This Week’s Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Doug Zider Discusses “The Squall”

March 1, 2019 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Doug Zider "The Squall"
March 1, 2019 Dan’s Papers cover art (detail) by Doug Zider

Doug P. Zider created this week’s Dan’s Papers cover art, “The Squall,” using oil on panel. But Zider is also a renowned graphic artist, having worked for Saturday Night Live since the 1980s.

Doug Zider headshot
Doug Zider

What was the inspiration for this painting?
The sea and her untamed way will always be a spark for the imagination, for anybody. She can be serene and blue, then terrifyingly dark and chaotic in an instant. Artists have been looking to the oceans since day one, always something new to see.

How would you describe your style?
Well, representational, no doubt, but the struggle continues on how tight I go with it. When pressed for time, loose is likely. I’m hoping to get that feel across to the viewer. You can surprise yourself sometimes when simplifying strokes and let the color values do the talking.

Talk a bit about your experience working with NBC.
I’m semi-retired now after almost 40 years, but I still work the show when it’s on. The RCA Building—I still call her that—at 30 Rock is a second home to me, a glorious design for her time she is, just being in the lobby is a gift. The people I worked with, the mentors, artists, designers, writers, and producers…the development of television itself…the job of a lifetime….and it’s not over!

How has your father’s work influenced you?
John P. Zider [1926–1963] was a hardcore commercial artist back in the ’50s and ’60s…no computers, just the gift of the hand and eye. He was a designer and painter at the peak of the ’50s movement. This past summer, after two years of committee and board approvals, I had seven works of his time with Grumman Aircraft accepted to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. For me personally, it was the greatest tribute I could have given him, and it would have knocked his socks off.

If you could sit down with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why?
There’s a boatload and I have met many of them, but my father would have been first on the list, hands down.

How does living on Long Island inspire your art?
Water, water everywhere. I have a boat, built for running the marshes and it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Where can your artwork be seen?
My studio in Amityville of course, various shows at the Salmagundi Art Club in New York, Bayview Gallery in Brunswick, Maine and Sheldon Fine Arts of Newport, Rhode Island.

March 1, 2019 Dan's Papers cover art by Doug Zider "The Squall"
“The Squall,” our March 1, 2019 Dan’s Papers cover art by Doug Zider

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