I asked Daniel to share some thoughts on landscape painting, in conjunction with the publication of several of his artworks in the Landscapes issue of Artist Portfolio Magazine. It’s an honor to have his work selected alongside so many great artists!
1. How has your landscape painting style changed or evolved over the last 5 or 10 years?
For many years I was simply painting a portrait of “a place.” Maybe it was a home place, a well-known building, or perhaps a country church. I still seek to render the “location” as it was or maybe still is. But as time has gone by, I’m also interested in putting the “place” in the right atmosphere’ or weather’ to make it seem more realistic. This can have the effect of making the scene more dramatic.
2. Is there a mood or feeling that your want viewers to take away from your landscape paintings?
In many small towns and country crossroads, we find dilapidated churches, banks, and schools. I enjoy “renovating” some of these back to their original “glories.” But I also hope that the viewer will feel some sadness that these places are gone or going. Sometimes I try to find references that enable me to paint a scene the way it was’ but (and I emphasize but!) I don’t want to glorify or sentimentalize them. I try to “remember” them with respect.
3. You frequently revisit certain geographic areas (the Delta for example) in your paintings. What inspires you to continue painting landscapes from those areas?
As a kid, traveling to various events (football, basketball games), I always noticed the various rural places and how they were different from Monticello, my hometown. The Arkansas Delta (Dermott, McGehee, Lake Village, etc) was the most different geographic area of all. As an adult, life in Sussex County, Delaware heightened my feelings for flat lands and wide open spaces. And when I moved back to Arkansas and lived in Dermott, these locales seemed more interesting than when I was a kid.
I think the attraction stems from my interest in expressing the themes of isolation and loneliness through geographic and atmospheric elements. The attraction also fulfills a desire to reconnect with childhood memories and experiences. The end result is a painterly expression of shared memories – who we are and where we come from.
Artist Portfolio Magazine Selected Paintings
All works are original paintings, copyright Daniel Coston.
Rusty Carpet, 2014. From Devil’s Den State Park, Winslow, AR. acrylic on masonite, 16 x 20 inches. This painting is for sale through Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Building Up, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Sold to private collector
Empties, 2012. Acrylic on masonite, 10 x 18 inches. Sold to private collector
Coy’s Castle, 2011. Acrylic on masonite, 16 x 34 inches. Purchased for the Permanent Collection of The Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas.
In the Corner of the Curve, 2011. Acrylic on masonite, 24 x 48 inches. Available for sale, from the artist’s personal collection