Painter Dave Tyndall creates art that gives the viewer a glimpse into the past. A Long Island native, Tyndall honed his skills working as a product illustrator before pursuing a career as a full-time painter. His work can be found in a number of private collections across the country and throughout the Caribbean and Europe, as well as galleries such as the William Ris Gallery in Jamesport. Dan’s Papers spoke with the artist about his inspiration for this week’s cover, his process and what he has always enjoyed about Sag Harbor and Long Island’s East End.
What inspired your painting “Sag Harbor?”
I’m very interested in history. I search for buildings and objects that provide the viewer with a glimpse into the past—like the rusty fender of an old farm truck or the patina of peeling paint on the weathered side of an old barn. Old neon signs also have a nostalgic connection to an earlier time for me. The sign on the old iconic movie theater has always caught my eye. My painting “Sag Harbor” was inspired by that feeling.
What do you particularly enjoy about Sag Harbor?
Sag Harbor has always been one of my favorite places on the East End. I’ve always loved the feeling of Sag Harbor. It’s so rich in history through so many different times— the Revolution and British headquarters, the whaling era with its ships sailing the world, the watchcase factory and industrial age—it was so significant in so many ways and still shows glimpses of its history in its buildings and setting.
What was your process for creating this work?
Leading up to this painting I took many photographs of the building from different angles. I do most of my composition in the photographic stage. Then in my studio I decided on the size and scale. The image was drawn out on canvas, and then the painting began. It’s a pretty simple painting as I was mostly interested in the neon sign.
What do you enjoy painting the most?
I’ve been painting since I was a child, but seriously began after studying painting and photography in college. I have a fine art degree, but started my career in commercial art as a technical illustrator, and later a product illustrator, before making the jump to full-time painter. My technical background and enjoyment of the details can be seen in my paintings. I like to think that there’s beauty in the details. I enjoy the challenge.
What about eastern Long Island inspires you?
Eastern Long Island has always been a magnet for artists. For me it’s the history combined with a unique landscape that I’ve never seen anywhere else. I’ve heard some say that it’s the light on the East End that makes it special. Having the Sound and Bay to the north, and the Atlantic to the south magically affects the lighting at sunrise and sunset. It’s a special place.
What are you particularly interested in painting right now?
I’ll always seek out images that capture the wear and tear of time and experience. I continue to find subjects to paint on the East End. My wife and I recently traveled to Italy and France and explored some beautiful ancient villages. I’ve started to do a series of paintings based on our time there. I’m also working on paintings of some of the historic towns of Colorado where I found an abundance of painting subjects around the abandoned gold and silver mines of the area.
Sag HarborFest celebrates the maritime history of Sag Harbor with events, sales and contests for all ages Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11. Find the complete schedule for HarborFest 2016 here. For more information on David Tyndall’s paintings and to view and purchase his work visit tyndallfineart.com.