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"The deep love of nature, lead me to become an artist. I can not fathom the mystery yet perfect balance of the natural world. Its color, shape, design, function, even its emotion excites me. The nature teaches me how to paint and teaches me how to sculpt.
"I don’t like to limit myself to just one or two mediums, because different subject seemed to require a different medium to do it honor. The medium can be drawing, painting or sculpture; I love to explore new mediums or techniques. Every time I learn a new medium I can express my art in a new way. Besides, the different medium and technique is merely the vehicle to take me to achieve my goal: to express the personal feeling toward the essence of the subject and carry out its energy and message through my own personal experiences, knowledge, and technical ability, by using descriptive forms, lines, surfaces to engage and communicate to the viewer without words.
"That is my goal and my mission. I am in this personal journey. I am a work in process."
Dan Chen was born in China, in the province of Canton. Dan’s love affair with art began when at age three, he peered above the table top in breathless fascination at the magic which seemed to flow from his father’s paint brush and then tried to imitate him. When Dan was 15, a more formal instruction in a structured setting was needed. Dan was introduced to master artists who familiarized with him varied painting techniques and helped hone his artistic observation skills. For over five years Dan worked under the critical eyes of his mentors, before he was finally allowed to display his art at a state show. There, he won the first of many awards, this one for outstanding technical ability in Chinese watercolor painting on silk.
Dan immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1984. There, Dan enrolled at San Francisco City College and studied graphic design and illustration at Academy of Art University. After three years of schooling, Dan started his own business, creating unusual ceramic art, which quickly became distributed though such outlets as Gump’s, Macys, Bloomingdale and other prestigious stores. Even though his thriving business distributed as many as 500 various ceramic creations all over the U.S., Dan found that the demands of running such a large enterprise not only took too much time from his family, but did not allow him to explore the entire spectrum of his skills. Determined to start over, he simply walked away from his business and began a new life in Eugene, Oregon.
Since that time, Dan's professional career has begun focusing full time on nature and wildlife art in both paintings and sculptures. A solid foundation in many art forms has allowed him to perfect his own particular methods. Dan's experience with the Eastern and Western disciplines of art has provided the inspiration for the extremely pleasing and dramatic style he has developed. Whether the media is oil, pastel, watercolor, or sculpture, each piece Dan creates is an exquisite and masterful expression of line, color, light, and energy which is truly his own. The art of Dan Chen is a marriage of the finest qualities of eastern and western art style and technique.
Education: Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA.
Awards and Honors: Signature Member, Society of Animal Artists; Two Awards of Excellence medals (2D & 3D), Society of Animal Artists; Patricia Allen Bott Award for Creative Excellence; Evelyn and Peter Haller Memorial Award for Sculpture; Best in Show Award, 24th Annual International Exhibition on Animals in Art.
Publications: Dan Chen, Work in Progress..., Fern Ridge Press.
Collections: City of McMinnville, OR; City of Eugene, OR; Kansas State University, Emporia, KS; Scotts Bluff Airport, NE; Spirit Mountain Casino, OR; Hawk's View Resort, GA; SA Biosciences, MD; New Hope Christian College, OR.
Representation: Lawrence Gallery; Mockingbird Gallery.