Thursday, March 5, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jim Bliss

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

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

From Jim's DPW gallery page:

Jim Bliss was formerly a professional illustrator for 30 years, working with clients including Disney, The Wall Street Journal, The National Geographic Society, and hundreds of others. Currently, he is on disability and supplements his income, as much as possible, by selling his art. He often collaborates with his wife, Noma Bliss on paintings, as is the case with numerous works offered for sale here on Daily Paintworks.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My dad worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for his entire professional life. He encouraged my brothers and I to create art from the time we first began to mumble sounds. Throughout much of my childhood, my dad taught us techniques and introduced us to a variety of mediums and was always encouraging. I learned a lot from watching my dad and competing with my brothers.

Miss Cow
(click to see original image)

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

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

High School was a dry period for me as I was thoroughly confused over just about everything. Later, (after attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY for a year as a 'special student') upon returning home when the school year ended, I shocked my dad by telling him that I was no longer interested in art, and wanted to go into construction. Apparently, some of that confusion was still lingering. After that, I got sensible and began my career as an illustrator, which lasted about thirty years.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

There is very little that I have not tried. As an illustrator, I did digital work and airbrush as well as created with many painting techniques using every medium imaginable. I've also done ceramic work.

My Dog
(click to see original image)

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

Most of my work now is executed with a combination of painting techniques using oil, acrylic and pencil. I lost interest in digital work and airbrush as I find them both tedious and lacking in 'feeling'. I'd rather have fun.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Any exploration that I do generally comes about spontaneously, as I may discover a new, better way of applying paint or using my brushes to speed up the process or create interesting effects. I also do a lot of experimenting with the way I design faces or figures, whether human or animal.

Dapper Frog
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Most of my inspiration and ideas come from my own brain. I've looked at art my whole life so I'm sure that I have influences though none I can point to specifically. As I work very closely with my artist wife Noma Bliss, I learn much from watching her and have over time learned to loosen up due to her fearless influence. Also, always a source of inspiration is my passionate interest in animal life and the natural world. Most of my work includes animals.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I rarely procrastinate when it come to doing art. If I don't feel like doing something, I'll do it even quicker than if I'm enthused just to get it out of the way.

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

Art has always been the way I have earned my living so the fact is that art is just about all I do. Even through the middle of the sleepless night.

Cat Woman
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Often, my wife gives me ideas, other times, I use my own brain. My ideas are generally so simple that they do not require much mental exertion.

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

Once again, very often my wife Noma searches around for innovative approaches or techniques and gives them to me. She seems to enjoy doing it, and generally has great suggestions, so I don't mind. Saves me the trouble. As for the imagery that I select, I use my own sensibility to determine an approach. My goal is creating a piece that is always geared toward sell-ability, so I always try to create a visually interesting and pleasing-to-the-eye finished product.

Sir Pug
(click to see original image)

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

I think the thing that pleases me the most about my art at present is that at sixty-one years of age, I am continuing to improve at my drawing and painting skills. I draw and paint much faster than I have in the past and with superior results. My wife's influence has been key, as she is a very intuitive painter and obeys no stultifying rules.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm happy because I probably have one of the best jobs that anyone can have. How many people get paid money for simply expressing their joy?

Thanks, Jim!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Chris Breier

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

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

From Chris's DPW gallery page:

From Buffalo New York. I work in acrylics in a variety of genres, both abstract and representational. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I've always been interested in art so there wasn't a specific moment when I decided that I was going to become a painter. I spent a lot of time drawing as a child and I never lost interest in it.

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

There was a period after college when I was trying to figure out what I could do to make a living and that didn't leave a lot of time for painting. I was learning about computers, graphic design, and the printing industry.

The Village
(click to see original image)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I've experimented with numerous mediums: oil, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink, and encaustic. The genres that I've worked in are abstraction, landscape, cityscape, figure drawing, and still life.

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

Acrylics are probably my favorite medium. They have their own unique look but they can also mimic many of the more traditional mediums such as oils or watercolors. The quick drying time of acrylics allow me to rapidly build up layers of color, and to easily paint over mistakes.

I worked with oils in college but I've found that I'm sensitive to the solvents; they give me a headache and I didn't like the idea of storing flammable liquids in my home. I also don't have the patience for long drying time.

