Interview With Professional Artist Dan Knepper

Artist Dan Knepper reached out some time ago offering to share his thoughts on art. He’s a professional artist and skilled landscape painter.

Dan Knepper, Daydreaming
Dan Knepper, Daydreaming

Q: Did you have any formal training in art? Or are you mostly self-taught?

I’ll apologize in advance for the long answer. I was a glassblower in college and learned nothing about painting. As an art teacher (1-12 for 26 years,) I realized I wanted my skills to dramatically improve and started hosting workshops with nationally known artists, and I’ve traveled to workshops with artists like Mary Whyte, and Peter Fiore. Good friend and mentor Steven Walker has helped tremendously.

Dan Knepper, Laurie's World
Dan Knepper, Laurie’s World

Q: What subject inspires you most?

I love to paint. Light on a tractor is as interesting to me as light on a figure or a landscape. I suppose if I could only paint one thing it would be illuminated clouds.

Dan Knepper, I lost my shoes
Dan Knepper, I lost my shoes

Q: How would you describe your style?

Realism with funny titles.

Dan Knepper, There's Gotta Be a Moose Here Somewhere
Dan Knepper, There’s Gotta Be a Moose Here Somewhere

Q: Which artists inspire you (living and passed)?

Too long of a list! N.C. Wyeth, the Hudson River School, Bougereau, Vermeer… but I think we have some of the greatest artists ever painting now, Clyde Aspevig, Peter Nisbett’s ‘Colossus’ got me interested in painting clouds, I can stand in front of a Dave Santillanes or a Brent Cotton and study for a long time.

Q: If you were to start learning art all over again, where would you start?

I wish I studied with Richard Schmid, but there are some great teachers now, Mark Boedges, Casey Bough, etc. I’d spend some intense study with as many as I could. (I continue to seek out great teachers.)

Dan Knepper, Winter Glow
Dan Knepper, Winter Glow

Q: What is your preferred medium and why?

I love watercolor, but for me oils sell. I always felt like watercolors were speaking English and oils were a foreign language I was trying to learn.

Dan Knepper, Steven's Old Car, 62 Cad
Dan Knepper, Steven’s Old Car, 62 Cad

Q: Do you remember your first painting and do you still have it?

I have the first ‘professional’ painting. It won Best of Show in the first competition I entered. I still have it.

Q: What is your favorite painting? (That you have done).

Usually the next one. I always try to make the next one better than the last. I do have some favorites. One is ’Transcendence, (My Toes Are Cold,)’ It’s from my Montana series. I think it turned out well and reminds me of our trip to Glacier. The water was so clear and has this amazing color that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Dan Knepper, Transcendence, My Toes Are Cold
Dan Knepper, Transcendence, My Toes Are Cold

Q: What are your favorite art books?

Also a long list, but Art Journey America, Landscapes get thumbed through often.

Q: What avenues have been most successful in selling your art? (Galleries, online, blogging, email newsletter, etc).

I seem to do well at Art at the Mill. I’m in some great galleries across the country. Howard Mandville in the Seattle area does especially well for me. I’m always trying to improve my online sales.

Dan Knepper, Summer Falls
Dan Knepper, Summer Falls

Good friends Chris Leeper and Steven Walker are having success with YouTube. I think entering national shows is a good way to initially get your work noticed. And social media is a must these days.

Q: Any tips for aspiring artists?

Study with the greats. And try and get a good mentor.

Q: Where can we find your work?

  • @danknepperart
  • Howard/Mandville Gallery
  • Going to the Sun Gallery
  • Mary Williams Fine Art
  • Haley Gallery
  • Vision Gallery
  • Art at the Mill
Dan Knepper, Summer Dream
Dan Knepper, Summer Dream

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks to Dan Knepper for sharing his wisdom. Feel free to share this post with friends. If you need more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

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Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.


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1 thought on “Interview With Professional Artist Dan Knepper”

  1. I grew up 6390 S. Dewey rd. Amherst, Ohio 44001. I believe we were neighbors. The Wilburn family. I am Carol. My sister Roberta went to school with a Danny Knepper. So proud to know a prominent artist. My question is, do you have any art from South Dewey Rd.? The house you lived in was always a lovely home. We called your home the Rose’s home. Our home was the large, old red home that was torn down many years ago. Behind our home was county property which we called the sand pile, our dad had a gun range set up and that property butted up to the sanitarium, /green acres which recently was torn down. I have lots of memories . Also, we had swinging valley, large vines that swung over the creek. The neighborhood was a great place for us to grow up. The school bus stop was a popular spot, your home was right across from the big Grey house where different renters lied. The Darnell family was living their in the late 60’s, 70’s. Our house was behind that house. My sister Roberta follows your art, which is inspiring. She shares with us your success and your art. Our lives are all so different, but interesting how we have all turned out. You have a wonderful talent & legacy. Congratulations on your success. Carol Palvekosky (wilburn)

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