If it is a hot still day some where on the delta, a scene that will always catch your eye is a vehicle (it’s almost always a pickup) roaring along a dusty road just slightly ahead of a cloud of dust. If it’s far enough away that you can’t hear it, the scene is all the more entrancing. The pickup seems like a rocket blasting off for a space station when in reality it’s just heading for the nearest store. I have that overall idea in my head a lot of the time. It is an iconic scene for the delta…any delta with crops in varying stages of growth. It could be a pickup bumping along a turn row or blasting down a dirt road on the other side of a field. If the weather is dry the dust will be deep and easily thrown up into the hot, still air. Some of these fields will have a family plot tucked away by a paved highway. Maybe there will be a couple of trees. If the tiny cemetery is really old the trees may be just stumps…or gone altogether. So I put these two ideas together and liked the way […]
Daniel Coston’s “Arkansas, As Is” opened March 20th at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas, and will continue through May 9th, 2015.Â Cantrell Gallery is located at 8206 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR. Gallery hours are Monday ”“ Saturday, 10-5:00.Â Call (501) 224-1335 for questions or directions. You can view the entire show here. Artist Statement “This group of paintings primarily depicts the rural Arkansas landscape…as it is.Â These are places that you can see driving about the state but the majority are from southeast Arkansas. I never try to represent the rural scenery with a “halo.”Â Always painting scenes with bright, golden sunshine glimmering off old home places wouldn’t seem true to me. Portraying a variety of structures with a range of seasons, weather, and conditions seems more appropriate and true to how life really is.Â And whatever I come upon and see is fair game for my paintings. I enjoy painting fields, graveyards, historic churches, rusting vehicles, stores, cotton gins and a myriad other things with equal interest. Sometimes I paint a scene “the way it was” but mostly, I’m showing how things are in the present. Satisfaction for me comes from including enough visual facts and clues […]
Note: This is the first in a series of posts from Daniel on the topic of “Why I paint the Arkansas Landscape.” In this first post, he writes about the influence of the Mississippi River on his work. I came back to southeastern Arkansas in 1981 and soon got settled in Dermott. After getting organized at the high school there, I was soon drawing what I saw around me which was the Delta. The Mississippi Delta, that is. I could feel that river for the first time in my life. And that’s kind of odd since Monticello, my hometown, was only 30 miles further west. But Monticello was in the hills and Dermott had been flooded in the ’27 Flood. In the 80’s, I remember watching thunderheads boiling up over the river…just a few miles east.
November has been a super busy month for the art studio here; Daniel’s been busy working on commissions and new paintings for 2015 shows. So yesterday we decided to take a break and go visit the new show at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – State of the Art. You know, breathe in a little new art inspiration!
Over the years, Daniel has painted many of the wonderful and historic churches dotted throughout the southern part of Arkansas. We’ve collected some of those into a slideshow video for you to enjoy! The vast majority of the paintings in the video sold years ago but, if you’d like to see some of his recent work, call or visit Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock. You can also keep up with his work by “liking” his Facebook page: Daniel Coston Art Studio
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 […]