It’s a beautiful spring day, sunny and relatively warm. Oddly enough, the desire to get outside, to take a trip on his boat, doesn’t affect cover artist Daniel Pollera. Inside his work space, he toils away. After all, he has work to do. Painting comes first.
How did the long winter influence your painting or mood?
The cold winter allowed me to hide in my studio, to get in my own zone. The cold weather doesn’t influence what I’m painting. The winter slows things down, allows me to concentrate. It’s better in the winter. And I’m not missing my boat.
How about the spring and summer? How does the weather, and other elements, play a part in your painting?
Today is beautiful, and that means I’m involved in the environment. When the weather turns warm, I feel it all over, the realism of what I’m painting.
Doesn’t the heat or other exterior elements make it difficult to paint?
I have an air conditioner in my studio. It’s a controlled environment. I also paint with studio-consistent light. If it’s sunny or cloudy outside, it doesn’t matter with studio light.
So what is it really that allows you to concentrate regardless of the weather and the outside?
Maintaining concentration — I don’t answer the phone when I’m painting or talk to anyone. But it’s the zone I get into that’s essential.
Is that like an altered state? An alpha state?
Yes. But the zone is like a self-discipline.
When you’re in this state, how does the process of creation work for you?
You’re creating things that work together, using the right side of the brain. Then the process flows into the other side of the brain. I create composition, values and colors all at once. I start loose —- as I polish the image, the style becomes tighter.
I have always thought inspiration and creativity were connected. What does inspiration mean to you?
It means a lot. Inspiration comes from getting out and visiting places, especially the water. I never know how I get inspiration. It just happens. I usually embellish what inspires me, manipulate it more. Inspiration starts as a bud and grows into a flower.
Is your best work based on inspiration?
Inspiration is spontaneous, and I get my best work from spontaneous inspiration. I just stumble upon it. When I’m painting looser in an initial stage, that’s where inspiration plays a part.
Artists’ brains are supposed to have strong right sides versus logical, math-oriented left sides. How do you see your strengths?
People who I work with have told me I use my two sides well. That is, I have a good business sense, too. That’s left brain.
You are lucky. People tend to lean toward one side or the other side of the brain. What does this brain analysis mean, anyway?
It means everybody is different. It shows individualism in artists’ work.
Does that mean you appreciate all kinds of art, like Conceptualism, Expressionism, Realism?
I appreciate a variety of approaches artists’ styles reflect the person. It shows who they are and what they are.
Daniel Pollera is a frequent Dan’s Papers cover artist. His work can be seen at Chrysalis Gallery (2 Main Street) in Southampton. For more information, visit crysalisgallery.com.