Japanese Gardens
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm looking forward to working abstractly again. I think it would be fun to apply what I've learned from working representationally to abstract painting.

I recently became serious about watercolor and I found that it's the most demanding painting medium that I've tried; there's very little room for error due to the transparent nature of the paint. If you overwork it there's no way to fix it.

I would also like to explore painting outdoors more. I think working outside would be a good way to stay motivated, especially during the summer months.

Who or what inspires you most?

Looking at great art inspires me, there are so many paintings in museums and online that are phenomenal - I look at them and try to figure out how they did it. I love learning about how other artists paint so I have a lot of art videos, magazines, and books.

Grain Elevators
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

The internet is a great way to kill time. Watching TV is a close second. I wouldn't try to eliminate these things from my life though because new ideas often come to me during these idle moments. The key is to make time for both work and relaxation every day.

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

I wake up early in the morning and paint before leaving for work so that it's the first thing that I do, otherwise I would probably never get around to it. My goal is to paint every day for an hour. If I paint for longer than that I usually take a break so that I can stay sharp.

I try to eliminate the busywork as much as possible. For example, I haven't stretched a canvas or primed my own wood panels in years. The cost of prepared panels isn't that much more than if I prime them myself, and the quality is better. Framing is another time sink that I try to avoid and I think collectors appreciate being able to choose the style for themselves.

Commercial Slip
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas for paintings are everywhere. I like the idea of making paintings of everyday scenes and objects. If I waited for the perfect subject matter to show up then I would never paint.

I work mostly from photographs, but I don't like the idea of copying a photograph exactly. I consider it a starting point, like a sketch, and I make whatever changes I feel will improve the painting.

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

I make a game of it by switching to a different medium or by working in a different size. I recently completed a series of small paintings, commonly known as Artist Trading Cards. The small size requires a different approach so it's a good diversion from my regular paintings.

If I get tired of coming up with for new reference material to paint from I will work on a larger painting to keep me occupied for awhile. This gives me additional time to build up a catalog of photographs to paint from in the future. I like to have a few images ready to paint and this helps me to eliminate a few of the weaker ideas. They just seem to never get painted and I eventually forget about them.

If I don't feel like painting, I remind myself that after about ten minutes of getting started the resistance will disappear and I will start to enjoy the work. A good audiobook or podcast can also help me when I'm not feeling motivated because I can look forward to listening to it while I paint.

Country Walk
(click to see original image)

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

I'm currently learning a lot about marketing and the business side of art which is very time consuming. I feel like I spend more time marketing than I do painting!

As far as painting techniques are concerned, I've been learning about watercolors rather intensively for the past six months or so. Most of my previous watercolors ended up in the garbage! This past summer my brother and I were determined to improve our watercolor skills. We had fun trying out different brands of papers and paints. I've learned from working in other mediums that the materials you chose have an impact upon the results. They don't necessarily have to be the best or most expensive but it's useful to do some research and experimentation to figure out what works best for your style.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I think it's the process that I enjoy most, I really enjoy learning new things and playing around with paint in my studio. When I'm working, I often lose track of time and become absorbed in my work. Painting can also be very difficult and frustrating at times, but I think that's part of what makes it so compelling. If it were easy, it would be boring.

Thanks, Chris!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, February 19, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Liz Maynes

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

To enter to win Liz's painting, "Citrus Arrangement" 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.

I loved to draw when I was growing up. The drawing kind of evolved into experimentation with painting. By the time I reached grad school in university, I was able to sell my work at a local community market to help pay some of my tuition. At this time, I also got involved in community painting auctions and festivals - from these experiences my interest in painting just kept growing!

Citrus Arrangement
(click to see original image)

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

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

Well, I am actually a medical doctor in training- something I am very dedicated and committed to. So for many years, I was unable to paint because of my hectic schedule. I have managed to balance things in a way that allows me to paint in the free time I have.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried using both acrylic and oil paint. For quick sketches, I love the painterly aspects in using charcoal. For genres, I've experimented with just about everything.

The Race
(click to see original image)

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

I like the convenience and water solubility of acrylic paint, but my ultimate goal is to apply what I have learned through acrylic in terms of design, value and color palettes to my use of oil paint.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Most of the time, I put my ideas on paper before I start a painting. For challenging subject matter, I might draw an image over ten times before I attempt it with the brush. Drawing to me is the most important aspect of a painting.

