Thursday, April 16, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Anette Power

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

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

From Anette's DPW Gallery Page:

I like to pause to capture moments; yummy color combinations, the sun lighting kids at play, hazy atmosphere in nature and the timeless design of classic cars. These visual moments all stop me in my tracks. At my easel, brush in hand I ask myself: How do I best divide my canvas, find the right angle, balance the lights and darks and crop my subject in a way that tells a story? I want to capture life around me and document our fleeting place in history. I grew up in Sweden on an island off the east coast. Thanks to my mom and being a little far from town, my sister and I did a lot of creative play. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up on an island outside of town, off the east coast of Sweden, and my mom painted, so there was exposure to art and a lot of time to make it.  It made for a creative childhood where art was a natural part of it, as well as spending time in nature, making toys and playing with sticks. I also got positive feedback and won some art competitions in school, so it felt like my thing.

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

Acting was a priority for me starting in middle school and all the way up until age twenty-three when after two acting schools and living in the US, I realized that I’d rather go back to focusing on art – Here... Look at my work, not me.  I then found my way into the much smaller and friendlier world of Animation.  It was a wonderful way to learn about setting a mood and creating a world with color and light to support your story and characters.

When I had kids, I was determined to not take twenty years off from painting so I just had to find ways and time to do it in between family time!  Not an easy task, and it would be impossible without my supportive husband!

Sunny Stairs
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with drawing and watercolor as a child and dabbled with pastels and acrylics before falling in love with the directness and immediacy of oils.  I’ve tried print-making for the graphic look it can achieve and mixed media.

Landscapes were my subject matter more than anything.  I used to be so intimidated by the subject of people, feeling more connected to, and familiar with nature.  So it fit perfectly that during my fourteen years in Animation my focus was to paint the backgrounds behind the characters.  In more recent years, I’ve been working hard on my “people skills” by taking quick-sketch (and life-drawing) classes, and learning about character-design and caricature.  I still find that I get the most stuck on painting faces, and getting them right, but I’m not as intimidated as before and I have learned to break it down to shapes and planes and how the light hits those planes.

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

In the last few years, I’ve been more and more drawn to painting scenes with buildings, animals, kids, and classical cars because they naturally provide more colors.  It’s all in an effort to document the world and the colorful moments around me that speak of our time here.

Duck out of Water
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m always trying to go more abstract.  I’m so intrigued by the shapes and lines within the picture plane and how to crop and compose something in a fresh way.  I’m fascinated by abstract art!  When I do it myself, I inevitably fall into painting something more three-dimensional and descriptive.  I’m a bit of a control-freak so the unknown journey of an abstract is a little out of my comfort zone.   I want to keep working on adding elements of abstraction (or simplification) to my realistic work and it really keeps me on my toes, alert and challenged.

Who or what inspires you most?

My niece Manda, who only got to be here for a short time, continuously inspires me to do what I love while I’m here.

I’m inspired by many artists and collect work of artists that inspire me on Pinterest.

Here are some of the ones I admire for how they can toe the line of realism and abstraction - my Pinterest page Abstracted Realism.

The Regal One
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It’s easy for me to say that there’s never enough time to paint, so I don’t feel like I do a lot of procrastination.  But I realize that for me procrastination shows up as getting a little paralyzed when I want to work on something that’s out of my comfort zone, such as abstract work.  An artist’s life is full of ups and downs… I get into a show, work that I really care about gets rejected.  At those times, it’s easy to question what I’m doing and start comparing which also can lead to procrastination.   That’s when I need to just work on some daily paintings. Something small and fast to get back to the joy of capturing my impressions of the world.

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

It probably helps that I’m a little obsessed and get cranky if I don’t get my fill of making, seeing and planning for great art.  I then leave the dishes behind and escape.

Wharf Wiggles
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I research and look at a lot of art, which helps me figure out what I like to accomplish in my own work.  I take a ton of photos that I can go through if I ever run out of ideas.  I usually have way more ideas than time.  I would say that aside from capturing moments, my work is composition and theme driven.  My latest theme being on the subject of holding on and letting go…

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

Whenever I feel burned out, overly critical, am over-working things, or stuck on “getting it right”, then I know it’s time to paint outside.  There’s something about the immediacy of painting a living world and what’s right in front of me (before it changes) that helps.  It totally re-charges me and brings me back to the joy of painting.  It also gives me a feeling of my true size in the world, if that makes sense.  If I paint from photos, I like to turn them upside down to look at the image with fresh eyes!

