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 Dan McCaw  (1942 - )

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Lived/Active: California/Montana      Known for: figure, interiors with figure, coastal

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Dan McCaw
from Auction House Records.
Soft Light
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Dan McCaw is an American Impressionist painter known for his city scenes, interiors, and still lifes with soft color harmonies and gentle subject matter.  He is especially noted for his technique of painting figures in a muted haze of color, whether painting city street scenes or interior views.

McCaw was born in 1942 in the Irish mining town of Butte, Montana.  His interest in art was unusual within the industrial environment of his hometown, and his individuality and talent as an artist eventually led him to California.

In 1962, he attended college in Montana before receiving a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Design.  McCaw married in 1964 and took a job as an illustrator for a Los Angeles firm while still studying at the Academy.  As an illustrator he was not free to express himself in the way that he desired through painting.  He went on to study at the Art Center for Design in Pasadena, California, later accepting a position there as a painting instructor.

Dan McCaw continues to produce art and acts as a mentor to many emerging painters.

Sources include:
Peggy and Harold Samuels, Contemporary Western Artists
Southwest Art magazine

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Dan McCaw, b. 1942, Seattle, WA, (United States)

Dan McCaw is one of America’s most highly respected contemporary impressionists. McCaw began his formal art training with a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art. Two years later, he was offered a position as an illustrator with a commercial art firm in Los Angeles. The move south proved to be a fortuitous one for McCaw as he became less satisfied with commercial art and longed to pursue a fine art career.

McCaw continued his artistic pursuits at the Art Center College of Design where he fell under the spell of the great European masters, including Joaquin Sorrolla, whose work has had a lasting influence on his ideas about light and design. While his sensitive figural work is deeply rooted in the romantic impressionist tradition, recent years have brought him moving toward a more individual, expressionist tradition. McCaw credits Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Gustav Klimt and the Abstract Expressionists for helping him develop a heightened awareness in his work, not rigorously conforming to the literal representation of the subject. As a skilled and discerning interpreter of color harmonies, light and mood, he expresses feeling and emotions with the fewest elements- that less is more. “My primary interest lies in going beyond the technique in order to interpret the subject in different ways and expand on the interpretation to make a personal statement. Creativity lies in uncertainty because your solution can be anything!”

Nearly three decades after embarking on his artistic journey, Dan McCaw continues his quest for maximum expression pushing his art into exciting new territory. Dan McCaw and his wife, Stacey, live in Los Angeles, California.

Education
• Montana Institute of Technology Butte, Montana
• Academy of Art University San Francisco, California
• Art Center College of Design Pasadena, California
• Bongart School of Art Santa Monica, California
• Honorary Doctorate Academy of Art University San Francisco, California 2007
Selected Exhibitions
• Long Beach Museum, Group Show, Long Beach, CA, 2013
• California Museum of Fine Art, Group Show, Torrance, CA, 2013
• OFA Invitational, London, England, 2012
• Gallery 25 CPW, Converge" New York City, NY, 2012
• Lancaster Museum, Past and Present, Lancaster, CA, 2012
• Madden Museum, Windows to the Devine, Denver, CO, 2011
• Trailside Galleries, Solo Exhibition, Scottsdale, AZ, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008
• C.M. Russell Museum, Invitational Art Auction, Great Falls, MT, 2007
• American Art Invitational, Group Exhibition, Denver, CO, 2007
• Trailside Galleries, Small Works, Scottsdale, AZ, 2007
• Trailside Galleries, Two Man Exhibition, Scottsdale, AZ, 2005
• Salon D'Arts, Group Invitational Exhibition, Denver, CO, 2004, 2005
• American Heritage Invitational Exhibition, Houston, TX, 2003, 2004, 2005
• Anne Irwin, Invitational Exhibition, Atlantic, GA, 2004
• Gladney Foundation Invitational Exhibition, Houston, TX, 2000
• SLBA Invitational Exhibition, Saint Louis, MO, 1990
• Biltmore Invitational Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA, 1988, 1990
• NWR invitational Group Exhibition, Helena, MT, 1987
• Society of American Impressionists Invitational Exhibition, Scottsdale, AZ, 1985
Selected Press
• Easy Reader, 2013
• American Artist, Studios, 2011
• Focus, China , Dan McCaw, January 2010
• Art and Antiques Magazine, March, 2008
• American Art Collector, October, 2005
• International Artist December/January, 2003
• Southwest Art Magazine, May, 2003
• Southwest Art Magazine, March, 1996
• Island Scene Magazine, Spring, 1995
• Art Talk, February, 1995
• Southwest Art Magazine, October, 1994
• Southwest Art Magazine, February, 1993
• Fine Art Collector, February, 1991
• Western Art Digest, Summer, 1985
• Southwest Art Magazine, March, 1983
• Art Voices South, September, 1979
Selected Publications
• A Proven Strategy for Creating Great Art, Dan McCaw, International Artist Publishing, December 11, 2002

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, IV:
Impressionist oil painter of “scenes of the American West and Mexico, figure studies, landscapes, portraits, and romantic nostalgia,” Dan McCaw was born in Butte, Montana in 1942 and settled in Hermosa Beach, California.  Of painting, he says: “Too many artists paint what the galleries want.  So, they lose their individuality.  There are plenty of paintings around that were done with the wrist, not the heart.  Instead artists should be sensitive to their world.  They have to be honest with themselves.  In a painting, aesthetics should be the first concern.”

Growing up in Butte, McCaw “began to sketch many of the characters who populated the mining community.” At twenty, he received a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art and later continued his studies at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.  After several years as a commercial artist, he decided “to give up commercial art for fine art.”  He believes that “the term ‘life enhancement,’ coined by art historian Bernard Berenson best describes his own approach in interrelationships with life.”

He emphasizes, “it takes years of experimentation, dedication, and searching to develop a personal idiom.  The painter must show people more than what they already know. He must show them with so much understanding and sympathy that they will recognize what the artist portrays as though they had seen and experienced it themselves.”

His own oils are designed to “reveal a world of color, emotion, and special moments. Instead of rejecting earlier movements of the century,” his approach is to “turn reality into visual poetry by creating a world of personal involvement.”

Resource:
Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
Dan McCaw is an artist with a single vision: to create the most expressive visual experience possible based upon a wide variety of personal observations. Each new painting becomes a challenge to go beyond the previous work and push the boundaries of how one looks at art and one's every day life experience. "Good paintings are like friends" he has said, "they encourage you to do more, to search, to experiment and to grow."

Early influences on McCaw were his Russian born instructor, Sergei Bongart, and his exposure to the great European masters such as the Spanish Impressionist, Joaquin Sorolla whose ideas about light and design are still interwoven in his work today.  For many years McCaw has been associated with his sensitive figure paintings that are deeply rooted in the romantic impressionist tradition.  Recognizing the influence of Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Gustav Klimt and the Abstract Expressionists, Dan McCaw has begun to infuse his work with a heightened awareness that frees it from literal representation of the subject.

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