Tumbling Tangerines
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

My husband! He is so supportive and loving. We are both inspired by great works of art of the past. Canadian greats like Tom Thomson, Clarence Gagnon and George Bridgman appeal to me, and of course the Group of Seven!  Some of my other favorites include:  Sorolla, Mary Cassatt, Anders Zorn, Toulouse Lautrec, Degas; there are so many. I also want to mention DPW and Carol Marine - the teamwork and creativity they put into maintaining the site is super inspiring!

What does procrastination look like for you?

I have been wanting to take more painting workshops, but I keep putting it off.  It's definitely on my list of things to do.

Little Water Collector
(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?

To keep things fresh I practice drawing a lot. I draw anything and I draw everyday. I love to draw!

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

To create a painting that I am satisfied with, I trust my gut feelings and intuition more and more. It has become the most important tool to help me judge my own work.

Cold Chicago Winter Day
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Painting makes me feel so alive! I am glad I have finally managed my time in a way that allows me to paint. I also experience a strong sense of gratitude whenever I create a piece of art. There are so many things to be thankful for.

Thanks, Liz!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, February 12, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amy Schimler-Safford

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

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

From Amy's DPW gallery page:

I studied textile design and painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA. I work as a children's illustrator by day and have returned to my passion of painting these past few years. I work predominantly in oils, alla prima style. Color is very important in my paintings as well as my illustration work. I hope you enjoy my work, thanks so much for stopping by. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have done artwork ever since I can remember. I dabbled in painting with oils on and off as a teenager and then when I was in my twenties, I took a class. I went back to art school at age thirty to study painting but wound up focusing on textile arts. I didn’t get back to it until two years ago in my late fifties. I wondered all of these years what my painting voice is.

Roses and Berries
(click to see original image)

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

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

Many, the typical life interruptions – starting a family, work obligations, and I also had some medical issues layered on top of that.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked with gouache and acrylic in my work (I am an illustrator by day) and also have done collage and monoprint.

Trio
(click to see original image)

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

I still love working with gouache; love the printing process too. I just don’t have time to do everything I want to, so for now I have made a commitment to oils.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I feel like my journey with oils has just begun.

Who or what inspires you most?

Color, color, color – shapes, nature, interesting moments where colors meet.

Persimmons
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It used to be an interruption when I was just getting started, but I think that had a lot to do with not being comfortable with the medium. It was hard work and a lot of hits and misses and feelings of discouragement.

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

Now that I feel I am over the first hump of the challenge of learning something new, I look forward to it. I make sure to paint weekly.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I just look to see what inspires me. I went through a period where I was drawn to all of the fall vegetables in Whole Foods.

Saturday Peonies
(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?

Studying with painters I admire, trying to understand what I respond to. Recently when I paint, each time is a different experience, I try to let go and trust the process. I remind myself to look, to see color, to see the light and to see the dark.

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

How to push color and light. How to let go. How to keep a brush stroke meaningful and expressive. What to include, what to leave out.

Friday's Flowers
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Doing it, sharing it and playing with buttery color for hours at a time.

Thanks, Amy!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, February 5, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Charlotte Yealey

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

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

From Charlotte's DPW gallery page: 

​I am a professional artist and my love for nature shows in each painting. York Academy of Arts was part of my training. I opened my own pet grooming business and painted portraits of pets for over 20 years and now that my daughter runs the business, I now paint full time when I am not visiting local nursing homes and schools with my Therapy dogs. I am a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, Pennsylvania watercolor Society and Daily Painters of Pennsylvania. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been painting (especially dogs and animals) since I was in grade school because I grew up on a farm. My school art project subjects were always animals and spent a lot of my spare time drawing dogs, cats and other animals on the farm. After high school I attended York Academy of arts.

Rooster
(click to see original image)

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

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

I put my art away a few years after marriage and when my children were babies but started painting again at night after they would go to bed. I spent weekends at the art and crafts shows with my dad who was a wood carver.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried just about every medium including stained glass but I always go back to oil painting, colored pencil drawing and pastel. I love to be able to get the fine detail in my art and sometime combine mediums to achieve it. I have worked a little with clay sculpture but would like to set aside more time to master it.

Zebra Look
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

My father the wood carver and an aunt who was a watercolorist have inspired me the most but when I see a photo realistic artists work, I am greatly inspired to work harder.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I think all artist face procrastination at one time but with me it is mostly the paperwork and bookkeeping of the art business. I would rather be painting or drawing. I do have to set studio hours so that I keep up with the demand of suppling two galleries, enter competitions and complete my commissions.

Two English Springer Spaniels
(click to see original image)

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

I was once asked "How do you know what to paint?" I always say "That is easy! I keep my camera with me at all times and always stop to photograph an animal looking cute, a bird at my feeder or any other inspiration that crosses my path".

Turtle
(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?

I feel exploring new combinations of mediums and subjects in my art keeps me reaching for new goals and possibilities in my creative thoughts. Artist never stop learning, with each painting there is a new lesson learned.

Borzoi
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am blessed to be able to create art that makes people smile.

Thanks, Charlotte!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 29, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elena Nayman

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

To enter to win Elena's painting, "Bouquet" 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.

I am a self taught artist. I started painting ten years ago and instantly fell in love with it. During one year, I took classes with a local artist. She helped me to find confidence in myself. In general, I learn well on my own and this skill helped me move forward with painting as well.

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

I have painted non stop for the last twelve months. Prior to that, I would paint for a year or two and if I saw no progress in my work I would stop for six months or so and wait for inspiration to come back.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started painting with acrylics and it was a great experience. I was interested in learning to paint with oils but didn't like using turpentine. About two years ago I have discovered water mixable oil and I love it.

Bouquet
(click to see original image)

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

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

I am in love with oils and I think I'll continue to paint with them.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am still not settled with my style. I love impressionism as well as modern art. Cityscape is my favorite genre, but I am learning to paint flowers/still life and enjoying that very much as well.

Rainy Day
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Light and shadows fascinate me. I love taking walks alone and observing everything around me. This is a very happy time for me. Some ideas come to me before I go to sleep and once or twice I've had a dream about a subject matter. Going to museums is another favorite inspiration. People who inspire me: Korovin, Fechin, Rembrandt, Renoir, Jeremy Mann and many others.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Self doubt is a huge cause of procrastination for me.

Childhood Memories, St. Petersburg, Russia
(click to see original image)

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

I am so happy when I paint that I make sure to paint almost daily. It doesn't mean that I am happy with all results but it doesn't stop me from coming back to my studio.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It is difficult to say. I look through my photos time and again and eventually get a feeling that this is the one I'd like to paint today or tomorrow.

City Tram
(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?

I enjoy painting. I am never upset, angry or frustrated if I cannot get a satisfactory result. I see no problem with getting a palette knife and scraping paint off of a canvas if I see that this project is not going to work. As with life itself, I see painting as a learning process and always look forward to something new. I am amazed to see how a brush or palette knife can place paint onto a white canvas to create color, light, and shadows. The features join together and something new emerges before my eyes.

Light and Shadows in a Morning City
(click to see original image)

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

There is so much beauty in nature and simple everyday things that I can capture on canvas. I can say that it is never too late to learn anything if you set your mind on it. One should not strive for perfection but to learn to enjoy whatever is here and right now.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The process of painting is the most important part of my art. When I paint, nothing exists anymore and the whole world vanishes.  In that moment only the canvas, oils, brush or palette knife and myself represent all of it.

Thanks, Elena!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carolyn McDonald

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

To enter to win Carolyn's painting, "Peek-a-boo Flicks?" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Carolyn's DPW gallery page:

Carolyn McDonald lives in Hoover, Alabama with her husband. She has two handsome sons, two beautiful daughter-in-laws, and three adorable grandchildren.

Carolyn has a B.F.A. and M.A. in painting and drawing from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. in art education from The Florida State University. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I've been drawing since I was a young child around the age of three.  However, the first time I used artist paints was in high school art class.  The Kennedy administration had done a lot for extending the arts in high schools across the country and we were blessed with no art fees and plenty of paper, pencils, pastels, canvas, brushes, and polymer (acrylic) paint.  My art teacher, Mrs. Hill, taught us under the Victor Lowenfield tradition where supplies were made available, but no formal instruction was given.  Hence, there was a lot of experimentation with color mixing and trying to achieve a a 3-D effect on a 2-D surface.

