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Daniel Soderberg talks paints, prints and particulars 

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While I speak with artist Daniel Soderberg, recently moved from Chicago, about his paintings, I’m struck by a subtlety and pragmatism he exudes. He’s enthusiastic about the details and techniques in his paintings and prints, particularly the surrealist landscapes that dominate our conversation. But he’s not just trying to explore ideas in his works — he’s also trying to build an audience.

“You have approximately three seconds to catch someone’s eye at an art festival before they walk by,” says Soderberg. “If you have these big impact pieces, you’re more likely to bring someone into your tent.” That’s an artifact of thought that came from his time selling at Chicago-area art festivals, where he says they guaranteed him access to huge crowds, but not their attention. He explains with one of his older paintings, “Yellowscape,” viewable at patreon.com/DanielSoderberg. Most obviously, it’s a high-contrast surreal landscape with purple objects that might be trees or clouds or, according to one passerby, oil fires in Iraq. But there’s a closeness and intensity to the painting those ideas don’t explain. He says that, subtly, the objects are moving toward the canvas.

The painting, around 15 years old, has been reprinted in at least six unique runs over the last five years. The colors are complementary, so by changing values, he’s able to produce versions in red and green, blue and orange, and more. It helps that, by trade, he’s been a color specialist for printing companies for the past decade. He’s done print runs on a variety of materials as well, from silver to hog skin, though he notes his work is still 90 percent traditional materials.

“The majority of my sales at [Chicago] shows is smaller stuff,” he says, “but in Colorado, I have to change up my game and bring out the originals.”

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