Thursday, June 22, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rhett Regina Owings

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

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

From Rhett's DPW Gallery:

Capturing the color and scenery around me is important to me. I love color and enjoy watching the colors mix on my palette and painting. I have painted in orchards, golf courses, wildlife land, gardens & parks, Gold Rush towns, Yosemite, along the coast and on farms in the Central Valley and in Salinas. My colors have accompanied me to Alaska, Yellowstone, Utah, Mexico, Canada and Europe. What a wonderful life I have led. Art is my life and I am happy to share it with you. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My 2nd grade teacher gave us some finger paints to play with. I loved getting my hands and even my arms into that paint to play! I guess I must have made an impression, because the 3rd grade teacher in the next classroom saw my paintings and invited me to come to her class and show her students how to do it! That was my earliest memory of painting… and teaching art!

Later in High School, I took Art every year and was the President of the Art Club. I won the Bank of America Award for Art and that was very encouraging. I majored in Art in college, earning a teaching credential. Teaching Art at the junior high school level for thirty-two years consumed my life after that. Teaching rarely gave me time to create much art for my own pleasure and it wasn't until I retired in 1999 that I really dove into painting full time. I took a series of art workshops and lessons from well known artists and have been enjoying painting seriously ever since.

Nasturtiums
(click to view)

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

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

The biggest stop in my art career was the passing of my parents. They were collectors of antiques and amassed eighty-seven years worth of stuff. I have been spending eight years trying to find homes for all the things they collected. I am still dealing with it!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have been working in pastels since high school, but experimented with acrylics, watercolors and oils.  The last eighteen years or so, oils have been my main medium as I enjoy painting "en plain air" on location.  It is difficult to bring pastels on location, but I have done it. I worked in water colors for awhile, but truly oils are my favorite medium. Water based oils have really captured my attention now as they are so much safer and I love them.

I have also been experimenting with just pen and ink adding white conté crayons or ink making small ACEO paintings & drawings. The new acrylic inks are fascinating too. And I have invested in the new Pan Pastels which are so interesting.

Early Morning Walk
(click to view)

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

Water based oils are my first choice of media for sure, but I am enjoying re-discovering pastels again after setting them aside for awhile. I find watercolor to be very challenging and I admire other artists who are able to create such beautiful pieces using this media. I do play with it now and then and it is nice to bring on vacation and I also work with them in my car when the weather is bad.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really want to explore acrylics using mixed media techniques. It is fun to play with stencils, sponges, stamps and just plain colors. I just need time to play.

I also want to explore using my new Pan Pastels. I have taken some of my old pastel paintings and even old watercolor paintings and added the Pan Pastels on top. They are amazing for adding another dimension.

Sleeping Kitty
(click to view)

Are there any subjects you find challenging?

Roses! I love roses, but I find them so difficult to capture their delicate petals and beauty. I admire Daniel Keys and his amazing flower paintings.

Who or what inspires you most?

Painting landscapes on location is really the best way to see color and I try to do it whenever I can. It is a challenge to figure out how to pick and choose what to add and leave out of a scene and make a good composition. I have invested in all the plein air equipment and am pretty much ready to run to a location to paint with my friends or by myself. The beautiful California coast, our central California farmland, the magnificent Sierra Mountains… they all give me the itch to paint. It is wonderful to be outdoors, feel the breeze, hear the birds sing and watch the waves crash on the beach. I look for color, strong shadow patterns, diagonal lines, ways to lead the viewer into the painting and a way to tell a story with my art.

When the weather does not cooperate or I can not leave the house, I love being in my studio. I set up still lifes, pick flowers, look for fun stuff to paint as well as search through my thousands of photos for inspiration. Carol Marine's book: Daily Painting has been a game changer for me. I love painting small and often.

I just finished reading Lust for Life about Vincent van Gogh. What an inspiring artist he was! He had many problems, but he was truly an amazing artist. His passion for painting makes me want to continue struggling with my own painting. I also admire the work of Monet, many contemporary artists and other DPW artists.

