Bill Tansey’s abstract florals and Daniel Falcón’s surrealist faceless cowboys draw on their shared love of the outdoors. Though their inspirations are absorbed from different surroundings—Tansey in Eastern Long Island and Falcón in Brooklyn (Venezuela-born and Georgia, US raised)—they both conspire to produce a feeling that, when examined, is at once resplendent and hushed. Here, over a late morning Zoom, we spoke to both, lifting the veil on their creative processes.

How do you each define your art practice?

Daniel Falcón My practice has a lot of different elements. All of my imagery comes from my made to measure work [Editor’s note: Falcón previously worked in luxury fashion, tailoring suits for various menswear and lifestyle brands.”]. I like to think of color and patterns versus just the things I see. I’ve also worked on found objects. Being in New York City, I always find things to work on, and they live in my studio for a bit. Then something comes to life out of that.

Bill Tansey I paint pretty much every single day. Generally I get up, have my coffee, take care of my dogs, and then I go to my studio. The process is very fluid, almost meditative. I paint a lot of florals, still life, landscapes. It’s all in my head. Once I start a painting, the painting dictates where it’s going.

Does scale ever factor into your work?

DF Currently, I’m working on what would be the largest scale I’ve done, kind of like my series, Faceless Cowboys. So I’m curious to see where that goes.

BT The last couple of years I’ve contained myself to canvases that were under 30 by 40 inches. I have now rented a new industrial space, because I am curious about doing larger work … I’m very excited about experimenting with scale.

Which colors can you not get away from currently?

BT I’m in a rust/orange kind of thing at the moment.

DF I would say right now it’s more browns and creams, sort of like an espresso. 

Have you forged any connections with customers through Chairish?

BT I met this lovely woman that actually had a summer house out here on Long Island. She was in Florida, bought a work [through Chairish] and said, “I’ll be up in the summer.” I said, “Okay, I’ll deliver it for you.” I did. Then her kids ended up buying a Mother’s Day gift for her from my Chairish store as well. Now the daughter is interested in my stuff. They start to follow you, as a family. It’s a nice thing.

What has been the most useful career advice you ever had?

BT I remember a teacher telling me a long time ago that the downfall of most artists is when they sell. Because then they enter into this mindset of, “Are people going to like this?” I’ve always kept that in mind. I paint what I like to paint. I don’t cross that line into trying to please someone else.

Who was this teacher?

BT She’s a portrait painter and abstract artist. Her mother is one of the great landscape painters of today: Anne Packard, who has a remarkable story. People should Google it. She started painting in her 50s—that’s how she fed her children. 
DF I would say my best advice came from another artist. It was practically “do the work.” It is, at the end of the day, a practice. You have to put your head down and do it, regardless of outside influences.

January 26, 2022

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.