Daniel Moore – “Capturing the Classics” – 2005 Sport Artist of the Year
Moore is regularly commissioned by sports organizations to create paintings of significant events in a variety of college and professional sports. To make the paintings realistic records of historic moments, Moore carefully recreates the sports event’s details with recognizable players’ faces, exact uniforms, precise tactical positions, and seasonal lighting. He sometimes embues his figures with a vivid sense of motion and the electric feel of attention from the audience in the stands. Although not all of his work contains such “motion,” Moore calls this artistic approach ‘Photo-Futurism,’ which he describes as “five parts realism to one part motion.” Although not necessary, being on location and witnessing the events firsthand is of great benefit to Moore in capturing the mood and excitement of a given event.
“As an artist, it helps to be there, to feel the emotion and excitement and strategy from an on-the-field perspective.” ~ Daniel Moore, Birmingham News, November 2, 2009
Masterful in several paint media, Moore sometimes paints in watercolor, one of the most demanding techniques. Influence from Impressionist painting innovations is clear on close examination of the backgrounds of many of Moore’s paintings. Composed of multiple dots of color, from a distance the carefully placed dots fuse in the viewer’s eyesight into the images of people far off in the stands. The technique is so skillfully implemented that the paintings often transmit the realistic feeling of news photographs of the events. By Moore’s dramatic choice of perspective and insider’s vantage point, the viewer feels that he or she is there right in the middle of the play. Moore selects every element of his paintings carefully to ensure maximum impact, as is clear when he describes his book’s original paintings:
“I used a combination of transparent and opaque watercolors on half sheets of Arches, 140-pound, Natural White, cold-press paper in creating the paintings featured in Iron Bowl Gold. The image area of each painting measures 12.75” x 17”. The large, landscape-format of this book allows the works to appear at almost 75% of their original size.”
Moore primarily works in oils, sometimes in tandem with acrylics. This discipline also requires exacting technique and focus. In an interview on his website, www.newlifeart.com, Moore describes part of his painting process on his work titled, Between the Lines:
“I really don’t have a set formula for the profession of painting. Most of the time, I like to paint my foreground figures in first, and then paint in the background. By using this method, I can make changes to the figures (like moving an arm or leg, or even a whole figure) without having to worry about what happens to the background. However, on Between the Lines, I did extensive work on the composition of the painting, precisely setting all the figures where I wanted them before arriving at my final preliminary pencil sketch. Due to the hundreds of spectators in the background – and wanting to get that part of the painting behind me – I decided to paint the foreground and background in first. The foreground (grass) was painted solely by brush, while the background is painted primarily with an airbrush. At this point, I am ready to move on to the main figures…I used acrylic paints with an airbrush to achieve the (background’s) out-of-focus look. I will go over some of this acrylic airbrushing using oil glazes applied with a brush in the fine tuning process… As I move from back to front in the painting, the detail will become sharper making the main action of the painting “in focus.”
Moore’s professional dedication demands discipline from him and some sacrifices from the people in his personal life. In Iron Bowl Gold’s ‘Acknowledgements,’ Moore thanks his wife, Brenda not only for editorial input and artistic critique but also for “putting up with an artist-turned-hermit these past two years.”
Moore is an exceptional artist as well as a dedicated sports fan whose vision perceives the art within sports. This combination allows Moore to depict not simply the sporting event itself, but also to convey through his art the valor of the players, the intensity of the coaches, the dedication of the fans and most importantly, the many important life messages found in sports. These qualities raise Moore’s sports art above the average records of such events to become exceptional commemoration pieces enjoyed by art enthusiasts and sports insiders and general fans for generations.
“I was aware that books on the Iron Bowl had been published in the past. But none attempted to capture the art within the games, or the color, nostalgia and splendor of the classic Iron Bowl. Although they were well-written, exhaustive histories chock-full of facts and figures, previous books focused mainly on the games themselves and not so much on the culture and activities surrounding the great rivalry.” ~ Daniel A. Moore, Iron Bowl Gold, New Life Art, Inc., p. 169
The Iron Bowl Gold project showcases Moore at his most impressive, with realistic paintings that capture exact plays and trigger fans’ vivid memories. Exhaustingly-researched details of historic sports dramas and a supporting cast of top industry professionals are combined with a genuine love of the game and the teams that inspires others and cannot be faked. All these qualities place Moore at the top of his profession as a sports artist and bring his works the global attention and high accolades that they deserve.