DIY Bubblebath
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning to trust that I know enough to let go and just paint.  See this blog post on practice, improvising and what actually happens in our brains when we’re in the flow of things according to a great Ted Talk Radio Hour.

I continuously work on simplifying. I'm not sure why it is so hard... Lol.  One concept that has helped me with that recently is Kevin McPherson’s thoughts on the Truth of Light and Shadow.  Liz Wiltzen does an excellent job of explaining it here.

There’s so much to learn about the business of art.  I feel like I need to look into possible gallery representation soon as I continue on my new series.  I need to figure out what the next step is for the next phase of my art career.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing the joy of creating art with kids and adults alike.  Seeing great art that inspires me to create.   Enjoying when others find joy in my work.  The camaraderie this journey brings with other artists and the belief that my best work is just around the corner…

Thanks, Anette!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, April 9, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Linda Hunt

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

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

From Linda's DPW Gallery Page:

My name is Linda Hunt and I am a painter. I love to paint focusing my attention on light and color. I paint common things in my environment and love to challenge myself to paint almost everyday. My style of painting would be termed abstract realism. I paint quickly and energetically working wet into wet paint. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how your first started painting.

Like many artists, I began painting and drawing in my childhood. I did take art lessons as a child at the Portland Oregon Museum Art School . I remember the feeling and the smell of those class rooms and the joy that I felt. Later in my undergraduate studies, my emphasis was in drawing and sculpture.

When I was in graduate school, my focus shifted to abstract expressionist drawing and painting, but my emphasis was still sculpture. I painted and made mixed media collaged paintings, drawings, and assemblages for many years after graduating. In 1988, I began to have an interest in painting from life in oil paints. I began to paint interior spaces that were comprised of more or less collaged images that I painted from life, incorporating them into believable room settings. My work has always merged abstraction with the representational.

Red Wedges
(click to see original image)

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

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

When my son was young, I didn't paint as much and there was about a ten year lapse in creating. In 1978, I went back to school, majoring in Fine Art. I have been creating and painting since that time. I studied for the next eight or nine years as a single working parent and student while obtaining three degrees in art. It is a funny thing because my real education came after school while struggling on my own to learn what I didn't learn in college.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

During the 1990's, I began to produce small assemblage interior wearable art pins that were exhibited and carried by many museum art shops throughout the United States. As an example, I sold my pins at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery in Washington DC. They were so much fun to create. I used shrinky dink art material to fill each interior space with furniture and vases of flowers that I cut and shrunk and then painted with oil paints. In early 2000, I began painting strictly from life and after taking a workshop from Carol Marine in 2008, I started to paint on a daily basis.

Lately, I have been experimenting with gouache which, to me, is much like oil paint. I love the velvety texture and am looking forward to pursuing my studies with this medium in the future. I also enjoy pastel and drawing in charcoal. I love oil paints and that is my main medium of choice.

Brunch
(click to see original image)

What inspires you most?

I am constantly looking at art so I have so many artists that I find inspirational. I recently purchased a DVD by artist Lori Putnam and am finding many tips and ideas to incorporate in my own work. I am always looking back at some of my favorite artists such as Manet, Van Gogh, Sorolla, Anders Zorn to name a few. I love to look at art and let it infuse my soul.

I would say that what inspires me is light: light falling on objects and creating patterns and shadows. The tactile quality of oil paint and its beautiful sheen always excites my senses.

Still Life #7
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like to you?

Procrastination is something that I fight each and every day. It takes a lot of energy to keep and run a household and paint. I make sure that I paint almost every day even if it is something small. I usually work out, run errands, and take care of my two Golden Retreiver Dogs in the morning. In the afternoon, I go to my studio and begin to work. I also like to paint in the evening after my husband and dogs are bedded down for the night. I enjoy the quiet solitude of night working until I am too tired to paint any further.

