Emerging Artists | Dane Chinnock

Catching colors in every season

Dane Chinnock, Patchy Fall, oil, 14 x 24.

Dane Chinnock, Patchy Fall, oil, 14 x 24.

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Arizona’s sprawling deserts, dense pine forests, snow-capped peaks, and hidden creeks and streams have captivated Dane Chinnock ever since he was a child growing up in Tucson, and later in Prescott, where he lives and works today. Chinnock still enjoys exploring the wilderness of his home state in every season, just as he did as a boy, but now he uses oil paints and a palette knife to portray its wide-ranging beauty.       

“I look for areas that have southwestern scenery, but from a different perspective,” says Chinnock, “places that people can’t get to easily—places where there are no roads, no trails, no sign of life.” The devoted plein-air painter has been known to trudge through a foot of snow to paint and sometimes backpacks for days until he finds the right spot for a painting. On longer excursions, Chinnock doesn’t schlep all of his painting gear along. Instead he’ll complete sketches and take photos, as he did one day on the cusp of autumn after spotting a mature cactus along the Hassayampa River. Moved by the mood, colors, and light around it, he took photographs and later painted the regal succulent in his studio. “I didn’t want to just reproduce the photo,” says Chinnock, who worked quickly to “catch” the scene’s sentiment and light. The painting, CATCHING COLORS, won Southwest Art’s Award of Excellence at the Phippen Museum’s annual Western Art Show and Sale last May.

Chinnock studied color theory, value, and composition with southwestern landscape painter Bob Knudson, whom he fondly refers to as “a magician with the brush.” Chinnock himself later discovered he could best portray his subjects using a palette knife, which allows him to apply paint swiftly, particularly outdoors when every second counts. “The idea with plein-air painting is to capture the essence of the moment—you want to capture that quickly,” he says. The tool also contributes to his trademark bold lines and crisp edges, a style that caught the eye of Sedona artist and gallery owner Ken Rowe, who invited Chinnock to join Rowe Gallery’s stable of artists last year. Despite such achievements, Chinnock says he still feels like he’s in the “accidental stage” of making successful paintings. “I figure I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he chuckles, “just more of it.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Rowe Gallery, Sedona, AZ.

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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