Thursday, May 25, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Oleksii Movchun

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Oleksii's painting, "Vitamins" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Oleksii's DPW Gallery:

I am Oleksii Movchun. I live and work in Ukraine. I have been into drawing since early childhood, when I could hardly remember myself. At the age of two, I produced my first significant and ambitious works - the walls of my room painted with a marker. Unfortunately, at that time critics didn't give me much credit for my creation. It was not until I tried myself in the sphere of architecture (I got my degree in architecture), was I able to find my true vocation - art. In recent years, I have been mainly engaged into painting, namely into writing portraits. Life, nature, a wealth of colors around us, the uniqueness of each person are the things I find particularly inspirational. I believe artist should portray subjects (people) as they perceive them. They must "fall in love" with what they see and make the audience "fall in love" with the created image.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

At the age of two, I produced my first significant and ambitious works - the walls of my room painted with a marker. Unfortunately, at that time critics didn't give me much credit for my creation.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

There was once a period when I didn’t touch a paint brush at all. Having graduated from the university, I started working as an architect. Only after being at that job for five years did I realise that I should change something about it and follow my true calling – painting. Three years ago, that moment came – an office was replaced with a cosy studio, and I could fully immerse myself into painting. You can’t escape from yourself.

Vitamins

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Oleksii's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I like to work with both a paint brush and a palette knife. I have experimented with various genres, but I finally ended up painting portraits and still lifes - genres I derive most pleasure from.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Being honest, I didn’t quite enjoy working in the sphere of abstract painting. In my opinion, an artist should be versatile, which means being conversant with many techniques. Having said that,  it is delving deeper into one sphere that will lead him or her to success and self-fulfillment.

Would You Like Some Tea?
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

An uncharted area for me at present is landscape. Painter’s cases are biding their time.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature is what inspires me, in all its manifestations and beauty. No sunrise is the same, no two landscapes are alike.

Pomegranate
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me has to do with the lack of a genuine interest and absorption in the process. Thus, there is always a temptation to put off something I don’t take pleasure in to a later time. Conversely, passion for painting prevents me from this, and I eagerly engage myself into the world of art.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I can’t say that I have some special techniques. Carving out time for my art – it all comes naturally, without extra efforts. Once I embark on a new painting, it’s hard for me to stop. Again, love of art is what drives me and combats any indolence.

Sliced Orange
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Staying mentally awake, conscious and observant, perceptive and open to anything – my formula to generate new ideas. Everything I come across in the daily life, every feeling and emotion, every thought that springs to my mind may be then expanded, developed, and translated into canvas.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I believe that if you set yourself off on a quest for a relentless exploration and self-development, “freshness” in your art is inevitable. If you grow as a personality and a professional, you are always born anew, get inspired, and this pushes your works to a new level.

Silver Fish
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am now learning not just to copy the reality, but rather to convey my impressions and emotions.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It’s extremely rewarding and satisfying to see my own progress, set goals and pull them off. But I must say that the feeling of complacency is short-term and fleeting, as accomplishments shed light on new unexplored areas – and it happens again and again. :)

Thanks, Oleksii!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jane Frederick

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Jane's painting, "Coneflowers" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Jane's DPW Gallery:

Art was originally a form of therapy for me. I began making art to escape the crazy life of a stressed out advertising sales rep. Painting allowed me to go to my "happy place" and lose track of my worries and responsibilities for a while. As I progressed in painting, I found it infinitely challenging. No matter the current skill level, there is always so much more to learn. Although I have no formal art training, I have taken numerous workshops from artists including: Qiang Huang, Nancy Tankersley, Stephanie Birdsall, John Cosby, Randall Sexton, Chuck Rawle, Charles GruppĂ©, Derek Penix, Denise Mahlke, Joshua Been, Ron Rencher, and a slew of others. I’m very much looking forward to a workshop with Carol Marine later this year.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was always interested in art but didn’t get serious until a friend bought me an oil painting lesson (although at the time I was more interested in watercolors). By the time I took the class, I had enough money invested in supplies that I felt I had to continue, at least until I used up those supplies. It just mushroomed from there.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Not really, once I joined DPW in late 2011, I have been painting pretty steadily.  DPW was really the turning point for me. As paintings started selling it encouraged me to paint even more. While I’d like to say I paint every day, I’m afraid that would be stretching the truth, but I do paint a lot.