Spring Color in Pacific Grove
(click to view)

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

I try to get my housework and other chores done first so I can spend time in my studio. It is amazing how life gets in the way when I want to paint.

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

I love going to art museums and art galleries. There is nothing like seeing art in person. I also enjoy taking workshops from other artists, watching videos and checking Pinterest for ideas. Being with other artists and painting together helps keeping me going and there is nothing like selling a piece to inspire me to keep trying.

English Lavender
(click to view)

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

I have been enjoying working in a series. I find painting the same subject over and over in various ways and angles improves my skills and inspires creativity. I have not painted many figures in my work so I am practicing ways to add them as well as birds to my paintings. I am also working on making my brushwork more loose and light. I also am trying find ways to add more atmosphere to my landscapes. I love the DVDs of New Zealand artist Richard Robinson. He is such a good teacher and I have learned so much from him.

What makes you happiest about your art?

There is nothing that gives me that happy dance feeling more than selling a painting! It is like getting a blue ribbon! It says someone out there likes my work enough to pay money for it! It says all my hard work has paid off and someone out there is now enjoying my work and I can move on to new and greater things!

When I am painting, I am in another world and all the cares of the world float away. I am in a world where I am solving problems and making decisions. What color does that need? How do I make this or that work? Does your eye go into the painting and move around?  Does it speak to someone or bring them fond memories? What is the best way to frame it? And after spending twenty-plus years practicing, does this painting work? What can I do to make it better? I love taking old paintings and re-working them. My style and skill has improved so much and it is fun to see the old painting bloom! I wonder what a painting I do today will look to me in another ten years of practice and how would I improve it then? I am always learning.

Thanks, Rhett!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 15, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Cathy Boyd

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

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


Tell us a bit how you first started painting.

My first career out of school was teaching in the elementary school system.  The first few years, I taught French, but I longed to have a position with a regular classroom, teaching all subjects.  So, when the opportunity arose for that, I was pleased, but it also meant I would be teaching art on a rotary basis to the senior students.  Not knowing anything about art, the school board enrolled me in a summer session at an art college in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  I was introduced to a broad selection of art subjects, from life drawing to painting to sculpture.  I loved it and that was the impetus for many years of art making to date.

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

I never looked back once I began painting.  I've painted every spare moment I could find, juggling a full time career as a teacher and then a real estate agent, a chronically ill husband and all the while keeping a household in semi-order.  At night, I thought, I'll just paint for an hour, and without knowing, hours would have passed.  Sleeping was difficult as I continued to resolve my painting whilst trying to get a few hours of sleep.  So, with each passing year, and steadily increasing the amount of time spent on my art, I was able to always maintain a generous amount of paintings in my inventory.  I am a very quick painter, and one would say I'm “prolific”.  I believe painting quickly keeps your paintings fresh and loose.  I teach a class periodically called “Fast and Furious, 27 minute paintings”. Using a stopwatch, the students are asked to complete a fully developed painting in 27 minutes.  This is a great exercise to teach them to be more painterly, more loose in their execution.  I do this myself, and can create a nice size body of work in a relatively short time, so my inventory is never a problem.

The Point in Summer
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I originally started out as a pastellist, and used that medium for five or six years.  I took some weekend art workshops from a local artist and loved the immediacy of the pastels, the rich colours, and the versatility of them.  I found I could create soft, sensitive paintings with them and yet also create more saturated, dynamic paintings with them as well.  The only drawback was that it wasn't very easy to create pieces that were very large.  Anything larger than a full sheet was impractical.  The glass and matting was expensive.  These paintings were often going into large expensive cottages, with walls of big windows and the glare on them would often mean the client couldn't see the painting well in the sunlit room.

Bee Balm for Betty
(click to view)

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

When I made the decision to switch to oils, my painting style changed and I began to get a different set of comments from my clients.  My pastel paintings had evoked comments like, “your paintings make me feel so calm, so peaceful”.  The comments I got from from my oil paintings were, “I love your use of colour.”  To this day, that seems to be the most repeated comment.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

At this point in time, I don't foresee changing my medium.  Oil provides me with everything I need.  I have tried painting on different supports however.  Occasionally, I will paint on birch panels, or Terra-skin, and I would like to try painting on aluminum.

