CRESTVIEW — Following a work-induced hiatus from the creative world, a prize-winning local artist is once more at his easel and letting his muse run free.
Daniel Reid, 18, who graduated from Crestview High School in June, had been working so many after-school hours at a local burger joint he barely had time for homework, let alone creating art.
His detailed drawings of animals and nature scenes were well received at area art events, including the annual Crestview High student art show — in which he'd won multiple ribbons — and festivals.
However, long hours flipping burgers and making fries kept him from his pens, inks and paints. Resigning from the fast-food world allowed Daniel to return to creating.
"Plus, he's catching up on a lot of that rest he missed," his mom, Latina Reid, said.
After dabbling in oil painting, Daniel has embraced the medium wholeheartedly and churned out a succession of recent works, including a triptych in an abstract style new for the artist.
A Mississippi patron, a co-worker of Daniel’s grandmother, commissioned the three-panel work.
"She likes traditional African painting, kind of like black tribal-style painting," Daniel said. "I did a tribal angel for her before so I know what she likes."
While the dancers were a departure from his usual style, the menacing gaze of an alligator's eye peering from murky gray waters typifies the natural subjects Daniel loves to capture in minute detail.
Painting in oils lets him execute it with his eye for detail, yet provides versatility to make slight revisions not possible once ink hits drawing paper.
"I like oils a lot better than acrylic," Daniel said. "It's a lot easier to work with."
Landing somewhere between the abstract of the dancers and the detail of the gator is his recent painting of a goose flapping its wings, in which Daniel played with a feathery, soft style.
"I'm not looking to do the same style in every painting ... it gets old after a while, doing the same thing over and over again," Daniel said. "I try to change it up a little bit."
While Daniel's inspiration leads him to diverse source material — often donated back issues of National Geographic —real life is inclining him toward a career in the U.S. Coast Guard.
But first, there's a lot more to paint — and another summer job to find.
"I have to go to a job fair and get a new job, then I'll see what I have time for," Daniel said. "I have a lot of oils and turpentine left."
Contact News Bulletin Arts & Entertainment Editor Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.