Coneflowers
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Jane's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve always wanted to be a realistic or impressionistic painter. I’ve tried watercolor, pastels (both oil and soft), acrylics, colored pencils, and oils.

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

I really love to work in oils best, but I still like to keep my hand in soft pastels as well. I mostly use watercolors for my travel journal.

Enchanted Rocks
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m not really thinking about expanding my media right now, I’m more focused on mastering oils and to a lesser extent pastels.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me and I am always striving to interpret it on the canvas. As far as inspirational artists, I’ve been inspired by so many. The crop of current artists working is amazing. I’m a big fan of Qiang Huang, Joshua Been, Haidee Jo Summers, John Cosby, Stephanie Birdsall, Carol Marine and way too many others to mention... Vincent Van Gogh is also one of my heroes, he painted constantly through all his adversities.

Grackle Stare
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I find myself piddling around the studio doing unnecessary busy work, I know it’s time to buckle down and paint something.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

When I figure it out I’ll let you know. Time is always my biggest battle. I’ve got so many varied interests and I seem to have a problem saying “No” so I’m always busy.

Butterfly
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I keep a camera in my lap when we travel (if I’m not doing the driving) so I’m shooting photos of anything that looks interesting. I go out on plein air paint outs with other artists and take lots of photos. I’m always trying to find interesting things to paint in everyday scenes no matter where I am.
How do you keep art fresh? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I try new subjects and attend as many workshops as I can. I follow a lot of artist blogs, and read as much as I can about techniques and new approaches. I never seem to get tired of painting, so I don’t think burnout is a problem for me. I feel that the pursuit of art is an endless one. I will never be as good as I want to be, it is always a challenge and I thrive on challenge.

Duck Dating
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I feel that I’m still exploring everything, but if I can glean one new concept out of each workshop I take, I feel I’m succeeding. Right now I’m trying really hard now to work on lost and found edges and abstracting the background.  So many people say they can’t even draw a stick figure, it’s not true. Anyone can become an artist. Like anything else, to get good at art or anything else, you must practice, practice, practice.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I really love when I can see progress in my work. Especially on those rare occasions when I feel I really nailed a painting. It’s even better when someone else likes it and buys it.

Thanks, Jane!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Katia Kyte

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Katia's painting, "Wooden Blocks" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Katia's DPW Gallery:

I always wanted to be an artist. When I finally had an opportunity to paint full time, I found out that it wasn't easy. Painting can be joyful when it goes right and a great frustration when it doesn't. I learned that "for improving painting skills, it is far better to paint thirty one-hour paintings than one thirty-hour painting" (Craig Nelson).

I live in a small coastal town called Lincoln City in Oregon, USA with my daughter Sasha. Please contact me at kyteart@yahoo.com if you have any questions. If you would like to stay connected via Facebook, "like" my page called Katia Kyte Oil Painter. Thank you so much for your comments and support! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up in Russia. As a middle schooler, I took art classes on composition, drawing, still life and art history. I remember when my friend and I first experimented with oils. It was at her house and we painted a landscape together. I still remember the scent of oils. We were both so proud of it and ended up repeating the same landscape on our own.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I pursued different goals in my career. (Actually being an artist wasn't even an option.) After graduating high school, I went to a linguistic university and was seriously thinking about moving to Moscow to work as an interpreter for an embassy. It never happened. Instead, in 2008, I immigrated to the US - the land of unlimited possibilities - and started taking art classes as I always was interested in art.

Wooden Blocks
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Katia's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I tried acrylics, watercolor, and experimented with cold wax. For a while, I painted impressionistic landscapes with a palette knife.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I've always loved oils. Its aroma, feel, colors - it all makes my heart sing. :) I'm staying faithful to this medium.

Rainbow Carrots
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

There is so much to learn about oils. I probably won't live long enough to explore that medium fully. However, I'm looking forward to drawing more, especially human figure. I find drawing with ink very relaxing.

