Thursday, April 17, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol Zirkle

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

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

From Carol's DPW Gallery page:

My passion is all about the sky!!!

There is nothing that demands my attention like a piercing, brilliant sunrise or sunset. The colors are so vibrant and clear. The clouds are pure drama. And, it is all so fleeting!

I love the way a peaceful sky with soft white clouds and bright blue skies can make me feel like everything is right with the world. When the storm clouds give way to the sun, the sense of relief is palpable. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Art class in grade school was always one of my favorites. In high school, I took a drawing class that I really enjoyed, so I decided to major in Fine Art in college.

After college, I worked in a non-art related corporate job. Fifteen years went by, then one day I picked up a pencil and drew a picture. After showing it to friends at work, one of them wanted me to draw her child. That gave me confidence to do more.

I worked on my drawings in the evenings and on the weekends and began participating in art shows. At one of these shows, a full time artist came into my booth and told me I would have to make the leap to full time. It seemed like a dream but within a couple years, I finally quit my corporate job and moved from Minnesota to Montana to be an artist.

It has been a really good move for me!

Gilded
(click to see original image)

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

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

Once I made the decision to make painting my career, I have not stopped.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Regarding mediums, I started with pencil. Pastel paintings were next, because it was a way to learn color while drawing. From there, I have focused on oils. That was more challenging than pastel because there are more parts to it. It has been a fun journey so far.

As far genres, my favorite is skyscapes. Painting landscapes and animals, as well as the occasional person, are fun, but the skies are where my passions lay.

Dragon Dreams
(click to see original image)

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

Pastel and oils have stuck. The color has become a special fascination and these mediums are both great for bold, colorful statements.

The genre that has stuck has been skies. It seems that this muse picked me more than the other way around. At first, it was not an obvious choice. But, if I veer very far from skies, I always come back.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Using dyes to paint on silk has been something I have been considering and researching.

Who or what inspires you most?

When I was learning about pastels, Harley Brown's work and book "Harley Brown's Eternal Truths for Every Artist" were very inspiring. I would strongly suggest this book for any new artist!

Half Moon Over the Lane
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Sometimes I procrastinate if there isn't enough time available for the tasks in front of me. For example, an hour and a half is a good painting session for me. If there is only a half hour available, I tend to find something non-art related to do.

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

Based on the things that happen at my home, I figure that I can fit in an hour and a half session in the morning, and two in the afternoon.

Also, it helps to have everything set up all the time. My studio is set up in an extra room. It is set up so that I can easily switch my materials from oils to pastels. I always try to leave my projects and materials set up for the next day.

Flash
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Montana is known as Big Sky country. When I see a spectacular sky, I grab the camera.

In order to manage the vast number of photos, I identify and keep the best compositions in a separate file on my computer. I also will print a number of them off and keep them in photo albums. I never toss the lesser photos, in case I need more ideas.

When it is time for new painting ideas, I just look through my computer file and photo albums. I love working in sets, so it's just a matter of choosing 4 to 6 photos that look good together.

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

Lately, I have tried a couple ideas.

The first was changing my compositions a little. I took the land out and the remaining sky images were very exciting to me.

The other thing I'm working on is airbrushing with acrylics for my oil under paintings. I learned airbrush years ago and just love it. It works very well for me to get a 3-D feeling for the piece in short order.

Wind Dance
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning that there is always more to learn. When an idea comes, it's important to research it. If it seems like a good one, time to take action.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I'm having a show, it is so fun to walk into the gallery and see all the sky paintings together. It is most fun to talk about the paintings with art lovers and sky enthusiasts. That makes me happy!

Thanks, Carol!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, April 10, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Felicia Marshall

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

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

From Felicia's DPW Gallery page: 

I am an artist, mom, wife, and teacher. Since 2008, I have undertaken the challenge of being a daily painter. I continue to be rewarded by the process. I live in Texas and enjoy being able to spend my life surrounded by art.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always known I was an artist. I was lucky to be able to attend a high school that focused on visual arts. There I was introduced to many different art materials which included acrylic paint. In college, I had a little bit more freedom to choose the materials that I wanted to work with. I found myself naturally drawn to the versatility of acrylic paint. I have considered myself a painter ever since.

