Born in Fresno, California, Daniel J. Keys began painting at age 11 using a paint set purchased with birthday money. Encouraged by his parents to pursue his artistic passion, Keys — who was entirely home educated — had ample time to develop his skill as a self-taught artist.
As a teenager Keys discovered the paintings of master portrait and landscape artist Richard Schmid, whose artwork heavily influenced Keys’ own. Later, Keys had the opportunity to paint with Schmid, and the two formed a mentor-student relationship along with a close friendship.
Though Keys focused primarily on oils early in his career, in recent years he has taken up pastel painting. He continues to alternate between the two mediums, having found success in the world of pastels through a notable one-man show and multiple awards from the Pastel Society of America and International Association of Pastel Societies.
Today, Keys’ work is highly sought after by many collectors and is part of prominent collections in North American, Europe and Russia. He also teaches workshops that draw students from across the globe, and he has been featured in a number of prominent magazines including Art ofthe West, American Art Collector, PleinAir Magazine,Pastel Journal, Pastel World and Pratique des Arts.