Artist Dan Reid - AIC Interview

Artist Dan Reid likes to gather inspiration from: “driving around western Canada for the landscapes and old rusty car paintings. (The problem is some of the cars follow me home… ) I also gather inspiration from doing art and car shows and talking to the people.”

Dan Reid is a self-taught Western Canadian artist who has spent all his life on the prairies and currently lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He does commissioned art of old trucks and old cars, as well as muscle cars, planes, trains, and the beautiful prairie landscape.


Question:
When did you realize you had the need to create and develop your skills?
Answer:
When I was in my 30's I started thinking more and more that I wanted to try painting, I don't know why I didn't even like art in school. I finally couldn't ignore it any more so I got some art supplies and gave it a try (it was terrible ) but I loved it. I kept working at it and learned by trial and error (lots of error). From then on it became an obsession. With family responsibilities I had to quite for what I thought would be a few years which turned into 20 years. It was driving me crazy and in 2005 I finally got back to it and now I paint full time.

Question:
Right now, what is your medium of choice and what is your favourite subject matter?
Answer:
My medium is oil, my subject matter is mostly old cars, trains, and prairie landscapes. I primarily do custom paintings for clients of their old cars or farm yards.

Question:
All artists at all stages of their career want to try something new, what other medium or subject matter do you see yourself experimenting with?
Answer:
I may try acrylics sometime but I like working on the painting when it's wet so oil suits me better. I don't foresee changing the subject matter, I still have to many ideas I have not painted yet.

Question:
Continuing education, do you partake and if so what did you learn?
Answer:
I have not taken any art education. In fact, not much education at all.

Question:
Have you ever taught a class or done an artist talk? If so, what did you talk about or teach? Can people sign up for your workshops and how?
Answer:
No

Question:
Have you ever painted en plein air? What was the biggest hurdle for you? Environmental challenges, wildlife, people, weather?
Answer:
No

Question:
Do you do commissions? If so, what is your process?
Answer:
I mostly do commission work now. Most of the commissions are paintings with people's cars in them. I get individual photos of each of the cars, an idea of what kind of background they want. I do a full-size sketch of what I propose the painting will look like for the clients approval. The next step is to do the oil painting.

Question:
What is your favourite art related quote?
Answer:
I don't have an art related quote but I base my art carrier on "Do what you have to do to be what you want to be." That is why I work hard at my artwork. I do art shows to get the exposure, and promote myself where I can. It probably would have been easier if I had decided to be something other than an artist.

Question:
Do you have a favourite artist and what do you like about their art? Have you ever met them?
Answer:
My favourite train artist is Max Jacquard and my favourite car artist is Dale Klee. I have been lucky enough to do some shows with Max.

Question:
Where do you gather your inspiration from?
Answer:
I gather inspiration from driving around western Canada for the landscapes and old rusty car paintings... The problem is some of the cars follow me home... I also gather inspiration from doing art and car shows and talking to the people.

Question:
Where do you typically create art?
Answer:
I have a studio in my home and I work out of there.

Question:
How do you know when your art is complete?
Answer:
When there is no bare canvas showing.

Question:
What is most challenging to you when starting a new project?
Answer:
The most challenging and also one of the most rewarding parts of a painting is getting the composition and perspective laid out to convey what I want. Getting this part right is critical.

Question:
What advice would you give to an artist starting out?
Answer:
Paint subject matter you are interested in and develop your own style.

Question:
What keeps you going forward with your art in this very competitive industry?
Answer:
I get a lot of personal satisfaction from both creating the artwork and also doing the shows as well as interacting with my clients.

Question:
In your studio, right now, what is your most important tool that you would be lost without?
Answer:
I don't think there is one specific tool. Probably the thing I would miss the most would be my coffee mug.

Question:
What is your favourite piece of work you have created, thus far?
Answer:
Usually the one I just finished, until I have done another one. If I had to pick one I think it would be "Barn Find". It offered new challenges with the perspective as it is inside a building, and it is the subject matter I like the best.

Question:
What is the most well received piece of art you have created?
Answer:
It would be "Mustang Meet" and "Through the Pines".

Question:
Do you have a favourite gallery or museum that you visit?
Answer:
No