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

No, I create paintings regularly and always have. Sometimes I create them for publishing houses in the form of children's books. When I'm not working on a book, I get to paint whatever I want, which is a treat. Luckily, other people enjoy my work enough to purchase some of my paintings.

Blue Caboose
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with many mediums, that's what I actually enjoyed about being a student in high school and college. I got a chance to try everything. Some of my favorites were printmaking, photography, and of course painting.

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

I love acrylic paint because of its versatility. You just can't beat them. They clean up easily, they dry quickly, and best of all they don't smell. You can layer it, you can thin it out and use it like watercolor. In my earlier children's book illustrations people thought my paintings were watercolors. As for genres, I'm still trying different genres, though I always go back to portraits. I find people interesting. Everyone has their own story and surprisingly you can tell so much of it in a simple portrait.

Little Mermaid
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm looking forward to exploring collage again in some of my portraits. I've always admired collage artists, but when I attempted it I got lost in the possibilities. I think I'll start out simple by collaging a single word or image onto one of my painted portraits. Then slowly work my way up from there. I am also committing myself to working on larger paintings. The portraits of children's faces cropped extremely close are so fun, colorful, and playful already. I think they would be even more extraordinary if they were larger.

Who or what inspires you most?

My children inspire me most. They are a constant source of images for my paintings.

A Study in Orange
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like me cleaning. It also looks like me sitting alone in my comfortable chair staring off into space. I'm thinking and enjoying the silence. Whenever I am doing this, it means I am avoiding making decisions large and small.

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

I found my own little space and completely took it over. This way I am able to come back to whatever I was painting and pick up instantly where I left off. I also make the most of my weekends and late nights painting.

Stripes
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I take a lot of photographs, so it becomes a matter of looking at images until something catches my eye. Sometimes I'll come across an object that I fall in love with, like the glasses in the painting "Glasses What Glasses" or the goggles in the painting "Turtle Eyes". I'll use these as props in my portraits.

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

I keep art fresh by taking more photographs and pushing myself to make them in a different way or from a different perspective. I don't have any techniques for burnout. I wish I did. I get burnout often. It's mostly about issues concerning time. I get overly ambitious about what I can accomplish in the time that I have.

Bold & Bright
(click to see original image)

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

How to make things more exciting using light. I'm still learning this!

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I have painted something and look at it and think, "I don't believe I painted that!" This happens to me a lot. I'm also greatly moved by people who e-mail or comment on a painting that they have made a personal connection with.

Thanks, Felicia!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, April 3, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jurij Frey

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

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

From Jurij's DPW Gallery page:

Jurij Frey lives in Böblingen near to Stuttgart, Germany. The painter works in a realistic style. He gets inspired by people living in our modern world, by the contrast between the vanity in business, city life and his desire for muse, nature, light and wonder. He paints the people in their usual environment, in large, almost rough stokes. (click to see more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

It all begin in childhood. The desire to learn to paint was always present, and resulted in me going to drawing school where I greatly enjoyed drawing lessons.

In der Mittagspause
(click to see image)

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

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

Yes of course; there were periods of time when I could not pick up a pencil, but I always came back to drawing as its humble servant. And in the end it became a part of my life.

Im Cafe
(click to see image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I've tried various mediums, but always returned to oil. As for genres, I've always been curious to try a lot and I hope I will remain curious in the future.

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

Today, I like to work in a realistic style of expressionism; I like to convey feelings clearly.

Model
(click to see image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am pleased with the genre and style that I paint, and I would like to delve into them further.

Who or what inspires you most?

People, my surroundings, the environment in which I am in, the time in which I live.

Straßen von Paris
(click to see image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

During perfectly quiet mornings or sometimes I leave the house and wait for random sensations. At other times, I do not have an inner state of mind that I'm trying to bring out through painting. Each time is different and I like it.

