Dan Fusco: Painting People With a Realist-Impressionist Style

By | 10:14 PM
oil painter, dan fusco
Dan Fusco
Dan Fusco of Long Island , NY is here to share some insight  with us about his experience as a painter of people. With twelve years of painting, Fusco has developed a style he calls a "realism/impressionism blend."  It is in this style that he renders beautiful oil paintings and brings forth the personalities in his portrait subjects. Even though he does some landscapes and cityscapes, he tells me right upfront that he finds "human beings the most interesting thing in the universe."

Tell me about your first experience painting with oil on canvas:

I took an oil painting class to improve my color choices for my woodwork. Well, I fell in love with painting and have been at it ever since. I have worked with other mediums but prefer oils. Now and again I do a landscape, cityscape, or a still-life but portraits remain my favorite.

lady in blue holding a freshly baked pie
Our Lady of Pies © Dan Fusco
What in particular draws you to paint human subjects?

Of all living things I'm drawn to painting people because of their complexity and the range of their personalities and behaviors as a group or within a single person.You spend many hours looking at and thinking about the person and in some ways get closer to them. Paradoxically, it is also a way to deal with people at arm's length.

As a young man I did a lot of traveling through out the West: California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona as a door to door encyclopedia salesman. I didn't like the selling so much but the talking to thousands of people from all walks of life was very interesting. I would often end up for hours in conversation about every subject under the sun. After hearing so many stories I guess I'd like to make some kind of record, something that will keep peoples' stories alive.

older gentleman in tropical setting with palm trees swaying in the wind
Nick Fusco © Dan Fusco
What are you trying to convey through your art? What does it mean to you?

I'm a guy with an inclination to combine oil paint with composition on canvas. I want my painting to present the subject/person to the viewer in a way that will make them wonder who that person was/is and what are they like. It's a way of keeping that person in the land of the living for as long as people look at the portrait.

Tell me a little about your creative process:

First comes the idea, something about a person, attitude, atmosphere, expression catches my attention. It is that thing that caught my attention that I want to get on the canvas.

Smiling lady with her pet tabby cat in her arms.
Marsha Annie © Dan Fusco

What exposure have you had, and what plans do you have for your art?

I exhibit in local art shows and fairs here on Long Island winning several awards. I also exhibit with the SEVEN & SEVEN group of painters and sculptors. We will be exhibiting at the C.W. POST, Hutchins Gallery this October.

How have people reacted to your art?

Some people like the art some are indifferent. I don't really have a way I expect people to react no ones thrown any rotten eggs yet.

Do you have any regrets in your life as an artist?

My one regret is I didn't start painting when I was ten-years-old. As there is no shortage of subjects I intend to be painting for a long time.

Small girl with shy smile on her face.
Avery © Dan Fusco

Do you have any advice for emerging artists?

If a new artist were to ask for my advice I would tell them it's better to paint 20 small paintings quickly than labor and doodle over one.

How do you promote your art both on and off the internet?

I'm sure an unbiased onlooker would say my self promotion skills are poor but I make occasional attempts such as this interview. I am starting to advertise in some local papers along with art shows and fairs. 

Red haired young lady posed with hand on hip in front of mountain scenery.
Napa Valley Lysa © Dan Fusco

Where may my readers see more of your art and get in touch with you?

I can be seen at danfusco.com also try the sevenandseven.org site. I have pages of paintings on several art forum sites such as A Singular Creation, Fine Art America, Artist to Artist, Deviant Art and Wet Canvas.

© IOUart, Creative Highlight, all images © Dan Fusco

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