Thursday, July 24, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Donna Munsch

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

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

From Donna's DPW Gallery page:

​I have always loved to paint, especially with oils. My favorite subjects include: flowers, still lifes, landscapes, and animal portraits. I consider my work contemporary and realistic. I am inspired mostly by the world around me. I hope my paintings convey my love for the colors that surrounds us every day.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Like most people, I found out early that I had a talent for the visual arts. What lit the spark for me was a TV show by Jon Gnay and his art kits. If you grew up in the late fifties or sixties, you might have seen one of is shows where he demonstrates how to draw. I got one of his kits and away I went. I had drawings all over the place. After that, teachers noticed and I was encourage to try painting with watercolors and acrylics. It was in college where I tried oil paintings. Immediately, I fell in love with the rich color and consistency of the paint.

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

I graduated college with an art education degree and taught thirty-two years as an art teacher in Berlin, Wisconsin, so I am not sure you would say I ever really had any stops in my creativity growth. I will admit that teaching took up a lot of my time. I could only work on my personal paintings during the summer breaks. Now that I am retired, I am trying to paint a little every day or most days. I took a couple of online courses with Dan Edmundson to refresh my skills and that is what motivated me to look into selling my paintings online. I highly recommend his courses to anyone who has an interest in learning how to paint. He is an excellent teacher!

Red Apple and Daisies
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

During my college days I had a lot of opportunities to explore different visual arts. Art Education degrees require a very broad, general scope of the visual arts and many classes of learning and teaching techniques. I made weavings, puppets, figure sketches, paintings, jewelry, bronze sculpture, etc. Personally, I knew painting would always be my number one art hobby.

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

Oil painting stuck as you can see. Watercolor and acrylic painting, I haven't done that for years. Maybe in the future; if I find a good teacher I might be tempted to get back into watercolor. I do like the transparency of watercolor.

Pear Kiwi Slices
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Right now, I am trying to learn how to paint faster and use fewer strokes when painting. It is a challenge for me but it helps when working on smaller panels. The fastest I have ever painted a painting was in two days vs. my usual three. I am hoping someday to finish one in a day that I am satisfied with and don't feel a need to go back to it the next day.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by the beautiful things around me, by the teachers I have known and mostly other artists. When I see a beautiful painting, I want to pick up a brush and join in. When I learn a new technique, I want to try it. When I see a beautiful flower in the sunlight, I want to paint it. When I see master artwork in a museum I want to yell, "ah! How did they do that?!"

Silver Vase Flowers
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I am not a big procrastinator. I am too high strung and nervous for that. It bothers me when I have to stop a painting and step back from it. I can not get it out of my head until I am finished. So maybe I am not a procrastinator, but I do need to put effort into relaxing before I start a painting. My dog Tuck sees to that. Tuck says walk first then paint!

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

I use to do errands and housework before painting but then there are days I would never get to the fun part, painting. So now I try to start the day relaxing, painting and then do all the lovely stuff like dishes, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc. That seems to work most days.

One Giant Peach Lily
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Getting ideas for paintings can sometimes be a little bit of work. I use photos I have taken, or others have. Paint My Photo website is an excellent resource for ideas. I also paint from still lifes I have created. I do not paint outside. I once did and hope to get back into that when my painting speed picks up and the mosquitos calm down.

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

I keep my art fresh by changing the subject matter. I like going back and forth between still lifes and landscapes. Landscapes help me to loosen up and focus on depth in a painting. Still lifes help with the basics, drawing and value.

Sliced Tomato in Lucky Dish
(click to see original image)

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

Right now I am learning so much by selling on this site and etsy. I never shipped overseas before or mailed paintings before, it is quite exciting!

What makes you happiest about your art?

What truly makes me happiest about painting is the doing. I just love the way paint flows from brushes and the way all the beautiful colors mix.

Thanks, Donna!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Andre Beaulieu

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

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

From Andre's DPW Gallery page:

Born in Quebec, living in Paris. Doing one painting per day (or there about) since October 1st, 2011.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was a teenager, I painted a reproduction of a Swatch watch on the wall of my bedroom (my parents were thankfully very patient). On canvas, I started making reproductions of logos (like Rolling Stones tongue) and after, I did things like the Perrier and Evian logos in a large format.

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

Once I started to do paintings, I did perhaps ten canvases over ten years (evenings and weekends) while I worked as a car painter in the body shop at Mercedes and BMW. I started painting full-time in October 2011.
Summer Cream
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with acrylic, and then moved to oils. I’ve done reproductions, airbrush, street art stencil, and still life, hyperrealist reproductions, and now large-format Parisian cafés. I’ve experimented with some left-handed (non-dominant) paintings as my right handed paintings tend to be very realistic.

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

Now I’m doing right-handed oil paintings, reproductions of cityscapes, figurative/realist.

Cafe Au Canon des Invalides
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’d like to improve my technique; since I’m self-taught, there are certainly lots of techniques and methods that I have yet to learn.

Who or what inspires you most?

I’m inspired by Hopper, Rod Penner, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol. And as for things to look at, I’m inspired currently by Parisian cafés within walking distance of my apartment, especially when they have good sunlight and a bit of movement.

Apple Preserves III
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I’m stuck on a painting, I’ll often leave it and work on it again the next day. Instead, I’ll take pictures for new paintings, or go buy supplies, or do some designs. I don’t wait more than until the next day to keep get going again.

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

I work the same hours that I did when I was an employee (9 am to 6 pm). I go to work every day, take the metro, pack a lunch, go to my studio – I approach it as a regular full-time job! The studio is new – I used to paint every day in our living room, and have only been in the studio for about 5 months. Approaching it like it’s my regular full-time job for the past (nearly) 3 years has helped me get representation with a gallery in Paris at Place des Vosges just as of last Friday, so this is really exciting.

And as far as having time, I’ve been lucky in that I have focussed solely on the creation of the art. The management of my website, mailing list, Facebook page, and the communication with the clients has been done (up to now) by my wife. Now that I’ve progressed to having gallery representation, they’ll be doing the sales and marketing work. So me, I get to paint all day long.

Cafe Le Buci
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint exclusively from photos, so I first look for good photographs. Now I am taking all of the photos myself, but before I used to also rely on a combination of my own images as well as creative commons images on Flickr (or with permission from other photographers’ works).

To find a Paris café to paint, I wait for a sunny day, head out with my camera, and just walk the streets looking for the right image (there are over seven thousand cafés in Paris apparently!).

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

I treat it like a full-time, regular job. I work 5 days a week with weekends off. I take vacations. I’m also happiest now that I’m painting exclusively what I want to (thankfully, also what the gallery wants to represent).

Cassette 60
(click to see original image)

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

Right now I’m learning how to navigate the system of how gallery representation works, as well as figuring out what will sell and at what size (I’m working up to larger and larger canvases).

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I finish a canvas, the satisfaction it gives me when I’ve done a good job of reproducing the photo, getting the colors right, as well as improving on the photo so that the painting is better than the original image.

Thanks, Andre!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DPW Spotlight: Annette Balesteri

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

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

From Annette's DPW Gallery page:

I am thrilled to be part of Daily Paint Works and around others who have the same passion to be creative daily! As an editorial cartoonist since 1986, mostly dealing in black and white print, I love that I have time now to go back to oils for the first time in years!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I am mostly self-taught. It started, I believe, in grade school. There, I first realized that many of my schoolmates had no interest in or couldn't draw. At the start of the school year, my class had to set up our classroom in the school basement with no windows, pipes overhead, and artificial lights. There was this big long blank stone wall on the side of this dreary room.

Our teacher, one morning, taped up some local butcher wrap paper all over it and asked if anyone would like to help draw and color a scene of Columbus discovering America. I quickly jerked up my hand while bouncing up out of my seat hoping to be one of the chosen. Everyone laughed. I was only one with my hand up, so the whole wall became mine to do. I drew on this wall everyday for an hour during class.

This, I truly believe, is why I am weak in math and got an A in history that year. So I learned young that drawing did not come naturally to everyone.

Watchful Max
(click to see original image)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career? What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I don't paint all of the time. My daily routine and current job is editorial cartoonist for my local area newspaper. Political cartoons, caricatures; I've been doing freelance work for over 30 years now. My children are all grown and out of the house and I am now trying to impress my grandchildren.

Molly
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

To many to mention who has been inspirational to me over all the years. I am so grateful to all of them, the list is long but not forgotten. The artwork of Carol Marine inspired me to go back to oils. I own most of her instructional videos and demonstrations. I was completely frustrated with oil paints before, but not now.

I love the DPW website, the artists, challenges, the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and frustrations that all the talented members have come to know because of the passion to paint daily. It truly is a passion for me too!

Calico Cat Face
(click to see original image)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get inspired to paint daily very easily. One technique I use is keeping my brushes clean and ready to use in a set up area that never gets put away. An inviting area in my home ready to create is all I need to get me going. I love the learning process and making something come alive with just a pencil sketch.

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

I avoid burn out by changing my painting medium or subject from dogs to cats or birds after couple of days outdoors.

Little Guy
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I cannot remember a time I was without a pet to hug! I have a deep love for animals. Painting them now is such an addictive joy.

Thanks, Annette!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, July 3, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Marla Baggetta

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

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

From Marla's DPW Gallery page:

"I've been a painter my whole life! There is really nothing I'd rather be doing than painting. I marvel at how challenging it can be and how humbling, but every now and again, something really special happens and those are the moments that seem to make me go back for more!"

A prolific painter and teacher, Marla's artwork and workshops have been nationally sought after and represented throughout the country for over 25 years. Contributing to many art publications such as Pastel Journal, she is a signature PSA member and an IAPS Master Circle recipient. Professionally, Marla is well-known for her 100 Variation Series.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started drawing and painting as a little girl. I copied one of those cartoons in a T.V. Guide. My mom saw it and realized that I could draw. From then on she made sure I had “real” art supplies which we found in a kind of kiosk at a local hardware store! I loved drawing animals and started using Conte’ pencils. I kept drawing and painting and eventually applied to art school. I was fortunate to get a great academic art education at Art Center College of Design. I graduated from the illustration program there and worked as an illustrator for about 15 years before beginning to do some landscape painting in between the commercial work. That quickly took off and I had the pleasure of being able to turn down the very deadline driven, laborious illustration work for the far more creative and satisfying work of the landscape.

A Touch of Blue
(click to see original image)

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

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

Oh, yes! I had a son who was extremely premature. I spent all my time during the first five or six years taking care of him. He’s twenty-four now and a great person! He has a brother who is twenty-one who is also a great person!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love to experiment and often have two or three easel set-ups with different media. I think I’ve experimented with everything! I am not a big watercolor person, though I use it for underpainting occasionally. I haven’t done any sculpture, although I’d like to.

Luscher Farm
(click to see original image)

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

I love, love, love pastels and oils. Acrylics are great fun and wonderful to experiment with. I don’t do too much drawing anymore, but I do carry a sketchbook.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Some day I hope I get to try sculpture.

Summer Walk
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am very inspired by the wonder of the natural world and the divine nature of it. I am also amazed by the artists both contemporary and historical that have stood behind me as I’m working! Dan McCaw, Richard Mckinley, Gerhart Reichter, George Inness, Bonnard, Pissaro, on and on!

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is my middle name! I love to do it. It’s funny, although I have all the wonderful support and motivation that an artist could possibly hope for, I sometimes find myself preferring to clean the floors or something akin to that, rather than paint. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a necessary part of the process and speaks to the great resistance we put up when faced with that empty canvas.

I have developed some strategies for myself to overcome this resistance: I make sure that I have all my materials on hand all the time. I make sure I’m comfortable, have food, warmth, etc. I never start the day from scratch. I have several things in progress or at least planned, so when I wake up in the morning, I know where I’m going to head. I make it easy on myself by working in series so I don’t have to figure everything out every time.

Before and After
(click to see original image)

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

Well, some of this I answered in the previous question, but I do think of my painting time as very precious and keep it close, meaning that I value it so much. When I’m really in it, it’s hard to get me to give it up. When it comes to doing the other tasks of my business, I try to move through them as thoroughly as possible, so I don’t get interrupted by them. A friend told me he liked to have something come across his desk only once and then he takes care of it. That has helped me a great deal. Also, being grateful for even the stressful stuff. Those are there for a reason too!

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

For every work you have to start with some “thing", even an abstract! I often take photos, but then move as quickly as possible and as far as possible from any kind of reference. I want to make only a nod to the reference. I’m trying to make a painting, not copy a piece of reference. I do this by doing thumbnails and value studies and working directly from those rather than the photo or scene. I look at work that I admire and for some of my contemporary work like my animals and goddesses, I am responding to the process by starting and building on what happens. Very fun!

A Lazy Tuesday
(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 like painting is such a challenging and exciting endeavor that one can never completely “learn” about. I do mix it up by painting lots of subjects and with different materials. Most people are familiar with only a small piece of what I do, and that’s totally fine. I don’t do most of the work for any kind of recognition.

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

Not to be worried about the market. Painting is not about the market.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I still get to do it every day.

Thanks, Marla!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, June 26, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kent Sullivan

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

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

From Kent's DPW Gallery page:

Orlando, Florida, USA. I started painting in 1972. I have always loved painting the natural world. I have had the incredible good fortune of painting and selling hundreds of paintings throughout my career. From NASA to Jimmy Buffet to The Mayo Clinic, I have participated through art as a way to express my love for the world God has given us to enjoy and protect.

The Award winning book "Art of the National Parks" is the most recent publication for me. Check it out at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, or any national book chain.

I have been challenged to create affordable paintings available to more people. Sketches, color studies, plein air, and small studio pieces. Special works of art, because the places they represent are special to me.

I hope you find that unique work of art that is perfect for your special place.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was in 9th grade, my art teacher introduced me to oil paints. I painted a ship out on the ocean, copying another artist’s painting. The school purchased the piece ( I went back several years later and found it was still on the office wall). It was terrible. The cool thing about that is this: someone saw potential and encouraged me by buying that painting. It made a huge impact on a young kid who had an interest in art.

Smokestack on the Channel
(click to see original image)

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

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

Oh yeah. Until around 1991 or so, I had this really mercurial relationship with my passion for art, and the fundamental need to provide for my family, who I might add, were wonderfully supportive - especially my wife Cathy. I drove taxi, worked as a waiter (for about a week!), sold leases, painted houses, and eventually went to commercial art school and landed a job as an art director. Which was okay, but still not my true passion. Then, I had a great break when a leading art gallery took me on. Things changed, opportunities became more available, and I have been blessed with the capability to paint professionally now for about 20 years.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, and of course oil.

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

I paint almost exclusively with oil paints now. I say almost, because I do from time to time use acrylic as an underpainting for an oil painting.

Gap of Dunloe
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m sticking with oils. I find new ways to apply the principles of oil painting interesting, and consuming. Even though I have been painting with oils for 35 years, I still find new ways of exploiting what can be done with the medium almost every day.

Who or what inspires you most?

I hope without sounding too corny I can say the Lord inspires me the most. Humanly speaking, I have always been greatly influenced by the Hudson River School artists, especially Thomas Moran, Herman Herzog, and Albert Bierstadt. Among the living artists, are Joseph McGurl, and Don Demers.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I do not have a problem with procrastination when it comes to creating art, but in doing the things I need to do to keep moving along in marketing. I really have to force myself to be disciplined.

Early Snow
(click to see original image)

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

I think the process I have keeps me interested in the “next step”. I normally wake up thinking about what I started on the day before. I work on several pieces at the same time, and they are always at different stages. These might be small paintings like the ones I do for DPW, or huge paintings like commissions for places like hospitals, NASA, Government Buildings, or medium sized paintings for galleries. If one doesn’t just grab me today, there is always another one that does. I guess you could call that a technique.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Those ideas come from several sources. Painting outside, sketching, studying previous paintings, taking a day or sometimes a week to photograph regions, even noticing a scene from a movie, and sometimes just starting from scratch, and letting my imagination create a landscape.

Solitary Cardinal
(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 like that question, because I never think in those terms. The idea of keeping art “fresh” can be taken two ways. Fresh for the observer, or fresh for me?

So.. fresh for me. When you look at my landscapes you will immediately notice I paint a wide variety of places. Every place, every region has it’s own special light, sky, colors, flora, even earth, that to it are innate. That keeps me keenly aware of what I am painting. In fact when I paint Ireland for instance, I am back there while I am painting. People take so many pictures while on vacation in order to remember the places they enjoy. Artists take in more than the casual observer, so there is a wonderful sense of “being” when we recount those places while painting them. That keeps me pretty astonished.

Fresh for the observer? I am not sure how to address that, since many people may be seeing a painting - at an event, online, gallery, or whatever- I finished a week, a month, or even a year ago. I hope they have the sense of unique, awesome, fresh that I had at the time of painting it.

Virgin Islands
(click to see original image)

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

I am learning more about what I allow the viewer to fill in. I have the tendency to paint too much. It is a lesson that requires me to intentionally not place detail where it is more distracting than helpful. I am also employing a technique of “shape welding” in the early composition of a painting. Keith Bond shared this in a recent blog article. It is a very efficient way to see the value shapes - the abstract pattern under all the color and detail.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Several years ago I was commissioned to do three paintings for the Mayo Clinic. They were a marshy, calm, triptych. A couple of years later I was contacted by a woman from South America whose father was at the Mayo Clinic, and eventually lost his battle there, and died.

She told me she and her two sisters spent hours in the room where my paintings were, and that the healing calm of those paintings was a comfort to them during this difficult time. She asked if I could do three small paintings like the ones at Mayo so that they could have one in each of their homes.

I am always happy to get a new big commission, but I experienced more joy in that little commission than any other painting I have ever done.

Thanks, Kent!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, June 19, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dorothy Jenson

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, "I Can See My House From Here" 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 just love using color to describe this beautiful and interesting world! Art has been part of my life forever. Every where I go I see the landscape as a "painting" and analyze how I would interpret the scene. I have worked in colored pencil, watercolor, pastel, and I'm currently enjoying acrylics on canvas, specializing in landscapes and animals. My view of the world is somewhat whimsical, and I hope it brings a smile. :)

You can follow me on Facebook by looking for Dorothy Jenson Art.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started by drawing! I scribbled and doodled on everything as a child. One of my grade school teachers actually wrote “Dorothy spends too much time drawing” on a report card home to my parents. I may have been a tiny bit of a distraction when I was drawing cartoonish caricatures of the kids in my class in 4th grade and they often gathered around my desk to see the latest creations.

My family often went to the Oregon coast to play, and my favorite thing to do was drag a stick through the wet sand to draw very large imaginative creatures that all who passed by would stop and admire. It really wasn’t until high school that I experimented with a paintbrush, much to my mother’s dismay. My medium then was acrylic and somehow there were always little spots of it ending up on my clothing. For good, of course! (My Mom is now one of my best fans!)

I Can See My House From Here
(click to see original image)

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

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

The story of my life! Even though I have always loved art, it has often taken a backseat to the important career of raising my five children and adventuring with my husband. We love road trips, camping, hiking, and canoeing and our summers are full! Now my own five kids have grown and married, but there are 13 grandchildren to spend time with. On top of that we are very active in our Church community.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve been all over the place with my artistic expression! Through it all I have been largely self taught. I took a few community classes, but mostly explored each medium by reading everything printed about the subject that I could find, and then experimenting on my own when I could.

For years I enjoyed watercolor, then moved on to colored pencil. When rock painting was popular, I scoured river banks for perfectly shaped “canvases” and created wonderful curled up animals in acrylic that I sold in local bazaars. It was a lot of fun, but the weight of the rocks began bothering my wrists, so it was time to move on.

River View
(click to see original image)

My next obsession was with pastels. So many beautiful colors, and it’s a very satisfying “hands on” kind of creativity, but having to frame everything for protection has sent me in another direction to do works of acrylic that can be hung, as is, on the wall without framing. I’m also playing around a bit with ink and watercolor again. We have lots of camping coming up this summer and I just purchased a tiny little watercolor kit that is going to come along on my adventures.

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

I don’t know the answer to that one yet! Everything I have done has been a pleasure, and I know I will still be bouncing back and forth between new mediums and old favorites in the years to come.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I haven’t tried oils yet, and I wonder if it might be nice to have paint on my palette that doesn’t dry out so quickly. On the other hand, I might get impatient waiting for my work to dry!

Opinionated
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Studying the work of other artists! Seeing the interesting and beautiful works of other artists really fires up my desire to be creative myself.

What does procrastination look like for you?

The computer, thinking about art, household work and errands, thinking about art, spending time with family in person or chatting on the phone, thinking about art, crocheting thread snowflakes, reading, all the while thinking about the art I ought to be working on!

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

I will admit, I haven’t mastered that discipline yet. My best times to create are in the middle of the day, when there are fewer distractions. I try to paint every day, but it doesn’t always happen. Still working on this!

Happy Camp
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Everywhere I go, I see potential paintings in the community and landscape. I carry around a small point and shoot camera to gather references, plus I look through references on the Paint My Photo website. During my procrastination time, when I’m thinking about art, generally one or two references will stand out in my mind and I know that’s what I’ll be working on next.

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

Being willing to change my mind and bounce around between mediums and techniques! I’ve had many people comment on how much they enjoy my “style”, but inwardly I know that it is subject to change!

For instance, lately my work is sprinkled with lots of little dots, and I can’t explain why other than it just keeps happening. For now... in a few months, maybe not. I am enjoying painting funny little animals, but sometimes I feel like a landscape or two. In the last week I’ve also played with ink lines and watercolor.

On Guard
(click to see original image)

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

It took me a long time to feel like my art was marketable. I was a DPW lurker for a couple of years, admiring and learning from the amazing artists that posted every day, until one day I realized that I could do the same thing, and I signed up! That was a turning point for me, and still is.

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, posting regularly on a blog and Facebook page, as well as doing some outdoor art shows. With each painting I do, the medium itself teaches me what works and what doesn’t, while at the same time I see a little more of my own true nature in the finished pieces. I’m a work in progress, but now I’m not so afraid to let others share the ride with me as I continue to learn and grow as an artist.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I enjoy painting things that are beautiful and uplifting. It could be a landscape, or an amusing critter, but I always try to bring in a feeling of light-heartedness and joy about the world we live in. I’m happiest when people tell me that my work makes them smile, and then I feel like I’ve made a small difference for good in the life of that person. Knowing that my artwork has the capacity to lighten the heart of my viewers is the best feeling of all.

Thanks, Dorothy!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Friday, June 13, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Joy Olney

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

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

From Joy's DPW Gallery page:



Joy was born in Bordeaux, France. She began her formal training in earnest in 1966 when she attended Tyler College of Art while still a high school student. Immediately upon graduation from high school, she enrolled as a full time student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. There she studied under such notables as Will Barnett and Robert Beverly Hale. She has created a sensitive style truly her own.

As a master of the nearly lost art of fine drawing, she captures the essence of her subjects with a deft hand. Joy is accomplished in all media and all types of subject matter. In addition to creating individual pieces, Joy designed and executed theater stage sets in the New York Metropolitan area for eight years.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first painting lessons were a thirteenth birthday present. It was an adult class and the instructor just sat there and puffed on a pipe. A few months later I was enrolled in a drawing class with an excellent instructor who taught the Kimon Nicolaide's method, "The Natural Way to Draw." With a strong drawing foundation, I received a scholarship to a teen painting class at the Philadelphia's College of Art with a great teacher using the Cape School method. I then went on to college class of drawing at Tyler School of Art when I was sixteen. Then after high school, I went on to 5 years at the Pennsylvanian Academy of Fine Arts where I painted every day.

First Spring Iris
(click to see original image)

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

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

After art school, for a year I became the director of an art center where the demand of the job left me little time to paint. Later, I married and we moved to a new place; it took me a few months to find a place in time and space to paint and draw. After my second son was born and we moved across country, I took time off to be a full time mother of two. After about two years, my husband encouraged me to go back to my art.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Soon after art school, I started teaching ceramics and selling ceramics in galleries around Philadelphia and in New Jersey. The pots I made had figures and faces on them. I also designed and painted scenery sets for almost nine years. Painting large and loose was a great exercise for me. When my children were small, I tried watercolor, gouache, pastels, and colored pencils. Anything that was fast to set out and easy to clean up. I hadn't painted many landscapes until we moved to the Northwest. I went out on my own to paint until I found groups that did that also.

Sailing Lessons
(click to see original image)

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

My sons were in highschool before I went back to oils full time. I don't want to paint with any other medium. I love painting in oils. But, once in a while someone will ask me to give a watercolor class, so I pull them out and start to use them again. A wise decision was to not spread myself too thin. So I haven't touched ceramics in years, and I will never will go back to scenery painting.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

A love a challenge. I find painting outside with oils a challenge. How fast I can paint the changing light, the sea colors, the cloud formations. How fast I can paint this man mending his fishing net. So I have to say, I have plenty of exploration still to do with just painting with oils.

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm inspired when I see fine paintings by artist in books and museums like John Singer Sargent, or paintings by the impressionist and others. I am inspired by looking a local art as well. Tapes and books by contemporary artists like Richard Schmid are inspiring. Driving around our local farm area, the sea, and the mountain inspires me. Sometimes a walk through my garden inspires me. I find beautiful music inspiring. When I see a person that I know will make a fantastic subject to paint, I bravely approach them to see if they will model for me.

Preparations
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

From experience I find it easier to do something that I may think is hard, then to think and fret about doing it. Getting it done and freeing myself allows me to go on to the next thing that needs to be done.

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

When the boys were in school, I went out to groups where we would hire models to draw and paint on a set day and time each week. I still go out to paint and draw models in a group setting. I took over our breakfast room by the kitchen where I could paint until the boys walked in the door. Now I have a studio/carriage house on our lot where I go every afternoon to paint. Putting on my painting clothes and classical music transitions me into painting time.

Rocks Along Larrabee Coast
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I arrive at ideas for paintings by looking over photos that I've taken over the years. A composition or subject will pop out at me. If there is a Gallery Show with a theme, I work on that theme for a while. Sometimes looking through art books will give me an idea. It could also be a flower from my garden or a neighbor's cat or car. I am also part of a critique group where we suggest constructive criticism and share ideas.

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

I recently read on Daily Paintworks that someone had challenged themselves to do thirty-five brush stokes to a painting. I thought that was a great idea and a way to not overwork a painting or put unnecessary brush strokes on a painting. I haven't tried it yet but I will. I think to keep art fresh you have to know when to stop. Finding balance in my life keeps me from burnout. For me, I need family and friends time, fresh air and exercise. I also find time to do volunteer work. It's good for me to think about what others may need and help out. The area where I live has a strong, supportive art community as well.

Winter Flowers
(click to see original image)

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

Right now, I'm studying color. It is easier for me to look at my older art work and see what I have learned since that piece was made, than to look at my art work today and say this is what I'm learning right now.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I see someone look at my art and fall in love with it, or see how happy someone is about the work I've made. I'm happy to see my art bring joy into someone's life. I am also happy when my painting or drawing flows out of me with ease and just seems right and complete.

Thanks, Joy!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, June 5, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nicoletta Baumeister

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

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

From Nicoletta's DPW Gallery page: 

I have had a full time studio practice for over thirty years, both painting and teaching drawing, watercolour and acrylic. My work has been exhibited in an extensive assortment of exhibitions and has garnered many awards to date. My work has evolved from photo realism to pure abstraction with the underlying pursuit of understanding perception. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, my entire household was always in a state of making something. My Father, an architect, taught us to draw very early, and my Mother was the most able person I know, capable of making anything. We spent our long northern winters making crafts for the church bazaar, clothes for ourselves and our stuffed toys, Christmas decorations for the house, the list is endless. Pursuing an education in art was a natural evolution.

My Little Bird
(click to see original image)

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

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

A few. I always kept painting, but in lesser volume. After university, for about four years I deviated from painting to learn and practice gold smithing. I have also run the office for a commercial company for about four years. I find I use much of what I learned about business from both experiences in my art practice and am thankful for the skills.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Hmm. I have foundations in fabric art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood carving, ceramics, design and the gold smithing. However, I would say my 'serious work' stems from my early love for complex graphite works composed of sixty hours or more of work. This activity morphed into painting in dry-brush watercolour over a period of about twenty years.

In 2002, I began working with acrylics and now, just this year, I am wrestling my way through oil. My overriding genre is realism, however, it is the concept of 'what is real' rather than the appearance of real which is at the heart of my investigations. I am supremely interested in the processes of perception, from how the senses work, to the brain functions, to making meaning, to the construction of visual and verbal languages, to communication and apprehension.

Camelia Study, Bold
(click to see original image)

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

All have 'stuck'. Each medium has unique properties that are best suited to express particular ideas, sensations, expressions. Nothing makes a mark as beautifully as graphite or ink. Watercolour is supreme at interpreting the luminous colour and depth of nature's surfaces. Acrylic is amazing at keeping it's consistency over large areas. Oil seems to be handy because of the duality of it's transparent and opaque pigments at creating depth in addition to revealing brushstrokes.

Add in the cultural and historical applications of the mediums and you have a whole other layer of meaning. For example fabric is intertwined with women's history while photography speaks intimately of time and place and photographers viewpoint. Each medium carries with it's own story and associations.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to learn glass blowing. To have light, transparency, colour and form to play with! The ability to create, essentially on three different levels, the outer form, the inner form and then the whole! I imagine the potential for creating metaphorical meanings to be limitless with that many possibilities.

Gerbera Study Two
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature is overwhelmingly the most enduring reservoir of delight and wonder for the senses. She brings our senses to life. In humans, I could list an entire army of amazing 'mensch': artists, poets, philosophers, activists, leaders, housewives, workers, teenagers, small children. It is truest to say that I am inspired and awed by the moments when you are witness to a humans exercising their humanness; to be vulnerable and trusting, to acknowledge ignorance and be open to explore and question, to share and to receive, to love and be loved.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I prefer to call procrastination, cleaning up the small stuff so that the big stuff can happen. There is a lesson to be learned from the farmers who allow fields to lie fallow so that they can be refreshed for the following year of planting, we too need to leave space in our schedules. In fallow periods I do the 'winter work'; clean the studio, house and garden, answer neglected phone calls, tend to avoided business, pet the cats, gaze at the flowers and -- PRESTO! I am unencumbered and ready to go again.

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

I awarded art making the status of a regular job. My hours are from 9:30 to 5, 6, 7 or 8. Everything else is arranged around the studio hours. Phone and emails are handled before 9:00, at lunch, or in the evening after the studio. Dishes are done at the end of the day. Teaching and social things are slotted in after work, or on rare occasions after 3:00. My best hours are in the morning, so I truly try to hold the 9am to 1pm slot inviolate.

Lost and Found
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

As my work stems from questions about perception, all ideas are part of this continual theme. Each painting stems from the one before. There never is a shortage of ideas, just time. Whenever I am learning a new medium however, like this years pursuit of oil painting, I will fall back on observing nature. One always finds something new to learn in natural objects.

How do you keep art "fresh?"

Hmm. That is the question. Do we? Can we escape our own shadows? Studying historical artists and also myself, I see that we all tend to repeat ideas and themes that are set early in life. I suspect that our 'lens', the way we view our world, is set very early on and all else is just a permeation of the values, ethics and interests that are set in that early experience.

What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

It has been invaluable to understand myself and to develop compassion for my weaknesses. All work cannot be amazing, however all work is a part of your journey somewhere. I have some catch phrases for the moments of doubt, the moments when you realize your boat is in an eddy. Try to fail spectacularly! Play is vital. Aim for authenticity. Feel first, sort it out later.

Blossoms from the Farm
(click to see original image)

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

Most of my thinking these days is about how to support ART in our society. I am certain of the value it has had to my life and to those around me and I would like to do something to spread that around. I believe that our senses awaken us to being alive, they literally connect us to our world, natural and manmade. Music, dance, theatre, and visual art stimulate those same senses and provide information on who we are and what we are capable of.

This is vitally important as our technological world is exponentially increasing both the complexity and the speed in which that complexity is being launched at us. We suffer daily losses of entire cultures and languages which translate to massive loss of the diversity of responses to the environment which we once had. We also incur an accelerated divorce from the understanding of the natural world in which those cultures developed. Creativity is possibly the best tool that a human has to apprehend and respond to her/his environment. It is vital to our wellbeing.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I am able to practice it.

Thanks, Nicoletta!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, May 29, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jennifer Beaudet

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

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

From Jennifer's DPW Gallery page:

I grew up by the beach, in beautiful Southern California, and now live in the mountains of Northern California. My inspiration comes from the beauty that surrounds me. I paint mostly in oils with an occasional watercolor and like to keep my paintings loose and painterly. I'm primarily self-taught in oils, but also earned my degree in Studio Art quite a few years ago. Life took me on a different journey, but I'm happy to finally be living my dream creating art.

My work is currently on display at Fringe in Redondo Beach, CA, Weaverville, CA and in private collections around the world, from Australia to Japan, Canada, Paris and all over the United States.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Like so many artists, I've been an artist as far back as I can remember (sometimes that's not that far! haha). It wasn't until my daughter was about to enter college that I decided I couldn't wait any longer to express myself through paint!

When I stumbled upon the original dally paintings site, I was so inspired. Seeing other artists actually making money from their art, inspired me to immediately set up a blog and start painting. My blog was called, "My Life As a Starving Artist" and is no longer called that because I'm no longer starving! I was never really starving from hunger, it was the urge inside me to create that had been put on hold for so long. I was raising my daughter on my own and had no idea how to make enough through my art. She's all grown up and lives away now, so I have been able to put everything into creating art!

Symphony of Spring
(click to see original image)

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

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

Yes, for most of my life, my art was put on hold while I raised my daughter as a single mom. It wasn't until about five years ago that I really started painting daily, well almost every day. If I'm not painting, I'm doing something having to do with my art business -- 24/7 it seems! But I'm not complaining, I love what I do!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I use mostly oils, but used to use watercolors years ago. I also experiment with acrylics now and then, but get frustrated and go back to oils. I haven't been able to get the same look and feel as I can with oils, and they dry so fast, so I'm sticking with oils. As far as genre, I love vintage fashions and have done several paintings of vintage ladies and just beautiful dresses in general. I'm also very passionate about Hawaii and dream about living there someday. So painting it is the next best thing! I also do other landscapes of beautiful places that either I've been, or a relative has been. I always tell them to take lots of photos for me.

Birch Tree Challenge
(click to see original image)

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

I would say, my watercolors haven't stuck. I don't use them very often anymore and when I do I end up using them in a very organic way, just letting it "happen".

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I definitely want to focus more on figures. I had two semester of life drawing when I first started college, right out of high school. That was quite sometime ago now so I'd really like to refresh my skills by painting more figures. But, I live in a very small town and haven't found a life drawing class yet. Finding a model is the hard part. I've had my daughter pose for reference photos but since she doesn't live at home anymore having her sit is not possible.

Dance of the Tulip
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm inspired by beauty, but that's kind of vague. I think it's the color and light that certain objects and scenes possess that intrigue me the most. Even in folds of fabric (which I love painting) it's the form created by the light that attracts me. In a landscape, it's the light and atmosphere of a scene that inspires me, but I always love to add extra punches of color with beautiful flowers, which I love as well! This is a hard question. So many things inspire me, like learning and discovering new ways to paint! That really inspires me!

What does procrastination look like for you?

Me on my computer, sunning outside, talking on the phone, then back to my computer.

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

I try to have a routine, but don't always stick to it! I like to spend mornings doing computer related social media, promoting tasks. After that, I should just put the computer (and my phone) away, so I don't get distracted. I would probably get a lot more done! I do errands and try to make it to the gym, so I start painting around 2:00 and usually stop around 7:00.

Redondo Beach Pier
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It might be something I see in my daily life that gives me an idea or some place that I've been. I just took a trip to L.A. and drove home up the coast. I took a ton of photos, so I might get a few out of that. Some of my paintings are commissions, so it's someone else's idea and my vision combined. Those are always fun to do.

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

I don't know if it's "fresh" or not, but I'm always learning new things by reading books, browsing the Internet, and taking a few online workshops. So I feel my work is always improving. I haven't yet experienced burnout and hope I don't ever get there, but if I do I think traveling somewhere new or maybe taking a new workshop might help.

Anemone Botanical
(click to see original image)

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

I feel like I'm always learning about everything! Color, light, value, you name it, I'm learning and practicing. I can't really say one particular thing that I'm learning, except that I've always worked on small and medium size canvases and have recently received two different commissions for very large, as in 30x60 inch canvas! So I've been learning about getting the same feel with this size as I do with the smaller pieces.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I finish a piece. It's a great feeling and I'm not going to lie, I love when someone likes my art enough to buy it and display it in their home! I've also been able to donate my art for several causes. That makes me very happy! I just love everything about painting and am grateful to be able to do it.

Thanks, Jennifer!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse