Thursday, March 23, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carmen Beecher

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

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

From Carmen's DPW Gallery:

Carmen worked for the Air Force in Utah, Florida, and the Azores Islands. She has been a secretary (she types really fast), graphic illustrator (finally her perfect job), Quality Assurance Evaluator (that annoying person with a clipboard), and Program Analyst (what they call you when they can't figure out what to call you). During this time, she published comic strips for the Air Force and other publications and was always the go-to person for anything artistic. She supervised a graphics shop and did freelance illustrations. Carmen is now a full-time artist and has ramped it up to being an almost-daily painter. She enjoys the rapid tempo and is inspired by the community of daily painters she has met online. Her work and how she does it is featured in International Artist Magazine, Feb/Mar 2012 issue. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I was always drawing and dreamed of being an artist. When I was ten, my mother’s last Christmas gift to me was a little easel. I attended an art class along with adult students at the University of Florida when I was twelve years old thanks to my aunt who worked on campus. I acquired my first set of oil paints at fourteen and fell in love with that medium.

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

Yes, when Life intervened! I married and had three children. A military family, we lived many different places, including Bermuda and the Azores Islands. I painted in my spare time, which was not often. During our second tour in the Azores I began working on the base, and that was the start of my long government career. Art was put on the back burner for years, but occasionally I squeezed it in. I did a comic strip that was distributed basewide. When we transferred to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, I worked in the Graphics Shop—finally, an art job—and I did two weekly comic strips there.

Snowy Farm
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oil is my first love, but I have done watercolor, collage, acrylic murals, zentangle, graphite, and pen-and-ink. I have done portraits, seascapes, landscapes, still life, animals; all the usual things.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

The mediums I never tire of are oils, collage, and graphite. I also enjoy making my own little world when I paint a mural. Comic strips in pen and ink are fun too, but they have fallen away since I became a daily painter. They require coming up with a joke and executing a story with a punchline as the climax, plus keeping the artwork expressive though simple. That’s very challenging.

Indian River Lagoon
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am trying to stay away from any new media, but am open to new techniques. If I chase too many ‘shiny objects’ I get away from serious painting and drawing.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Going to an art museum is the most inspiring thing I can do. For contemporary artists, I love the work of Richard Schmid and Jeremy Lipking, plus too many others to name here. Looking at what God has done with the earth inspires me. My very supportive husband inspires me.

Steve Jobs
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m not much of a procrastinator; I would describe my form of procrastination as “stalling.” Just doing a few too many things in the morning before starting my work, or suddenly having a need to clean up my work area—just a little stalling around. I never miss a deadline.

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

Having enough time is the bane of all artists. I am a morning person, and I get up early and jump in as soon as possible. I have recently started setting alarms to make myself take breaks, because when I am “in the zone” I don’t want to stop, which results in stiff limbs and dry eyes.

Cybertot
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I sometimes see a scene that strikes me because of its lighting, colors, or composition. Frequently, I see children in poses that beg to be painted. The ideas usually come when they are so obvious I can’t miss them. Some artists can take the most boring scene and paint it beautifully. That is the real mystery for me. I want to learn to do that.

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

I am not one of those people who sit around waiting for inspiration to strike; I’d never get anything done that way. I am very disciplined, and being a daily painter has been a good reinforcement for that. I consider art my job, and I enjoy getting up and going to work. I rarely feel burned out, but taking a good workshop is a great cure for that. I think that one thing that keeps me productive is my painting group. I paint weekly with seven friends, and it is both encouraging and therapeutic. Joining the group was the best thing I ever did for my art.

Little Hikers
(click to view)

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

I am doing black-and-white illustrations right now, and I am reminded that graphite drawing is a beautiful art form.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Two things make me happiest about my art: when I know I have done a successful painting; and when someone else is drawn to it. If a collector tells me that a painting touched them in some way, that makes me very happy. Art is one of those professions where someone saying your work brought them to tears makes you smile!

Thanks, Carmen!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alejandra Gos

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

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

From Alejandra's DPW Gallery:

I am a software engineer in the Seattle/Bellevue area. I got my Computer Science degree at National University of La Plata, Argentina. I moved to the US in 2005 and have been working and living in Washington State since then.

