In his paintings, Charleston’s Nathan Durfee blends equal parts Monet, Norman Rockwell and Dr. Seuss. Then adds a pinch of whimsy and snark.
Artist: Born in Vermont, Durfee grew up in Lake Tahoe, CA. He received a BFA in illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2005, but gradually made the shift to fine art.
Durfee, who calls Charleston home, still does illustrations and has designed book covers and illustrations for Scholastic, Charlesbridge, and Free Verse Press.
Company: Nathan Durfee is based in Charleston, SC, and has been painting full time since 2008. He has studio space at Robert Lange Studios, but also work space at home.
Art & materials: Usually oil on panel. Also works on vintage postcards.
- The“Dreamer” series of nearly one dozen 48” by 48”oil paintings on panel ($12,000 each).
- Paintings on vintage postcards ($650 each).
Other favorites: Jeannes Stormbreak, based on the Toulouse-Lautrec painting “Portrait of Jeanne Wenz.” The 30” by 30” piece is $7,000.
Favorite tool: Lately, his iPad.
Process: Mid-way through a painting, he takes a snapshot and then digitally sketches out different avenues to take. He says he can be a bit more bold and adventurous in trying out different ideas this way.
Special requests: Several portraits, but instead of the traditional method Durfee has a chat about their personalities and dreams.
“With that info, I’ll create a narrative piece like they’re the main character in an epic tale,” said Durfee.
- Communication Arts “Book Illustration Award,” 2022.
- Featured on the cover of American Art Collector, September 2020.
Recent project: A solo show at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC, in September 2022. For the show, Durfee created a body of work inspired by old master paintings like Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss.” (pictured at right).
- Solo show at Lemieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA. Through May 27.
- Residency at the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC. Aug. 28-Oct. 8.
- Solo show at Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC. Opens Sept. 1.
Where to buy:
- Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC.
- Abend Gallery, Denver, CO.
- Lemieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA.
Get social: Instagram: @nathandurfee