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Location:   Outhouse Studios is located in Salinas, the home of John Steinbeck. The Salinas Valley has some of the most beautiful views of anywhere and thus called the "pastures of heaven".  It is also considered to be the salad bowl of the world. It has some of the finest soil and climate conditions of any growing region. Within 10 miles either direction is ocean or mountains.  The climate is temperate all year round and it is remarkably beautiful.

Name:  The idea of Outhouse Studios, though intended to be a humorous play on words, is also literally referring to the fact that the creative work is being produced out of the house in the studios therein. It is plural because it includes both art and music studios and intentionally leaves the possibility open for other artists in the future.



Field 2 Mount

Process:  All works were created by using a mouse and an Appleworks painting program.  The artist has developed a unique palette of gradient colors and textures and although the technique is different than oil painting or pastel, for example, it is a skill which  must continually be developed to be exciting and communicative.

Intent:  At Outhouse Studios, the treatment of the medium is to produce an image or feeling that transcends mediums - pieces that on their own are able to stand for something beautiful, feeling, or intriguing.  The computer and printers are the medium, but the artistic communication takes the forefront. 

The intention is for the art to not be so much about capabilities, but rather about what it is that requires communicating. The language of art has probably not changed, but the tools and vocabulary to express have.

Digital:  I believe that when people generally think of digital art, they think of complicated 3-dimensional, futuristic, mathematic, geometric images that could only be conceived on a computer; and if not, that they are thinking of enhanced and altered digital photographs.  It is a new arena and these are the most prevalent examples so that is natural and understandable. The digital work on this site is created like a painting, built up from a blank.
View:  All of the art displayed on this site is painted, drawn, created on the computer. The view through your monitor should be very close to the artist's view.  The images were created in a Macintosh environment.  The same images seen in a Windows environment may be a little darker and a little more magenta without even touching monitor calibration.  Nevertheless, the view mimics the artist's original canvas.  Remarkably, even the prints capture the feeling of backlit illumination.

Image Quality:  Even though the quality of the images displayed are quite good, it should be noted that all images have been watermarked for proprietary reasons, which in many cases creates graininess.  They have also been optimized to have smaller files for faster loading.  Neither of these is uncommon on the web, nor will it be a surprise to say that the prints will have a clarity and quality surpassing what can be found on this site.

Valley Work

Field of Hoes

Field of Hoes
Taste and Beauty:  Each of us develops his sense of taste in the course of his lifetime.  We eat foods we would have never dreamed of, listen to music which would have been unfathomable, and view art to which at a different time we would have been indifferent.

Can anything be considered beautiful in its own right?  Is anyone immune to the beauty of a sunset, the beat that makes you tap your feet, or the warmth of love?  We all know it when we feel it.

It seems that for something to be in good taste, it must be enough like what a person is familiar with and enough different that it sparks a new connection and is found to be exciting.
Community of Artists:  My hope has always been to develop and be part of a community of artists - a place where creativity is encouraged, nurtured and critiqued in positive, constructive ways.

In some ways, the world wide web makes it possible to create communities never thought of before.  We can, should we choose, pass things back and forth, alter them - collaborate with people in completely remote places.  And as far as we have come, I believe that the possibilities for connecting with each other are still beyond our comprehension.  On the other hand, our ability to connect with people, when we use it, is well beyond our technology.
River Run 1

River Run 1

Brief Bio:  Born in 1959 in Indianapolis, IN; Dan Beck has been creating art as long as he can remember. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a BA in Philosophy.  His formal art education includes - Oil Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Lithography, and Art History.  In addition, he has studied perception as well as aesthetics.  He has been exposed to art in museums and galleries in major locations across the country and from friends and relatives who are professional artists.  Up until fairly recently he worked full time in the organic produce industry, yet continued to create and sell work during this time.  With the development of the computer as a medium for painting and aesthetic expression, and the remarkably positive response to the finished work, he has made it possible to view and own this new work.

Music:  Dan started to learn how to read music and play on the piano before he learned to read.  He started studying classical guitar in third grade and still finger picks exclusively to this day.  He studied trumpet during his grade school years as well.  Although there was a gap of a few years playing no instruments; by his senior year in high school, he was back playing guitar everyday and studying music theory.  He continued with two years of music theory in college as well as having private jazz instruction.  The musical epiphany occurred when he came to the realization that theory was a guide and that any note could be played in just about any circumstance depending upon what was played afterwards.  Though it is from this place the music is created, it is not necessarily musically complex.

Self Portrait
Self Portrait
- digital painting - Dan Beck 2007
A Happy Dan

Surface Appearance:  I have a built in resistance to the mixing of personal appearance with one's art or the more prevalent mix of music and physical appearance.  So despite my principals, I am offering these images of myself.  The two photos below were shot the same day, kind of a before and after thing. I guess I have come to realize I enjoy the photos I see of other artists.


Outhouse Studios
PO Box 548
Salinas, CA 93902
(831) 540-8919
Dan Beck
Artist in Residence



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