Eleventh Musing: “Tapping Into That Which Is Unseen and Heard Only Through the Soul Conversations with Artists – Part 3“
After speaking with four unique female artists to discover the driving force behind their creative energies, it is time to focus on male artists and ask what leads them down that expressive path which exists in their soul and spirit.
As you read on, you will find that Daniel and Sten have some very strong commonalities in their musical influences, seasonal influences, and emotional influences but the likeness ends there and each of these artists creates deeply expressive art in very different mediums and styles. They both pull from the same emotions but the way they both express it is worlds apart in style – common connections expressed very differently. Just as we, the viewers, interpret art according to our soul needs, artists will create the same emotional outpouring in their own unique and soul expressive way.
Daniel Keating is a watercolorist who has come to this art form within the past few years. He has recently added graphite as a medium and his works are rendered in realism. He does add that he has been told his work often has an illustrative quality about it, but it is always clear what message he is conveying. His goal is to work entirely in portraying the thoughts, ideas, and visions that come to his mind’s eye. His colors are often soft and calming with very deliberate brush strokes.
Daniel began his creative vision as a chef and found the move toward painting and drawing to come as a natural extension. “I also enjoy carpentry and woodworking… and worked with my dad, who was a master carpenter, in the building of my first home. We built the entire interior including installing red oak hardwood floors throughout, the kitchen cabinetry, and transoms above doorways.” His creative life is extremely important to him and he draws every day.
Daniel feels that his newness to art leads him to paint according to seasons adding that he has now painted all four seasons for a client and loves to work according to the season and weather.
He enjoys listening to classical music while creating his works. “I like classical piano and it is soothing…I would never be able to listen to Megadeath and be able to paint. I need to be calm and can’t imagine painting angry.” He then adds that jazz would be something that he enjoys listening to but not when he is creating. He explains, “My uncle, Joe Intrieri, was involved with Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz (CPFJ) and often after jazz festivals my uncle and his jazz friends, the greatest of the greats, would come over to my mom’s home for a spaghetti dinner. I loved what they did so much that I now realize that I can’t create while I am listening to them creating, I need to just listen.”
He has been influenced by photographs of Italy and its art and sculptures. Italy is the homeland of his ancestors and Daniel reminded me that originally there were only three Boeotian muses: Melete, Aoede, and Mneme, who are from Roman mythology. It was the poet Hesiod in 600 BC who named nine Greek muses and these were then take forward by Homer in his writings to become a part of Greek mythology. I do think though that the more muses we have the better it is!
Daniel has been influenced by the covers of Pennsylvania Game News which were illustrated by Ned Smith, a local naturalist and self-trained artist. “I often go to the Ned Smith Center for Nature & Arts for inspiration and I bought all of the PA Game News editions between 1956-1975 to have copies of his art.” Smith was known for his accurate and tight use of realism in his artwork, which consists mainly of nature scenes with various animals, fish, and birds.
Daniel’s personal muse came from him creating works of art for his mother in order to make her days brighter and happier as her health deteriorated. I’m sure these beautiful memories of his mother’s pleasures in his paintings will inspire him forever.
Daniel goes on to explain what draws him to paintings and how these same things may be important to others as they increase their art collections, “I have to be immediately drawn into what I’m seeing, it may be a red door or a beautiful sky, I’m drawn to it by its inspiration and soul experience. Sometimes as I study the painting further, I look at brush strokes and perspective of the piece.” He then adds, “If you are drawn to a piece of art and you can buy it – buy it! Put it in your personal space because that is where it belongs so you can look at it every day.” Yes, treat your soul as much as possible.
Sten will tell you that he has been an artist all of his life. Although he worked for thirty-eight years as a claims manager for Blue Cross, he would fit in moments of art creation whenever possible. After retiring five years ago he returned to his art with full force. And full-on force is a great way to describe Sten’s work. Bold colors and bold lines with a variety of techniques often worked in acrylics.
Sten will be the first to tell you that he does not have a particular style which he works in and his style will change depending on the piece he is working on.
Like Daniel, Sten is a self-trained artist that has been influenced by various artists whose style he enjoys. Sten often works on his art ideas using his iPad and stylus with various digital apps for art. Once he has brainstormed his idea, he often transfers it to canvas as a piece created using his fingers, bubble wrap, palette knife or water, and his acrylics.
Sten is influenced by the seasons, especially his floral arts in spring and working with poinsettia painting during the Christmas season creating a beautiful piece of art which then became holiday greeting cards. The weather affects his mood or color palette and often this fits his soul mood in what he is personally dealing with in life. “When I can’t use my words, I use my brush to express my emotions.” He adds “I have been through a lot of ups and downs in the past three years and this is my cathartic release.” His art release has helped him face the challenges that he has had to deal with, both with his own health and the declining health of his parents.
His catharsis is often passed on to his viewers. “I often get a response on Face Book, on other media, or in person, with someone saying, “I know what you are saying, I get it, I feel it.’ after they have viewed my art.”
Sten constantly listens to music. “It’s all over the map but many times it can be classical cello music or Gregorian chants. But as a teenager in the 70’s I was also influenced by the art rock happening at that time and I may play Bowie for an entire weekend.” Sometimes he picks music to go with his artful ideas and other times he allows the music to influence what he paints.
Sten is often influenced by social happenings in the world, memories of family and friends; a veritable kaleidoscope of ideas that come to him and influence his art.
“I really don’t have a muse because I am just so all over the map with thoughts, ideas, emotions.”
Sten gives his view on buying art for a personal space, “Buy art that speaks to you and touches your inner soul. It can elicit a memory or an emotion. Your art should not match your sofa, it should match your spirit.”
Sten and Daniel look alike, both sport goatees and if Sten would shave his head, they could be brothers. They have both dealt with health issues with their parents, changes in life situations; they are self-trained artists growing in their crafts, listening to classical music at times, and influenced by the seasons and weather, painting and drawing every day. But then the similarities end and you find two artists who express their spirit and emotions in very different ways. Daniel creates in a quiet and calm style with watercolor and muted colors; Sten speaks his truth through his bold use of color and brush strokes, but both artists allow you to look into their soul and find your own message.
Please visit The Smith Gallery to view more art by Sten and Daniel, take some extra time to study the art by other local artists and check out the YouTube channel ArtTalks2u for Smith Gallery Artists Talks with Sten, Daniel and more!