Dan Spiller Jr.

Cotton Blues
7 x 18 inches
Oil Pastels on Museum Board
Decoy Toss
7 x 18 inches
Oil Pastels on Museum Board
Respite and the Grind 
9 x 24 inches
Oil Pastels on Museum Board
Sunset Flight
7 x 18 inches
Oil Pastels on Museum Board
Rolling Harvest
9 x 12 inches
Oil Pastels on Museum Board

Dan M. Spiller, Jr.

 

Artist Statement:

 

I was born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana, Queen City of the Teche, home of the Sugarcane Festival and Tabasco. Art has always been a large part of my life and I knew even as a small child that I had to do something with my passion. Spelling and math were always a bit more challenging to me, but drawing and painting came naturally.  So the talent was there, but the confidence to really share it with people took time. As the years went by my skillset grew, and I no longer needed the safety net of an eraser. I could confidently draw with a pen. As a child, I took art lessons from various teachers/artists, and during high school I took as many art classes as I could. During those years, I also was mentored by artist Paul Schexnayder, something I am incredibly grateful for.  In an effort to combine my love of art, design and the environment, I attended LSU, receiving my bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture. After college, I moved to Austin, Texas, for a few years and was fortunate enough to work under Joe Verdoorn, a landscape architect and an artist. Joe mentored me and several of my coworkers in small lunchtime sessions, where we would unwind from the stress of projects and deadlines and create art.

The largest portion of my body of work consists of landscape paintings. I took the beauty of South Louisiana for granted as a child and always wanted to be in the mountains, or in a landscape we did not have here.  As an adult I have found a huge respect for unique environment here. While I like to paint swamps and bayous, I also like to paint scenes from our unique cultural environment including sugar mills, cane carts, and old structures. We are fortunate to live in a place with almost unlimited subject matter, and I often like to go out early in the morning and photograph a wide-range of subjects found along back roads.

            It is hard for me to exactly define my work, while I would say it is modern in some ways, it definitely pays tribute to classical landscape painting styles. Though I have and still use a range of mediums including oils, acrylics, and watercolors, my preferred medium is oil pastel. Good quality oil pastels were introduced to me while living in Austin, Texas, and I immediately felt a connection  with that medium. In the world of art supplies oil pastel is a relatively modern and fast medium. I like the freedom I have with it and can thin it with turpenoid and still use a brush if I choose. My work is on museum board and I work at a drafting table applying many layers until the piece achieves the look I am after.

Daniel M. Spiller, Jr.

 

I was born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana, and according to my mother have always held a

pencil in the correct way. Since I was a small child I have drawn and created art in one form or

another. My interest with this region and landscape started as that kid when I would look out

the car window and daydream on trips to my grandmother’s home in Thibodaux, LA. I remember

the endless rows of sugarcane fields on Hwy 90 that seemingly moved and followed our car, the

cane carts lining up at the mill in Jeanerette during grinding season, the huge oaks and stately

homes in Franklin, and the seasonal colors of the cypress swamps near Amelia. These images

and memories have stuck with me and have shaped my life as a artist.

 

There are few places like our state where the cultural and physical landscapes are so closely

tied together. I think it is in this context that the real beauty of this place lies, seeing the crawfish

farmer out in his boat in the early morning, the shrimp boats coming in from a trawl, the reeking

scent of burning bagasse on a crisp December day, a slowing moving tractor slewing mud on

the road on its way to the mill, and people sitting on a screen porch to escape the summer heat

and mosquitoes while drinking iced tea or a cold beer. These are everyday things that are easily

taken for granted, and admittedly it took me moving away for a bit to realize how truly special

and unique our state is. I now feel compelled to document this changing "landscape". Mother

nature, technology and man have shaped this landscape. Everyday we hear of our disappearing

coastal way of life, sugar cane is now harvested mostly with a combine which has all but

eliminated the burning fields, and our rural landscape is under constant assault as our cities

push farther outward in their unchecked and unregulated growth. I often like to paint these

fleeting scenes that can be viewed by daydreamers like me, from the passenger window of a

car on a deserted back road, somewhere in Louisiana.

 

I work full time as a Landscape Architect and reside in Lafayette with my wife and two small

sons. Please contact me about any questions about specific pieces or commissions.

 

e-mail - danspiller1@gmail.com

Instagram - @dspillerjr

Facebook - DSpiller Art Studio

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