I have a passion for drawing, and art in general, specially landscape painting. I used to spend a lot of time playing the piano, always hoping to go back to that some day. I am in love with the mountains, the ocean and all the scenic views Washington has to offer. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting about seven years ago. As a child, me and my sister were exposed to the arts. I played the guitar and piano. And I was also a good drawer. My mother is the best drawer I know. She had some pastels at home; even though they were old I worked with them a bit, but not much.

In 2010, I decided I needed to go back either to some sort of painting or to music. I was a bit bored with just my job. I am a software engineer. And so I found people in my area (Seattle) that worked with pastels and started hanging with them. It just went from there until today.

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

Not really, I consider the start of my career to be 2010. I have not stopped since then.

Behind the Trees
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Pastel is the medium I know how to work with the best. However, I have used acrylics before. Lately, I started playing with oils. I would like to be able to switch mediums without changing my style.

I am a landscape painter, but I have done birds and figures in the past. People have received them well. I like to paint a blue heron once in a while (my favorite bird).

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

The genre that has always remained is the landscape. Specially scenes with light and shade. One of the things that stands out in my work is the use of vibrant color and pastel is the medium to achieve that. So landscape and pastels have prevailed.

Summer in Rosario Beach
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am very interested in oils. I like the way they run when applied to the canvas. I enjoy mixing colors and there is a lot to explore there. Its an endless learning curve.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me. I usually go for walks with my dog, and I find myself snapping a picture or just staring at the simplest things. Maybe a ray of light hitting a tree trunk will do it. That gets me motivated. Also, other painters I have had the pleasure of learning from inspire me a lot. I have been lucky to study with Marla Baggetta, Barbara Jaenicke, Janet Hamilton, Richard McKinley and others.

Reflecting Gold
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Definitely buying art books and taking pictures for future paintings is my procrastination technique. When I find myself only reading art books and not getting to the easel, I know I am procrastinating. It takes me a while to get back to it. I usually have to remind myself that it's just a piece of paper and chalk, and that I have produced good work in the past in order for me to end the loop.

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

I have tried several times during the day, but what works best is early in the morning. I have my day job and I have to commute, so usually I get up at 6am, work for a couple of hours (I set up an alarm so that I can paint freely without worrying about the time), and then get ready to go to work. It's much harder to do this in the evening.

Beauty on the Wetlands
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have a box with many pictures I have printed out that would like to paint. I do much of the idea work ahead, even before I print them out. I have now started cropping to standard sizes and doing more composition either when I take photos or later in my computer. I also combine photos together.

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

I keep art fresh by going to workshops and seeing other artists paint. It's easy to get stuck in our own ways and think that we cannot do it differently than that. We are wrong. You can always change something - even a little thing, that will change a lot of other things around them. My preferred ways are working on a series based on a location,  going out in the field to paint, paint larger or smaller, use a different combination of colors.

Across the River
(click to view)

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

I am learning that practice, consistency and confidence enhance my work. If you look at how I painted five or even three years ago, the growth is huge. I am convinced that pushing thru is the recipe to success. I am learning right now that no matter which medium I use, my work is still the same and that I shouldn't be afraid of a new medium or subject. And that's such a good feeling.

What makes you happiest about your art?

My art requires a lot of concentration and coordination but at the same time it allows me to switch gears from my engineer work. My art gives me a break from my day job, but it also keeps me occupied. That's the best part for me, since I am a person that needs to be doing something at all times. With time, I am getting better at making this switch faster and makes me feel productive: the best feeling in the world for me.

Thanks, Alejandra!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 9, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dimitriy Gritsenko

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

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

From Dimitriy's DPW Gallery:

Dimitriy Gritsenko is a practicing fine artist who has studied extensively in institutions and in private with a broad spectrum of artists. Costumer satisfaction is Dimitriy's utmost priority, so please ask any questions that may interest or concern you about his art. Thank you. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about your first painting experience.

I don't recall the first time I picked up a paint brush, however, I clearly remember the first oil painting I did in art class. The minute I started I was hooked, I still remember the landscape that I painted.

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

There was a time where I was offered a job for a glass engraving artist, so I put my painting aside and took up the offer. After a couple months, I was getting really anxious to paint again, so I dropped the job and returned to the easel: it was a difficult decision, but well worth it.

