Dan’s Cover Artist Mike Stanko Paints New ‘Pop’ Vision of Montauk Lighthouse

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September 23, 2022 Dan’s Papers cover art by Mike Stanko (detail)

This week’s cover art comes to us from Dan’s Papers favorite Mike Stanko. Here, he discusses the iconic Montauk Lighthouse, his seasonal inspirations and more.

Mike Stanko
Mike Stanko

Mike Stanko Talks Montauk Lighthouse & More

What inspired this painting of the Montauk Lighthouse?

My inspiration typically comes from my everyday life here on Long Island, and the Montauk Lighthouse, a favorite and iconic landmark, is an obvious subject. I’ve made quite a few paintings of the lighthouse, but often in a more realistic style. This time I created a more “pop” version with big bold colors.

How did you decide upon the painting’s composition, colors and other design details?

A year or two earlier, I made — and sold — a very similar piece, but without the rays of light emanating from the lighthouse. My photographer friend, Tom Decker, commissioned a similar work, but with the lighthouse lights “big and in your face.” I did just that, and here we are.

Dan's Papers May 27, 2022 cover art by Mike Stanko - Memorial Day Montauk Lighthouse
Dan’s Papers May 27, 2022 cover art by Mike Stanko

What do you enjoy most about the painting process in this stage of your career?

I can honestly say that I wake up every morning with as much enthusiasm and anticipation as I’ve had since the earliest days of my career. Each day is a new dawn, with new ideas for new paintings. I’m thankful I’m to be as wide-eyed and happy as ever!

How do your creative inspirations change as the weather gets cooler?

Inspiration adjusts with every season! Now, as the air is getting cooler, the colors of the turning leaves will surely find their way onto my canvas.

December 10, 2021 Dan's Papers cover art by Mike Stanko Montauk Lighthouse Christmas
December 10, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover art by Mike Stanko

What is your favorite thing about the East End in the fall?

Obviously, the fact that it’s less crowded! But I really love the cooler weather, walking on the beach with crisp fresh air and the change in lighting. But I think my favorite thing of all is when Karen and I go into the Montauk Bakery to find there are still some jelly croissants left!

Where can your work be seen in the coming weeks?

During November, I will have a solo exhibit at the Harborfields Library in Greenlawn. From mid-October through the end of December, I will have paintings included in exhibits at both the Mills Pond Gallery in St. James, and the Reboli Center for the Art and History in Stony Brook.

September 10, 2021 Dan's Papers cover art by Mike Stanko
September 10, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover art by Mike Stanko

Care to share any closing thoughts?

I wish everyone reading this a happy autumn and an even happier and safe upcoming holiday season! Most of all, I want to say how delighted and appreciative I am to have my work featured on yet another cover of this iconic East End paper!

See more of Stanko’s work at stankoart.com and on social media at Mike Stanko on Facebook and @stankoart on Instagram.

September 23, 2022 Dan's Papers cover art by Mike Stanko pop Montauk Lighthouse
September 23, 2022 Dan’s Papers cover art by Mike Stanko

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