Unterwegs
(click to see image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Working at my art and making a living with it.

Thanks, Jurij!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kim Testone

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

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

From Kim's DPW Gallery page:

Kim Testone is a Central Florida artist and former art magazine editor and journalist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drawing from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design. As a painter, she is primarily self-taught, crediting her technique to the scrutiny of various instructional books, magazine articles, and online videos. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Although I graduated with a degree in art in 2000, I only began painting about a year and a half ago. I had only learned to use acrylics in college, and I hated the work I had produced, so I stopped painting almost entirely for more than a decade. Eventually, I got a job working in the arts, and after several years of talking to hundreds of artists and looking at thousands of paintings, I really came to a point where I thought, life is short, and I want to learn to paint. I also learned, after looking at so many other artists’ works, that I wanted to work realistically and that I wanted to try oils. So I bought a bunch of books, read a bunch of magazines and watched several hundred Youtube videos.

Glass of Coke
(click to see original image)

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

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

I don’t think the first painting career ever got started, if you could even call it that. After college, I didn’t have any idea what it meant to be a painter. Not only did I have no technique, I had nothing to say in my work. I did a few random pet portraits for people over the years, but I never painted anything from myself. I very much consider painting to be a new career for me.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

At some point, I tried everything – photography, acrylics, pastels, watercolor, gouache. In college, and probably for a few years afterward, I tried doing abstract work, expressionism, illustration. I just kept trying to find my place, as I was so desperate to create and so disappointed when I couldn’t make anything of substance.

Green Tea Bag
(click to see original image)

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

I really think I’ve found my place, working in realist painting and in oils. But I had to make a commitment to it, because I think it’s easy to keep wanting to try everything. So little by little, I began giving my other supplies away to take away the temptation – first my manual Nikon camera (which I had used for black and white photography) to a friend, then my pastels, watercolors and gouache to my nephew and nieces. It was cathartic, actually. I did keep the acrylics, as I think I could learn to work with them with proper training and experimentation.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’ll definitely keep with realist painting, but I’d like to put some time into working with acrylics the right way, not the way I learned in college. There are some really wonderful acrylic artists creating amazing realist work with a bit of a graphic quality, like Erin Cone and Mel Leipzig. But they are able to manipulate the acrylics in ways that I never could. So I’d like to give it a try again, see if it would help me learn to simplify some of the shapes in my larger works especially.

Secret Identity
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

As a realist painter, I try to look for the normal little things in life, the things that are colorful, or make me feel at peace, or remind me of something special. My larger works, which I don’t post to Daily Paintworks, are currently of baseball stadium concession stands and crowds, because my husband and I go to lots of Spring Training games and when I was working a really demanding job, that was one of the few places where I really felt at peace. And I tried to capture these little peaceful introspective moments of the concession stand workers and crowds in my paintings. But the small works I post to Daily Paintworks help me develop my technique and boost my confidence so I can pursue my larger pieces.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m not intentionally a procrastinator, but I often do try to do too much in a day, and so that affects my painting.

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

One thing that helps is to remember a writing by Carol Marine that I found on Daily Paintworks when I first began painting, way before I signed up to be a member on the site. She talked about how, before she began painting, she spent all her time cleaning and had the cleanest house in her neighborhood, but was depressed until she began painting, and then her cleaning took more of a back seat. So when I look around the house and think about all of the other things I could be doing, I try to keep my priorities straight and think, the dishes can wait, I need to make time to paint.

Watching the Team Practice
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I think I’m subtly obsessed with Americans’ fascination with food and confections. They become almost objects of adoration, decorated just so. And packaging, I am really interested in the marketing and packaging of food as well. So I think that’s pretty evident in my small pieces, but maybe that’s why my larger series is focused on concession stands now; they have people in the paintings but surrounded by all of this packaging and food, until it becomes a kind of weird landscape of plastic colors and textures. It’s comforting, in a way, because it’s what we’re used to in contemporary society. Ironically, though, I have a bunch of food allergies and can’t actually eat anything I paint. Sigh.