Who or what inspires you most?

I would say artworks of Konstantin Korovin and Sergei Bongart. If I need to be reminded of where I am going, I go to my Pinterest album with their paintings.

Azalea
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Instead of painting, I might get obsessed with renovating my studio. Or decide to get a certain fabric for a still life I had in mind. I might spend my whole "painting time" searching for that fabric.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Usually, having a deadline works for me. I set a goal, for instance to paint thirty paintings in thirty days and post every day on my blog. If I have a show coming up, that definitely forces me to find time to paint.

Cherry Tomato and Peppers
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Some days, I decide to paint something red or I choose to finally paint that vase that I have bought months ago, so I make an arrangement around it. Also, plein air painting seems to give me plenty of ideas.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I have a timer in my studio. Usually, I set it for an hour if I paint a 6"x6" still life (it doesn't include preparation and setting a still life). When it beeps, I'm not allowed to touch the painting. I usually don't look at it for a day or so. It helps me to avoid the urge to fix something in it.

Daffodils on Purple
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I'm learning to let go and just paint. Being as patient and supportive as I can towards myself and my art.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I am free to paint whatever I want.

Thanks, Katia!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 4, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Andrew Daniel


Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.


To enter to win Andrew's painting, "Chicken Head #8" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Andrew's DPW Gallery:


We are often too busy and preoccupied to tune into nature. Also, we are so used to seeing our
environment that we grow numb to it's appearance. I am numb to it as well. It isn't until I have gone through the ritual of pulling out my painting equipment, prepping my surface, deciding on my compositional approach, quieting my mind and settling into the process of actively reproducing the object of my gaze, that I start to see it better. All I can offer the viewer is a record of what I saw during the process, along with my best attempt to use paint in a way that is dynamic and interesting according to my personal tastes." - Andrew Daniel

Andrew Daniel lives with his wife and daughter, in the small coastal Northern California town of Arcata. He has been painting as a professional artist since 1992. He received his Bachelor degree in Fine Art with a painting emphasis from Humboldt State University California. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Well... That question takes me back to my first years of community college in Maine. Initially, I had wanted to be a photographer, loved the darkroom process and walking around seeing things in a creative way. Then, I started looking at the printmaking department, thinking I wanted to have more creative control to work with symbols. Finally, painting made more sense because I didn't have the patience to run prints with any kind of accuracy, wanted a medium that was maximally creative and minimally rote process. The professors were probably a big factor too. I had a tendency to be too heady, over intellectualizing, weaving concepts in my mind that didn't really come across in the work. Painting helped to ground me.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I often can't tell whether I'm stopping or starting. It does seem to be a momentum thing. Just keep moving, making adjustments in career and craft. I have a tendency to switch styles a lot, right when I am finding some success. I start thinking, "Is this the kind of work that I want to do for the rest of my career?" Then I'm off on another road. I think I'm finally figuring out my direction now. Landscapes... gonna double down on landscapes, see if I can just maintain that focus for three years. No divergent ideas. At least that is the point I am at in my decision making cycle.

Chicken Head #8
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Andrew's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Besides the aforementioned, I really felt a calling to figurative sculpture. That is super fun. It makes sense on a body level vs. an analytical level, shaping things out of your hands! I've done acrylics for a few years, watercolor... Lately, I am mainly an oily dude. Though Casein paints have been a fun distraction and I think I'll still use them for quick small sketches. They are really fun!

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Oil appeals to me because the paint stroke is so immediate, it feels tangible, substantial. Also the colors can be so subtlety shifted, and lately I'm really enjoying playing with blending and blurring strokes. The brush stroke that oil has can be so subtly manipulated. Acrylics felt clumsy by comparison, I feel like I'm painting with the end of a stick I found on the ground. Watercolor does not provide the room for indecision and reworking that I like. I like to take a painting on a journey, with watercolor I feel like I have to stop working before I've walked a block to keep it "fresh". Casein paint is my favorite alternate medium, because it is really user friendly, I taught six painters in a workshop recently and they all had great results, from beginning painters to more advanced. You can just keep layering, that helps a lot. I highly recommend it to people who don't know how to paint.

