Maryville, Tennessee, USA
I am a sixty one year old carpenter who has painted all his life without any lessons.
I do abstracts, mainly in acrylic, don't use brushes, just bits of paper, rubber bands, feathers or anything else that strikes my fancy. I like to work flat and wet, allowing the paint to seek it's own course. I call my theme,"edge". I try to get it between abstract and concrete.
When did you first know you were an artist?
When I was nine, my mom brought home an abstract painting. I went to my room and slashed a green crayon up and down and said to her,"Look, Mom, modern grass." She flipped out and I have been painting ever since.
What kind of music do you have playing while creating art?
Mozart, Miles Davis, anything with a lot of space so I can think.
How do you get inspired when feeling uninspired?
I open a random book to a random page, close my eyes and point to two or three random words. I arrange those words into a cohesive phrase and then create an image from them.
What do you prefer to do in your spare time besides creating art?
I play guitar, go online (I'm a conspiracy kook), walk, talk with friends, church, chant, sit quietly, buy groceries, do laundry, smile, be happy, count my blessings and take a bath.
What artwork are you working on at the moment?
I am trying to stretch a bit. I am doing miniature abstracts, realism and making wind chimes tuned to a minor seventh scale.
What is the best painting you ever created?
My son is my masterpiece. I created a wonderful person to offer the world.
What is the role of the artist in society?
We are all artists. Some of us do something about it and some don't. Art is life. It proves God's existence. It's a language that everyone can understand. We are here to make the world a better place.
Have you sold much of your art?
Most of my work has been stolen. Some I have given away and some I sold. I paid my rent for half a year with my work. That keeps me going.
How do you promote your art on the internet
Nature is full of interesting colors and shapes. Music has a visual impact sometimes. Something I hear somebody say creates an image. I let my mind wander and see what it finds.
Can you mention a contemporary artist and tell us a little about them?
Rene comes to mind. He lived in Soho, NYC, had a gallery and didn't like the fascism in the NYC art scene so he painted, in large letters on walls,"I am the best artist" as a form of protest. A well known art critic assured him he wasn't. He declared the air vent on the third floor at MOMA as his installation and is now the only person ever to have a permanent installation there. His audacity and humor make me smile.
Please tell us something interesting in your life
I am the only person that I know of to become voluntarily homeless (besides Jesus). I walked away from everything I owned out of boredom and wanting to know what it was like. Despite the scuffling hard times, the feeling of freedom was/is intoxicating.
Where would you like to be as an artist ten years from now?
I see myself as still making art, whether I'm "successful" or not.
Advice for Artists
Ask yourself a question. If you knew you were never going to make a dime from your art, would you still do it?
Dan Cope - Dan the Random Man
Maryville, Tennessee, USA
Website: Dan Cope