From there, I majored in painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee.  During my last year, my husband asked how I would be able to make a living should anything happen to him.  It was a common opinion that anyone trying to paint for a living would be a starving artist and women even more so.  Also, the head of the art department, Professor Ewing, told me that I had two strikes against me for becoming an artist.  Number one, I was female.  Number two, I was a married female.  Therefore, I considered my husband's question and double majored: one major in painting and drawing, and one major in art education.

Four years later, I went back to the University of Tennessee to obtain a masters in fine art.  I wanted to see Professor Ewing to tell him I was back and I had added two more strikes against me:  two adorable sons, but the Professor had had a heart attack that previous summer while riding a camel somewhere in the Middle East.  What more can be said?

Peek-a-boo Flicks
(click to see original image)

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

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

When I returned to school to work on my masters degree, I quickly learned in graduate fine art classes that it would be a dog-eat-dog environment and I would be required to work nights and take trips to museums all over the United States.  I had two small children, ages six months and two years.  My husband traveled and was not home thru the week days, so I chose the path of love and nurture for my sons and changed my major to art education.  While I was still able to paint during my residence of school, I quickly found very little time to paint after I achieved my masters. However, I never felt that I had to choose between being an artist and being a mom. It was simply a season of my life.  I wanted to be a good mom the most and teaching art gave me time during the day to keep my paint brush wet.  However, I didn't get to paint as much as I wanted, and my painting ability suffered.  It became harder to pick up the brush.  I could see that my ability to paint was loosing ground and it turned into a vicious cycle:  I couldn't paint as well as I had in the past which made it even harder to pick up the brush.

It wasn't until I was teaching full-time in college and painting with other artists that I had that extra push to paint more often.  Later, I went to Florida State University to get my doctorate in art education.  It was the only Ph.D. in art ed. in the U.S. that I found where I could minor in painting and drawing.  However, the rigorous research and writing gave me less time to paint than I had hoped for.  After finishing my Ph.D. coursework, I was hired as the Visual Art Consultant for the State of Tennessee Education Department.  Unfortunately, that job gave me no time and no energy to create anything.

After I received my Ph.D. in art education,  I began teaching at a high school, in Birmingham, Alabama.  Leaving a private college and teaching in a public school was, indeed, a culture shock.  Lots of preparation with only five minutes to breath between classes,  I felt like I was drowning in a pool of discipline and art projects.  Painting ceased for two years.  I finically decided that for me to survive teaching in a high school setting, I had to carve out a space for ONLY ME in the classroom.  I set up an easel with all my paints and began painting again.  Not until 2010 did I learn about daily painting.  I took a painting workshop with Carol Marine, and the rest is history.  I now paint almost every day of the week except Saturday and Sunday.

Butters McLovin
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

As a high school art teacher, everything.  However, for me to really improve in a medium, I chose to concentrate in oil painting.

What does procrastination look like?

It's wanting to paint but intentionally finding other things to do.  Think of an Olympic runner who intentionally doesn't run to keep in shape and sharpen his/her skill.  Procrastination is sabotaging my future; more of a fear of succeeding than a fear of failure. 

What is your favorite subject to paint?

Actually, anything that grabs my heart.  It can be as simple as an orange that is back-lit or a little iron pig with wings.  Also, I love animals.  Then there are my grandchildren!  I am captivated by the narrative portrait.

Who or what inspires you most?

In college, I fell in love with the works of Degas, Cassatt, Van Gogh, and Lautrec.  However, the teachers that have inspired me the most are Dawn Whitlaw, Michael Shane Neal, Peggi Kroll Roberts, Carol Marine, Timothy Thies, Leslie Saeta, and Dreama Toll Perry.  Recently, I participated in a portrait painting workshop at Portraits, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama.  Dawn Whitlaw was the portrait artist teaching the sessions.  While viewing her sublime work and demonstration, I was inspired to paint more portraits.

What a Pear
(click to see original image)

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

I have a studio space at school and all my supplies are organized where I can easily access them.  I have all my student studio lessons organized and all supplies have their own special place.  It takes a while to get my students oriented where to "always" pick up their supplies, where to turn in their work, and where to pick their finished work after it is graded; even how to ask for help.  After the first month of school, the art room runs smoothly. 