Black Diamond Peak
(click to view)

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

What mediums have you experimented with?


I've gone through most of the well known ones: gouache, acrylic, ink, egg tempera, watercolor, etc.

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

Oils haven't let me down and I love working with them. I do like acrylic, however- even with the extenders- they dry to fast for me. As much as I enjoy watercolors, I struggle to paint boldly, accurately, and make critical decisions all at the same time.

Winter in Seattle
(click to view)

Which one are you exploring? 

Egg Tempera is the medium other than oils which I'm currently exploring.

What inspires you most?

The limited amount of time I have on earth.

Portrait in Charcoal No. 1
(click to view)

Share an art experience where you went out of you comfort zone.

In high school, I volunteered to paint at a fine arts assembly.

How to do you manage your time to paint?

It's not that easy because just like any other work there has to be variety, or else painting becomes monotonous. I avoid the latter by managing my time to take longer breaks and work later into the evenings.

Bridge Enthusiasts
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It will usually be a "wow, that would be a nice piece" moment, which I make a mental note of or write down for later.

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

As much as I love painting, my brainpower and strength sometimes cant keep up with my ambitions, so I find refreshment in reading and various outdoor activities- including plein air painting.

Keep Calm and Swim On
(click to view)

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

The importance of being well balanced physically and mentally.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The people who connect to it on a personal level.

Thanks, Dimitriy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 2, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dipali Rabadiya

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

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

From Dipali's DPW Gallery:


My name is Dipali Rabadiya. I live in a Greensburg, PA (Suburb of Pittsburg, PA) with my husband and two sons. I have always enjoyed painting and drawing ever since I was a child and never stopped thinking about it. I enjoy oil painting a small still life subjects and landscapes from all prima from life. So, I joined the daily painting movement this year.

I have Masters degree in business administration from India. Worked for few years but, my love towards oil painting has never changed. I am currently working on my BFA in graphics design from Seton Hill university in greensburg, PA. Few more credits to go. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been painting since I was a child. Even after graduating from an MBA, I always wanted to be an artist, so I went to pursue my BFA in Seton Hill university in Greensburg, PA in 2009. That program helped me a lot. In 2014, I signed up with DPW and that changed my life. The website was so amazing that I would go through lists of artists that inspired me and wanted to paint daily to improve my skills and be a successful artist. I am very happy with Daily Paintworks.

Owl
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love to paint in oil colors, but I also enjoy charcoal and sketching. I often work with pencil sketch.  I have tried painting in acrylic and other mediums as well, but I am more into oils. I have tried painting still life, landscape, figurative, seascape and flowers. I have never tried abstract.

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

As far as I know, still life is my strongest genre. I feel comfortable doing it.

Bananas
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am interested in making large oil paintings. I would like my painting to have that loose and spontaneous feel to it. Portrait would be something that I would like to get comfortable with.

Who or what inspires you most?

This is tough question. Lots of artists have inspired me though out my career. I am a big fan of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings. I love Carol Marine as my mentor. She inspires me a lot. I like Qiang Huang as well. I love to paint still life because it is convent for me. Strong drawing, bold and bright colors inspire me the most.

Pears and Stacked Cups
(click to view)

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

Having two small children in the house makes it hard to paint. When my children are at school, i have assigned that time for my painting. I choose to paint small and frequently. I usually paint 6x6, 5x7, 6x8, and 8x10 size canvas. I have a small studio space in my house where everything is ready to paint. So that solves half the problem. My painting style is alla prima. It means wet on wet/all at once. I finish my painting within one or two hours. Then I take a picture and am ready to post it on DPW, Pinterest, Instagram and my blog. I am also selling my artwork on eBay.

Little Girl Playing
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I always think before I start arranging my objects in my shadow box. I will have some idea before I even start. Since I like to paint still life, I often open my refrigerator and look for items that I am attracted to that particular day. If I am interested in painting something other than still life, I will go though my vacation pictures and look for something that attracts me as well. I like painting small children playing in the sand or at the beach.

Pink Flower
(click to view)

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

I have a limited palette that helps me understand my colors better. It also makes my job easy. I start with a bigger brush and then use a smaller brush. I don’t use a lot of brushes. When I am painting I use maybe three brushes. That’s all. I also change my subject matter often. That helps me keep my art fresh.

