Dan Pyle

Born in: 1954 Wolfpoint, Montana, USA
Lives in: Palm Springs, CA, USA
Describe your art in three words: detailed, photorealistic, contemporary
See More Work: http://danpyleartist.com/

Splash - Charcoal 21 x 24 in.

"I am completely self taught. I like shadows, contrast and anonymity, and use negative space or unconventional compositions whenever possible. I work from photographs, so that I can capture and maximize the detail in each piece. I have always been inspired by black/white photography."

What themes does your work involve?
I draw a variety of subjects, such as, figures, cars, vintage objects and most recently I have been drawing a series of animals.
Describe your creative process.
My process starts with an idea or concept. Then I take photos of a model or an object, that I can crop or adjust as needed to get the composition I want. I load the digital photo onto my tablet so I can zoom in on the photo to see the smallest details. I use the grid method for sketching out the drawing to the scale I want, then start applying the charcoal, working down from the upper left corner to avoid smudging. When the drawing is done I spray with a fixative & then I can go back over any areas that need to be darkened--(like painting a second coat of paint on a wall). When everything is perfect, I spray many layers of fixative until there is no smudging. Then it is finished and can't be altered. I try to mix my subject matter so I do something different from the last piece.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I've always been inspired by black/white photography. I'm also motivated to figure out how to draw new textures and finding new techniques and tools. I need art as my creative outlet. My mind is always spinning new ideas and I have to have a way to let them out.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?

I already have shows booked for 2023 in Switzerland and Germany. I hope to continue to expand my international shows to other countries.

How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
I've seen some AI art that is amazing and I can appreciate it as an art form, but it should not replace traditional art forms. Instead it should just be added to the many art medium options. The technology that has helped me is being able to add a hi resolution photo to my tablet to reference while drawing, so I can zoom in on details that would be lost in just a printed photo. It has helped me achieve greater realism in my drawings.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe artists have a responsibility to help keep the arts alive. Its important to keep traditional art mediums active and teach them to others. Or just show your work to inspire others. I don't think a true artist chooses art, art chooses the artist. You are born with it.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Everyone sees art in a different way. A good piece of art is good because you, personally, think it is good. Most people think a great piece of art is done by someone famous or popular and therefore it has to be great. But if it doesn't attract you or move you, then maybe its not great for you.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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