Undiscovered
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me most.  Even if I wasn't a painter, I know that nature is my inspiration for painting.  When I watch a movie, for example, I am blown away by the background images I see.  A documentary of another country, or spectacular scenery of my own country makes me want to memorize that moment of beauty so that I can paint it, or something quite like it.  Of course, the lighting is all important, so that has a great bearing on what excites me.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination occurs in every facet of my life.  I love starting a new painting, and so it is common for me to have ten or more paintings that are “works in progress”.  Some have been put away for a year or two, some are lined up and will be completed in the near future.  I love the blank white canvas, as it holds for me the opportunity that “this might be the most amazing painting I have ever done!”  In my daily life, my love of producing lots of paintings and spending eight hours a day on it, means that some daily chores get neglected.  Paperwork and errands sometimes get left undone, and only the most critical things get accomplished.  As a single woman, an empty nester, I can get away with that.

Dark Shoreline
(click to view)

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

I spend at least two hours each morning on social media and administrative tasks, then off I go to my gallery/studio to begin my day of greeting customers, and painting.  My gallery is one large, bright room filled with my own paintings and the back area of it is where I paint.  Customers enjoy seeing me paint, and I don't mind them watching.  Most weekdays I have one or two students in my studio and I paint while they do, so I can produce while they are there.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

What I choose to paint is very much a product of what I see daily as I am going about my day.  So, most often, I am taking photos of local scenes.  Lakes, rocks, rural locations.  Occasionally, I'll stop to get photos of sunlit houses or little ramshackle buildings.  My travels abroad have been a source of subject material.  Looking back at all my paintings I've done, I am actually reminiscing about my life… it's as if I were flipping the pages of an old cherished photo album.

Splashin Around
(click to view)

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

Once a year, I set myself a challenge to do a painting a day.  I have just completed that in May of this year.  If you check out my website - cathyboydfineart.com - you will see that collection of paintings.  They are all small, usually 8 X 8 inches.  This challenge helps me to remember to paint intuitively and allows me to try out new subject material without investing a lot of time in any one new subject.

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

I'm learning that I am incredibly fortunate to be able to practice and improve my craft every day.  At this point in my life, I am able to dedicate as much time to it as I feel inclined.  That is precious.
I'm learning to take risks with my art, to be fearless with colour and technique.  I hope to paint some more large abstracts soon.  They are my way of “taking a break” from commissions and also from the more commercial, representational paintings that are typical of my body of work.

Northern Gold
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm happy that my art brings a measure of joy and tranquility to my collectors.  I do not paint specifically for them, but because I am in tune with what resonates with them, I enjoy anticipating their reaction to the pieces I choose to paint.  My art brings me immense satisfaction as it is a by-product of what I am feeling and experiencing in my daily comings and goings.  I don't lead an extraordinary life, but I see things daily that are extraordinary.  So, with that in mind, I like to put those seemingly insignificant things down on canvas for you that serve as reminders that we are lucky to be so fortunate to have this beauty all around us.

Thanks, Cathy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 8, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Betty Argiros

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

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

From Betty's DPW Gallery:

Betty Argiros a native of Rockland County, New York. Betty Argiros began painting in high school, intending to pursue a career in art, but life had other plans. She moved to New York City and then to upstate New York in the 1970s where she spent several years working with and counseling troubled teenagers. However, her thoughts and ambitions were never far from the canvas, and in 2001, when she retired, she was finally able to devote herself fully to her art. Betty works in oils, watercolors and pastels, and her landscapes are inspired by the great natural beauty of rural northeastern Pennsylvania where she now resides. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I got started painting and drawing when I was really little. My favorite present for Christmas or my birthday was a box of crayons or paints and a coloring book. When I was ten or so, I would get up on Saturday mornings and watch John Nagy who taught drawing. On Sunday mornings, I would get the newspapers and copy all the fashion advertisements with pen and ink washes. In high school, I was in the art room hanging out every chance I could. My art teacher encouraged me to go on with my art.

