Long Island artist Daniel Pollera draws the viewer into his paintings with the intention of creating a sense of peace and tranquility. His work doesn’t include people, so as to allow the viewer to interpret and see the paintings as he or she feels. Primarily self-taught, Pollera has worked with Everett Molinari, President of the National Mural Society, and Frances Norris Streit, a portrait and mural artist. Pollera’s paintings were recently published by Fairfield Art Publishing and Coastal Publications in New York, and have been purchased by international collectors in London, South Africa and Australia. This talented artist explains his process in creating a painting inspired by Dan’s Papers’ premier summer event, Taste of Two Forks.
Your painting for Dan’s Taste of Two Forks catches the eye with its mix of vibrant colors against the natural landscape. What was your inspiration for this particular piece? Dan’s Papers asked me if I had any food-related paintings. I usually don’t do these types of paintings, but I thought it might be fun. It was a sunny afternoon. I put together the arrangement on a board, and then placed the board on a cooler on my small boat. I then ventured up my canal to look for a suitable setting. I positioned the boat so the board and its table were facing out over the water. I didn’t want the salt marsh to be too far in the background. I took various shots, and presto—I had the image I could work from. With some minor adjustments I was able to create an inviting image that contained an array of lobster, grapes and wine. With the beautiful view of the water, which is indicative of the East End, my painting for the Taste of Two Forks was completed.
What’s your painting methodology?
I paint in oils, primarily on canvas and oil-primed linen, using a glazing method in which I build the painting in layers. I don’t use too many layers, but enough to get the effect I’m looking for.
The idea for proportioning this piece came intuitively, and just developed as I went along. I think I wanted to convey a sense of what the East End offers in the form of food, wine and the beautiful water that surrounds both the North and South Forks. I think as a whole the elements in the painting conveyed that.
What do you value the most about painting?
The thing that intrigues me most about painting is the inspiration I get from light and the water, coupled with the creative process of bringing life to the canvas. As the painting develops, it takes on its own feeling through light and composition—it may be foreboding, or calm and serene, and this drives me and fuels my passion and love to paint. With painting, everyone develops their own style, unique to their own feelings and personality. Some people paint abstract or conceptual art, but you have to be true to yourself and paint in a way that moves you. Also, the subject matter and the feeling you would like to convey to the viewers is equally important— I paint in a realistic style, which I enjoy very much. This is who I am. I really don’t have a specific goal, but I’d like to perfect my skills and continue to look for new subjects for inspiration—water-related of course. I enjoy doing what I do every day, and I will continue as long as I can.
You divide your time between homes in East Quogue and Baldwin Harbor. What provides inspiration for your work?
We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place here on Long Island, and share in its rich history. I make my living as a full-time artist and love every bit of it, from the inspiration of the surrounding waters here on the island to the creative process of developing the painting.
See Pollera’s work at the William Ris Gallery at 1291 Main Road in Jamesport, or call 609-408-5203. For more info, visit danielpollera.com.