Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Dick Stone on His Artistic Process

Dick Stone's art on the cover of the January 15, 2021 Dan's Papers issue.
Dick Stone's art on the cover of the January 15, 2021 Dan's Papers issue.

At 95 years old, Dick Stone is an iconic Southampton-based artist. In December, Stone told Dan’s Papers, “I tried to keep my painter’s brain alive” throughout his prolific advertising and marketing career. “During that time, you have a lot of days where you’re not doing anything, so I’d paint. That was ideal for me because in the back of my mind I wanted to be a so-called fine artist, whatever the heck that is.”

Stone’s abstract black-and-white cover is one of the few surviving paintings left from a fire that destroyed four decades of work in 1994. “We have lived in the Hamptons for the better part of 57 years, the other part being New York City,” Stone says, “Working here is a continual positive shifting of the aesthetic!”

Dick Stone in his studio.
Dick Stone in his studio.

What was the inspiration for this piece?
This cover of Dan’s Papers is the only painting that survived a debacle that destroyed 40 years of work. It was hanging in our apartment in New York. Seeing it made me stop feeling sorry for myself and free to concentrate and make use of the space between my ears, and the wonderful space of the Hamptons. I have done 89 versions of that one.

Talk about your art style.
I have many! Whatever comes out of the mélange in my head. Currently, my work is linear and in full color. I blur the margins between large and small, hopefully reflecting a lack of self-importance. I work in acrylics. Size depends on what I need at the moment.

Tell us about your artistic process.
A lot of introspection (driving my wife nuts!), editing, sketching, color swatches. Currently, I try to capture fleeting thoughts and emotions, graphically in the form of linear grids. It’s a perfect way for me to express many ideas in one painting (a moment and moments).

What inspires you the most?
What was prime inspiration? A f—ed up world! Or, perhaps, it’s symbolic of arising from past turmoil into “??”

See Dick Stone’s work at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons through the month of January.

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