Thursday, January 29, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elena Nayman

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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Bouquet
(click to see original image)

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

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

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

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Rainy Day
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

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

What does procrastination look like for you?

Self doubt is a huge cause of procrastination for me.

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

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

City Tram
(click to see original image)

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Elena!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carolyn McDonald

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

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

From Carolyn's DPW gallery page:

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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Butters McLovin
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

What does procrastination look like?

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

What is your favorite subject to paint?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

What a Pear
(click to see original image)

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

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

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

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

Girlie Girl
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your painting?

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

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

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

Ritzy
(click to see original image)

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

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

Thanks, Carolyn!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 15, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Laurie Mueller


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


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


Click here to view Laurie's DPW Gallery.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

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

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

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

Here Comes Trouble
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

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

Who or what inspires you most? 

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

What does procrastination look like for you?

Putting things off!

Can't Wait
(click to see original image)

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

Hang in There
(click to see original image)

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

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

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

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

Quiet
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks Laurie!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Scott Shearer

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

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

From Scott's DPW Gallery page:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

7up
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

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

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

Toby
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

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

GE Fan
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

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

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

Iowa State Bird
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

Boulder Mtn. Vista
(click to see original image)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Scott!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, January 1, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Megan Schembre

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

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

From Megan's DPW Gallery page:

I love pictures. I think all of us on Daily Paintworks do. I am especially fond of the figure and still lives. I lived in Italy and I still look to the italian painters for inspiration. I took lessons from a professional illustrator several years ago and began to paint in the "all a prima" method. I like its synthesis and immediacy. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I remember drawing a lot before kindergarten.  My dad worked at a plant and the xeroxes (photocopies) were one-sided. My brothers and I drew on the blank side. I remember thinking drawing was a natural part of the day.

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

I have had some pretty big stops and starts in my life. My parents didn’t think art was a serious subject, so they emphasized math courses and other academic topics.  I majored in English Literature in college and took art classes as a kind of forbidden fruit. I worked in the publishing industry for three years after college.  I took a graphics course at the New School and was discouraged from pursuing design. This bothered me, but I applied to Studio Art Centers International in Florence Italy. I got accepted, to my surprise, and stayed in Italy for the next fifteen years.

Red & Green
(click to see original image)

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

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

I began studying drawing first, thinking I needed to draw before learning to paint. This might have been a mistake. When I finally got the courage to pick up oil paints, I had never seriously tried anything like acrylic or watercolor.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I might someday play with watercolor, now that the idea of color and value doesn’t frighten me to death.

Still Life in Green and Orange
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

What inspires me the most is pictures, paintings and drawings that others have done and images of nature. I can’t say music inspires me directly, but it is always present.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination takes the form of obligations -- obligations to make money, obligations to other people. When I can’t paint for stretches I get anxious and cranky. I’m no longer panic stricken when I can’t paint.  I know the cure is simply to get back to painting.   Once I do--I can usually overcome the despair.

Two Shells
(click to see original image)

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

The techniques I use to make time for my art are simply single-minded insistence and prayer.  I find that talking to other painters is essential.  People who aren’t in the arts often make me feel like wanting to be a painter is the equivalent of walking the plank.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get ideas for my paintings from the objects in my studio.  I arrange them most of the time, but there are times when I look at a shelf and I like the chance arrangement. When I lived in Italy, it seemed that every corner, every view was a painting.

Still Life After Cotan
(click to see original image)

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

Sometimes it’s hard, but when I really feel down, I read “Words to Paint By” by the late painter Irwin Greenberg. I tacked his list of 100 rules to my studio wall. I also find that a small painting, done without expectations, also helps me unlock my mind.

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

Right now, I am learning that I want to get back to simple paintings. I love seeing the work of artists I don’t know, new and old.  This inspires me and also makes me evaluate what it is I like and don’t want in my own painting.

Trompe L'oeil Still Life
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest about my painting is that, sometimes when I sell a painting, I realize that people fall in love with it.  Not always of course, but often enough to make it an important reason to be a painter.

Thanks, Megan!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, December 25, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Robin Norgren

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

To enter to win Robin's painting, "2 Birds Connecting" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Robin's DPW Gallery page:

Robin Norgren, MA, is the founder of My Creative Peace Christ Centered Creativity Program and Author ofYour Creative Peace: How to Find and Deepen Your Creative Voice while Communing with God (Lulu Publishing, 2010).Robin is a Christian Coach and Creativity Teacher in Arizona who writes and creates heart opening books, workbooks and classes that invite you to commune with God and explore your creative side as a means to navigate through the trials of life. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I began painting in 2012 in kind of a round about way.  I come from a family of people with incredible drawing skills and am married to a man with a fine art background.  So for me, it took a while to really own my voice as a more abstract painter. So for a long time I simply worked with scrapbook paper, creating art with other people's colors and shapes.  But slowly I began to move toward paint, feeling kind of a longing inside to put my ideas on paper.  I gravitate to loose and whimsical and freeing art which shows in the work that I create.

