Thursday, June 23, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jessie Dodington

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

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

From Jessie's DPW Gallery:

Jessie Dodington is a visual artist working in oil, acrylic, watercolor and drawing media. She graduated with a BFA from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada in 2008 and moved to Portales, New Mexico in 2010 with her better half, a biochemistry professor.

Her work has been exhibited in group and solo shows in the United States, Canada and the U.K. She enjoys multi-day hiking, camping and painting excursions around New Mexico is an active member of the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, New Mexico Art League, Portales Art Guild, Pintores Art League and New Mexico Watercolor Society. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I really connected to the act of painting in grade six, around the age of twelve. I fell in love with the paintings of the famous Canadian “Group of 7” who painted rough en plain air studies of nature and the Canadian wilderness. I happened to have a great teacher at the time who introduced me to so much, as well as an encouraging family who appreciated art. Long before grade six though, when I was really small, my grandfather made me a really nice easel that I used regularly, so I suppose you could say I first started painting then.

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

I had a few detours in my painting career. I wanted to see if there was a career other than art that could make me happy because art as a career is such a challenging and uncertain path. I have enjoyed these detours; I have been a web-design intern, knitting designer and then school librarian, but found they did not leave me with enough time and energy for painting. And without enough painting in my life, I discovered I was unhappy.

Sandy Cliffs
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I think I’ve at least tried most mediums either in art school or on my own. The ones that have stuck with me are oils in the studio and watercolor when traveling. As soon as I discovered oils, I stopped using acrylics for over a decade. I am beginning to experiment with acrylics again though because of how quickly I can create layers upon layers as they dry so rapidly.

As for genre, I most enjoy creating landscapes and any paintings with nature as the main subject matter. I find it easiest to connect to my immediate outdoor surroundings so that is often the content of my work. I have an affinity for animals as well, and they will likely continue to make appearances in my paintings for a long time to come.

Which mediums are you looking forward to exploring? 

I have painted in oil for thirteen years but still feel I have so much more to explore within the medium.

Fox and I
(
click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I love witnessing the output of prolific artists, regardless of their styles or subject matter. Seeing that fever-to-create in others is thrilling. Reading about Vincent Van Gogh and how much he created, how he couldn’t resist making painting after painting every day is awe-inspiring.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is sneaky! For me it takes on the guise of other jobs and interests. I am interested and enjoy so many different activities (tennis, reading, yoga, writing, brewing kombucha and growing keifer, hiking, crafting… to name a few) that it is VERY easy to be distracted and busy all the time. When I am honest with myself I realize that what would make me happiest is to focus on painting more, and that includes putting in the necessary time getting my paintings out into the public eye.

February Desert
(
click to view)

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

The internet has been great in helping me feel like there is an audience for what I make and that I need to keep making it. Sometimes, if you live in a remote location like I do, or you haven’t found an audience for your art, you can forget why you work so hard to produce art that only you see. Blogging has held me accountable to create and reflect back to the public on a regular basis. I think the Daily Paintworks website is a brilliant way to motivate painters to keep up regular production and posting.

Lately, it has been my involvement with artist organizations that keeps me committed. As a part of the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico (PAPNM), I take part in regular “paintouts” in beautiful locations around the state. I also wrote myself a letter and taped it to my studio wall to remind myself why I keep at it.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I keep sketchbooks and write about ideas with no filter that I peruse later. I also take a LOT of photographs for their potential as reference material. I decide on most of my plain air subjects based on the light. If the light catches my eye the next thing I’ll think is, “do I have time to make a painting of this?”

Doug
(
click to view)

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

I’m not sure I’ve learned how to avoid burnout… but I cope with burnout by putting the series I’m working on (and often the medium too) on hold and switching to drawing or watercolor. It’s the eggs-in-one-basket issue. As long as I have a variety of interests, I can always switch between them when I feel bored or uninspired in one area. No matter how often I’ve felt I’d never regain interest in a particular series, I usually do. I also tend to have even better ideas when I revisit the series after a period of avoiding it. Ongoing research, reading and just having other interests informs my work and keeps it fresh for me.

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

Right now, I’m learning about the business side of being an artist. I know how to paint and keep up the desire to paint but I’m still learning how to view my work as an outsider, see the bigger picture and make tough decisions about my future and career goals. I’m beginning my Masters of Fine Arts at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and am counting on learning a lot more about my art and the art world in the next few years.

Galisteo Basin Preserve
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Art feels like a best friend I met when I was twelve. We go through everything together and she’ll always be there for me.

Thanks, Jessie!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karleen Kareem

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

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

From Karleen's DPW Gallery:

The historical town of Sanford, FL. is where I call home. This town has a lot of art and culture, and I love it. I live in a historical house and from there is where I do my artwork. Most of my work is Contemporary/Naive/ Folk Art / Whimsical. Recently, I started doing Abstract, which I enjoy very much. Since doing Abstract Art, I found it to be much harder to do than what I previously thought, therefore, I have a new admiration for those that are successful at it. My favorite medium is acrylic, but I do use watercolors, as well. I use either stretched canvas or quality canvas paper and for the watercolors, quality watercolor paper. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  

There's a workbook called 'The Artists' Way'.  It's not just for artists, but for everyone because everyone was born with creativity.  When some of us were very young, our creativity was crushed by one way or another.  This book has twelve chapters (exercises) for you to do which brings out your creativity, whatever it my be. It helps you find that creativity hidden inside. Through this workbook, at the age of sixty, I discovered that I LOVE to paint, so I started painting every day.

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

So far, I haven't had any stops, but I've only been painting since the beginning of 2013.  I've heard that all artists go through that 'stop' period, so maybe that will happen to me too, but, I hope not.

Summer Cottage
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I do acrylic and watercolor.  I've tried soft pastels and oil pastels, but I don't care too much for those. Haven't tried oils yet, but that may come later on. As far as the genres, I enjoy contemporary landscape, cityscape and seascape the best.

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

As far as mediums, I have to say the pastels have fallen away.  And as far as the genres, I guess I would have to say the still life has fallen away.  But, you never know.  I change my mind a lot. Ha!

Flower Garden on the Hill
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I look forward to someday exploring oils. I want to see the difference between acrylic and oil painting.        

Who or what inspires you most?

Color is what inspires me.  My favorite artists are the ones who paint with a lot of bright colors.
Colorful landscapes, colorful streets of the city, etc.


Spending Time on the Beach
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I love painting so much that I procrastinate working on promoting my art.

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

Honestly, I need techniques to make time for other things like housework.  I do my housework while I wait for paint to dry.

Peaceful Mountain Living
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I might see some houses, or some buildings that I like and then I incorporate them into my painting. But, I have to say, that most of my paintings are from my imagination.

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

I don't do the same thing all the time, or the exact same style.  I like to try little things that make the art more interesting and a little different.  I see that some artists seem to do the same exact style on every painting, same medium, same colors.  I try to change my style a little and try different things.
But, I guess if an artist finds a style that they're really good at and it sells well, they might as well stick with it.

Sailboats and Fish
(click to view)

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

Well, since I'm a new artist, I still have a lot to learn and I'm learning all the time.  Right now, I'm learning how to place the color, what color I should place beside it and what, in my painting, I want to make as the focal point.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I can finish a happy painting and it makes me smile, I'm happy because that's what I want my art to do... put a smile on the faces of people.

Thanks, Karleen!


© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 9, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Haze Long

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

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

From Haze's DPW Gallery:

I am a professional artist in my 30s living in Malaysia. I grew up loving art and would frequently draw portraits to ease my mind. As with any other chinese family, pursuing any sort of creative endeavours would result in a demotivating backlash. Looking back, studying something more academic would make more sense since I had the brains for it. Nevertheless, I insisted on furthering my studies on Film & Animation. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting when I was in my teens, it was an outlet of expression and I would draw portraits all the time. Slowly they became better and more refined over the years.

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

Definitely, I stopped painting when I was in university in order to focus on my studies. It wasn't until after my father passed away that I've finally picked up a brush and started painting again. My best friend convinced me to pursue a career in art and fortunately for both of us, it went very well.

Potted Succulent III
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I first started out with sketches and was trained rigorously in pen sketches by one of my lecturers. I painted digitally often when I was young and that helped my business when we started a mural and arts company in my country. Since then, it has been 24/7 acrylics and mural painting. We did all sorts of art from pyrography to graffiti. My skills soon improved immensely and I was motivated to try oils. That's when I discovered Daily Paintworks.

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

Well, I enjoy every medium I have learned so far and mastering one leads to greater understanding of another. I think I am not suited for color pencils or pastels, nor am I inclined towards hyper realism. I simply do not have the patience for working on the same piece for a long period of time.

Asa II
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Right now, I am back to digital artwork, watercolor, charcoal and oils. Oils is such a difficult medium to master and I am expecting a life long learning process for that one.

Who or what inspires you most?

Steve Jobs.

Lemon in a Box
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It can be very difficult, especially lately. There can be canvases and projects ongoing and I will just be sleeping the day off. The one thing I've learned is to know that things get easier once the wheels have started rolling.

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

1. The art doesn't have to be a masterpiece
2. I don't have to finish it today
3. Have someone else set a deadline for me
4. Watch tutorials and read books on art

Iris II
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It usually comes when I am working on other art projects and other mediums.

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

For me, I can't stop painting. Once I stop for a day, a long timeout occurs until I am motivated again. The busier I am, the more productive I am. My art works when I put less thought into it, I just need to focus on either the emotion or the objective of the artwork.  

Secret Waterfall at Serendah
(click to view)

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

I am still a painter. Loads to learn before I can consider myself an artist.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happy now that I am finally creating art for myself and slowly stepping away from signature-less art creation.

Thanks, Haze!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 2, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Heidi Malott

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

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

From Heidi's DPW Gallery:

Hello! I have been driven by art since I can remember. I studied art in college for a couple years. Life got a little tangled and I had to quit school and go to work. That did not deter me. My love for painting would always be a part of my life. A few years later I fell in love with "one of the good ones". We started out with little but we still managed for me to stay home and raise our 4 children which I am still in the thick of doing. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have enjoyed painting since I entered an art contest in the second grade. I really haven’t stopped drawing and painting since grade school. I attended college to study fine arts. Along came marriage and children. I attended a couple art workshops and had the privilege to plein air paint with a group of local artists. One whom I feel I owe such gratitude to, Dr. Fred Doloresco. For years, I had been painting but really struggling with the techniques of oil and color. I learned more painting en plein air with him than I ever did in the classroom.

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

Definitely, many times!  I am a wife and stay at home mom with four children.  When I was in the trenches of motherhood, painting at a career level was not possible so I put it on the back burner many times.  Creativity was always on my mind and would surface in an occasional commissioned piece, sketching, hand-quilting and many times watercolors with the kids or even sidewalk chalk.

A New Morning
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In college, I was introduced to watercolor by a wonderfully talented professor.  I also worked with charcoal, pencil, pastels and three dimensional art.  I always put off trying oil as a student, knowing it was an expensive medium and that someday I would be ready. I finally bought some tubes of oil about eighteen years ago and haven’t used anything else since. I started with realism but love expressive impressionism.

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

I work exclusively in oil.   Impressionism has been my ultimate goal.  For years, I worked very detailed and longed to capture the essence and mood of a moment.  When I am inspired by something, I want to draw the viewer into one of my paintings and have them explore and “travel” around the painting and hopefully find some nice “resting” spots, hopefully seeing what inspired me to do so.  If a group of people paint the same scene it is amazing how differently it is interpreted.   This is exciting to me.

Farmer's Market
(click to view)
Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I don’t know if I could ever be done exploring oil.  I am always learning what works and what doesn’t.

Who or what inspires you most? 

I am inspired by John Singer Sargent, Edgar Payne,  John F. Carlson, Robert Henri, Nicolai Fechin, Edward Potthast, Mary Cassatt, Kevin Macpherson,  Peggi Kroll,  Jennifer McChristian, William Wray, I could go on and on.  Plein air painting and alla prima painting.  I love the urgency of capturing a fleeting moment.

Floral Bouquet
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination happens when I hit the dreaded artist block.  I usually check out other artists' work online.  This can be a good time to clean and organize my studio.  Sometimes I just take a break from painting and resume mundane household things like laundry.  Sometimes you just have to take a break.

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

I am fairly disciplined and very much a creature of habit.  I treat studio time like any job.  I have a certain amount of time carved out and if I don’t get started it won’t get done.  I start early in the morning.  Coffee, breakfast, and exercise help keep me moving forward.

Longhorns
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

This is the best and worst part of painting!  I am easily distracted by things I want to paint.  I can be driving to the grocery store and notice that the clouds in the sky are amazing.  I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled over to get out and take pictures, even with my phone (best part of a cell phone if you ask me.)  The hard part is when I feel I am in a rut.  I bounce from one subject to another or I get burned out.  That is why you may see four beach scenes that I have painted and then I move on to painting chickens or cows and so on.

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

Oops, I guess I started to answer that in the last question.  Plein air painting and small scale daily painting keep my work fresh.

Patient Partner
(click to view)

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

Hm… this may be due in part to getting older but being content with the process of creating art.  Not feeling anxious about whether a painting turns out or not.  I like being productive and having something to show for my effort but that doesn’t always work out, so I try to be content with the process as a journey.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

Every day that I am able to paint is a gift.  Ten years ago, I started posting paintings online.  I would have never guessed that my little paintings could make a connection with others across the globe.  I am so thrilled when someone says that my artwork touches them in some way, whether it reminds them of their hometown or just makes them happy.

Thanks, Heidi!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 26, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Neil Carroll

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

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

From Neil's DPW Gallery:

I am a self-taught artist from London. My wish to become an artist was always blocked by real life commitments but the desire never left me. With the required time now available I am pursuing this ambition, painting in oils since 2011.

"I don't try to paint what is in front of me, I try to paint something with atmosphere and interest based on the subject. I remove as much detail as possible and paint as broadly as my mood allows." (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always wanted to paint but never had the time available to give it a good go. Having dabbled here and there I realised I would need a significant amount of time to achieve anything satisfactory. About six years ago, I stumbled on the work of Qiang Huang which I was drawn to and followed his work. This lead me to discovering David Leffel who's work inspired me to take up Still Life. I had never considered Still Life to this point.

So I merged the inspiration of David with the Daily Painting of Qiang and decided to become a Still Life Daily Painter and have been doing this now for about five years. I have used Daily Painting as a method of self learning.

Carnations
(click to view)

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

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

I have over the years attempted to get into painting so yes but have no intention of having any further stops. As far as I am concerned, I will be painting until I drop.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I painted with watercolour many years ago and tried out oil paints for a couple of paintings and knew that was for me so when I started painting again it was oil paint all the way.

Cup and Apple
(click to view)

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

Watercolour has fallen away. I don't have a hunger to use any other paint but who knows what the future will bring.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Charcoal and pencil.

Who or what inspires you most?

David Leffel is the overriding inspiration but I admire many other artists. Although I have never met David, through studying his paintings and watching his films he has provided the knowledge and I have supplied the effort.

Rabbit
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't worry about procrastination. If I need to step away from the easel I do and if I know I am slacking I let it run its course. The mind must be right or the painting will suffer. If the mind wants to do something else I generally allow it. Instead of doing something like surfing the net, I try to do something else connected with painting, tidying the studio space, research etc.

If I have to force myself to paint I will only do so if I have enough reserve of energy. Non-painters may see this as puzzling, but the energy is not the same energy as carrying a load of bricks somewhere, it's the emotional energy to create which is in short supply on some days. There are days it feels like I have no ability to paint and I wonder how I have managed to produce what I have to date.

Carnation in Glass
(click to view)

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

I have all the time I need to maintain my current output as I made time five years ago. I did this by dropping everything I was doing that was not a priority. You either commit to painting or you don't.

I intend to be as good as I possibly can be and this requires time, lots of time.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

A mix of visualising a subject in my imagination, thumbnail sketches or just plonking objects in my light box and pushing them about until something appears.

Orange with Upturned Vase
(click to view)

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

Procrastination prevents burnout and a deep well of desire keeps me moving forward.

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

My limitations.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The achievement and the creative process.

Thanks, Neil!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 19, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Salvatore Greco

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

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


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

I begun painting professionally in 1984 and since then have never stopped.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

At the beginning, I was painting in oil paints. I later switched to acrylic and have been painting with it for the last ten years.

On the Beach
(click to view)

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

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

Acrylic has stuck. :)

Who or what inspires you most?

Cézanne, Monet, Nicolas de Staël.

After the Rain
(click to view)

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

My trick is painting a little bit every day... "daily painting".

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I sketch every day and later turn these sketches into my paintings.

In the Mountains
(click to view)

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

I am constantly learning as an artist and continuously evolving. We must move forward.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Nothing makes me happier than to be able to spend my days painting and creating.

Pommier du Japon
(click to view)

Thanks, Salvatore!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 12, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Holly Storlie

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

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

From Holly's DPW Gallery:

Born in Saginaw, Michigan, and raised in rural Minnesota, Holly currently resides in Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ringling College of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her award winning paintings have been exhibited widely throughout the state of Pennsylvania, as well as Florida, and are in private collections throughout the United States. She has taught drawing and painting workshops, as well as weekend family classes, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first paintings were made when I was very young. I grew up in rural Minnesota and, looking back, it seems like I always had my hands in some sort of art or craft project. While I was in high school, I had an art teacher who encouraged me to pursue a career in art, but I hadn't seriously considered it myself until I was in my mid-twenties. When I was 23, I took a few art classes at the local community college and fell in love with painting. Soon thereafter, I applied to the Illustration Department at Ringling College of Art and Design and started attending in the Fall of 2000.

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

After graduating from the M.F.A. program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, it took me a while to figure out how to make a living as an artist. I was painting consistently during that time, but I wasn't very confident in the paintings that I was producing. Although I had gained a little experience showing my work as a student, I still had a lot to learn about getting my work out there and making a career for myself. So, the first few years after graduation were a little slow going, but then things gradually started to pick up. Opportunities have been opening up lately, and I believe that discovering the practice of daily painting has been a big part of that shift.

Honeycrisps
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I majored in Illustration as an undergrad and experimented with just about every painting medium under the sun. At that time, I preferred to work with acrylics. It wasn't until I entered grad school that I fell in love with oils, and I've been hooked ever since. Although, I would love to get back to working with both acrylics and gouache.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

Oils have stuck for the longest period of time but, unfortunately, watercolors have fallen away. I still have a small watercolor sketch set that has been collecting dust in my studio that I'm hoping to use soon for some outdoor sketching.

Peonies
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to explore oil pastels. Also, I would like to experiment more with printmaking techniques, specifically monotype and lithography.

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many great painters that inspire me daily. A few painters that have been continual sources of inspiration are Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and Euan Uglow. Also, daily painting has been incredibly inspiring to me. Working quickly and often really helps to keep me in a place where I'm inspired and not prone to discouragement.

Little Sandals
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like to you?

Either cleaning the house or playing with our dogs in the backyard. We have an Australian Shepherd and a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix who absolutely love to be outdoors, and it's easy to lose track of time with them when the weather is nice.

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

Having a gallery on Daily Paintworks has helped me tremendously with time management, because I do feel a sense of obligation to post a new painting as often as I can. Also, keeping a list of upcoming exhibition opportunities gives me short term goals to work towards.

Cup and Crayons
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Lately, I've been working almost exclusively from still life set ups, with the exception of a few plein air pieces that I made on a recent outing. Sometimes I'll have an object or set of objects in mind, while other times I'll stumble across something that strikes me in a particular way, whether it be the way light is hitting an object, or the color relationships between objects, etc. When I have a particular object in mind, their significance to me is often nostalgic in nature. I'm drawn to things that are colorful and playful; that remind me of my childhood. I'm also very attracted to flowers. I paint from life and feel that observation is absolutely essential to my painting process.

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

Forcing myself to work quickly has been most helpful in keeping freshness and life in a painting. I still struggle with knowing when to stop painting before I "overcook" a piece, and there are quite a few that end up in the scrap pile as a result, but having invested a short amount of time keeps me from getting too disappointed if one doesn't work out. If I feel a burnout coming on, sometimes I'll take a break for a bit and switch my focus to something else. I have a tendency to want to paint through a burnout, hoping that I can paint my way out of it, so I have to be mindful of that and force myself to take a breather.

Clementines
(click to view)

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

I feel that I am learning more about the business side of making a living as an artist. It's fascinating and, although I have discovered some new, interesting things about self promotion within the last year, I still have so much more to learn.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing it with others and seeing how they react and respond. I think I am happiest about my art when I hear that it has brought happiness to someone else.

Thanks, Holly!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 5, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Peter Bain

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

To enter to win Peter's painting, "Cow No. 2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Peter's DPW Gallery:

One of the reasons I love oil painting is because the paint itself is a pleasure to work with...oil paint is thick and buttery, the colors deep and rich, and the scent of linseed oil hovers above my palette while I work. It is wonderful thing to mix a vibrant, glistening color note and smear it across a canvas. The finished, varnished painting glows within its frame, the paint looks as though it is still wet. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a kid, I enjoyed making art and I had strong drawing abilities but never pursued it earnestly.  In 2010 (at age forty), I began taking lessons with a fantastic painter, Paul George, from Gloucester, MA.  Paul made painting fun and, more importantly, he made the process understandable and repeatable.

Cow No. 2

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

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

After taking classes on and off for two years, I was able to produce a decent painting once in a while.  But I realized that if I wanted to really become a good a painter, I needed to paint far more often. Painting once or twice a week wasn’t going get me to the next level.  So, in 2013, I committed myself to painting five, six, or seven times a week.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

It’s all been oils for me, I just love the colors and take great pleasure in mixing paint and the feel of applying it to a canvas.  I also keep a moleskine sketchbook with me and fill it with pencil and ink drawings. In terms of genres, I dabble in so many.  I gravitate towards landscapes, figures, and animals.  Truthfully, I am quite shameless about genres… if kittens and puppies are selling, that’s what I’ll paint!

Pt. Lobos
(
click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really enjoy plein air painting and look forward to improving my skills.  At this point I euphemistically consider my weekly efforts to be “sketches” or “studies” or “exercises”.  I paint with a couple of friends each Friday at a horse barn in the hills above Silicon Valley.  The scenery is spectacular and it’s always fun to be able to chat and get opinions from your peers while working.  It’s fun being outside and I’ve learned to enjoy the attention from passerby.

I’m also looking forward to returning home to the East Coast and painting New England with more experience and fresh eyes. My family is moving back to Lexington, Massachusetts this summer after two wonderful years in California.

Who or what inspires you most?

The masters in any field inspire me.  People who study and learn their craft and dedicate their lives to becoming exceptional in what they do inspire me.  I’ve just finished David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers, and was inspired by how they conquered the problem of flight not by luck or daring but by hard work, unbounded curiosity, and study… all in the face of public derision and skepticism.

Silence is Golden
(
click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

After several moves for my wife’s career, I’ve become the “house dad” for our family.  So, procrastination for me can be folding laundry, mowing the lawn… some days I’ll do anything to avoid painting… because I find painting hard work!  It’s like exercising… you’ve got to push yourself to get the most out of it.  But it’s harder than exercise because each painting requires a thousand small decisions and problems to work through.  I also admit to spending hours looking at other artists’ work on DPW or browsing photos for a new painting.

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

Committing myself to a schedule is the best technique to paint everyday. I tell myself; “Peter, you will paint from 9am to 10am every weekday morning.”  Unfortunately, that hour or two often gets shifted twelve hours later in the day!

Two Red Pears
(
click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My painting ideas are generally inspired by other artists.  Seeing their work in magazines, on Instagram, and here on DPW is a huge source of inspiration and ideas.  But, I’m also really inspired by the beauty of the world that is outside our doors; just walking my daughters to school, I’m able to come up with dozens of ideas for new paintings.

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

I bump around from genre to genre a lot.  While this is probably not great to build or keep a fan base, it does help me avoid burnout.  Last autumn, I challenged myself to paint thirty dogs in thirty days.  Once I finished, I never wanted to look at the furry beasts again!

Little Pigs
(
click to view)

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

I like my work best when it is fresh, loose, and “painterly”.  I’m constantly struggling with my tendency to try and work in as many details and hard edges as possible.  I want to be fast, accurate, and capture the essence of the subject.  I’m trying to push myself toward that goal.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love sharing it with people, I love when a customer emails me to say how happy they are with my painting on their wall, that makes me happy.

Thanks, Peter!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 28, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elizabeth Elgin

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

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

From Elizabeth's DPW Gallery:

I love to paint! Period. Although I won the annual art award my senior year in high school (long long ago), "life" got in the way of my pursuing an art career. When I turned 60 I just decided to start; to learn as best I could. I am a member of the "It's never to late to start club". Thank goodness for the internet - so many wonderful art videos available. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when I was in high school, I had the very best art teacher, dear Mrs. Glass. She encouraged me and was the first to tell me I had something worth pursuing regarding making art. Then life happened. I always did arts and crafts, and even took some college night classes in drawing in my thirties, but seriously pursuing my artistic side didn’t happen until about six years ago.

Sun Dappled Cow

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

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

I can’t say my painting “career” has actually started yet. I’m still in the learning stage and although my artwork does sell, thanks to DPW, I certainly can’t quit my day job. But learning is its own joy and the curve is steep when you have limited time to paint.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with acrylics and then moved to oils, and use both, depending upon the subject matter. Sometimes, I start with acrylics to work out the underpainting and finish with oils. I did take a few watercolor lessons and would love to do more with that as well. I love painting animals, still life, skies, water... everything really.

Goodnight Sun Take 2
(click to view)

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

Watercolor, graphite drawing, colored pencil, pastels – haven’t really fallen away so much as have been put on hold while I try to improve with painting mediums.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am currently looking forward to a workshop in May on paintings miniatures at the 1/6 scale; and then in June learning the indirect oil painting method for contemporary realism. I would like to try plein air but then I read about the heat, the wind, the bugs... maybe not.

Ladybug Ladybug
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Ah, the inter-webs. I love to look at the artists of both the past and present; my difficulty is that I love all different styles. There’s an ‘x factor’ in some art that just hits you, like your mind has met the artist’s mind and that painting moves you in some way. And not even all the art from that same artist will hit you. So I can’t explain it. When you see it, you suck wind for a second. There is no lack of inspiration to be found, from art to nature; from the way the sunlight shines through the window, to the way my dog looks at me.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I love ‘starts’. Blocking in a new painting when the idea is so fresh in my mind. Then comes problem solving... losing steam and confidence that I can finish... I sometimes have to set a painting aside for weeks, months, sometimes a year, until I feel I might be able to bring it to conclusion. But procrastination in finishing sometimes pays off. Often the problem that needed solving gets answered in a course I happen to take, or a blog I’ve read online. But I have lots of ‘starts’ sitting around. Sometimes I just have to decide it’s just a no-go and trash it.

Breakfast Reflections
(click to view)

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

Actually, I need a technique to ensure that I make time for housekeeping and cooking and doing laundry as my art imposes on those things. Those things slide, not my art time. As I still work full time, I often am too tired at night to paint. If I do paint on weeknights, the problem is I get excited and keep going and suddenly it’s 1:00 am and my morning alarm is set for 5:30. So mostly I really focus on my weekend time slots and look forward to it all week.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

This is funny to me. I see people on Facebook ask “I want to paint but what should I paint?” My problem is the opposite: how in the world can I ever paint all the things I want to paint? The availability on the internet of copyright free reference photos is massive, so the ideas are never-ending. Something catches my eye, or moves me in some way; I ‘see it’ in my mind as a painting, and have a little excitement inside to see it executed. Sometimes it even works out.

Lilacs in Copper
(click to view)

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

I just finished two classes at The Compass Atelier, oil painting and mastering color. Color mixing, seeing values, seeing subtle color shifts, warm vs. cool, those basics I need to learn to get the results I want. Also, we see so much these days about ‘painting loose’ and I have tried to pursue that but I’m not sure it’s really in my Virgo-detail-oriented nature. I took an online course and the instructor posted two paintings, one very loose and painterly, and one almost hyper-realistic. He was trying to make the point that the loose style was more appealing, but I kept looking at the realistic one and thinking... maybe not – for me. So I’m taking a class in June with Cindy Procious in traditional methods of indirect painting in realism. Those are the type of paintings that take my breath away, so I want to pursue that this year. So one thing I’m learning is what is the style that I really like, and not to let others ‘should’ all over me. Someday maybe I’ll have ‘my style’.

Garuda Aviary Fundraiser - Sir Winston
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get a note from someone who has purchased my art, or commissioned a pet portrait, and the painting has really moved them. I’ve had people tell me “Oh, your chickens brought back such fond memories of my grandma’s farm”, or even that they cried when they got their pet portrait in the mail. Those are the moments you feel, ah, the struggle is worth it.

Thanks, Elizabeth!

© 2016 Sophie Marine