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

Right now, I think my brain and artistic voice are ahead of my skill as a painter. I have so many ideas about painting series I want to develop. But I think that doing the small paintings keeps me more disciplined, so that I continue to develop my skill regularly and can create bigger paintings at a greater skill level, too. I enjoy looking at the first few pieces I did in late 2012 and compare them to how I paint now and actually feel like I am making progress.

In Case of Chocolate Emergency
(click to see original image)

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

I believe I will always be learning something new, but I suppose the things that I am learning most are: 1) Keep the painting formula as simple as possible; 2) focus more on lighting and composition; 3) take better photos of my paintings; and 4)forgive myself when I ruin a piece and move on. A couple of months ago, someone recommended a really excellent book to me as well, “Problem Solving for Oil Painters,” by Gregg Kreutz. It was exactly what I needed at this stage of my painting, and I’d highly recommend it for anyone who wants to take their work to the next level. I’m still working my way through it!

What makes you happiest about your art?

I think we all go through life searching for something that is completely our own, and painting is that for me. I like being at a point in my life where I feel like I am ready to become a painter. Even if I had learned to use oils in college, I would not have known what to paint, not really. While I think everyone hopes their art impacts the world in some small way, I’ll be happy if my paintings just encourage my nephew and nieces and collectors to open their eyes and notice things they may not have noticed before. That’s would be a pretty good legacy, I think.

Thanks, Kim!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, March 20, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Janet Graham

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

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

From Janet's DPW Gallery page:

Hello and welcome to my gallery. I am an artist based in Brisbane, Australia.

My journey into the world of art began in 2002 after I had this underlying desire to create art. Deep down I have always wanted to paint and draw - even as a child, I used to love drawing animals.

I have dabbled in quite a few mediums over the years, but my favorite mediums are oils, acrylics and pencil (graphite). I don’t think I will ever settle on just one medium as each medium has its own unique characteristics that suits different subjects. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Deep down, I have always wanted to paint and draw. Even as a child, I used to love drawing animals but I never pursued art past primary school. It was only in 2002, when I had this underlying desire to create art, that I enrolled in a six weeks drawing course and my journey into the world of art began. Although I did a few art courses between 2003 and 2006, it wasn’t until 2007 that I found a regular art class to attend and realized that art was what I was meant to be doing.

Blue Tit
(click to see original image)

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

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

I would say I only seriously started pursuing art as a career in 2012. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with quite a few mediums over the years: pencil, pastels, watercolors, gouache, oils, acrylics, colored pencil and ink. As for genres, I have painted wildlife, landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, and I have even done a few pencil portraits.

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

Acrylics, oils and pencils are still my favorite mediums. Lately, I have been playing around with watercolors, which I haven’t touched in years. Pastels have fallen away - mainly because of the dust generated from them as well as the difficulty in sharpening pastel pencils for the finer fur details. It is so much easier to paint fur and feathers with the pointed tip of a brush.

Painting wildlife is still my favorite subject but I also enjoy painting landscapes, seascapes and still lifes.

Tiger
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am having fun exploring watercolor again. It is funny how I seem to have come full circle. I first started out painting with watercolors, but got very frustrated with the medium and decided to try others. I’m enjoying the freedom that watercolors offer and it is much more fun exploring the medium now that I have so much more experience.

I also want to paint more oil seascapes this year, as I have always been fascinated by the sea and the sea is literally a fifteen minute drive away from me.

Who or what inspires you most?

I would say nature/wildlife inspires me the most and is what I love painting.

European Eagle Owl
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I wouldn’t say it is so much procrastination, but more having to make a decision on what to paint first. I usually have quite a few paintings planned in advance. I find I sometimes delay starting a new painting as I can’t always decide which one to start first.

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

I am working at making art my career, so I have set a goal of painting a certain number of paintings each week. It doesn’t always work out as planned due to the administration side of running my own business which can take up a fair chunk of my time. My best time to paint is during the day so I try to leave most of the administration tasks to the evening.

