California contemporary art master Dan McCaw: innovating perception to explore the familiar


By Leigh Timmons

California contemporary art

encompasses a vast field, and includes artists practicing in a wide variety of disciplines. Among those artists, however, some stand apart: and as one of the nation’s most well respected contemporary painters, Dan McCaw numbers among the modern masters of the genre. A native of Butte, Montana, McCaw made his way to California in the 1960s, where he began his professional art training at the San Francisco Academy of Art. Eventually, he went on to teach at the Art Center of Design in Pasadena after abandoning a commercial career for the life of a fine artist; and more than forty years later, his choice has paid off handsomely in the form of a renowned painting career distinguished by a unique interpretation of romantic impressionism, individual expressionism and a constantly evolving perception of the familiar world -- as well as a dedicated group of accomplished art students influenced by both his teaching ability and personal philosophy about the artist’s journey.

As a student himself, McCaw was heavily influenced by the work of the European masters like Joaquin Sorrolla, Eduard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard and Gustav Klimt. Today, while still rooted in his early admiration for these painters and the Abstract Expressionist movement as well, McCaw’s aesthetic derives from a more personal place – and from an innovative take on the mundane forms and figures of daily life that permits for moving, raw expression amidst the play of light and color, texture and design. In McCaw’s work, so much can be revealed through the subtleties of form and mood: and as an artist, he is constantly pushing the limits of technique and feeding his own curiosity, creativity and emotional diversity.

A celebration of contemporary impressionism and artistic expression on display at Timmons Galleries

Over the years, McCaw’s talent as both an artist and a teacher fostered a vibrantly creative family life; and eventually, his influence and encouragement bred a second generation of McCaw painters in his sons, Danny and John. Here at

Timmons Galleries

in Rancho Santa Fe, we are pleased to showcase a wonderfully varied display of Dan McCaw’s paintings as part of our permanent collection – and to announce an upcoming exhibition of works by both Danny and John McCaw in celebration of their latest collections and our longstanding representation of their talent.

Located in the Rancho Santa Fe Village and featuring daily exhibition hours as well as weekly gallery events with live music and wine tasting, Timmons Galleries is a premier destination for viewing the works of Dan, Danny and John McCaw, as well as other contemporary masters of fine art painting, photography and sculpture. To learn more about our

Rancho Santa Fe art gallery

, access information about exhibits or discuss a purchase, visit us online: