“Manhatten Mist” an oil painting by Daniel S. Dahlstrom
And what is the story and inspiration for this piece of art?
It was a very early misty, December morning in Manhatten, and the city looked surreal, as if it was another world. And not too many people were around so it almost looked deserted, and it was presenting itself as if it wanted to be painted.
Dan was near Grand Central Station, New York, and was just walking around photographing the sights and streets. One of the streets that he was shooting on had depth of field–it disappeared into the mist (low lying fog). The flow of the street had some of the same similarities as the flow of a river, both can seem to disappear into the horizon.
There was a glow to the mist as the sunlight began to burn through it, and Dan wanted to capture this glow onto his canvas. The city reminded him of his landscape palettes–earth tones of browns and grays. His color palette was muted and monotone and his instrument was a brush to create straighter, geometric patterns. Many times he uses a palette knife to create his art, or a combination of both knife and brush.
The city was dismal and depressing that day (later in the afternoon, there was a huge snowstorm), but Dan captured beauty in that scene and made it mysterious and ethereal.
So many people have commented that they know where that street is, and have stood on the same spot that he decided to build the painting around. This was one painting that had to be completed in the studio–the street was no place to set up his easel.
Varnish was applied to the finished painting to give it a deeper, richer look. Varnish, in some cases, enhances the painting and gives it a very old, world look.
This oil painting is on exhibit/for sale at the Gilded Lily Gallery in Milford, Connecticut…owned by Rosemary Celon-Gordon and Barry Gordon. Hope you get a chance to check it out…awesome gallery, great stuff and the owners are terrific to work with.
Following is a poem by Walt Whitman: “Manhatten’s Streets:
I saunter’d, pondering,
On time, space, reality–on such as these, and abreast with them,
After all, the last explanation remains to be made about prudence;
Little and large alike drop quietly aside from the prudence that
The Soul is of itself;
All verges to it–all has reference to what ensues;
All that a person does, says, thinks, is of consequence;
Not a move can a man or woman make, that affects him or her in a day,
month, any part of the direct life-time, or the hour of death,
but the same affects him or her onward afterward through the
The indirect is just as much as the direct,
The spirit receives from the body just as much as it gives to the
body, if not more.
Not one word or deed–not venereal sore, discoloration, privacy of
the onanist, putridity of gluttons or rum-drinkers, peculation,
cunning, betrayal, murder, seduction, prostitution, but has
results beyond death, as really as before death.
Charity and personal force are the only investments worth anything.
No specification is necessary–all that a male or female does, that
is vigorous, benevolent, clean, is so much profit to him or
her, in the unshakable order of the universe, and through the
whole scope of it forever.
Who has been wise, receives interest,
Savage, felon, President, judge, farmer, sailor, mechanic, literat,
young, old, it is the same,
The interest will come round–all will come round.
Singly, wholly, to affect now, affected their time, will forever
affect all of the past, and all of the present, and all of the
All the brave actions of war and peace,
All help given to relatives, strangers, the poor, old, sorrowful,
young children, widows, the sick, and to shunn’d persons,
All furtherance of fugitives, and of the escape of slaves,
All self-denial that stood steady and aloof on wrecks, and saw others
fill the seats of the boats,
All offering of substance or life for the good old cause, or for a
friend’s sake, or opinion’s sake,
All pains of enthusiasts, scoff’d at by their neighbors,
All the limitless sweet love and precious suffering of mothers,
All honest men baffled in strifes recorded or unrecorded,
All the grandeur and good of ancient nations whose fragments we
All the good of the dozens of ancient nations unknown to us by name,
All that was ever manfully begun, whether it succeeded or no,
All suggestions of the divine mind of man, or the divinity of his
mouth, or the shaping of his great hands;
All that is well thought or said this day on any part of the globe–
or on any of the wandering stars, or on any of the fix’d stars,
by those there as we are here;
All that is henceforth to be thought or done by you, whoever you are,
or by any one;
These inure, have inured, shall inure, to the identities from which
they sprang, or shall spring.
Did you guess anything lived only its moment?
The world does not so exist–no parts palpable or impalpable so
No consummation exists without being from some long previous
consummation–and that from some other,
Without the farthest conceivable one coming a bit nearer the
beginning than any.
Whatever satisfies Souls is true;
Prudence entirely satisfies the craving and glut of Souls;
Itself only finally satisfies the Soul;
The Soul has that measureless pride which revolts from every lesson
but its own.
Now I give you an inkling;
Now I breathe the word of the prudence that walks abreast with time,
That answers the pride which refuses every lesson but its own.
What is prudence, is indivisible,
Declines to separate one part of life from every part,
Divides not the righteous from the unrighteous, or the living from
Matches every thought or act by its correlative,
Knows no possible forgiveness, or deputed atonement,
Knows that the young man who composedly peril’d his life and lost it,
has done exceedingly well for himself without doubt,
That he who never peril’d his life, but retains it to old age in
riches and ease, has probably achiev’d nothing for himself
Knows that only that person has really learn’d, who has learn’d to
Who favors Body and Soul the same,
Who perceives the indirect assuredly following the direct,
Who in his spirit in any emergency whatever neither hurries or,
Wishing you a good one!
Nancy (the blogger) and Dan (the artist)