Leopard Cub
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint a lot of wildlife and I would love to say that I always work from my own reference photos but that is just not practical. When I can, I use my own references but, for the most part, I rely on some very generous photographers that allow artists to use their photos as reference and I am exceedingly grateful to them. I still will only paint what I am drawn to, so I can spend hours in the evening surfing the internet for reference photos that I am allowed to use. I literally have hundreds of reference photos that I can draw upon so I am never short of ideas for paintings.

For the landscapes/seascapes that I do, I also use reference photos but I use a lot more artistic license – I will change things around, combine different elements from different reference photos and will even change the season. I love painting spring and autumn – they are so much more colorful to paint.

As for still lifes, I like to work from my own set ups, but I just don’t have enough hours in the day. They have been put on the back burner for now.

How Cute Am I
(click to see original image)

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

It is bit hard to explain, but unless I feel a connection to what I am painting it just does not work and I struggle to complete the painting. So, I have learnt to paint only what I am drawn to and that connection is then reflected in the final painting.

As to avoiding burn out, I paint a variety of subject matters and use a few different mediums which keeps things interesting. When I feel myself getting tired of painting detail, I will swap to watercolours and paint a looser watercolour landscape, or I will paint a landscape or seascape in acrylic or oils. After a few landscapes, I am ready to go back to painting detail and can’t wait to start my next wildlife painting.

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

Everything - I don’t think I will ever stop learning as there is so much to learn. I just wish there were more hours in the day.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love to paint and I am happiest when I am painting so I am really grateful to be able to pursue a career that I love.

Thanks, Janet!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 13, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jordan Avery Foster

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

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

From Jordan's DPW Gallery page:

Hi, My name is Jordan Avery Foster. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. At age 14 I was involved in a five car collision, which left me bed bound for a year. When I recovered I found out I had a condition known as Interstitial Cystitis.

I was accepted into The University of the Arts in Philadelphia with an artist award but due to the health complications, I was not able to continue. After returning to Florida I began attending classes at The University of North Florida and after some struggles, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

My work has been exhibited nationally in juried competitions at Harvard University, Princeton University, and Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. I have also been commissioned by museums and hospitals. Recently I was featured in an article in the Lake George Mirror, while doing a residency at Shelley's International Gallery of Fine Art in Bolton Landing NY. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

One of the first things I remember is painting a mural on my bedroom wall. My mom is an artist and always encouraged me to be creative and express myself.

Three Pears
(click to see original image)

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

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

Yes, I moved to Philadelphia to pursue my career and get my degree, but had to leave because of health issues. I feel like my career has taken a lot of twists and turns. I was painting more expressionistic, emotional work up until the last year or so, when I began painting small still lifes to increase my skills.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I paint with acrylics mostly, but I love watercolor, pencil and pen and ink as well. About a year ago, I started working primarily with open acrylics and began using glazing mediums which helped me blend and layer my paint.

Cherries in a Teacup
(click to see original image)

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

I still use regular acrylics, because the opens sometimes are too transparent. I love the Golden glazing medium. I love street scenes (something that tells a story)... two examples are "Hats" and "Birdies".

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I also love painting and drawing self portraits and portraits, which I've gotten away from, but hope to get back to. I would also like to start working more in oils.

Sake House
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me usually comes in the form of a blank canvas. I have so many ideas I want to carry out, but at times get overwhelmed and put off sitting down in front of my work area.

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

I've learned that no matter what I have to keep painting. I make it a priority, even when I'm frustrated, I make sure I paint for several hours a day.

I Enjoy Being a Girl #3
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I'm always thinking about ideas for paintings. There are several series I'm working on. Right now, mostly still lifes and street scenes.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? Who or what inspires you most?

My inspiration may come from something I'm experiencing emotionally or may be built up from a movie I've watched. You never know when or where inspiration is going to come from, but I think the most important thing is to keep painting. Sometimes I do get burned out on my still lifes, but I try to keep it fresh by mixing it up. For example, my perfume bottle series is an escape for me. I also know that constantly practicing keeps me focused and is important.