Mattole River Bend
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am sick of exploring mediums actually. A couple years ago, I had told myself that it was time to stop buying new art supplies, either they sit around unused and taunting you for being impulsive at the store or they take you off on huge tangents! Casein gobbled up my time for five months but now I'm back to oils, the prodigal son returns again.

Who or what inspires you most?

Light! Glorious natural sunlight shining on glowing spring leaves! The way the coastal atmosphere of Northern California obscures items in the distance to make mysterious somber silhouettes. The melancholy expression a model's face shifts into when they have been posing for hours... No NO! Stop that, you are doing landscapes! It's important to stay focused!

Abby at the Pool
(click to view)


What does procrastination look like for you?

Obsession with side projects. Designing businesses I'll never get around to running, binge watching every episode of Cheers, which was like seventy of them, I think. Stupid games on my phone. I love to research things, that can really pull me down the rabbit hole. It seems like things that take about fifteen minutes are the worst, because I always think I can afford another fifteen, until my whole painting time has been used up. Maybe what is a more productive question might be how do I get out of a creative slump. It almost always starts with calling up friends and painting with them. Setting up next to them in their studio, or out in nature or sharing a model. The camaraderie is so helpful to get past a block.  Eventually, I get sick of the various constraints that go with painting with others, then I'm ready to work alone again.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Painting at the same time every day really helps, for me it is in the morning for 3 hours or so, then life catches up with me until my family goes to bed, then I try to get some more in.

Cosmic Pigeons
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I hoard images, taking photos constantly, or finding fun ones on the SKTCHY app or on the wetcanvas.com image library. I go out and paint nature or meet with friends like I mentioned earlier, I've got at least fifty unfinished pieces, the ones that inspire me get the extra treatment to be completed. I just hooked up a big flat screen to to my laptop so I can rework my plein air paintings in the studio. It really makes it so much more easy and fun!

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I try to challenge myself a lot. Give myself parameters for a series. By repainting the same subject over and over, I have to push myself to try new things to stay engaged. I often deliberately start paintings that are so technically confusing that I'll have to learn something in order to finish them. I think I use a scientific mind process at times, coming up with goals, researching how others accomplish them, trying it, analyzing my result, adjusting my approach, trying to fail forward and learn from my mistakes. Meanwhile, I try to listen to my intuition to help guide me through what the art needs...

Pink and Black
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I kinda stumbled across a few things recently that are really interesting to me. One is forcing myself to take a lot of time with my thin underpainting. I realized that I like the luminosity of thin paint and the amount of control that is possible, so I'm trying to drag out that stage, using Gamblin Solvent Free fluid. I have also been really interested in wet on wet layers that utilize blurriness to unify things. Another thing came from my time with Caseins, I used to use really textural strokes on my last layer to build depth and atmosphere. Imagine a lock of hair painted with a splayed out brush that has thicker paint. It grabs the eye as if light is reflecting of it. Finally, the big thing I'm excited to get into is larger multi session landscapes. My favorite paintings I've done from the past involved visiting the same location six times to apply more layers. That is really a lovely way to paint, because that certain day at that certain time is so familiar it starts to feel like a home away from home. So I really want to push myself bigger.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I guess the happiest I get with art is when I have been working on a larger work, revisiting the same beautiful spot in nature and I'm learning what it is like to be there every day, the same way the plants or the critters are, that spot becomes my neighborhood, and I get to know how the sun angle influences the scene during that time of day, the pond starts out placid and reflective, then an hour later the wind picks up and creates shimmers on the surface, at the beginning of the session the reeds on the left side really light up from the sun and by the end the effect has moved the dramatic light to the right. Meanwhile, I'm getting to know the dog walkers and the bird watchers and the photographers that show up every day. A community is building around this place and time. Brotherly love is in the air. And, I'm collaborating with nature, the place is beautiful, the changes are inspiring, and as my piece evolves and reflects the beauty that I see around me I get that warm feeling in my chest, like I'm at home in nature, and I see God in everything.