I do not have difficulty painting five or ten minutes at a time, stopping to help students and walking around the room to answer questions.  I also use my painting to illustrate concepts I am asking them to emulate.  The students are excited each day to see what I am working on and many conversations about art, technique, and the business of art, etc. arise from me working on paintings in the classroom.

Also, I go to school early and stay late some days in order to finish a painting alla prima.  During the school year, I have chosen to not paint in my home studio or paint during the weekends.  This helps me to have a healthy balance in my life and I am more excited to go to school each day of the school year.  Yes, I wake up excited about what the days holds for my students and what I might create.

Girlie Girl
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your painting?

It depends.  I try to consider my surroundings at all times and when the shadows and highlights illuminate a scene that catches my eye, I think to myself, "I want to paint that."  I take a lot of photographs and occasionally I take one that as soon as I see the digital image I know it would make a lovely painting.  My favorite is the narrative portrait.  Recently, while visiting my grandchildren in Nashville, my eight year old granddaughter wanted me to take a photo of her cat, Pipper, looking out the kitchen window.  As she bent over and stretched out the cat against the window, I seized the moment and snapped several shots.  While her face was not recognizable, anyone that knows my granddaughter would recognize her by her clothes.  I chose to paint that photo instead of the individual image of the cat because the first shots told a story about my granddaughter's relationship with her cat.

The "Shoe Series" were inspired by the cute shoes my female students were wearing to class.  Knowing my students, it seemed that their choices in shoes echoed their own personalities.  I wanted it to be all about the shoes, and I am constantly encouraging them to try out unique vantage points.  Therefore, I saw an opportunity to teach by example.  More and more students, even the guys, began to wear unique shoes and requesting that I photograph them.

I paint pets because I understand the love between the human and their pet.  Dogs and cats don't speak English, but their eyes speak and I so enjoy painting eyes.  Also, I like working with the pet owners and listening to their stories about their relationships with their beloved animals.

Ritzy
(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?
  1. I try to paint three to five days a week (not everyday)
  2. I don't paint at home during the school year or on weekends
  3. I look at a lot of art on-line and in museums and galleries
  4. Occasionally, I take chances on painting something that I think is going to be very difficult
  5. I wipe off paintings that are not working by the end of the day
  6. I give myself grace when the painting does not work and I resign to try again the next day
  7. I work in series to see how far I can push the subject
  8. I take painting workshops that I have deemed will be beneficial to what I want to achieve in my own work
  9. I have taken breaks from painting and done color charts
  10. I take time to organize my studio
  11. I have relationships with other artists
  12. Teaching
What makes you happiest about your art?

When I can see improvement from year to year, and when I see the joy on someone's face after they receive one of my paintings.

Thanks, Carolyn!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 15, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Laurie Mueller


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


To enter to win Laurie's painting, "Who're You Wearing?" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.


Click here to view Laurie's DPW Gallery.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I remember my first piece of art that I was really proud of. I was very small, and painted a picture, then folded it into a card, and put a piece of tissue paper over it, making it look sort of soft and foggy. It was a Mother's day card. I loved that for some reason, and just went from there.

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

Oh yes, like a lot of people. Kids, college (myself), momhood, wifehood, and of course, work.

Who're You Wearing?
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I spent years doing ceramics, painting and firing backsplashes for people, painting murals, painting fabric and making quilts. Now, I mostly work with acrylic and oils and make collages.

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

I just learned oils a few years ago, and went to a workshop. The artist's name is Carol Marine (have you heard of her?). It really got me excited about oil painting, and at that workshop I met some of my very best friends! To name a few: Kristin Dukat, Gloria Moses, Chris Lally, Ruth Ann Sturgill, Trish Ansert, and other great artists like Jane Langdon, Candace Brancik, Carol Marine, and more! What a bonus!  I have also had the incredible experiences of going to workshops by Qiang Huang, Kyle Martin, Peggy Kroll Roberts, and Becky Joy. So, I guess you could say that oil is sticking for now. I love it.

Here Comes Trouble
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I just want to do what I'm doing for now. I have SO much to learn, and I want to get better.

