This week’s September 24, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover artist Daniel Pollera is one of the most beloved, well respected and frequent Dan’s cover artists, which earned him a place in the Dan’s Best of the Best Hall of Fame in 2018. Here, he discusses this week’s cover art, his passion for painting water scenes and an upcoming screening of a documentary featuring his insights into the bay houses of Long Island.
What is the name of this stunning, serene piece?
What is it about boats and houses by the water that captures your artistic attention?
Don’t know for sure, but I’ve been lured by the sea all my life.
Would you consider these waterside images to be your favorite theme to paint, and have your preferences evolved throughout your career?
At present, this subject is my main focus. I have always had water in my paintings throughout my career, it just took twists and turns as faras the settings and narrative.
How was this piece created? Walk us through your process.
Most of my paintings come from inspiration, through thoughts or actual places I visit. This painting evolved from several photos I took of Meadow Island. I have been there many times before and the thoughts crossed my mind, in an imaginary sense, to create this painting. I do several sketches to establish a composition I’m comfortable with and then approach the drawing on linen. Then it’s on to creating with the paint. I work on a painting by building thin layers of paint. It really gives the viewer a feeling of depth.
What makes this artwork such an ideal fit for a Dan’s Papers cover?
Most of my work has strong compositions that can be cropped into a vertical without too much compromise.
Aside from entering the Dan’s Best of the Best Hall of Fame for being one of the greatest artists on the East End, what artistic accomplishment or achievement are you most proud of?
Getting my paintings into three museums (Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall and Long Island Museum), adding to their permanent collections.
What do you find most personally rewarding about your artistic life and career?
I get to use my creativity to make a living and pick my own hours to work — totally gratifying!
What new inspirations or themes do you hope to explore in your art this fall?
You never know what inspirations will come my way. I will pick and choose what moves me as an artist.
Where can your art be seen in the coming weeks?
Would you like to share any closing thoughts?
Most recently, I was involved in the making of a documentary titled A World Within a World. The film is about life at these bay houses, and I have a few parts in being interviewed and showing my work. The film will be shown on the big screen at Guild Hall this Sunday, September 26 at 2 p.m. Very interesting to see — worth the visit.