Cover Contest Winners

If you are one of Daniel James Keys’ 463 friends on Facebook, you’ve noticed that he used the cover of the July/August issue of American Artist as his avatar, the small image that appears when he posts a comment or news of his professional activities on the social-networking website. That’s because one of Daniel’s still life paintings was reproduced on the cover of the summer issue. Since then, the young California artist’s career has really taken off. He was asked to be a panelist at the Weekend With the Masters event at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, he was accepted for representation by Greenhouse Gallery, in San Antonio, and Richard Schmid invited him to spend a week painting with the Putney Painters, in Vermont.

Daniel would be the first to say that having a painting reproduced on the cover of American Artist, Drawing or Watercolor magazines can be a huge boost to an artist’s career. As the issues hit the newsstands and arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes, the artist suddenly gains international attention from dealers, collectors, students, and professional artists. Moreover, the publication becomes a certification of the artist’s talent and a useful promotional tool that can be used throughout his or her career.

In some ways, Daniel was just lucky that one of the magazine’s editors noticed his paintings in the gallery section of the Artist Daily website. If you aren’t willing to wait for the same kind of lucky break, you can enter the cover contest that ends November 2, 2009. The process of entering the contest and uploading a digital image of your artwork is simple and only takes a few minutes. It’s not too late to make a bid for the same kind of public recognition that Daniel is now enjoying.

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M. Stephen Doherty

About M. Stephen Doherty

I've been interested in art since I was a child,  and I was fortunate to be able to take Saturday art classes at the Cincinnati Art Museum from the time I was 9 years old until I finished high school. I majored in art at Knox College and graduated summa *** laude, Phi Beta Kappa (proving artists can use both sides of their brain!).  I then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Cornell University; taught art in public schools, a community college, an adult education program, and a college; worked in the marketing department of a company that manufactured screen printing supplies; and was hired to be editor of American Artist in January, 1979.

Thomas S. Buecher introduced me to plein air painting and it immediately became a passion of mine because it got me outdoors and allowed me to continue learning when I traveled to judge art shows, attend conventions, give lectures, and interview artists. Over the years I've exhibited my paintings at Bryant Galleries in New Orleans, Trees Place Gallery on Cape Cod, and in a traveling exhibition titled From Sea to Shining Sea.

I've written 10 books on artists and art techniques and contibuted articles to magazines, websites, and exhibition catalogs. Now as I prepare for semi-retirement, I'm trying to hone my painting skills -- especially those related to painting portraits.

I've been very fortunate to have met thousands of talented artists who have enriched my life with their art, their friendship, and their advice. I am grateful to Jerry Hobbs and Susan Meyer who hired me in 1979, to the talented people who worked with me on the magazines, and to the artists and advertisers who supported American Artist, Watercolor, Workshop, and Drawing  magazines and the related websites.

I've also been blessed with a supportive, talented wife, Sara; a daughter, Clare, who works for an insurance agency; a son, Michael, who is a computer enginner in Austin; a son-in-law, Shawn, who can fix and carry anything; a granddaughter, Amanda, who has me wrapped around her finger; and my mother, Dotty, who has advised and encouraged me from the beginning.

4 thoughts on “Cover Contest Winners

  1. Steve, Daniel is indeed visiting with the Putney Painters, and will attend his third session tomorrow. I remember when Daniel had received the honor of having his work on the cover of American Artist. After that event – his career took a leap. Over the course of several months, Daniel’s work has become known on a national level.

  2. I really enjoy the magazine and also have subscriptions to Workshop Magazine. My only disappointment is that as a non US citizen I cannot enter your cover competition even though some of my work is from US travel.

  3. Lorna,

    For some reason, lawyers for the various companies that have owned American Artist have all told us we must restrict our contests to US citizens. I assume it has something to do with copyright laws that are different (or non-existent) in other countries.