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

I make sure that I show up in my studio each day. I love the quote that I believe is from Picasso "Inspiration can only come if it finds you working."

Portrait
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My surroundings are inspiration for subject matter in my paintings. I work mostly from life, although there are times when a photograph makes more sense. I would love to plein air paint, but I have not spent time doing this, so my landscapes are done from photos that I take. My hobby is to frequent my beloved thrift stores and look for items that capture my attention and inspire me. I also love flowers and fruit. My best paintings come when I have an idea that haunts me until I can get paint to canvas. I love it when this happens; it is such a gift.

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

I know that I am on the right track if I maintain an orderly studio and palette. When things get messy it is time to take a break and pamper myself by taking a walk, reading a good book, or just close the studio door for a while until I can regroup.

Geisha 2
(click to see original image)

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

Currently, I am working with a new limited palette of only three colors and I find it challenging and very stimulating. The other interest of mine is in laying out a painting and working to refine my composition. This particular interest is an ongoing, ever-evolving problem to solve.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the look and feel of the paint and the act of painting brings me joy. (Well, with a little frustration mixed right in there to sweeten the mix.) Pure clean color makes me happy.

Thanks, Linda!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gretchen Hancock

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

To enter to win Gretchen's painting, "Silver Bowl, Lemons, Lavender" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Gretchen's DPW Gallery Page:

I live and work on Vashon Island near Seattle. I have been painting realistic subject matter for a long time and often include scenes from the Pacific Northwest where I live. I have been blogging since 2010.

I am interested in how light describes an object, and how shadows and highlights add drama. I sometimes paint outdoors, but often paint in my studio from still life subjects that I arrange, or from photographs that I have taken. Whether I am doing a still life or a landscape, I am very much interested in composition and design and I work to simplify my subject matter so that the composition reads as well from across the room as it does close to the painting. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started with a drawing class in college, which I enjoyed very much.  I wound up majoring in ceramics because I really enjoyed the process, and I earned my living as a potter for several years.  When I moved to Alaska, I switched to painting watercolors because the pottery studio didn’t go into a backpack.

Silver Bowl, Lemons, Lavender
(click to see original image)

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

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

I managed to paint part time when my children were little, but stopped painting to learn drafting.  I designed and built two houses and didn’t pick up a paint brush for about ten years.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in ceramics, watercolor, acrylics, pastels, and oils.  I have also taken classes in Photoshop and have used the program for development of painting ideas for the last fifteen years.

Spring Onions
(click to see original image)

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

I’m using oil paints these days, though I do paint large paintings using acrylics.  When I am painting small, I want to be able to blend and soften edges; for this oils are perfect.  For the large acrylic paintings, I paint on textured canvas instead of smooth hardboard panels, and I rely on broken strokes and scumbling to convey blending and soft edges.


Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

As I get older, I realize I want to focus on what I’m already doing in order to take it to the next level.  So, I may switch brushes or choose different subject matter, or different sizes or formats, but it’s all oil painting.

Daisies and Bachelor's Buttons
(click to see original image)
Who or what inspires you most?

I read somewhere that artists don’t paint a tree because they see a beautiful tree, they paint a tree because they see another artist’s painting of a tree!  I think that’s true for me.  I see how someone else has interpreted a subject and suddenly I have an idea.  “I could paint that, only I would do it like this and this.”  Currently, I am studying the work of Bato Dugarzhapov.  I love his high key palette and fabulous grays and his fearlessness in capturing color and light.


What does procrastination look like for you?

I am not an organized person.  Often, every horizontal surface is covered.  When it gets too chaotic, you will find me doing crossword puzzles instead of cleaning up!

From the Cliff
(click to see original image)


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

I am a night owl.  When everyone else is asleep, I am up painting.  I like the quiet time and lack of distractions.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have a digital library of thousands of photos that I’ve taken.  I mine them constantly for ideas.  Even if I don’t paint every day, I will work in Photoshop every day.  I crop and re-format, draw, and move objects or change elements, I lighten and darken values, adjust colors , and saturations, and generally simplify the composition.  I store similar ideas together in a folder, labeled according to subject matter, for example, “trees” or “beach” or sunsets.”  I make all of my compositional decisions while working on the computer; I find that half of the work of a painting is done in this preliminary stage.  My computer is my sketchbook.