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

I did a lot of art in high school, but after applying and getting accepted in art school, I got scared and got married instead. Then my husband and I ran our restaurant for fifteen years followed by running a school for troubled teens for another twenty years. During that time, I went to college to study psychology and a few art classes. Then we retired when my husband had heart issues and was developing memory problems. He needed me full time to care for him and I needed to do something that would make me feel satisfied while I was caring for him. My art was perfect because he could be right in the room with me. So off I went, bought some supplies and started doing what I really loved. My husband is no longer with us but, I am still painting any chance I get. So once I started, I didn’t stop and I don’t plan to.

Reflection
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I work in oils. pastels, and watercolors and I mostly do landscapes, which are inspired by the great natural beauty of rural northeastern Pennsylvania, where I live. I also enjoy painting flowers because I can use some exciting colors and techniques. I have done some portraits of my family and if I have more time, I will do more.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

They have all stuck. I find oils are the easiest, but I love pastels, though they are very messy. As for watercolors, I love all the different styles and techniques I can explore. I guess I would improve faster if I would stick to one medium, but I would not be able to decide which one that would be.

Path in the Sunny Pasture
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Other people's styles are fun to try. Mostly, I am a realest and I would like to loosen up and be more impressionistic.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am attracted to fields, farms, and clouds, to water, woods and trees. And when I paint them, I am trying to express what it is that took my breath away when I first came upon them in a particular scene. I am inspired by and have taken workshops with Peter Fiore, Pat Weaver, and in October will be taking one with Barbara Jaenicke. I had one scheduled with Sandra Strohschein,which was canceled, and one with Bill Vrscak which was also canceled due to a fire. There are many more like Douglas Fryer, Mark Bog, John McDonn and on and on.

Acadia National Park
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I find myself doing all my chores first thing in the morning when I have lots of energy and then by the time I am done and ready to paint, my time is then limited and my energy is depleted. I sit and look at a blank canvas or paper and then begin looking through my photos, trying to decide what to paint and, “ oh no,” it is time to start dinner.

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

I try to have some days during the week when nothing is going on and decide no cleaning that day and something easy for dinner.  First thing in the morning, I put it in a slow cooker or ready to go in the oven when it is time, I make the salad ahead of time as well. If I am taking too long to pick something to paint in oils, I will start a watercolor by just wetting the paper and letting the beautiful color mingle. That gets me going and then I can usually pick something and get started. I also have to take time every few days to clean up and put stuff away so I am not working in a mess, then the next day I am ready to start right in.

Storm Developing
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

For a while, I was driving my grandson to work in the early morning, which gave me countless  “wow” moments as the rising sun played with the landscape. I could actually “see” the air—the damp light, the haze of the frost or snow. I’m always amazed by how the atmospheric variables can transform a scene and make it almost unrecognizable from one day to the next. I often go for drives in the country with my camera, up and down the back roads, looking for the perfect interplay of light and land that stops me in my tracks. Sometimes, just glancing out of the window I’ll catch a certain configuration of clouds, or the sun coming through the trees at an exquisite angle and I’m just awestruck. I love trying to recreate these moments, mixing the paints and playing with color until it matches what I see in my minds eye. I am often disappointed because usually the photo is better, but I was inspired from it and wanted to paint it and it gave me experience.

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

Wild Flowers in the Meadow
(click to view)

Changing subject matter and switching from oils, to pastels and watercolors.

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

Painting, for me, takes a kind of disciplined patience. I’ve learned to expect days when nothing’s going to look as good as on the camera, so I don’t even waste my time. Other days, the work is pure joy and I can hardly bear to stop. Those are the days when I’m actually able to make visible what I’m experiencing emotionally, and when that happens, I remember why it is that I paint.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

When I look back at some of my past work and see that I really am improving.

