Dan Kistler Studios Paintings. Drawings. Photography. Woodworking. Hand-made Books. Works for sale “Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song,
and all about you will be beauty.
There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.”
-- Robert Motherwell
Making is thinking. Thinking is making.

Dan Kistler Studios is an art studio based in Illinois, founded by Dan Kistler. The studio has a wide range of artistic practices that include painting, drawing, photography, wood working, and hand-made books.

In my mind the images never stop…

It all started the day I discovered a crayon and the fact that it will leave marks on the wall. Some might say it was all down hill from that day but for me it was a journey into making that continues to this day.

The Process

My painting process involves a great many layers and building up of surfaces. All paintings start with a layer of acrylic paint put to the surface with a squeegee. What I am looking for is an overall color and value. At this point I do not have in mind an exact image. I examine the image searching for shapes that have been suggested in the first step.

I then gesso over the acrylic wiping up and leaving some of the acrylic paint at full strength. Layers of oil washes follow again searching for the shapes that I want to keep, the shapes I want to fade out.

I then begin to define the shapes with outlines, painting out large areas, bringing to the surface the color and textures that will define the image. Along the way a title begins to suggest itself and with that an association with a particular event or place or emotion experienced when in a certain place.

The final images are meant to suggest allowing the viewer to read into the work their own narrative, their own meanings with my titles giving some clues as to what was happening in my thought as I created the work.

The Process


Please contact me if you have ideas about a work of art you would like to commission me to do.


@ dan_kistler_studios

Current creative work from my studio

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