Thanks, Andrew!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 27, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Christa Friedl

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Christa's painting, "Coconuts" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Christa's DPW Gallery:

Living part of the year in Europe (Vienna) and part in the US (Florida) I try to express the beauty that I see around me. I like plein-air painting most. The colors, the atmosphere are exceptional when painting on location. Each painting is a new opportunity to explore and learn and is like a new journey. It is very meditative, a peaceful time, a time of deep concentration. It is also alone time and nothing seems as important as the motive I am focusing on. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started drawing at an early age, and it was always my favorite subject in school. At the age of seven, I won an art contest. My painting was exhibited in the Vienna City Hall and an article about me was written in a well-known Austrian newspaper. Since that time, I desired to become an artist.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I wish I could have persuaded my parents to send me to the University of Arts in Vienna to get a Fine Arts degree. Instead, I studied economics and ended up owning a business with my husband. But I never stopped improving my skills in drawing and painting and took art classes in the evening at the college. Since 2005, I am a full-time artist and since two years, I have my own studio in downtown Vienna. My studio has become quite popular and has given me much joy.

Coconuts
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Christa's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with nearly every medium and each has its own charm.

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

My two preferred mediums are watercolor and oils.  Both mediums are ideal to paint plein air, which I really enjoy. I love watercolor for its looseness, spontaneity, and transparency. For me, it is a very spontaneous medium. Many times I have had to react quickly and impulsively, without thinking too much about details, in order to create wonderful results.  When painting with oils, I like the buttery consistency and luminosity, the blending  of colors, and the shiny finish.

Cafe Schwarzenberg in Vienna
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I definitely look forward to exploring mixed media on different surfaces.

Who or what inspires you most?

There are a lot of artists I admire, especially the impressionists. Above all, Monet, but also John Singer Sargent who was excellent in both of my favorite mediums. I have a high regard for Sergei Bongart for his rich colors and emotional brushstrokes in landscapes, still lifes, and portraits.

Sardine
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is rarely an issue for me but time management is always a battle.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

My best time is in the morning, so I get up early and start each new day with painting.  Believe me, that is the best way to start a new day. When the weather is fine, I go out for plein air painting; otherwise, I paint in my studio in the morning. In the afternoon, I teach some art classes at my studio.

Long Shadows
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get my inspiration by going out into nature to do some painting or sketching. When I am outdoors and nature surrounds me, all my senses (visual, audible perception, sense of smell) are awake and that affects a painting. I get all these impressions from nature, and it is an ongoing process that I want to express in my paintings. Copying nature is not my goal. Catching the special moment of the day, the light, and the color I see is what I want to relate to my audience.  

How do you keep art fresh? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I enjoy reading the many art books I have. Visiting art museums is also a great inspiration. Across the street from my studio is the famous Castle Belvedere. In its museum is a permanent show of some of my favorite painters, including a few paintings by Monet. Therefore, I am just five minutes away from enjoying some of the most interesting and beautiful art.

At Rest
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I want to observe more intensely, get totally connected with the subject, and slow down the painting process a little bit.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Of course, I am excited when the viewer connects with my art and I get positive responses, but above all, I love the creative process when I get the rhythm in a painting and the brushstrokes come by themselves without too many cognitive interruptions.

Thanks, Christa!


© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lynne French

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Lynne's painting, "Rocky Mountains" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Some of my earliest memories at four or five years old are of hours spent painting and drawing with my Aunt, a professional artist.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I have painted continuously throughout my life except for a break of a few years following the birth of my daughter.

Rocky Mountains
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Lynne's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?  

I have used almost all traditional mediums and have experimented most with watercolor on tissue paper.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

The use of watercolor on gessoed tissue paper has evolved into a technique based on an ancient Zen Buddhist meditation ritual, that I frequently use.

Provence Courtyard

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am intrigued by alcohol ink and egg tempera, and look forward to experimenting with them.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am most inspired by the early California impressionists, most specifically The Society of Six... August Gay and Seldon Gile, and by the varied California landscape itself.

Zen Inspired Poppies & Pansies Watercolor on Tissue
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is chaos for me.  :}

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

My income is derived from painting, so nothing more than necessity (and enjoyment) motivates me to find time to paint.