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

I feel like I have so much to learn and progress as an artist. I recently took a workshop with Qiang Huang in Scottsdale, AZ. It has given my an idea about how someone can be so successful in this career. All I need to do is keep working and keep improving my skill. My motivation comes from family and resources around me. I want be in a gallery and I want to teach and so on.

Charcoal
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Joy of painting. The process of creating something and the finished product is absolutely different than anyone can imagine.

Thanks, Dipali!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 23, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: MB Warner

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

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

From MB's DPW Gallery:

I love to paint. I will try to paint just about anything. I am a photographer turned printmaker turned painter. I live in Steamboat Springs, CO and work out of my solar powered - off grid studio. I love to do commission work - kids - pets - cars etc. I carry my camera at all times - every painting produced has a story. I'm drawn to ordinary everyday stuff. That's it for now. Thanks for taking a look and drop me a line sometime. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I've been painting for over 20 years, but I didn't paint seriously until 2012.

My BFA is in photography and printmaking. My MFA was in printmaking with a mixed media focus.  It's embarrassing to mention my art degrees, but my school experience really shaped who I am today. I'm passionate about painting - passionate about most things - all thanks to my liberal art education.

Painting occurred much later after the desire to pull more than one print fell away. The years of photography and printmaking were great, but it was time to make some changes to producing art. Painting was a natural progression.

Sides
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The list is pretty endless. I created all the stained glass windows in my house. I was a member of a glass blowing studio - a clay studio - and I had my own photography and printmaking studio. This summer, after much thought, I finally gave away my etching press, all my supplies and tools, acrylic paints, etc. to the local high school. Oil painting is my primary focus.

When did you start painting seriously?

In 2012, I left my adjunct teaching post at CMC (Colorado Mountain College) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, my home. I missed teaching and I really missed the KIDS! I was searching for a teaching replacement and I discovered Daily Paintworks. I started following the work of Carol Marine and Karin Jurick, they inspired me to make a move. I realized that, over time, I had never really devoted myself to one art technique. I learned a lot over the years, but it was time to focus and get proficient at one thing - it was time to paint! You could say Carol and Karin saved me from some mediocre - hum drum - existence after leaving CMC. On Wednesday, November 7, 2012 I started my blog by painting 100 paintings in one hundred days - the rest is history.

Space Station
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm working on a new series of paintings titled "Less is More". The paintings are 3" X 3". Little jewels of color, texture and form. We'll see how far it goes and where it takes me.

Who or what inspires you most?

WOW! That's a loaded question. Inspiration can be as mundane as the light falling on my kitchen sink and the reflections on the dishes, glasses and faucet. It doesn't take much for my mind to wander. Inspiration is everywhere - really!

Everything's Better with Butter

What does procrastination look like for you?

Biting my nails and fretting. It's a sad state of affairs.

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

I have a wonderful, off grid studio on top of a mountain. There is no place I'd rather be. It's not hard for me to make time to paint. It's much harder to do the laundry, wash the dishes and vacuum. Painting is my life.

George
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get a lot of exercise. In the summer, I ride my bike 20 to 30 miles every day. It's not city biking. It's wide open country filled with barns, cows, ranches, mountains and no traffic.  In the winter, I ski. The National Forest is my backyard. I hike up and ski down and hope to see some elk or a moose on the way. Endorphins are my friend. If I don't get outside, my mind doesn't work correctly.

How do you keep art "fresh"?

I paint a little bit of everything. Figures, still life, landscape, etc. I find it debilitating to paint only one particular idea. I need variety of subjects to keep it all going.

Back to the Future
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing the joy of painting. I'm mentoring a painter right now; her name is Missy Borden and it's pure joy to be able to share and exchange art ideas with a passionate young artist.

Lastly I'd like to thank David, Carol, Sophie and all of the DPW artist members. You guys really make my day. I love all the comments and the emails. I couldn't keep painting without all the support. You guys rock. Paint on!

Thanks, MB!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ester Wilson

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

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

From Ester's DPW Gallery:

I've been drawing for as long as I remember. Growing up on America's West Coast gave me a great appreciation of Nature, and I hope to convey that love through my work. I strive to achieve the best quality in everything I do.

My work focuses on contemporary realism with everyday objects and plant life. I received a baccalaureate degree at the Atlanta College of Art which helped strengthen my craft in drawing and painting. Now I follow my passion to learn more about classical art, interweaving the facts of today's world with the artistic methods passed down through ages, rendering the visual language as accurately as my creative ideas allow. I try to record that intangible connection between myself and the object - a difficult thing to describe, but something surely felt. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first picked up a paintbrush at the Atlanta College of Art where I took an oil painting class. Most of my life before college I was drawing, so pushing around goo with a brush felt alien. But after graduation, a painter friend showed me different ways to handle a brush, various paint viscosities, and how to get my image down in gooey paint. That's when I really started to love it.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

My sketchbooks are packed full of mediums and subjects, like gouache, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, pencil, all creating images of people, places and things. With oils I've played around with florals, still life, portraits, animals, landscapes and master copies.

Tulip and Cup
(click to view)

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

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

I love painting with oils on hard surfaces the most, and I appreciate the way a still life will not move while I'm trying to paint it. I think landscapes are my biggest challenge, which I do plan to practice at a point in the future.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm interested in making large oil paintings, preferably focusing on light wrapping around form, composition and brilliancy in color.

Market Flowers
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many painters now and ancient who are inspiring, I don't know where to start. I do enjoy looking through the ARC website of 'master' painters (www.artrenewal.org), just as much as I enjoy finding new work posted on Pinterest. My favorite work usually always incorporates strong drawing skills.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't like to procrastinate, so I avoid it at all costs.

Chipmunk
(click to view)

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

Making paintings is my job (which I love), so I'm in my studio at least 40 hours per week. It's not a technique, but I've made a promise to myself to keep creating in order to get better at this craft, and I have faith my artistic goals will be met, even if by sheer persistence.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

All kinds of things present themselves as subjects. Sometimes a splash of sunlight glinting off glass is enough to make a painting. Other times, the gorgeous colors of fruit at the grocery store make me want to get home in a hurry to start painting. Inspiration is everywhere, and I need to always be curious/open-minded enough to find intrigue in anything. For me, this is all about frame of mind, accepting life as beautiful and interesting.

French Bath
(click to view)

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

When my work is stumbling, I need to take a break. Usually hiking or getting extra exercise helps tremendously. Doing things that are active and not art related helps me zoom back out to a larger view of life. It doesn't take long before I'm back in the studio and excited to be there. If a block is persisting longer than a weekend it also helps to just push through those blocks, regardless of how I feel. Making a few bad paintings is not a big deal, plus the next one that's better feels great to make.

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

With every painting, I learn more about myself. I try to convey my excitement in the things I see and feel. Those attempts show me what I subconsciously find valuable in the visual language, and overall this is leading me to understand my visual voice. For example, edge control is increasingly important to me lately. I try to create a sense of real atmosphere in my still life work, where certain objects melt into others and focal areas stand out sharp. I find my paintings mimic my internal feelings like a mirror, so it's critical that I keep my outlook positive, curious and receptive.

Cabbage and Wood
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm very happy to have the opportunity to create paintings and drawings. Simply the the opportunity in life to see, feel, improve, focus, grow... all of these things, and so much more, is bundled in the act of creating. Art makes me smile.

Thanks, Ester!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 9, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ken Devine

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

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

From Ken's DPW Gallery:

I was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1952, educated in Reigate, Surrey, moved around the country and eventually settled to plan, with my wife Bev, to open a gallery and framing workshop in rural Nottinghamshire.

Although becoming one of the first in the UK to qualify as a Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer, my heart was in painting and, after thirteen years of framing and selling other artists work, we sold our business to concentrate on my own work.
After exhibiting and demonstrating for many years at Patchings Art Centre, I became a resident artist there in 2001/2, where I had my own studio, taught a few classes and generally enjoyed being involved with the place.

Giving demonstrations and workshops to art groups and societies was also a feature at this time. The aptly named Genesis Fine Arts was the first company to distribute my paintings nationwide. Solomon & Whitehead then published my work and used their extensive national gallery network to sell my originals.

I sell direct to the public these days. It's a lot easier!