Red Apple and Grapes
(click to see original image)

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

I'm always looking to improve my skills and broaden the range of what I can do. I want to keep growing as an artist and explore a more diverse body of work.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I enjoy it when I I feel like a painting has gone well... the technique, composition, etc. It's also exciting to me when I make a painting that I feel captures a vision I have or an emotion I'm going through.

Thanks, Jordan!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 6, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patti Vincent

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

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

From Patti's DPW Gallery page:

Hi! Thank you for visiting my gallery. About ten years ago, I started taking oil painting classes and workshops in and around Washington, DC because I wanted oil paintings for my home. Problem solved!

I live in Dayton, OH with my Air Force husband and two cats. They are a constant source of life drawings and paintings. In the Fall of 2013, I began a Bachelors of Fine Art program at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. I am loving it!

My profile photograph was taken in Salida, CO. Two and a half more years with the Air Force and Salida will be home. Studio already purchased!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting while living near Washington, DC because I wanted more oil paintings in my house. A good friend of mine encouraged me to sign up for lessons. A decade later, mission accomplished. The DC area is filled with great artists and art schools. Not to mention all the inspiration to be found at the National Gallery of Art. I could drive from my house to the NGA in fifteen minutes.

Fresh Picked
(click to see original image)

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

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

I have been taking lessons or workshops for years but really ramped up my painting in 2011 when I learned about daily painting. My favorite art quote is, "the best teacher is the very act of painting," by Joaquin Sorolla. I firmly believe that the only way to get better is to practice. Whether you are talking about painting or tennis. Then, in the Fall of 2013, I enrolled in a Bachelors of Fine Art program. I am currently a full time student taking eighteen credit hours.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I am still learning how to oil paint, my only medium to date. I've traveled all the way to New Zealand to plein air paint but I am still most comfortable painting in my studio from a still life set up or a reference photo of an animal. My cats and the sunlight are constant sources of inspiration.


Swimming Lessons
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I painted a lot of plein air prior to taking up daily painting and working towards my BFA. I look forward to getting out of my studio and seeing how plein air goes after all this inside practice over the past couple years and when my BFA program is complete. It will be interesting to see what has changed in my comfort level and ability to simplify the landscape.

Who or what inspires you most?

Seeing Albrecht Durer's painting, Young Hare, 1502 watercolor, in my art history class as being described as "a masterpiece of observational art" was my most recent inspiration. My cats, dogs I meet on the street, bunny rabbits in the yard, all inspire me. So it was very inspiring to see an old master paint a rabbit. Carol Marine, Joshua Been, Lisa Daria, and Dan Schultz are my current day inspirations. Just name a few.

House Guest
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination hits me when I don't have any good ideas for a still life or my reference photos for a pet portrait commission aren't quite as good as I would like them. I stall for fear of failure. I am not a big procrastinator because I feel much more confident if I give myself as much time as possible to complete a project. It always ends up better if I know I have time to start over as many times as needed.

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

To make sure that I have time for my art, I get up in the morning and get going. Even if it is a Saturday and my husband is still in bed. I keep my studio well stocked with paint and panels. My studio is right off of the kitchen so I can't miss it. Mostly, I just do it (thanks Niki).

That Cat
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My ideas for paintings usually come from things that I see. My cats are always laying in the sunshine and that light always gets my attention. There is a bird feeder right outside the window by our kitchen table. The cats sit on the window sill and watch the birds, creating another inspirational moment. We have a tabby and a tuxedo. I think I want a white cat next.

Recently, I've taken a lot of reference photos of the early morning light hitting the snow covered yards and the old growth trees in our neighborhood. That orange/pink glow is just amazing. I've also taken ones at dusk when the old street lights are on and the the snow covered yards along the street are glowing. So basically, my surroundings are constantly sparking my imagination. Photos that my friends post of their pets are also great sources of ideas.

