My latest project
In addition to my usual writing, I’ve been dabbling with watercolor painting.
I’m excited to launch a new project.
No, it’s not another book (but trust me, I’m still working on books! More on those at a later date).
Instead, it’s watercolor painting, something I enjoyed during my childhood and picked up again over the past half-year. You can find my watercolor prints, some original paintings, and gifts at my new art website, dangoodart.com.
I’ve always been drawn to art. It helped having a grandmother who was artistically inclined — my mom’s mom, Julie Zourides, enjoyed painting with oils and especially tinsel painting, in which she reverse painted on glass then added foil behind it.
My parents encouraged my passions, too. During my childhood, most of my art subjects were my favorite baseball players.
I became pretty good at art and received some art awards during my high school years.
But while I’ve carried art with me, it wasn’t something I was actively practicing until I went with my family to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in May 2023 to watch my favorite team, the Texas Rangers, play against the Orioles.
I took some awesome pictures of my son watching the game and wanted to turn them into artwork.
So I went to Michael’s and bought a bunch of watercolor supplies, including watercolor pencils and brushes, and got to work. The picture carries so much meaning — here is my son watching a game at a place that was central to my baseball fandom.
My son’s name is Dean, and one of his favorite players, Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer, was pitching that day. The artwork happens to show a tiny-sized Corey Seager batting; months later, he would become the World Series MVP in leading my Rangers to their first championship.
Making that picture came at a time when I was dealing with a stressful project, and working with watercolors helped me to mellow out after long days.
From there, I was drawn to painting other things. Flowers. Waterfalls. Houses. Beach scenes. I started seeing art in everything again.
But the more I compared my paintings against works by more established watercolor artists, I recognized a gap. My skills were coming along, but the brushes and paper I’d bought weren’t good enough to get the fine detail that I sought.
I reached out to a longtime friend, Carolann Van Wyen, my buddy Justin’s mom, who’s an established watercolor artist in central Pennsylvania (her artwork is amazing! You should check out her website here). She steered me to better supplies and worthwhile YouTube channels to follow and gave me guidance on establishing my website..
I’ve made a lot of strides by practicing with watercolors, being a student of the craft, trying new things and upgrading my supplies. After a lot of trial and error, I finally feel comfortable showing off my paintings.
I also started narrowing down my painting interests, from nature and city scenes to old black and white photos. I’ve purchased vintage photo albums on eBay that have inspired my artwork and allowed me to take a deeper look at life in mid-1900s America.
When reviewing 70- to 110-year-old family photo albums, they don’t feel so different from today’s Instagram feed. They represent the way people saw themselves and how they wanted people to see them.
Watercolor is a continuous challenge, a dance with the elements — water and air, color and value. With watercolor, control is fleeting. Too much paint or water could ruin an entire painting. You don’t always know how the paint will respond when you lay it down.
It’s a great challenge, and I’m here for it.
Beyond the enjoyment I get from painting, I’m also aiming to use my efforts for good — to donate a portion of the proceeds from each sale of my original paintings and giclee prints to meaningful charities.
My aim is for my art to help great causes.
If you head to my art website, dangoodart.com, you can sign up for my emails and stay up to date on my latest artwork, special offers and other updates!