Artist of the Week 59 | Dan McCaw

Artist of the Week 59

Dan McCaw | Seated Figure | Oil on Board | 30 x 24″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

Dan McCaw

Dan McCaw is one of America’s most highly respected contemporary impressionists. Early in his artistic education, McCaw 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.

“My primary interest lies in going beyond the techniques 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!”

Anne Ward Interview with Dan McCaw | The Power of Painting the Shadows

Recent studio visit with Dan, John, and Danny McCaw

McCaw lives and works in Torrence, CA. Dan and his sons, John and Danny, own a studio together known as McCaw Contemporary.

Dan’s willingness to push boundaries and ideas is cultivated by working in a shared environment where there is overlap in theory, philosophy and intention. Rarely do you find a father and two of his sons working under a single roof, in a dynamic atmosphere where curiosity, open-mindedness, and traditional wisdom co-mingle with experimentation, innovation and change.

In this rare working environment, there is a natural alchemy that is born between a father and his sons, in which each contributes to the others’ creative objective, and yet each retains his individual artistic identity.

The MCCAW objective is to collectively and individually examine, contemplate and direct a fresh look at contemporary issues, such as the relationship between art and reality, memory and fantasy, symbols and anthropology, or existential ideas and human psychology. Within the walls of a static environment (the studio) a dynamic and constantly evolving relationship between artists, materials, ideas, and technique is evolving as each expresses and explores the endless realm of possibilities.

Dan McCaw | Orange Chair | Oil on Board | 24 x 24″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

“Painting is an intimate conversation within myself, the canvas is like the pages of a diary and at times I am willing to share this intimate conversation.

The pages are fragile, the edges frayed, some have been torn out of frustration, some smeared from fear of failure, some wrinkled from being held too tight, some have been dipped in dreams and dried in the sun and some are waiting to be turned.

What is said between the words become more important than the words themselves. Art at its best moves something that is indefinable within myself. This is why I turn the pages.”

Dan McCaw | Abstract #4 | Oil on Board | 24 x 24″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

McCaw has been the subject of feature articles in Art Voices South (1979), Southwest Art (1983 and 1993), Western Art Digest (1985), International Fine Art Collector (1992) and Island Scene Magazine (1996).

In 2002, Dan completed a book on painting techniques, titled A Proven Strategy for Creating Great Art.

Every December, McCaw Contemporary features an open house. In 2019, the exhibition was titled Without Borders.

Dan McCaw | Solitude | Oil on Board | 36 x 24″
(Click here to view this work on Artsy)

Contact Lily Pad Gallery West for information on pricing and to view additional works by Dan McCaw.


To learn more about Dan and view his expanded portfolio, visit his website:

Left to right: Danny, Dan, and John McCaw

Lily Pad Gallery

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