Henri, Charles Hawthorne, E. Martin Hennings, Winslow Homer, Jared Clackner, Carl Rungius, Maynard Dixon, Nikolai Timkov, Isaac Levitan, Willard Metcalf, Aldro Hibbard, and Charles Partridge Adams.
Q: Why don't you have a blog/facebook page/twitter feed?
A: I do have a Facebook page about my art, which you can visit here but I generally feel my time is best spent painting rather than glued to a screen. A painting is worth a thousand words.
Q: Whose work, among your contemporaries, do you enjoy?
A: Here are links to a few of them, in no particular order: John Potter, plein-air and wildlife painter extraordinaire; Jake Gaedtke, a hardcore plein-air painter (who has been known to work on-location at night!) who is doing some fantastic seascapes of late; Carol Swinney, palette knife plein air painter, frequent painting companion, and all-around class act; William G. Smith, an outdoorsman and sportsman who brings his experiences to life on canvas; Stephanie Birdsall, pastelist, oil painter, and one of the sweetest people I have ever met; Jennifer L. Hoffman, pastelist, oil painter, and one of the only people who will go out painting with me in the dead of winter in Jackson Hole; Kathryn Mapes Turner, whose paintings are masterworks of mood and simplicity; Erin O'Connor, a self-described "uppity chick" whose work is highly individual and always interesting, and Marc Hanson, an oil painter and pastelist with a wonderful facility for what I think of as "evocative subtlety". Most of these folks I met through my association with the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters - check them out here.
Q: Who designed your website?
A: I did, from the ground up.