This week’s cover features Daniel Pollera’s “Edge of Light.” From an early age, Pollera had an interest in art, but he put his painting on hold for many years after entering the family business.
In addition to art, Pollera always had a deep love of the sea. In 1977, he obtained a Captain’s License from the United States Coast Guard and began taking passengers for hire on the open ocean. It was this experience that inspired him to take up painting once again.
Since then, Pollera’s work has been on display in many galleries, including the Charter Oak Gallery in Fairfield, CT, the Maine Art Gallery in Kennebunkport, ME, the Chrysalis Gallery in Southampton, the Ric Michael Fine Art gallery in New York City and the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton. International buyers in Australia, London and South Africa have also purchased his paintings. Here, the East Quogue resident shares with us how his years on Long Island have influenced his lifelong passion.
What was your inspiration for “Edge of Light?”
I had been out on the water and saw the atmospheric conditions during an approaching storm. The contrast was inspiring.
What’s your process when starting a new piece?
Being attracted or inspired to a setting is the first step and then a composition develops from small thumbnail sketches. Next, I do a fine drawing on canvas and make adjustments, if necessary. Once I start to block in the colors with the first layer of paint, I can see where I’m going and make value adjustments.
Being a Freeport native, how has the South Shore influenced your art?
I was born in Freeport but lived in Malverne growing up. I was always attracted to the water and boats. I have also been coming out to the East End since 1963. My first visit to the North Fork had a profound impression on me, when I saw for the first time the sun sparkling over the Long Island Sound.
How has being a captain influenced your art?
At the time, I was running charters back in the early ‘80s. I wasn’t actively painting, so I can’t say it played a part at that time. But, the visions I had while out in the Atlantic for many years did play a role in serving as visual information for my work.
What artists influenced your work?
Early on, I was attracted to Edward Hooper and I still am today. The lonely mood coupled with dramatic light has followed me to the present as something that speaks to me, and what I like to convey to the viewer. But, unlike Hopper, I never include people in my paintings. I feel this puts the viewer in the piece to interpret what he or she feels.
You consider yourself to be a self-taught artist. Do you feel there’s a difference between artists that come from an academic background and those who are self-taught?
I don’t really know. I would imagine in some of the advanced fine art classes they try to get you to express who you are through art, but it may be a little molding on their part, being that you’re in the class looking for answers. I could go on about this, but I will leave it short. For me, I followed my inspiration and stayed true to myself.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Keep painting and you will develop over time. I was told that years ago and found it to be very true.
Where can readers view your work?
My work on the East End can be viewed at the William Ris Gallery in Jamesport.
To see more art by Daniel Pollera, visit danielpollera.com.