Emerging Artists | Dan Bulleit

Dan Bulleit, Stitches in Time, oil, 13 x 22.

Dan Bulleit, Stitches in Time, oil, 13 x 22.

This story was featured in the January 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

While reference photographs have their place at his easel, Dan Bulleit prefers to portray poignant moments he himself has observed and experienced, from a chess game with his daughter to a scenic overlook at a local restaurant. “I’m definitely handicapped if I haven’t seen it myself,” says the representational painter. “If I’m there, I can absorb it and get the feeling of it. I paint a lot of different subject matter, but it has to be something that inspires me.”

The southern Indiana native studied commercial art at the Colorado Institute of Art before embarking on a 20-year career in art direction and illustration in the Denver area. After returning with his family to Indiana, where he lives today, Bulleit continued working as an art director and graphic designer for another 14 years or so. Two years ago, he transitioned to fine art full time. “There was this calling to come back to painting,” he says. “The scariest thought is to be on your deathbed and think, ‘Why didn’t I do this?’ I had to try it.”

A longtime admirer of American illustrators and painters Robert Heindel (1938-2005) and Bernie Fuchs (1932-2009), Bulleit says that—like the work of his esteemed predecessors—his paintings often tell a story. But narratives are merely secondary to his chief goal, and that’s to make a good painting. “Some of the best artists use just a few colors, and they’re strategic in how they use values, edges, and light,” he says. “If I can get all those right, then it can tell a story.”

Bulleit has garnered numerous national awards for his oils, including an honorable mention in Oil Painters of America’s Summer Online Showcase in 2017. Find his work at Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN; Brown County Art Gallery, Nashville, IN; and Hoosier Salon, New Harmony and Indianapolis, IN.

This story was featured in the January 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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