2 Birds Connecting
(click to see original image)

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

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

I have always been afraid to label myself as an artist because I have so many talented traditional artists around me who aren't "working" artists (meaning creating in the traditional sense of the word).  My husband and daughter are the only ones that see the hours and hours I put into trying to hone out a career as an artist.  There have definitely been many stops and starts over the last six years in part because I am exploring my calling as an artist.

Woodland Sisters II
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love using acrylic paint and watercolors together and creating my own mixed media paper to add to my work.  I have also tried working with oils and charcoal but haven't really found a way to express myself as freely with those mediums.

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

Right now, I am IN LOVE with watercolors, but there are still a few acrylic paint colors that I will sneak into my work. Oh and I have begun line drawing with micron pens; these are a new find for me and I adore them.

She Hides Some Things Behind the Pretty
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I read the Bible as part of a morning practice before I begin creating.  The Psalms inform my work in various ways either through the paint I choose for the mood of a painting or words and phrases that show up on the paper.

Artists that inspire me include Mindy Lacefield, Jessica Swift, Mati Rose, Kelly Barton, Catina Jane Gray and Alena Hennessey.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Many times it is a simple shape that I either see in a painting or a photograph that makes me want to sit down and explore it. Also, I work with preschool children and have the privilege to be able to teach them art.  This helps keep my style more whimsical because that is how I am thinking many times when I am preparing curriculum for the kiddos.

A Little Birdie Sees the Red Poppies
(click to see original image)

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

I love taking online classes with my favorite artists.  Seeing the inside of their creative world helps me to continue to branch out and try new techniques and work with different mediums

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

I am learning that simple honest shapes can be just as breathtaking as the color and business that I tend to gravitate to.

Red Poppies and Bursts of Light
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Several words come to mind: freedom, hope, peace, joy.

I believe that God has created each of us to be creative.  Creativity has different faces but inside it feels the same. To bring something from your heart out into the world whether it be with paint or through the meals you cook or the way you solve a problem or through childrearing is such a beautiful thing.  It doesn't matter how you exercise this gift as long as you do it.  Because when you do, we all benefit; our world is better for it.  I want my art to help people get in touch with that truth.

Thanks, Robin!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kat Corrigan

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

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

From Kat's DPW Gallery page:

I am inspired by light and shadow, how color works together to make areas pulse and recede, and the way brush strokes and layers of paint can influence emotional responses to a work. My work is expressionistic, in a realistic manner. I paint in acrylic on black-gessoed masonite or canvas, allowing some of the black to show through; this contrasts against the brightness of the colors in a way that thrills me. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I'd been calling myself an artist for years after college, despite the fact that I usually only painted in the summer at workshops or in spurts for some exhibition, and every time I did that forced effort, it felt feeble and unsupported.  It was always painful to start again.

In 2009, I was on a summer road trip with my parents and my then three-month old son. I had been struggling with how to continue as an artist with this new baby (and I am still incredibly lucky to have stupendous support from the various art groups I participate in!) and I ran into Clair Hartmann in Wilmington, NC at an outdoor art fest.  She had just completed her "100 Dogs in 100 Days" painting project and was showing them.  I was very impressed with her work and with her open and generous personality and thought to myself, "Well hey!  YOU can paint a dog a day for 100 days too!" and then reality struck and I realized that a hundred days is longer than three months, which is more than the summer vacation from my teaching job that I allotted to myself to paint these paintings.

It really was meeting Clair and starting a blog for my "30 Dogs in 30 Days" Projects that kickstarted my career!

Untitled
(click to see original image)

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

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

I am an art teacher and an artist, and for a long time the "teacher" part took precedence over the "artist" part.  I recently joined a faculty at a school which highly appreciates the ARTIST part of my life, and I can honestly say that the "artist" part is now at the forefront of my personal label.  And I know it sounds like a cliche because I meet tons of people who say, "I want to paint more, I really do! But I am too busy!" but you have to make time for it!

The entire Daily Painting Movement has changed my life.  It doesn't take a lot of time to paint, especially when you are doing it every day.  It's like you are just continuing where you left off, instead of having to remember what you learned last year and relearning it!  I have been committed to painting (just about) every day since 2009, and it is that commitment that makes the painting easier.  I went through a mentoring program from 2007 to 2009 and that also was a wonderful kick-in-the-pants for me in the sense of having to meet with my mentor every month and report on what I'd accomplished.  A blog continues to act as that exterior motivation for me.  You have to figure out what it is that will keep you going!

Parkway Evening Drive, Winter
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in oils and use Golden Heavy Body Acrylics now.  I love painting on black gessoed panel because I get to create the light from the darkness, and I paint on panel because I tend to be a bit rough on canvas.  Lately I've been playing with pastels and chalk along with the acrylic and I like the effect but have a lot to learn.  I don't like the temporariness of pastel, however, and am looking for ways to fix it more permanently.

I have been fortunate to have a hugely eclectic art life, in that my world of art includes local puppet and mask theater (Barebones and Heart of the Beast), Art Car Parade, Art Shanties, a women's stilting cooperative (Chicks-On-Sticks) and being married to a sculptor and puppet maker.  Mind you, these are large scale cardboard puppets for pageants and parades, not sock puppets.  And it is these communities that have kept me sane and creative.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am working towards a better understanding of how to paint humans.  I love animals so much and have studied them since an introverted, bookish child. I am now loving my current human companions so much I have to paint them as well.  But not other people's humans, just yet!  I am also playing with pastel and chalk in my paintings, mostly in landscapes at the moment.  I love the colors and the blending but not the transitory nebulous quality.  It rubs off too easily.  So I am exploring options.

Bear Chuckle
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Light and dark catches my eye.  There are lakes I drive past on my daily drive and I use my iPhone to snap random photos out the window without looking.  These are SO fun to go through later and find the gems that I want to paint!  I know the ones that will work when I see them - that goes for the goats at the zoo as well.  I take tons of photos of animals when I come across them, especially animals that let you get close!  Then, I look through the photos later and find the love!

I am also so inspired by artists I meet and artists who have passed on.  I go to our local art museums as often as I can, and hover and rest in the presence of those pieces that vibrate with me.  I remember seeing Helen Frankenthaler's work at the National Gallery and tears rushing to my eyes.  And Van Gogh's crabs in London - same reaction.

I was a guard at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for several years and I know that was one of the best art educations I received!  Just living with art for eight hours a day, if you are open, will teach you so much.

March 4, Carlos
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Getting up and fussing with something else while trying to paint, but I am at a point now where I recognize it and am able to redirect myself gently with some reassurances.  We all have an internal critic and that is often what causes me to procrastinate - when I am feeling stiffness and resistance inside because I am struggling with a color or an edge... and I let myself off a bit and then jump back in.

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

I paint daily in the morning before I get involved in other work.  I have a Stay Wet Pallet (fantastic item for daily painters!!!) so all I have to do is pop the top and get started, and I can usually get a small piece done within 45 minutes.  I have a file folder on my desktop where I toss all my "keeper" photos so I can find them easily.

Get the Goat
(click to see original image)

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

I am fortunate that I love painting people's pets, and that I also love the collaboration of working with humans to paint their pets, and this keeps me painting.  Having commissions also allows me to feel that this is valid work because I am being paid for it.  And I do also allow myself to paint what I love, which lately has been goats in a small format and otters in a larger one.

To keep my head fresh, I teach painting lessons from my studio, and these as SO enjoyable and set me up all over again with energy and enthusiasm because these are adults who are interested and want to learn and talk about art.  Sometimes the classes I teach feel more like therapy!  And I've just started a First Friday Painting Party at my studio to keep the community feel going.   I need people and community.  And I know I work better when I am around people -  I've gone from introvert to exhibitionist!

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

How to be a better teacher, how to get that reflected light, how to keep a sense of humor and love in a sometimes difficult world, how to remain centered and confident in a whirlwind, how to listen to students' questions to better understand how to teach.  I learn more about myself everyday.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I get to play with color all day, and to teach others how to play with it too!

Thanks, Kat!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, December 4, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lisa Fu

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

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


From Lisa's DPW Gallery page:

Lisa's paintings are inspired by her traveling experience and the simple beauty in nature and life: the bright sunlight, blooming flowers, falling leaves, running puppies, busy city streets, green vineyard, colorful sky... Her paintings seem to tell a story about the sun is always shining and that love is always in the air! (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I’ve loved drawing since my early childhood, but I actually started paint about 5 years ago, when I joined a community watercolor painting group.

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

When I just started painting, I worked as a biology researcher full time, so I painted in my spare time, following the growing desire in my heart; I became a full time painter two years ago. Since then, I’ve come to understand that painting is my job and I will always keep time for it.

Love of Roses
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I lived in Paris, France for two years in the 1990’s, during that period of time, I visited museums around Europe and was deeply inspired by the works of the French impressionists. I have tried oil, acrylic and watercolor. I choose watercolor as my favorite medium, largely because the soft and romantic feeling of watercolor paintings.  I love the passionate quick painting process with watercolor.  l enjoy to see the color merging and blending together when the paper still wet.