My studio is in Brittany, France, where I live with my wife, Bev. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Like everyone else, it was in my youth way before responsibility robbed me of my time. The days were long and had to be filled with something. Art was one of those things, but I can't recall when or how it began. When I was ten, I sat before some school governors who were trying to determine if I was suitable to be admitted into their pretty exclusive boarding school in the south of England. They pulled out a painting of a ship that I had painted and forgotten about, and concluded I had sufficient talent. I was in! I soon became the darling of Miss Sinclair (my art teacher), who allowed me the exclusive use of oils, which was a great privilege. Everyone else had to use poster paint.

In truth, I only liked art at school because it was easier than maths. During one half term in the sixties, I was sitting at a table in the Coys house (a family I was staying with) and decided I wanted to paint something. They encouraged me, and so I began and, as I did so, was stung by a bee. A painful start to my first conscious desire to paint. In the late sixties, as I was about to leave school, I came across two old codgers sitting outside at their easels overlooking one of the lakes in the school grounds. It struck me that I would one day do the very same thing. Nothing was more certain. I never thought it would take so long, though.

Vision
(click to view)

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

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

Yes! All the time! Even now!! With fourteen grandkids, need to communicate often and a desire to travel and experience life in full, painting isn't always possible... but it is an important part of my life. I guess when I'm too old to travel (coming up quickly), I'll have more painting time. One thing is for sure... if my sight stays with me, I'll be painting to my last day if I'm able.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I tried and loved watercolours but found them too unforgiving. Pastels seemed too messy for my liking. Acrylics at the time dried a different colour and weren't as vibrant and colour-fast as they are today. Oils afforded me the opportunity to scrape away mistakes or paint over, which was just up my street.


Surface Value
(click to view)

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

Oils for sure! If they are good enough for Monet, Munnings or Miro, they're good enough for me.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Has to be acrylics! Now that the quality is comparable to oils, I fancy a crack at them. I'm hoping they will allow me to really splash it around and produce some sensational intuitive paintings in an impressionist, abstract style, without time wasted for drying.

Who or what inspires you most?

I was originally drawn to the vibrant colour of Van Gogh; the technique and mood of Munnings and the subtle colour of Seago, but in truth there are too many to count and for many years I've gained inspiration by visiting galleries to see the modern masters... there are some fantastic artists out there who are still breathing, many of whom are not celebrated.

Keith & Suzi's Little Rat
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks pretty good at the time as there is always something you would prefer to do and is perhaps more pressing. When I feel good, I think I can paint forever, but when I don't, I won't. The two hardest things for me are picking up a paintbrush and, when I do, putting it down again. I do, however, have a saying that helps me enormously... and I catch myself regularly quoting it out loud to myself... Do it! Do it right! Do it right now!

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

I have a dedicated painting area. It's essential to have my own space where everything is ready and waiting for me. Half the battle is won if you don't have to waste time preparing things. The only thing that stops me painting is me, and I think perhaps that's down to the fear of failure. It's a mental thing that every artist has to face and ultimately conquer as part of their progression. I know that once I start, I'm okay, so I ensure that all I have to do is pick up that brush.

Final Stage
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I always carry a camera and use it to amass resource material. As I flick through the photos I choose something to paint based on how I feel at the time. I can't paint anything that I'm not in the mood for. So, in short, I don't think at all... I just look and make an instant decision. Then I squeeze the paint out and immediately get on with it.

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

Rotation of subject matter works for me. I generally lose motivation when I stick with one subject for longer than a week. This month (January) was quite a challenge to stay motivated as all the paintings were seascapes. I also force myself to move outside of my comfort zone from time to time, which helps. When you consider that after all the resource has been gathered and categorised and raw materials bought, and when all the paintings have been photographed, uploaded, sold, varnished, wrapped and dispatched, painting time is relatively short so I consider it as rest-time.. I'm ready for it. It's a time to sit down, relax and enjoy myself. Let's face it, if we aren't enjoying the experience, we won't be painting for much longer, will we?

Siesta St Ives
(click to view)

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

The need to keep things simple, perhaps... that atmosphere or mood is more important than detail and that it’s important, for me at least, to concentrate on colour, texture and intuitive touches. I’m learning to stand back and observe a lot more before applying paint, and when I do, apply it with confidence. Having said that, I have to say that this process isn’t instant... I’m a perpetual student.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When others show appreciation and say complimentary things about it... or better still, invest in it. I’m fortunate enough to have sold more of my art that Van Gogh ever did as a living artist and, as such, am a lot happier than he ever was. A quirky little fact that makes me smile.

Thanks, Ken!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 2, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Charlene Marsh

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

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

From Charlene's DPW Gallery:

My name is Charlene Marsh and I am an oil painter creating artworks that make the heart sing and the soul soar! I love to backpack the painting supplies deep into the forest and other wild places to paint on location in all four seasons. You cannot drive to the places where I paint. I create artwork that raises the chi of our living spaces and brings joy into our lives. The artwork I create connects us with beautiful, wild, and not-so-wild spaces in nature and helps us reconnect with our inner soul. Nature - and the paintings - help us to think, meditate, pray, and dream. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My sister got a paint-by-number kit when we were kids and I started painting with the leftover paint.  I used the cardboard from my dad’s shirts that came from the laundry owned by my grandfather to paint on.  We used to make board games and would carve little race cars from plaster cast in clay molds and then paint them with paint from the local hobby shop.  I also wrote stories about giants and fairies and would illustrate them.  So I have been painting and creating since I was a kid.

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

My first degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, was in English and my second degree was in Fine Art.  I have worked as a full time, professional artist ever since graduating.  I love making art, writing, and reading so I have crafted a career where I can incorporate all my interests.

Autumn Reflection
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

For twenty-five years, I worked full time creating hand dyed wool, tufted onto cotton, tapestries while painting part time.  The tapestries were figurative and/or narrative and/or metaphysical themes incorporating sacred geometric, with shifting perspectives and transparencies.  The tapestries were very labor intensive and could take months to complete one.  After completing one, I would take a break and work on painting which was the total opposite of working in fiber.  Painting was fast, fluid, messy, and instant gratification.

At the same time, I attended a Life Drawing Co-op every Wednesday night for ten years and hosted my own Life Drawing Co-ops working with figure models under natural light out here on my farm.  I could paint a full figure in an hour with bold, loose brush strokes.  But I really did not try to exhibit, market, or sell my paintings at that time.   I primarily did still life and figure paintings until around 2003 when I started painting the forest that surrounds my farm.  In 2005, I developed a repetitive motion problem with my wrists and had to give up the fiber work.  I went full time into painting and was very surprised to find success right away.  Luckily, my skills were at a level I was able to shift seamlessly.


Magic Lilies and Hollyhocks
(click to view)

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

When I attended Indiana University, I took all kinds of classes working in all kinds of mediums and techniques including clay, metal, printed and dyed fiber, constructed fiber, graphic design, sculpture, drawing, painting and even clothing construction techniques in the, then, “home economics” department.  I kept taking studio classes until I felt I had found my “voice” after learning the fiber tufting techniques and taking several oil painting classes which both clicked with me.  I even got an A+ from the professor in my first painting class which caught me by total surprise.  I ended up working full time in fiber for twenty five years and then oil painting full time since 2005.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am pretty happy painting with oils.  There is always something new to learn.  Light, color, values, and subject matter provide endless material for exploration.

Fall Colors Along the Creek
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by nature and the power of God.  The paintings feel like shadows compared to the power of God but if I can even capture a flicker of that power, I am happy.  I am merely the vessel, the conduit, to manifest the spirit of God in our world.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Reading.  I love to read about anything and everything.  Ficton, non-fiction, art, marketing, politics, health and nutrition, mysteries, romance, suspense and intrigue, inspiration/motivation, history, archeology,  classics, biographies, metaphysics, science, gardening.  I could go on and on.  I once did a piece for the local library called “Portal to the World” because I think books are the doorway to knowledge and deeper understanding.


Coneflowers and Poppies
(click to view)

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

Setting up an events and show schedule always motivates me to create new work for the upcoming events which can include online events, juried art fairs, gallery shows, open houses, demonstrations, etc.  I also maintain an active blog and an e-newsletter so I feel accountable to my collectors and followers to keep producing new work.  Creating art is a lifetime habit.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The paintings evolve over time.  I will paint in a particular genre for awhile and then try something else that may be related but goes a step in another direction.  For example, last year I got an “Arts in the Park” project grant to create four plein air paintings in the local state park.  The original idea was to paint in the forest but when I saw the Olympic sized pool packed with swimmers on Memorial Day, I wanted to paint that.  I ended up doing a whole series of pool paintings.  For 2017, I have received another “Arts in the Park” project grant to paint the beaches at two different state properties to continue the theme of painting swimmers in action.  Until 2016, I had not done any figure painting in quite some time so it is fun to go back to that and refresh those skills but in a new way.

Deep Snow on a Sunny Day
(click to view)

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

I have a totally different medium on the side I work in that I don’t show or offer for sale.  Right now, I make glass sculptures for my gardens that are just for fun.  They are totally different from making paintings.

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

Right now, I am working on taking plein air pieces and reworking them as larger paintings.  I may use two to ten plein air paintings as inspiration for a larger piece, taking the best elements from each one to create a truly spectacular, larger painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When a painting captures a feeling that makes the heart sing, I feel the most satisfied.

Thanks, Charlene!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ling Strube

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

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

From Ling's DPW Gallery:

Ling Strube is a distinctive and a passionate artist who was born and raised in China. At a very young age, she had expressed her ardent love for art especially in painting. After finishing high school, she decided to enter into an art school to formally train for three years. In the year 1990, she migrated to Australia and started working as a street portrait artist as her first job. Her effectiveness fostered after getting employed as an illustrator artist in few of the reputable companies in Australia. In 1996, she attended Eastern College of TAFE in Melbourne, Australia and took up Computer-aided Art and Design for two years which broadened her knowledge in the field of art. She then later worked as a Graphic Designer in Trellian Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne. By the year 2000 she migrated to Germany for good. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was still a young girl, by chance I saw a lady artist who lived in our neighborhood drawing a beautiful portrait. This aroused my great interest. After I finished high school, I took some workshops and learned some basic painting and drawing skills. Later, I studied graphic design as my profession in art school but it has always been my dream to become a painter.

Persimmons and a Knife
(click to view)

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

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

Yes, since becoming a graphic designer, I have constantly been involving in the graphic design business and working with my computer. But now and then I still like to paint, especially when I have a lot of stress. Painting is a very pleasing way to relax.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

When I started to paint, I experimented with acrylics and watercolor. Later, I found out that oil is my favorite medium. Regarding genre, flower and still life are still my main subjects but I also like to paint landscapes and animals very much. I have drawn many portraits for people and sometimes also painted these in oil.

A Beautiful Summer Day in Germany Village
(click to view)

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

Working with oil definitely stuck with me. I haven’t painted watercolor for a long time. I hope that one day I will pick up this wonderful medium and work with it again.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Recently, abstract landscape has appealed to me very much. If possible I would like to learn some of the techniques and skills for this. I am looking forward to exploring abstract style.

I am the Queen
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

My works are highly inspired by some of the renowned artists of the 19th century - Claude Monet, William-Adolph Bouguereau and Nicolai Fechin. I am also inspired by some renowned contemporary artists including Richard Schmid, David Leffel, and Sherrie McGraw. All the beautiful shapes and nice color combinations from nature inspire me.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Searching for a new subject or thinking about a new composition to paint sometimes makes me stuck. It is a bit difficult for me to paint the same subject with a similar composition. I prefer my paintings to all look new and fresh.

Amaryllis
(click to view)

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

People can always find the time to do what they really love to do. As a wife and mother, housework takes me a lot of time but painting is always the most important thing for me to do first. When I need a little rest or to avoid staring at the subject for a long time, I do some house work or, after a few days of continuous full time painting, I have one day of rest to do some more housework.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Flowers and still life are the main subjects for me. I often go to the flower shop and observe various flowers then choose the one that inspires me. I also like to collect some nicely shaped objects for my still life painting. In addition, I carry a camera as often as possible. Playing around with my photos in Photoshop can also help me to have an idea.

Still Life with Tullips
(click to view)

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

I don’t continue one subject for long time. For instance, after doing a few flower paintings, I will change to painting still life or landscape. I am lucky I live in Europe and travel a lot. This can really help me avoid burnout and keep my work vibrant and engaging.

Thanks, Ling!

© 2017 Sophie Marine