Author: Alicia Muir

An Interview with Dan Stirling

Dan Stirling intends to captivate the viewer with the precision and detail of his artworks. He certainly succeeds, and the surreal, emotional concepts that he also addresses are made believable by the realism of their depiction. We were lucky enough to ask Dan what inspires his art, and the processes and techniques behind them. 

How has your fascination with classical Renaissance artists influenced your art?

I’m obsessed with technique, the magic behind the look. Visiting the National Gallery and analysing the sense of naturalism achieved by the old masters was hugely formative, especially considering the limited materials and resources they had to work with.

Technically, my still-life works are a modern take on the Baroque aesthetic. They are not, however, intended to be a novelty. The objects depicted in my work are both personally salient and symbolic of our time and culture. Similarly, a 15th-century artist would've depicted objects representative of that period in history; it's all relative. I think of these drawings as time capsules. 

Is there anything else that particularly inspires you?

Generally, when I'm paying attention, I find the world and life itself to be an infinite source of inspiration. Therefore, the ideas are continual, my priority as an artist is to distill the thoughts into something tangible. 

An Interview with Dan Stirling | Image

Aurora by Dan Stirling

 An Interview with Dan Stirling | Image

We are blown away by the level of detail in your artworks, what is your favourite part of the process that you follow to achieve this precision?

For me, the most powerful aspect of drawing and painting is the increased self-control and reduced psychological distress this level of mindfulness can provide. The techniques I’ve taught myself can be quite arduous. It's an analogue, fairly traditional method of working that's installed the capacity of delayed gratification, a discipline that appears to be losing relevance in today's technological culture.

An Interview with Dan Stirling | Image

Mutatio by Dan Stirling

An Interview with Dan Stirling | Image 

It is fascinating to look at your artworks, the more you look, the more you discover. Where do you get your ideas for an artwork from, and do you carefully arrange the items you depict?

For my new series: Great British Summer, the theme is entropy. Aurora, Mutatio and Apotheosis are at once a celebration of nature and a portent of death. I wanted to depict the juxtaposition between nature and the synthetic detritus we leave behind. I’m interested in the mundane objects we take for granted. Like memento mori, these drawings remind us that life is fleeting. Nevertheless, they are essentially life affirming.

An Interview with Dan Stirling | Image

Apotheosis by Dan Stirling 

An Interview with Dan Stirling | Image

 To discover more about Dan’s artworks and explore his stunning limited edition prints, click here.

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