Traveling Chicken Visits Vashon
(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?

Working from photographs is very removed from the subject matter, so to keep from burning out, I switch to still life which I set up in my studio, or go out painting en plein air.

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

I am learning the same things over and over, because, of course, I make the same mistakes over and over.  I have a checklist – soften and lose edges, simplify areas, focus attention, make a path into the scene, simplify the colors.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when something I have done stands up over time.  Recently, I went back to look over pieces that I had produced in the last twenty or thirty years, and I was pleased to discover how many of them I still liked!

Thanks, Gretchen!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 26, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Saundra Lane Galloway

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

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

From Saundra's DPW Gallery Page:

An artist for over 35 years working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, wax and most recently mixed media. You will see paintings in several different media. Saundra graduated with a degree in Art Education and taught public school secondary level for over 10 years. She now works in her home studio and teaches workshops in mixed media, wax collage and other requested art topics.

Saundra has won awards in Nebraska and Colorado and shows regularly throughout Colorado. (click to view more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I actually began painting in 1975 when I was in college.  For many years, I read books and I really taught myself.  The desire to paint and be an artist began before I can remember.  I always wanted to be an artist.  I used to draw “Bambi” in magazine articles that were advertisements for art schools.  They sent me letters back that said I should pick another career.  However, that never killed my desire, so I just practiced and read and observed the world around me and did my own thing.

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

Yes, I stopped when my children were born so I could do the mom thing, and then, when they were older, I painted and drew when I got off work.  When I began teaching full time in the early 90’s, I did not have time to do my own art during the school year, but picked it back up in the summers.  Eventually, I figured out that I could create lesson plans that incorporated what I wanted to do - teach and create a painting or piece of artwork for an example… I didn’t get to work constantly on my own interests, but it did allow me to keep my fingers in my work.  My students were very enthusiastic learners, and even began selling the work they did in class.  It was very rewarding to see!

S'up
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Saundra's interview.
What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in oil, watercolor, acrylic, wax, charcoal, fiber, paper, wire, metal, wood; well just about everything I can think of.  I absolutely love experimenting!

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

I have developed a way of working that has allowed me to hold on to just about all the media I’ve experimented with.  I don’t do a lot of wax collage, but I still love it.  I don’t work in straight watercolor anymore, but I do manipulate acrylics as if they were watercolor when my work needs it.  
Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to work more in 3-D.  I love working with materials I have created and am constantly trying to find ways to combine them.  Lately, I’ve been interested in how I can use my paper casts that I created molds for in old window frames; combined with branches.  My mind just will not stop trying to find ways to do things in a visual sense.

Who or what inspires you most?

My inspiration comes from observation and experimentation.  I have been an avid “watcher of the world” ever since I can remember.  It can be a color, or the way a composition comes from seeing a shoelace in the sun… just about anything.  I am inspired by Alisa Burke; our work isn’t the same, but her desire to find new ways to explain existing things and her recycling very much inspires me.  Other strong women like her have always been an inspiration.
What does procrastination look like for you?

I have never been one to procrastinate, so I’m not sure how to think about this.  I was always that kid that did what I was asked first, before I played, and that has followed me all my life.  I suppose it is a bit boring, but I am just wired that way.

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

If I am excited about what I am doing there is nothing that will keep me from working on my art every moment I can.  I think of my art as my job; my fun job mind you, but still my job, my responsibility, so I apply responsible thought to my work.  I have a routine where I get up and begin… before I shower, before anything just about. It doesn’t matter if I do it for five minutes or an hour, I just start. After that, inspiration takes over and there is no stopping me.
How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

As I have mentioned, I am an observer of everything: color, pattern, design in everything. One idea came to me from the design on the back of my bathroom door while I was showering.  I have ideas for two paintings that I see in the tiles in my shower.  I take time to look at lots of art.  I want to find inspiration in them.  I see the colors they use and that gives me ideas, I see a line that looks so nice and it can become a beginning of a new piece.  I am just always thinking and experimenting with so many things and ideas just come from that.

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

If I am bored with what I am doing it is a clear indication that I need to grow. If I feel burned out, I take time to get away.  I use that time to see the world, walk a path near a lake, anything to clear my head.  It usually doesn’t take very long.  My fingers itch when I go too long without working.
Again, experimenting with many different materials is the absolute best way to continue to grow and keep work fresh.  I don’t feel like I have to continue doing the same thing because it is expected of me by a gallery owner or a collector.  I believe it is my responsibility to myself to continue to grow and change and find exciting ways to express my vision as an artist and person.

I have found that if I am excited with my work others will feel it as well.  There is no wall to stop a person if they are willing to find a creative way through it or around it or over it!  I apply this belief system in my life.  I don’t like the word “can’t”.  It is stifling and well, just not true in my world! Ha... within reason.  I’m pretty sure I can’t spontaneously speak another language, but I can learn how.
What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

To continue to work diligently at something I love and becoming a success.  Success to me is a fulfillment of my dreams. I will find joy and excitement in my work, and I will share it.  I am learning that there are no walls, that there is always a new thing just around the corner that I will want to try and share.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I get to do it!  I am so thrilled that my mind just keeps coming up with ideas and thoughts that lead to new work.  I have ideas that, in order to follow them all will take years… That is thrilling and fun!

Thanks, Saundra!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dorothy Fagan

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

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

From Dorothy's DPW gallery page:


I paint in oil and mixed media. I work en plein air and in my studio near the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. In 2013, I was fortunate to have a six week residency in France, painting en plein air in Provence, Brittany, Normandy, along the Emerald Coast, Giverny and Paris. I became fascinated with the juxtapositon of ancient structures, vibrant people and the landscape.
You can find info on Dorothy's current art show (happening March 20-22) here - http://paradisecityarts.com/


Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.



I have been painting since I was a little girl. My bedroom was always an art studio. I won my first award at fourteen, a five-county regional in New Jersey.


Cliffside Dwelling, France
(click to see original image)

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

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

As a young mother, I suffered a series of traumas. The PTSD and depression caused me much difficulty. Ultimately, my art became the healing force which enabled me to move past them. This helped me learn the connection between energy medicine and painting. As a result of this, I lead classes in healing color for people from all walks of life.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have a BFA in Printmaking and Painting. After college, I worked in pastel exclusively for twenty-five years. I also work in oil. During my residency at Musee de la Grande Vigne in Brittany, I experimented with turpentine wash fused with willow charcoal. Returning to the States, this led me to my mixed media fusion paintings, using alkyd paint with willow charcoal and pastel.

Island
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Landscape has always been my inspiration. However, since my French residency in 2013, I find much inspiration in my interactions with people. My blog has become a Virtual Artists' Residency where I am exchanging creative ideas with readers. I have begun teaching again and find it very stimulating.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't procrastinate. I have some projects which are in the incubation period. Others which are in action. I don't confuse the two.

Blonde Wax Beans
(click to see original image)

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

I am painting all the time. Even if I don't have a brush in my hand, I am painting in my mind's eye. Generally, I write in the mornings and paint in the afternoons. I take a day off to have lunch with a girlfriend.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am still working on ideas from my French residency. One painting usually begets others. I follow them and they lead me through self exploration. Writing about them on my blog opens new ideas as well.

High Tide, St Jaces de la Mer
(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?

Some time ago, I came to the realization that even if my painting is inspired by something I have seen in the landscape - what I am really painting is a self portrait - an inner landscape. This realization made me a better painter and keeps me engaged in exploring new territory every day. I am always eager to go into the studio to see what I painted yesterday - it always surprises me!

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

This year, I am planning a residency in Tuscany. From August through October, I will paint and blog from Tuscany. My project is called, "Muses of Tuscany," as three 'muses' will visit me to inspire my paintings. When I return home in November, I will exhibit the paintings at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, MA. People can register to follow this project on my blog.

Lavande Magic
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when I connect with someone through my paintings. Watching someone see themselves in a painting is a humbling experience. I am so fortunate to be able to paint and share my art. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. I even paint with my grandchildren!