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

I've been trying to keep my painting strokes to a minimum by trying to get the value and color correct from the start. I think that makes for very fresh painting.

Sweet Cheeks
(click to see original image)

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

I am currently learning so much as an artist. I took fifteen credit hours last semester (photography, 3D foundations, drawing, art history, and themes in visual cultures) when I started my Bachelors of Fine Arts program at Wright State University. This semester I am taking eighteen credit hours (2D foundations, art history, Michelangelo, drawing, figure sculpture, and painting).

So, I am taking that daily practice idea into drawing, art history and painting plus all those other classes several times per week. It is all tied together and I think my overall understanding of art is multiplying daily. I am having so much fun and learning so much.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get truly positive feedback from a pet portrait client. That melts my heart. When my husband walks into my studio and says, "wow!" When a painting comes together because I took the time to think it out and get it right the first time. When I look at my finished painting and feel that it is indeed finished, especially if it was done with as few strokes as possible. Those are some of my favorites. All of those events make me truly happy about my art.

Thanks, Patti!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, February 27, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mary Anne Cary

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

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

From Mary Anne's DPW Gallery page:

I am a pastel and oil painter living in Cape Elizabeth Maine. A former graphic artist, I now try to devote my time to painting. I am inspired by the Maine coast and landscape, and I strive to capture everyday scenes with a fresh vision and energy.

I find that, living in Maine, I am supplied with endless possibilities for paintings. I see intriguing studies every time I take a drive, whether down the street or up the coast. I love having my camera ready to record the many compositions and ideas I see around me. I have attended workshops with local and nationally recognized artists and I enter regional juried art shows.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I attended art school and received a degree in Visual Design, which was basically graphic art and commercial print design. I had classes in that discipline including typography, photography, and color. For electives, I did some drawing and pottery, but no painting. After college, I worked in the advertising and printing industry. When I married and was at home with small children, I took some adult classes in watercolor on and off for a couple of years.

Summer Marsh
(click to see original image)

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

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

The adult classes were not consistent, and a little frustrating when you can't devote enough time to the learning process. I also think watercolor is difficult in that it is not too forgiving; it does not leave a lot of room for correcting mistakes. So through the years of child rearing and working part time, I dabbled in a few more artistic endeavors, unable to stay away from doing something creative.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Along the way, I took a workshop in pastel and continued with that medium for several years. I love pastels, their richness and versatility. Besides the few adult classes I took, my painting is mostly self taught. After concentrating on pastels and reading and studying other pastel artist's work, I slowly started to display my work and make some sales. That concentration exposed me to oil painting and I became very intrigued by the lushness of oil paintings. Afraid of oils and all the chemicals, I started with acrylics because it seemed much less daunting. Eventually, I gave in when I felt I was unable to get the results I was looking for and tackled oils.

Bee Still
(click to see original image)

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

The oils started slowly as I was learning on my own, and I found I was thrilled I didn't have to mat and frame every piece. So, even though I feel more comfortable or successful with pastels, I gradually moved away from them. I think I was looser and a bit more creative with pastels. But honestly, I didn't like the pastel dust and the hazards of breathing in those particles that always seemed in the air. I am not the neatest when I am working, and keeping a really clean environment is hard work and a struggle for me. Framing is much easier with oils; I love not having to use glass! So, even though I find oils more difficult, I am happiest working in this medium right now.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am taking a workshop in encaustic in a couple weeks. I am intrigued with that process, and I think it will help me with the desire I have had to move in a more abstract style.

Deconstructed Shadows
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I have kindled the fire for creating paintings, so I feel most inspired by my everyday environment. I also love being able to do virtual gallery surfing and to explore other art and artists. Seeing all the talent and genius in the art world gets me revved up to produce my own. Galleries in "real" time along with museums are essential, too. There is nothing like watching how people are affected by art.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is in my face everyday, in the form of housework, bills, laundry and grocery shopping. I could go on, but I won't bore you.