Yellow Roses
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I will continue to explore the endless possibilities with watercolor, going with the flow and spontaneous nature of the watercolor….At same time, I am looking forward  to experiencing the texture, brush strokes and rich color which oil painting could offer….

Who or what inspires you most?

My travel experience and the simple beauty in daily life inspire me a lot. The bright sunlight and beautiful color in nature give me great inspirations too. My painting style influenced by French impressionists and some watercolor masters in UK, Edward Seago, Edward Wesson and John Yardley.

Rose Haven Heritage Garden
(click to see original image)

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

I am a professional artist now, my studio or field is my office, I take my dog for a walk in the morning, after that is my painting time, not making plans during morning painting time as much as I can.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint something that inspires me. I always take my camera and sketching book with me and record everything which I would love to paint! I always paint with an impression of what I see.

Under the Lights
(click to see original image)

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

Based on the transparent nature of watercolor, I count every wash I put on my paper. I make the draft plan about composition, light, shadow and color. I paint loose, passionate and quickly in an impressionistic approach. This is my way to keep my work fresh and vibrant. I usually finish one painting in about two hours.

Lake Como, Bellagio, Lombardy, Italy
(click to see original image)

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

Always learning with enthusiasm and passion, love what you do. Keep painting and strongly believe: good art will be noticed and loved by people!

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I have finished one painting and feel satisfied is the happiest moment for me. I feel so honored and happy, when people love what I paint and willing to buy my paintings for their sweet homes!

Thanks, Lisa!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, November 27, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Debbie Shirley

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

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

From Debbie's DPW Gallery page:

I am a New England-based artist who was raised and educated in the Midwest. After painting my way through college, I moved to Massachusetts where I worked as a graphic artist and art director for a number of years in the printing and advertising industries before settling down to raise a family. Now that my very active boys have all started school, I have returned to painting with a renewed passion for sharing my perspective of the world around me through my art. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting as a small child. My oh-so-patient artist grandmother would squeeze out bits of her precious acrylic paints onto styrofoam meat trays, lay out canvas panels and let us "create". She took me to an open studios event in the Little Italy section of Cleveland in the late seventies. I clearly remember being in awe, and thinking to myself that this was a world that I really wanted to be a part of.

Eternal
(click to see original image)

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

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

I painted in college (studio art was one of my majors) but pretty much stopped when my "real world" job got too busy. I started to get back to painting shortly before my first child was born, figuring I'd be able to work when the baby was napping or sleeping at night. Ha! I was blessed with a child who never slept, and I didn't touch a brush again until he and his two younger brothers were in school. At that point I pretty much jumped right in and began to pursue painting as a full-time career.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I paint in acrylics and enjoy drawing with ink, charcoal and graphite. In college, I painted large abstracts. Currently I paint small realistic pieces.

Spectrum
(click to see original image)

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

I re-visit abstraction from time to time when I have an image or idea in my head, but for some reason realism really appeals to me right now.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really want to try watercolors. I am a little intimitated by them - maybe it is a fear of losing control? I'm intrigued by pastels as well, but I am not sure that I would ever make that jump

Stepping Out
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by light and color - the way light can change even the most common object into something spectacular, and how colors can act together to affect what we see and feel. I am also inspired by a sense of history - and how memories can be tied to certain objects and places, and how the same objects can be connected to such different memories for different people.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Social media. I can start out with a specific task but find I really need to give myself a strict time limit or else I find it way too easy to go "down the rabbit hole".

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

It is what I do, so I make sure that I make the time every day when the kids are in school or asleep or otherwise occupied. In the summer, I get up super early to get in a few hours of painting before everyone is up and moving. I'll squeeze in whatever bits of time I can - I can't afford to wait for a large block of time or for inspiration to hit, or else I'd never get anything done!

Wednesday in a Cafe
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Sometimes it is just the way that light hits an object that makes me want to paint it. Sometimes I have an idea or image in my head and will set something up from that. At other times, when I have the perfect light coming in the window, I will take a few objects from my vintage collection and move things around until an idea or connection forms. If I am really stuck, I bring out my camera. The act of composing and cropping in the viewfinder will sometimes spark an idea from a different part of my brain.

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

I tend to work in small series. When I am no longer excited to start the next painting, I move on to a different subject matter. I find that eventually I return to most series at a later date with fresh ideas.

Whir Pool
(click to see original image)

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

Everything! To be an artist is to learn. Every day I feel I learn something new - sometimes it is about technique or color or light. Sometimes it is about the business side of things. Besides painting every day, I also read a lot, so there are always new things to learn, techniques to experience, subjects to try.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Making connections with the viewer. I love to talk to people about what they see in my work, what they connect with, and what my work makes them think about or remember. I hear the greatest stories from my collectors!

Thanks, Debbie!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse