Meet North Shore Artist Daniel Frownfelter
Each day at the studio, Daniel Frownfelter arrives before other artists and immediately gets to work. After greeting the staff who are already here, Frownfelter puts his lunch in the refrigerator, sets his things down next to his chair, and starts doing the work. From there, his creativity rarely stops. At lunch, Dan can be found working on a coloring book. In meetings, he is filling a sketchbook. This isn’t to say that he is overly serious, Dan’s afternoons are filled with simultaneous painting and dancing.
Dan’s process is intuitive and fast. Deriving most of his work from popular culture or Christianity, Dan begins each piece knowing what he wants his subject to be. After he finds the reference image he was hoping for, Dan makes one or two sketches with colored pencils. Painting the background of his final piece follows sketching. Paint is hurriedly and thickly applied. Layering new layers onto wet paint, Dan swirls color together on his surface. Scraping his brush along the bottom of his palette, Dan loads his brush with too much paint. He then gingerly places the brush on the canvas and dances it across the surface.
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” - Chuck Close
Danny makes painting look luscious. On more than one occasion watching Dan paint has made me jealous. I want to immediately leave the studio to go work on my own painting. Danny instinctively understands the material qualities of the paint he uses. This understanding lends its strength to the painting by yielding interesting surfaces.
Dan is process oriented. Observing his work, it is obvious that he enjoys the act of painting itself and is often ambivalent to the final outcome. Often, Dan will ask me if I think a painting is finished and become annoyed when I say that he should focus more on the details. He is not interested in perfection, it is all about the doing.