Sometimes I feel like pinching myself because of the recent attention to my work and my story.
Photo by Gary Higgins, The Patriot Ledger
Certainly as an artist I believe my work is good, never good enough for me however. That is really a common feeling for many, as we all strive to produce better work each time we step in front of a blank canvas.
I’m appreciative that many like my fanciful/surreal stories and colorful canvases. They seem to like them enough to even purchase them. What a blessing.
There has been a bigger story here that I’ve also tried to share. The one about not giving up on oneself no matter who you are, or how old. The roadblocks won’t stop you with determination and drive. Follow your dreams no matter what they are.
Recently writer Sue Scheible from The Patriot Ledger heard my personal story and thought it was something worth sharing. What follows is the beginning of that story and a link to the full column which appeared in the Tuesday, March 14 edition of the paper.
A GOOD AGE: Milton artist rediscovers his ‘first love’
By Sue Scheible,
The Patriot Ledger
Story Photos by Gary Higgins,
The Patriot Ledger
March 14, 2017
MILTON– When David Dauer heads down to his basement to work, he never knows just who or what will emerge. His family and friends have been as surprised as he is.
Nearly 40 years ago, in his 20s with a new wife and plans for a family, Dauer stepped away from his “first love” – painting and drawing – to build more than a 30-year career in graphic design and publishing.
Although practicality called the shots, his creative side still flourished in his design work. The paint brushes, however, languished – even after he built an artist’s studio in his basement for his 50th birthday.
Then a year ago at age 62, Dauer was laid off and once again faced a critical personal choice: “What do I want to do with my life?” This time, he went with his heart.
As a result, he says, “a lot of good things have been happening. I’m the happiest I’ve been in years, at peace with doing what I want to do.”
With his wife Deborah’s support, he drew on his early retirement and in January 2016, began creating a new life as a painter. He likens it to meditation, a journey of discovery.
“I reinvented myself by returning to my painting roots and discovered my lost passion,” he says. He describes his work as telling stories through fantasy and surreal scenes.
Freed from design constraints, Dauer delights in drawing shapes, filling them in with bold colors, following a stream of consciousness. You’ll find whimsy, silliness, political themes, life experiences. Because he likes to work fast, he favors quicker drying acrylics.
Less than a year into his new life, his dedication and focus are starting to pay off. In February he had a one-man show at the Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford. One of his paintings will be in the juried show opening March 24 at the Milton Art Center. Other dates are lining up.
A week ago, I stopped by his studio on Brush Hill Road where he was at work on a very colorful large painting. There was a row of human figures, their backs to the viewer, what he calls his “tribe.” Above them: fish in the sky and a new motif, cows.
“Most of my work is about fantasy worlds that depict life situations that relate to our own world,” he says.
He has always used bold colors and finds great satisfaction in mixing paint and applying it. “It is “very exciting to see how a paint color meets another color – you can almost taste it, it looks so good.”
This delight in observing and expressing what he feels goes back to his childhood in Framingham. “A sponge for anything artistic.” he’d sit for hours and draw pictures of the trees outside the dining room window. He took a variety of courses at the local community center. He rode his bike 11 miles to the deCordova Museum in Lincoln for painting classes. And he loved to visit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, studying Paul Gauguin’s “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”
Dauer studied at UMass-Dartmouth with the late Edward Togneri, a masterful mentor who told him “to follow my heart and let the SELF come out in my work.”
Graduate work followed at Kent State University and then, he realized he needed to make a living and took additional courses in graphic design. Many fast-paced, productive and interesting years followed until the recession prodded him into a change.
His working style is to start with a drawing, “things in my mind . . . survival of the fittest,” he says. “A lot of life situations come out, problems of the day, issues, politicians running things down our throats.”
“What is going on in your head? What is all this?” his wife and his friends have asked.
His mentors taught him to follow the colors and to be true to who he was. And he is in later life with the freedom to do just that. What better time than now?
His website is http://www.dbdauerstudio.com/
Reach Sue Scheible at email@example.com, 617-786-7044, or The Patriot Ledger, P.O. Box 699159, Quincy 02269-9159. Read her Good Age blog on our website. Follow her on Twitter @sues_ledger.
When Cows Fly, acrylic on canvas. 50″ x 24″ This finished painting was in process when I was visited by Sue and Gary from The Patriot Ledger.
To purchase paintings email David at firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct to 617-694-5126. All prices include tax and shipping within the United States when dealing direct. Prices are affordable and range from $100 – $900.
Call or email to schedule a visit to my studio.