Pines and Ocean
(click to see original image)

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

The technique that has worked best for me was to rent a studio space two and a half years ago. Getting out of the house and having a space to go to, as well as being with other artists, was a positive step. It helped me to believe in myself more and build up a bit of confidence (even though that is still lacking somewhat). I sometimes feel I am not quite ready for prime time!

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

My biggest block is arriving at ideas for my paintings. I have lots and lots of ideas, and that is the problem. I think I am still a work in progress, and struggle to find a style, which in turn holds me back from progressing in the way I should. I am a bit "all over the place"!

Sometimes I will be inspired by something I see and hold onto that idea until I get to the studio, planning it out before I even arrive. I often wonder how other artists arrive at their artistic expression and stick with one genre.

My continual search is to find where my true painter's personal language resides. I think it helps to keep me from burning out and staying somewhat fresh in my mind.

Deconstructed Grass 2
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am really happy with my art when I am truly inspired. When I step back from a piece and think, '"it works," I was able to express my feeling.

Thanks, Mary Anne!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, February 20, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dean Shelton

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

To enter to win Dean's painting, "White Hen 2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Dean's DPW Gallery page:

Dean Shelton grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dean admits, "I probably spent time drawing when I should have been focusing on other subjects". His mother always encouraged him in his art and ordered a Famous Artist Course to help develop his artistic talents. His high school did not have an art curriculum and he did not have much interest in school. He entered the Navy just before his 18th birthday. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

For as long as I can remember, I have liked to draw. When I was in third grade, everyone did a drawing for a class project. The teachers picked the best drawing and I didn't win. That is when I decided to get better. Growing up, I didn't know anyone who was an artist. When I was in seventh grade, the teacher that taught mechanical drawing had a Thursday night art club. I loved it and soaked up everything.

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

When I got out of high school, I joined the Navy for three years. I didn't do much drawing and had not started painting yet. I enrolled in college using the GA Bill. When looking through the catalog, the only area that I saw where I had any chance of getting a degree was art. The first painting I ever did was a portrait of my mother done in acrylics. I thought it was terrible, but my mother hung it in her living room and it hung there for decades!

White Hen 2
(click to see original image)

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

During my last year of college, Steven Naegle introduced me to watercolors. He was one of the best painters in both watercolor and oil that I had ever seen. He strongly influenced my painting style even to this day.

My wife and I got married during college and after graduation we went to California where I attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Even though I took painting classes in college, I made the decision to become an illustrator and attending the Art Center helped further my career.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

During my career as an illustrator, I used almost every medium except oils. This was because of the short deadlines.

The Old Zinc Mine
(click to see original image)

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

Watercolors have stuck with me since I began in college. When I made the shift away from illustration, I started working more with oils. I still use most mediums, but some more than others.

Who or what inspires you most?

I've always been inspired by the great illustrators Bernie Fuchs, Bob Peak, Mark English and Norman Rockwell. As for fine artists, I've always liked the paintings of Andrew Wyeth and Richard Schmid.

Dirt Bike
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I have too many things to do, I find myself just thinking about each one of them. I just have to stop thinking and start working on something.

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

As a freelance illustrator, I worked out of a studio in my house. As a fine artist, I have just continued to work on my art almost every day.

Signs of Life
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I'm always looking for subject matter to paint. I usually carry my camera and sketch book. I am a member of the Chestnut Group who are plein air painters promoting land conservation. We are invited to paint many historic and interesting sites.

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

I joined DPW so I would try new techniques and paint something everyday. Hopefully, this will help me grow as a painter.

New Day
(click to see original image)

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

When I first started painting in oils, I read books and watched demonstration videos. I've watched painters on PBS and taken workshops. One of the hardest things I've had to learn as an oil painter, is how to paint wet on wet on a canvas. After watching others and doing a lot of painting, I finally learned how to that, but I'm still learning.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm happy when I start a new painting. I'm happy when I finish a painting. I'm happy to know there is no end to growing as an artist. I'm happy when I see someone who has grown as an artist and is painting beautiful art!

Thanks, Dean!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine