Daniel Greene A Modern Day Master!

I first learned about Daniel Green around 10 years ago after taking my first and only pastel class in Cambridge Maryland. To my disappointment the instructor wanted me to limit myself to simple subjects as apples and flowers because "it will be years before I could grasp its use" (her own words).

But I knew after drawing and doing some outstanding colored homework at school so many years ago I could do much more with pastels. So soon after while browsing the internet one day I came to the photo you see bellow:

Jessie Chaffee, pastel portrait by Daniel Greene

I was in owe at the amazing skill in the use of pastesl besides the beautiful execution so I read as much as I could about this person. During the same time I ordered a book titled “Painting Children Portraits in Pastel” by Wende Caporale published by North light books which I was a club member.

Long story short, I used Ms Caporale's technique for the painting of my step-grandson Austin and submitted it at the Chesapeake College Art Show that year: I won the first place. So much for listening to people that don't want to take much trouble with their students. However, I was thrilled!

In that book I also learnerd that Ms Caporale was the wife of famed Daniel Greene: My idol!

Mr Greene was born in 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio and wiould go to study at the Art Academy between the ages of 10 and 12. Knowing at such early age that he wanted to be an artist he knew he had to try his luck in NYC as “they had the best art teachers, the best artists and the best art galleries” according to his own words. So he enrolled at the Art Students League of New York in his early twenties and from them in his career took off not without hard work and sacrifices.

I read somewhere long ago that while teaching there at the Art Students League he had met his future wife Wende Caporale, who had decided at the time to take one of his workshops after working many years as an illustrator. In her many interviews and on her book she describes that after the birth of their daughter Avignon, she opted for painting children instead with great success of her own.

Today they own a 10 acres property in North Salem, New York where Wende has her studio on the first floor divided in three work stations at home and Daniel uses a remodeled carriage barn in the same property as his own (needless to say is huge!)

Here is Wende's: not that small either as I said: includes a big part of the first floor and in is divided in three work stations.

Wende's studio at  home.

Daniel has not only painted astronauts, bankers, prime ministers, television personalities and state governors, his oil paintings of the underground subway scene in New York and the auction house themes are also well known. The Encyclopedia Britannica considers Mr. Greene the foremost pastellist in the US. His work can be found in the most prestigious galleries of the country and in private collections around the world. He also is the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions including the Pastel Hall of Fame in 1983 by the Pastel Society of America and being one of the members of the board of directors at the American Portrait Society.

I was lucky enough to see him at this year's Portrait Society Conference in Atlanta thanks to a scholarship awarded by the society in West Virginia. First at the live demo and then on our visit a the High Museum of Art in Atlanta the last day of the conference. My companion and I spotted him and his lovely wife before entering the museum and we started snapping photos. My friend intruduced herself and learned that Mr Greene's legs were giving him trouble. Once inside I spot him again followed by a wheel chair and in one occasion he saw me yawning wide mouthed (lol!). I wasn't feeling my best either after my long trip to Atlanta and the many excitements while there. We were just two tired fellows trying to make it through the museum.

Finally we were informed recently by the Portrait Society that Mr Greene won't be teaching much longer but for a few exceptions. He has taught as much as ten thousand people thorughout his long career including offering workshops at home . Hopefully I will get the chance once more to see him in person and in better circumstances. However we have his many books and instructional videos of this true modern day Master.