Successful strokes
Local artist focuses on people, history
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Jul 15, 2012 | 3946 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SALEM MINISTER – Tivet’s latest focus is on the trial of Bridget Bishop, one of the most famous Salem witch trials. This is an oil painting on linen.
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Daniel Tivet of North Bergen began drawing portraits at the age of 9. Tivet considers himself a realist and naturalist who loves to paint details, colors, lights, and shadows.

Recently, he’s become interested in painting historical events such as the Salem Witch Trials.

“My professional art career began over 10 years ago, when my first clients came to me for commissioned artwork,” said Tivet last week. “People asked me to create drawings and paintings of themselves, their families, and even their pets.”

Starting out

Tivet was raised in Arizona and has been living in North Bergen for about 10 years. Most of his academic career was based in Arizona, with the exception of William Paterson University in 2005.

“North Bergen truly is a progressive community,” said Tivet. “I find interest in any town or place with historical significance. North Bergen is full of culture, diversity and history. I would love one day to create portraits of contemporary figures who are part of this ongoing history and represent the spirit of the North Bergen community.”

Tivet received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2002 from Northern Arizona University, where he focused on colored pencil and printmaking. He went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree in 2005 from William Paterson University in Wayne.
“I love realism, and all of the unexpected detail that comes from life.” – Daniel Tivet
In 1996, he won first place for drawing, in the Arizona State Fair Art Competition. He has since won numerous awards, appeared in many exhibits, and had his work appear in publications.

In 1998, he volunteered at the Phoenix Crisis Nursery for decorative interior painting and in 2000 he was a teacher’s assistant for drawing at Northern Arizona U.

“In the high school that I attended, the art department had a volunteer project in which a group of people, consisting of the art teacher and some of the best art students, went for a single weekend to a center for children in need, and filled walls, ceilings and floors with paintings of colorful scenes and fun cartoon characters,” he said.

Over the years

According to Tivet, his work has never shifted from realism and realistic painting, and instead has become more finely tuned with technique and style.

“I am consistent in my respect for traditional paintings,” said Tivet. “Whether it be portraits, still lifes, landscapes or historical figures, as a classically trained artist I fully believe in the tradition, creation and preservation of classical artwork.”

Tivet has a multitude of experience, with special preference for classical art.

“Of all my studies in art, it is classical art that inspires me most,” said Tivet. “The work of iconic masters such as the Italian and Northern Renaissance painters, as well as the 19th century French painter William Bouguereau, have helped to spring forth a well of my own creations in painting, drawing and printmaking.”

His work today

Tivet would like to be involved with the art community in North Bergen and suggests that the city sponsor an annual art exhibition for local artists. His example for a prime location is the pond-side building at James J. Braddock Park.

He strongly believes in preservation.

“I believe in the preservation of those who came before us, and whose works and spirit still lives with us,” said Tivet. “It is an opportunity for those who view my paintings to see glimpses of the past.”

There will be a special exhibition in Union City that will have many of his new and existing works this fall.

“One of my current paintings is a 4 by 5 foot oil on linen portrait,” said Tivet. “The theme is of an English medieval queen, inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII.”

This piece has taken him a year and a half to paint. He expects to complete it by this fall.

He said that the business owner is a very well-travelled individual, who has seen some of the greatest works among the world’s largest museums.

“He has expressed his appreciation for my work…it shows a style of realism similar to that of the old masters, not commonly found in today’s art,” said Tivet. “But I would prefer not to name the patron of the exhibition, since I have not communicated with him about using his name in any publication.”

New interests

“Recently, my personal focus has taken me toward the chronicling of historical figures,” said Tivet. “I have centered around a group of actors in Salem, Mass., who annually reenact the trail of Bridget Bishop, one of the most famous witch trials in recorded history. I have also been working on a series of still-lifes using hyper-realism to focus on just a few details. …there are few details to paint, but they are painted extremely realistically.”

Daniel Tivet’s artwork is for sale and varies from small still-lifes for $200 to life-sized 2 by 3 foot portraits start at $4,000. He recommends his life-sized works, but admitted that the work can be made smaller for a lower price. Tivet said that it depends on the number of objects or people, size, amount of detail involved and the complexity of the artwork.

“Most people do not realize it, but this type of work takes a good deal of time to be done well,” said Tivet. “My work typically takes at least five months for a large sized portrait. And, I am flexible with payment plans. All of my paintings are for sale, except for one or two which will remain in my personal collection for my portfolio.”

The permanent home of his artwork is online at

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at

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