Who or what inspires you most? 

 I appreciate so many things and people who are inspiring to me. Too many to say.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Putting things off!

Can't Wait
(click to see original image)

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

Just doing my best at the moment. I don't really have a structure yet. I just started painting full time a year ago.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Looking at life. Sometimes in the middle of the night. But sometimes it's really hard to know what to paint. You would think that with all the things in life that we see and experience, it would be easy. Sometimes it is. But other times it seems impossible!

Hang in There
(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?

I am trying hard to learn every day. Either by experimenting, watching art videos, reading, and talking to my art friends. I feel I am an infant in terms of what's out there and how I can learn from other artists.

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

My continuing "journey". I hope I can continue this for a long, long, time. I feel that artists learn so much merely in the daydreaming we do when we're lost in painting.

Quiet
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

The incredible feeling of joy and appreciation that I have, to be able to do this. My Grandmother could have been an amazing and accomplished artist, but didn't have the opportunities I do. I don't want to waste this opportunity. Not only for me, but for her.

Thanks Laurie!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Scott Shearer

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

To enter to win Scott's painting, "7up" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Scott's DPW Gallery page:

I have loved art as long as I can remember. I studied art at the University of Utah, receiving a BFA. I have been involved in art, in various fields, for the past 25 years. Right after college, I worked as a graphic artist and computer animator in Chicago, all the while painting on the side. It wasn't until around 2005 that I started to take my art more seriously. I started entering competitions and to my surprise did pretty well. I now live in Wisconsin on our old family farm and in 2015 I decided to finally paint full time. I like to paint whatever inspires me, from nature to still life to landscapes to people. I find interest in everyday subjects. Thanks for viewing my art. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have painted or drawn as long as I can remember. But it wasn't until high school that my teacher saw my raw talent, helped me develop and taught me about oil painting. She really was the one who encouraged me to pursue art and to always keep painting.

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

It seems like I am always starting and stopping. The longest time that I didn't painting was when my oldest daughter was born 3 months premature. That was in 1993. I didn't get back into painting until 2005. It was like starting all over again. That was a real hard time.

7up
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started painting wildlife art in oils, but realized acrylics was a better medium for that genre. I continued painting tight realistic wildlife subjects for several years and just got kind of bored and burned out with it, so I changed everything. I went back to oils and painted anything I felt like and tried loosening up my style. That's when I took a Carol Marine workshop. A year later, I took a workshop from Doug Braithwaite and was introduced to plein air painting. These two artists opened me up to a whole new world.

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

Well, I think painting in oils is here to stay. As for my style, the jury is still out. I am settling for something in between loose and tight. It just seems natural to me and I love things about both.

Toby
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I don't think I'll explore any other kinds of mediums. I love oils and I have my hands full mastering all the things you can do with it.

I am still in pursuit of plein air painting. I love the freedom of being outside and the challenge of catching the right light. It's frustrating and fun at the same time.

Who or what inspires you most?

Who inspires me: Carol Marine, Doug Braithwaite, Josh Claire, N.C. Wyeth, Christopher Stott, Tibor Nagy. Should I keep going?

What inpires me: It might sound hokey, but life! The way evening light settles on an object. Watching an artist I admire develop a painting. Beautiful music inspires me.

GE Fan
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

There are a couple things: 1. unproductive T.V. watching. I can waste or procrastinate a whole day away with watching stupid shows. My wife can attest to that :) 2. Not believing in myself. Self doubt and insecurity will cripple me.

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

Having a plan. I need to set daily goals of what I want to accomplish. Otherwise, I will piddle around doing trivial things. I don't always reach those daily goals, but I get more accomplished when I make goals.

Iowa State Bird
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get ideas from other artists and what they are painting. I think, "oh, that's cool." Seeing what others are doing and trying to change it a bit leads to different, more original ideas.

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

Variety! Always trying new things. Some things work, some don't. I just keep thinking and looking for new things, new ideas to paint. Something always comes along.

Boulder Mtn. Vista
(click to see original image)

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

I have been concentrating on color theory. I really want to master this concept.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I guess when everything lines up right: color, value, brushstokes and I am able to create something I am really proud of. Also, the process of being able to create something that others appreciate. What a great blessing.

Thanks, Scott!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine