No one would expect to see a life-size T-Rex head poking out from behind the roofline of a perfectly normal suburban neighborhood home, and yet, there it is. This looming prehistoric figure is just one of the many wonderful surprises from the creative and multi-talented Dan Krawitz.
Krawitz, a decorative painter by trade, and his wife Deb live in the southend section of town. The area is a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Route 10. However, the locale is a quiet neighborhood. One thing is for sure; it is quite astonishing to come upon the Krawitz home in an otherwise conventional neighborhood.
The couple have been married for 38 years and many of the art pieces on display in the house have been collected from their trips around the world. “There is art everywhere,” said Deb Krawitz. “We love to keep it out, too. There’s no reason to put it in a drawer or put it away.”
The couple’s yard is full of the unexpected in the form of artwork and sculptures. One item that can’t be missed is a colossal, red-eyed metal bug, power-coated in black, by an artist Dan Krawitz favors. Obelisks and other contemporary pieces of copper and metal adorn the yard.
Then there’s his extra-large paintings. He claims the couple’s house is so full of art, the only room left was outside.
“I started painting large paintings, four and five feet,” he said of his artworks featuring roosters, cows, alpacas, and watermelons.
Dan Krawitz also has painted abstracts. The paintings are tucked into the slope, behind the house.
“It gives us something to look at,” he quipped.
Although the sculptures are mostly by other artists, the T-Rex peeking out from the second story roof is his.
His wife laughs when she talks about a friend demanding, “How could you allow him to do that?” acknowledging that she, in fact, encourages her husband’s artistic ways.
As for the neighbors, they love it, she said, especially the kids.
Moving to the interior of the house, there is not a surface that has not been painted.
The artwork starts in the foyer with a theatrical entry done in bold colors. Walking through the rooms, trompe l’oeil is found throughout. In one hallway, the walls look as if they were done in grass cloth, however, this is a illusion rendered in paint. In the study, Dan Krawitz used an old-style painting technique called Swedish putty. There was a huge demand for decorative painting and faux finishes like rag rolling and sponge painting back in the 1980s, he said.
Between the two of them — Debbie with her background in graphic design and interior decorating and Dan with his painting skills — the house is one-of-a-kind.
“She has the decorating skills, but I have the eye for color,” Dan Krawitz said. “I can match any color instantly.”
He began painting as a young man, in college, and enjoyed it enough to work in different painting businesses.
He started his own business in the 1980s. During that time, his wife owned her own horse stable business, but found time to assist her husband, handling interior decorating and customer service.
“I made my living as an artist, and that’s hard to do,” said Dan Krawitz, who has studied techniques used by the masters during his visits to museums around the world when the couple travels..