Sometimes we are led to our deepest work, our “real” work, through pain and grief. Such has been the journey of Daniel Keating to his world of watercolor.
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Dan has lived his life in Central Pennsylvania. His sensibilities are borne out of his strong ethnic ties to both his Coal Region Irish roots on his father’s side and the close-knit Italian family on his mother’s side. Seeing the imaginative delicacy of rendering natural scenes using a graphite pencil while watching his Popop Keating draw was Dan’s earliest inspiration, giving him an idea of the possibilities of artistic expression. Woodworking became another serious interest into which his father, a carpenter, initiated him, teaching him the importance of craftmanship and attention to detail.
Growing up in the working-class community of Enola, Dan’s appreciation for art history serious literature, and philosophy was gained mostly through his family’s more cosmopolitan sensibility that was part of the Italian immigrant experience on his mother’s side. Dan’s grandfather – who lived right down the road from him – immigrated from Italy in the first part of the twentieth century. Dan’s uncles would make pilgrimages to Italy, returning with images of Italy’s great art that would be shown at family viewing parties where kids, Dan among them, would be sitting on the living room floor of the grandparents’ house, looking at the incomprehensible beauty of statues and frescoes of Italy’s great artists.
It was not until September of 2022 that Dan decided he needed an artistic outlet and began painting watercolors. His father had dies, and his mother had begun the slow, painful slide toward death. The images of winter beauty and tumultuous seascape skies are the expression of that trying time.