DAN GAUDETTE is depicted as a romantic realist, a man who paints from the heart. On his first trip to Ireland, he fell in love with the land and its people. Now he returns annually for a fresh infusion of the spirit and drama he encountered on that first visit. His passion for Ireland has compelled him to buy property and he now divides his time between the US and the land he has come to love. He says “my wife and I went to Ireland in the summer; I was fascinated with everything – the whole philosophy. I thought it was tremendous subject matter for paintings; I love the landscaping, the tranquility, and the whole atmosphere. In my work I try to incorporate all of that – the clouds, the pastures, the surroundings, the whole character of the community in various areas”. His subject matter includes seascapes, landscapes, and still life. He works meticulously in oil capturing every detail in his brushwork.
Born and raised in Lowell Massachusetts he studied Art and Education at Salem State College, pursued a masters degree in fine arts at Assumption College and has primarily been an art instructor in the Lowell Public School system since 1967. He was particularly influenced and inspired by the artists of the early Renaissance but now subscribes to the Romantic Realist movement. Gaudette has participated in numerous group, private and solo exhibitions both in Ireland and in America. As an artist, he finds that landscape is an inexhaustible inspiration. His work captures the wonderfully rich lush ambience of Ireland’s greenery, people, farms, its coasts and villages. Many variations and interpretations of meadows, rolling hills, cottages and stone walls testify to the artist’s painstaking analysis, authenticity and thoughtful appreciation of the surroundings. Dan’s graphic realism is achieved by the precise and meticulous control of his medium, yet his work is always fresh and the evocative and poetic qualities are never lost. The artist’s travels to Ireland are both vivid and haunting. He says “in my paintings, I’ve tried to capture the expanses of the Irish countryside. Driving down the coastal roads, you come to these sweeping, unobstructed vistas where the sea, sky and the land converge until everything fades into mist. It’s breathtaking”. In his work Gaudette attempts to recreate a mental state as well as a realistic vision, “I have a feeling of what is around me. I try to combine what impresses me visually with the emotions I experience at the time. It is all part of creating the mood, the atmosphere”. He paints thus from the heart with his thatched cottages representing a time that once was and will never be recreated. A time that will soon cease to exist. In this sense his work is historical, recording an Ireland of times past. Yet his work is not bound by the predisposition of sentimentality and it is uncluttered by irrelevant details which one often sees in bucolic scenes. He uses aerial views especially of farmhouses which he paints with flair, precision and detail. As well as concentrating on the Irish landscape his romantic realist style also looks to scenes of America, mostly of his surrounding locality as painting what is familiar is important such as Rockport, Vermont and Maine.