Daniel Chow

American, Born Singapore, 1961

a pair of geese flew by
outside my studio window
i’m glad elephants don’t fly

“I don’t believe any man who ever painted a great big picture did so by wandering from one place to another searching for interesting material. By the gods! There’s almost an inexhaustible supply of subjects right around my back door.”  — N. C. Wyeth

Daniel was born in Singapore. He moved to the United States with his family when he was fourteen. Attended John Ericsson Junior High School where he was encouraged to participate in a neighbourhood juried art exhibition in Murray Hill, Manhattan. His painting in watercolour and crayon of a Murray Hill mansion won him a blue ribbon. That was his first artistic recognition. 

Persuaded to choose a different career path, Daniel Chow the Artist was placed on the back burner. He took courses in computer sciences, courses for pre-med, and public communications. He then moved to San Francisco and studied anthropology in San Francisco State University. He then moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2002 where the artist in him was reawakened. He briefly attended a local atelier ran by Benjamin Long. This was his first experience in classical art training. He has never looked back.

As soon as he moved to Kennett Square, he attended Carlin Academy of Fine Arts, another classical atelier. Meeting many other artists who live in the area made him ponder about the other people he passed by in the different neighbourhoods of Kennett Square. “Sometimes when I pass by someone in Kennett Square, that cute Mister Roger’s theme song would play in my head,” said Daniel, “but I slightly tweaked the lyrics to, It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Could you be my neighbour?”

“Kennett Square is a square mile city, but it has a richness of peoples that one could never appreciate until one steps out of the car and explore the city on foot. It’s a small city that is deeper than it is wide,” said Daniel. He would wander around town often taking mental notes of subjects to paint on another day to capture what he likes to call, “that ooh, nice moment”.

Inspiration is not always found in faraway places and many are right outside our doorsteps. Sometimes they are some of the people we meet or the places we take for granted. Every place I have been to and every person I have met have influenced my life and informed my work. They have something to share with me, but only if I would be still and listen.

It is seldom that I venture farther than half a mile from my studio. I will have walked only a few blocks and I will soon set up to paint. I like spending time listening to a place and sometimes I will visit it again because it has much more to share with me. I complete many of my paintings in one session, alla prima, because I enjoy the spontaneous spirit of the ooh-nice moment in my paintings. — Daniel Chow

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Could you be my neighbour?