California Paso Robles Hills
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I take frequent road trips to paint different locations, and also am inspired by visits to museums,
art online, and in books.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Landscape painting is endlessly engaging for me because it is ever changing, and the difference within of an hour painting outside can change the look of a scene immensely.

Hollyhock Cottage
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

To have fun with painting, and know that, to a great degree, the rule is there are no rules.  :}

What makes you happiest about your art?

It makes me very happy when people are pleased with my work, and it also makes me very happy that I have been fortunate enough to paint professionally for so long.

Thanks, Lynne!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 13, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Fred Bell

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Fred's painting, "Fertile Valley" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Fred's DPW Gallery:

Fred Bell has been painting for many years. He is a graduate of the Cape School of Art and studied with the famous Henry Hensche for six years. He has had many art shows around the US. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his cat Jack. He is currently represented by Tim Cobb Fine Arts in Milwaukee, WI. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting seriously in my early twenties. All of my friends were artists and so I started making art too. About six months into it, I took a trip to Provincetown, Massachusetts on Cape Cod and it was life changing. I found the Cape School of Art and studied with Henry Hensche. An eastern saying is "When the student is ready the teacher will appear" and that's what happened to me. I knew I was in the right spot and ended up studying with Hensche for six summer sessions, about three months each.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Art is a vocation. It's hard to predict whether you will make any money at it, so I have some trouble with the term "career." When I started painting, the idea of selling did not occur to me. I just did it and that's what I did. I hadn't ever been to an art gallery in Milwaukee. It was completely foreign. I went to the art museum here once in a while.

As far as working goes, everyone has times when they don't know what to do. What you're doing seems over with and what to do next is a mystery. Sometimes you have to wait and get bored and sometimes you just have to do something stupid.

Fertile Valley
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Fred's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I've worked with clay, pastels, pen and ink, all kinds of paint and more. Over the years you try a lot of stuff. I've worked extensively in the three big ones: portrait, landscape, still life. I did commercial illustration for a few years. The only thing I haven't explored enough is abstract painting.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

In the end, painting with oils and acrylics is where I've spent the most time. For a few years, I was represented by an important gallery. I tried to do things the gallery owner liked but ultimately failed. Since giving up gallery representation, I have felt more free to do what I want. Galleries can be stifling, but now I sell on the web and it's working out better. Ultimately, you have to accept who you are and what you are comfortable with and get satisfaction from. Trying to be cool has not worked for me.

The Farm
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm doing one small painting a day and I know that is changing as I do them. Anything you do a lot of changes you. I also want to do more experimental, less commercial painting.

Who or what inspires you most?

Other painters. I look around at the web to see others work or go to galleries. When I go to a show I look for things I can use in my own work. I don't think too much about it being good or bad.

Peach
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination comes when you don't know what to do or how to do it. I used to be upset about putting things off. Now I know, if I don't do something it's because I am not ready. I wait to be ready. I wait for understanding of how to start.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Anxiety works well. If I don't paint for a day or two I start to feel depressed. Art is an antidepressant.

Milwaukee County Grounds
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Spontaneously. Ideas come from working. You can sit around forever waiting for a great idea. That doesn't work for me. Also, looking at the work of others.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and
keep your work vibrant and engaging?

If I start to get too tight then I use bigger brushes. Changing subject matter, buying a new brush, focusing on one aspect like strokes or shapes or color can perk me up.

Friends
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Marketing.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Selling is a thrill. Better than selling is feeling like you've done a good job. There is no better feeling than doing work that speaks to you, to achieve something new.

Thanks, Fred!


© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 6, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Tom Brown

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Tom's painting, "Road to Adventure" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Tom's DPW Gallery:

Tom Brown is a third generation artist. His mother and grandfather were artists and from childhood he never wanted to be anything else. Originally from the Midwest, he has lived in Southern California with his family since the 1980s.

He works in the California Impressionist style. His paintings are known for their bold, confident brushwork that vibrates with energy and strength as they capture the magical light and beauty of the California landscape and other subjects.

Tom Brown has also hosted a popular California TV show teaching his unique method of oil painting en plein air and in the studio.

He continues to share his teaching methods through popular workshops, videos and eBooks. Tom is in frequent demand as a lecturer, demonstrator and judge for Art Associations and gallery openings.

A former president of the Orange Art Association, he is a past member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and Southern California Plein Air Painters Association.

Tom Brown is the winner of numerous awards in oil painting competitions. His work has been represented through prominent galleries nationwide for more than 20 years, and his work has been seen in many major art publications.

His painting style is the subject for an upcoming feature article in Paint&Draw magazine. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Like so many others I always saw myself as an artist. But I thought it wasn’t possible to make a living selling in galleries so I began my art career as an advertising artist. During that period I had the tremendous good fortune to work alongside some of the best artists in the business and I learned a lot from each of them. During that time I also continued to paint in my spare time.

Road to Adventure
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Tom's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I entered a local art fair once and during that day I happened to be discovered by a gallery owner who asked to represent me. That was the start of something grand! Within a month sales were so hot that I was given a one-man show. It virtually sold out on opening day.

I left advertising and began approaching additional galleries to broaden my base. That led to being represented by top galleries in 9 states for 20 years. And of course I eventually began marketing my work online.

I paint every day. I love to get outside and paint directly from nature, and when painting on location I enjoy creating smaller pieces that can be completed in one session. I usually offer these smaller works online at very affordable prices, which is practical to do because I’m very prolific.

Frequently these smaller paintings lead to commissions. Commissions are a major portion of my work. Collectors who purchase smaller paintings often come back soon asking for larger works because they like my style. Many of my collectors continue to return year after year for more of my work.

Because the internet enables us to show our work to the whole world so easily I think there has never been a better time in history to earn a living as an artist.

Path to the Trees
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Virtually all of them. As an advertising artist I learned to work with a wide variety of mediums. We used whatever medium necessary to produce the best results for our clients. And our subjects were dictated by the client’s needs: figures, products, scenics, whatever was requested. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of nearly anything as a subject for art.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Oils are my favorite for painting because they are so flexible and easy to use. I usually have a pre-loaded pochade box in the car whenever I go anywhere, just in case I spot something to paint. And I am never without a sketch pad and pencil. I sketch constantly. Anything and everything, including people in public places like airports, coffee shops and restaurants. So watch out if you see me; you may find yourself in my next painting!

Sunlit Flowers
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m always open to new mediums, and I’m willing to try anything that seems to have potential for expressing my vision. Some work for me, some don’t suit my style even though they may be perfect for another artist. But I feel it’s important to be open to trying new things in order to continue to grow as an artist.

Who or what inspires you most?

Mary Oliver wrote something that sums it up for me, “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” I find beauty everywhere, in commonplace everyday things as well as scenic grandeur, figures, animals, still lifes, whatever. And I “tell about it” through my art.


Birds on the Roof
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I keep planning to procrastinate, but there’s too much to do.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Morning is my best creative time, so that’s my time for art. I’m up and out the door with my paints first thing. I paint in the studio if weather doesn’t cooperate or if I’m working on commissions. Afternoons are reserved for what I call “drone work” that doesn’t require creativity. Chores, errands, bookwork, packing and shipping sold work, etc.


Colorful Still Life with Fruit
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas seem to be everywhere; it’s just a matter of paying attention. I see more things every day than I’ll ever have time to paint.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I’m constantly exploring new subjects, materials and other ways to improve. And I share those things in my videos and the workshops I teach. If an artist isn’t trying anything new, they aren’t growing. If it doesn’t stay fresh and exciting it would become a job. For me art isn’t work, it’s more like self-indulgence.

Back Road in the Country
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am always looking for anything new that offers possibilities for growth. New mediums, new ways of approaching subjects. I see art as a lifelong adventure, and it’s a constant learning process.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The joy of doing it tops the list. I’m also delighted by the response from collectors, especially when they continue to collect my work year after year. Clearly we share the same vision of the world, and I love that we can connect this way. I also love sharing what I’ve learned with other artists who take my workshops. I find it very rewarding to see them grow in their abilities and enjoyment of art.

