gmhTODAY 06 gmhToday Jan Feb 2016 - Page 62

Dan Craig The Many Lives of an Artist Written By Larry J. Mickartz 62 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN D an Craig has a bit of a cat’s life in him…all nine of them! The Bureau of Labor Statistics say that people in the workforce today can expect to have ten different jobs. Those new to the workforce today can expect to have twelve to fifteen in their lifetime! We are not sure of the count in Dan’s life but he certainly has had several. Back in high school in San Jose, Dan and his teachers realized he had an artistic talent. According to Dan “I had a knack for it and liked it.” He went on to spend two years studying art but then life got in the way. He took a job as an antique wholesaler. A job that lasted for about 10 years! From there he went into facilitating downtown development and proceeded to spend twenty-five years doing that in places like Hollister, Berkeley, and Morgan Hill. Late in the 2000’s his latent desire to open a brewery took the form of opening and running a bar and restaurant. For two years Dan and his life partner, Kim Bush, ran the Firehouse in the old Station 55 in Gilroy. The pressures and fatigue of running a restaurant are significant and after a while, Dan and Kim decided to slow life down and get out of the restaurant business. Dan’s choice was “retirement” but like many others, recliner- chair retirement was not for Dan. He rekindled his early passion and dove into the world of an artist. It was an early passion in his life and rekindling it was good for the mind and soul. He had never completely abandoned his art. It was now time “to get back on track.” Dan’s early work had a sense of realism; his more recent work, which he feels better about, has a more impressionistic style. Dan says, “It invites the viewer in as a participant, gives them some- thing to figure out.” Dan sells his artwork and has had showings here and there including the new Blue Line Gallery in Gilroy. Currently he is in the artist’s enviable position of having nothing for sale. Other than a few paintings on the walls of his loft in Morgan Hill, his work has all been sold. He is currently working on four pieces, a couple of which were commissioned and others that have already been spoken for! While Dan might not be a young man, he has vitality and is a constant learner. He advises that “you have to paint to learn to paint,” noting that “you first learn control and discipline, formal training works to gain control, then you learn to lose control in order to release creativity. With that freedom, you find a better response to your work.” Dan and Kim live in a second-story light-filled loft in downtown Morgan Hill. The location and the atmosphere suit his artistic endeavors…. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 gmhtoday.com