Thanks, Dorothy!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 12, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Diane Eugster

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

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

From Diane's DPW gallery page:

Since my mother was also an artist, painting has always been a big part of my life. As a child I loved drawing people, as an adult I hiked the red canyons of Nevada capturing the rugged landscape, but figurative painting has always been my passion. Teaching classes and workshops over the years has definitely helped to hone my painting skills. I've been involved in and won awards in Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society exhibits as well as being represented by several galleries; The Weatherburn Gallery, Naples Florida, The Lee Youngman Gallery, Calistoga California, The Willow Gallery, Scottsdale,Arizona and the Gallery at Summerlin, Las Vegas. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My mother was an artist. I don't know how she found the time to paint with two small children, but I do remember the smell of linseed oil on rags as she toned her canvases. When I was a teenager my father bought The Artist, an art supply store, which was also my first job. Reading all the art books when business was slow and getting substantial art supply discounts enabled me to creatively experiment with many materials. This experience provided the spring board to really dive into painting.

Reflection
(click to see original image)

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

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

Oh yes, in around 2008, I was questioning my motives for painting. The excitement in the beginning had been replaced with meeting deadlines for shows, the experimenting replaced with "just getting it done". So one day, I boxed up my brushes and paints, not being sure if I would ever open them up again.

Three years later, I realized the original things that drew me to painting were still there, I just had to go back to a place before I let other things get out of control. Someone told me to just paint what I love and other people will share in my enthusiasm, that has been very good advice.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I worked for several years in watercolor. I was even the librarian on the board of our Las Vegas Watercolor Society. Again, devouring the books and videos, taking yearly workshops offered, and featuring artists such as Stephen Quiller and Don Andrews caused my skill level to rise exponentially. Eventually, I changed to oils when I realized what a flexible medium it was.

First Tide
(click to see original image)

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

Oil paint really allows me to "speak paint". The things I want to express about my subjects just seem to flow from paint to canvas. It feels very natural to me. I don't see myself changing mediums anytime soon.

Who or what inspires you most?

When I began oil painting, it was primarily as a plein air landscape artist. Hiking in the Red Rock Canyon to find subjects to paint was my favorite past time. I loved the feeling of being outdoors, even in adverse conditions while I painted. In 2001, I started going to weekly life drawing sessions. This is where my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities of using not only the human body but also individual expressions to make painterly stories.

On a day to day basis, I've found many artists on the internet that give me inspiration. One of my favorite places to find inspiration is Pinterest. My top three list would include John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorrolla and John Asaro.

Mending Her Shoe
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I find procrastination creeps in when I make a drawing for a new painting in the morning. I'll look at it over and over but there it is, untouched for the rest of the day. I tell myself I'll begin on it tomorrow but other "more important" things come up that I just have to do. After a day or so of that, I realize I didn't have a firm idea of what I wanted to do with that painting in the first place. The remedy then is to move on and choose another subject. Not every image is a good reason for a painting.

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

Since doing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, I've realized I need to be working in longer blocks of consecutive time so that my paint stays workable during the whole process. I've documented many of the things I learned during this challenge on my blog at DianesPaintingBlog.Wordpress.com. Now, I plan my painting to fall on three consecutive days. Day 1 - get the drawing down correctly, day 2 - work for five to seven hours on the painting, day 3 - as long as it takes to finish. This gives me the rest of the week to get other things done.

Looking West
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I orchestrate photo shoots using scenes and clothing that fit the personality of the individual I'm working with. The resulting photos fill my thoughts with so many scenarios and stories I just can't wait to get them out of my head and onto the canvas.

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

I don't plan my paintings as much as I used to. Jumping into it a little unsure of what's going to happen keeps my senses sharp. I also learned doing the 30/30 to just hang in there, every painting has it's rough spots, and it's all a part of the process. I believe in the past I've given up on too many paintings too soon.

White Veil
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning more and more about the importance of harmony in my painting. Using fewer colors and slowing down to see how everything is interconnected has improved my work immensely.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get to that place in a painting I mentioned above, the rough spot, then I begin to slowly pull it out of discord and into the place I had imagined in my head. It's such a fantastic feeling, like playing an instrument and making beautiful music.

Thanks, Diane!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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