Dan Young was born in Denver and grew up in western Colorado. He says “Camping and fishing as a child throughout the Rocky Mountains had a strong influence on me and my work.” Indeed, his love of the outdoors has been a driving force in his art.
Young attended Colorado Institute of Art hoping to find direction. After graduation he moved to Dallas to pursue a job in the commercial art field. Yet even after achieving a successful illustration career, the landscape was still calling him. In 1989, he returned to Colorado to begin painting full time.
Young enjoys painting the rural life of the west, the ranches that dot the mountain valleys and river bottoms. He says, “Although I am a landscape painter, I like introducing hints of man’s presence. Sometimes I feel that I am in a race to paint a disappearing way of life. It is hard to watch so many of the family farms and ranches being swallowed up by development.”
Young clings strongly to the importance of painting from life, and sees it as the most important stepping stone in his career. He often can be found painting along a backroad or beside a mountain lake, and explains, “I still try to spend about fifty percent of my time painting on location. That is what drew me to painting; the love of being out in nature and trying to accurately capture it on canvas. I have worked hard to try to capture the feel or mood of the moment. It might be the chill of a fall morning or the heat of a summer afternoon. I still get excited when I head out for a day of painting. It doesn’t matter if I am painting in Alaska or out my front door; it helps keep me fresh to paint on location.”