Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Howard Stern on Beach Painting
Readers may be surprised to learn that this week’s atmospheric cover was created by legendary radio host Howard Stern. A longtime Hamptonite, Stern talks about his artistic process, how he came to painting, and his love for the East End.
What materials were used to create this painting?
This is a watercolor painting on cold pressed paper by Arches. I used a limited range. This is a sepia painting and mostly a mixture of burnt sienna and Payne’s gray … Winsor & Newton paint. I can go on and on … Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes. I do a full graphite drawing first and then overlay it with watercolor.
Your picture is wonderful. What did you think or try to convey with this scene?
Many Thanks. I love the ocean and took an early morning walk in Southampton with the idea of taking pictures for possible pictures. When I saw the bowl of light on the beach and the long, dark shadows of the broken wooden fence, I knew I was finding something special. Something peaceful and calming. I wanted to share that view with everyone. When you paint the beach you can really see things in a whole new way – I will never look at steps in the sand that way. Drawing and painting these impressions in the sand was something I had never done before.
Photo: © PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM
Did you study painting before starting your current career? If so, did you ever think about making a career out of painting early on?
No, I started painting six years ago. I was thrilled when I saw Guillermo del Toro’s published magazines and thought it was cool how he treated each page as art. His written words and small paintings looked perfect on the page. I wanted to do that. I wanted to write and draw a diary. I was looking for teachers to help me learn this new language. I started out with many wonderful local artists out here – Linda Capello, Molly Dougenis, Aniik Libby, and made a few visits to the Art Barge to speak to Chris Kohan. Eventually, when I went ahead with my studies and was serious about it, I studied with the watercolor painter’s master Frederick Brosen and threw myself in the process. Rick’s work is remarkable, and I liked his philosophy when he stated that he never wanted me to paint like him, but rather gave me the tools to create my own work.
What was your first encounter with the Hamptons and why did you choose to find a permanent home here?
I grew up in Roosevelt, Long Island, but didn’t know about the Hamptons. I didn’t notice it until I was on the radio in NY and heard people talking about how wonderful it was. A friend invited me to use his house out here, and my friend (now wife) Beth and I visited and were blown away. How did I know nothing about this place? It’s so beautiful, peaceful and maybe heaven on earth. I now spend so much time painting the Hamptons. I still have some sepias of beach scenes and just finished a painting of Deerfield Road. I’ve painted so many different views of the Corwith barns that I lost the count. I’m glad I made it, because unfortunately the barns are gone now.
What do you like to do here for fun?
Just go to the beach, go to dinner. I always loved the Jean Georges restaurant at Topping Rose before the COVID hit. I love it when my kids are out here. We have some wonderful friends around and love having people out for dinner. It’s a place to relax. My wife and I also love the wildlife out here and spend a lot of time rescuing animals. I wish more people would donate [Evelyn Alexander] Wildlife Rescue Center in the Hampton Bays. Ginnie and her crew are tireless and need money. Without the wildlife, the Hamptons just become just another suburb.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ll keep painting just for the joy of it. When I put together a large collection of Hamptons paintings, I may be brave enough to have a show, but right now I’m honored to be on the cover of Dan’s Papers. I love the way you showcase local artists and I’ve seen some incredible work on your front page. I am happy to be among them.
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