Thanks, Tom!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 30, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judith Freeman Clark

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Judith's painting, "Village Sentinel" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Judith's DPW Gallery:

My interest in contemporary realism developed when I was a student of commercial illustration at The Vesper George School of Art in Boston in the 1960s. I've been painting in transparent watercolor for more than forty years, and occasionally I work in other mediums. My award-winning paintings have been juried into more than two dozen exhibitions, and I have had two one-person shows. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I had the good fortune to learn about oil painting from my maternal grandmother, a self-taught artist and my primary mentor. She encouraged my enthusiasm for drawing and painting, and in general she taught me that being creative was a worthwhile focus for my energy and attention. I was heavily involved in the arts in high school, and after graduation I went to the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, intending to become a children's book illustrator. There, I was introduced to the medium of transparent watercolor.

Village Sentinel
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Judith's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Yes — many, many stops and many, many starts! I left art school to marry and raise a family. This, along with earning a B.A. and M. A., placed significant limits on time for painting! I enjoyed a twenty-year career as an editor, and an author of non-fiction books. Then, in 1999 I was ordained an Episcopal priest. At this point I began again to paint regularly, because it provided a respite from the responsibilities associated with learning a parish. Painting gave me a healthy break from work, allowing me to enjoy something that had a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Blushing Rose
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Painting in transparent watercolors has been my medium-of-choice for more than forty years. In the past, I’ve worked in oils and acrylics. A few years ago, I dabbled in the photopolymer intaglio process — great fun but it requires a press, materials, etc. etc., which I preferred not to invest in. I still make a brief, regular returns to pen-and-ink, graphite, and pastel, all of which were part of my art experiences throughout my childhood and adolescence. My preferred subjects are flowers, fruits, landscapes with mountain or water views, and scenes featuring urban or rural architecture. I occasionally do figurative work — both human and animal, and I almost always paint in my studio. I tend to work from reference photographs I’ve taken, and my paintings are almost always done in a realistic style.

Sun Hat
(click to view)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Painting in transparent watercolor is both a perpetual challenge and an infinite joy. I find that it has become part of my identity in ways that other mediums have not.

Who or what inspires you most?

I draw inspiration from the watercolors of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, and the late Loring Coleman. Among my contemporaries, I am in awe paintings by the Vermont artist Robert J. O’Brien, with whom I have studied. If I seek a jolt of encouragement, I refer to the works of Ann Pember, Elizabeth Kincaid,  John Salminen, and Laurin McCracken. Each has mastered a style that I greatly admire.

Afternoon Dunes
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Hah!  Procrastination looks like a novel by James Lee Burke or other mystery writers; talking and laughing with my husband; the New York Times crossword puzzle. Sometimes it looks like an afternoon nap.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Recently, I stopped checking email and Facebook first thing in the morning. Instead, I grab a cup of decaf and go to my studio. I spend at least thirty minutes painting, sketching, or in some way getting my creative juices flowing.


Santa on Vacation
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have no idea. On some days, I concentrate on florals or figures, at other times I’m drawn to impressionistic landscapes or seascapes.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

In her excellent book “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron advises us to take ourselves out on a regular “artist date.”  I’ve found this helpful, and have taken myself on “dates” at museums, botanic gardens, favorite city neighborhoods or rural farmland where I take lots of photographs. Occasionally I take the train into Boston and go to the Symphony. Sometimes in the winter I go to an upscale department store to feast my eyes on beautifully designed, and very colorful, jewelry and clothing that I cannot afford!

Hint of Spring
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I retired in January 2012, giving me the opportunity to indulge myself, full-time, to painting in transparent watercolor. I’ve learned to honor my gifts and have discovered what I’m sure many other artists know: devotion to one’s greatest joy is where one finds the deepest and most certain reward.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It’s exciting to plan a painting, to choose colors, to get started — for me, very little compares to the adventure of beginning a new work. And it also feels great to be in the middle of a painting, because when I’m there I often discover something new about color or form or perspective. However, nothing compares to the satisfaction of completing a painting — when I see it matted and framed and hanging on a wall, I’m content.  And, invariably, I’m happily planning the next painting.

Considering the Primaries
(click to view)

Thanks, Judith!

© 2017 Sophie Marine