Thanks, Betty!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 1, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: JoAnne Perez Robinson

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

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

From JoAnne's DPW Gallery:

No scrap of paper has ever been safe around me. I have always had a passion to create art, I am so grateful to be able to live my dream. I find that the beauty in simple everyday things is sometimes overlooked and these are the subjects I am inspired to paint.

I took my first watercolor class in 1994 and have been hooked on painting ever since. I paint in both watercolors and acrylics and I also love to draw and fill my sketchbooks. I have won many awards for my art. The most exciting has been winning first place for the Gilroy Garlic Festival poster contest twice. I also placed second twice.I have been showing and selling my work at fine art fairs since 2008. I enjoy that part of it as it keeps me painting everyday, which is what I love to do.

I have a very supportive husband, Mike, who encourages me to be the best artist I can. I am blessed with two great kids, my son Sam and my daughter Kyle. Life is good.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I had just finished community college, where I had taken many drawing classes but ended up getting a degree in accounting. One of my art instructors told me I should get a dual degree but my husband and I were trying to buy a house and I thought at the time it wasn’t practical. I graduated and got a job in the credit department at a bicycle company and quickly realized I did not belong there. My husband knew I missed my art and suggested my color pencil work would lend itself to watercolors and encouraged me to take a night class. I did and he was right, I fell in love with watercolors and painting.

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

I have loved art ever since I can remember and it was always my dream to be an artist. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the confidence to believe I could accomplish that until my middle thirties. My son was sixteen at the time and my daughter was about to be born so my husband encouraged me to quit my job, be a stay at home mom and also pursue my art. That was in 1996 and the real start of me being serious about making painting my career. I was able to sketch and paint daily, took lots of workshops, did tons of commissions and I was selling my work. I entered local art shows and I won ribbons so I figured I was on the right path.

Then in 2006, I entered and won 1st place in the Gilroy Garlic Festival poster contest. The Garlic festival is a huge deal in my town so I was pretty excited about that. I won 2nd place again for the poster in 2008 and 2010 and another 1st place in 2011. By then, I had made the investment in panels, tent, etc. and was selling my paintings at art and craft fairs, including the Garlic festival. I think the only thing that halted it for a bit was when my dad passed away last year, he was very special and a huge loss.  My dad was really proud of my art career though so I found my way back to the studio pretty quick, it was also very therapeutic. My mother has moved in with me and my husband and I am her full-time caretaker so art festivals are off the table but I have my work in four different shops/galleries and also online so that keeps me very busy. I am lucky to have a very supportive husband and family and my mom is always saying:  “You need to go to your room, go paint”.

Saturday Morning
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Pencil, colored pencils, watercolors, acrylics, water based oils. My husband bought me an Apple pencil and I’m having fun experimenting with that.

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

What has stuck, pencil for sure, I love to draw and fill up my sketch books. Acrylics, I can make them look like a watercolor, or an oil. I can paint on canvas, board or paper and they dry fast. Unfortunately, watercolor has taken a backseat, mostly because they have to be framed.

Window Seat
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

My acrylics are my preferred medium and I am nowhere near being done exploring with them. I have been painting small paintings for many years now though and lately, I have been going bigger and they are selling which is always nice, so I want to explore painting on larger surfaces. I will always come back to painting small though, it feels good to me to finish a painting in one session. I would love to try my hand at pallet knife painting, silk painting and mosaic art. I want to use my watercolors again, it's such a luminous medium, also water based oils since I don't worry about the longer drying time anymore.

Who or what inspires you most?

Other artists do, I love to look at how another artist sees things and paints, I have so many favorites. I enjoy looking at Daily Paintworks, scrolling through all the art and picking the ones that stand out to me the most.  I have some close friends that are incredible artists, they inspire. I think most of all life inspires me, colors, shapes, light, flowers, nature, animals, people, I love it all!

Flower Boxes
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Well, for me, I procrastinate with everything except art. If I am doing chores and I go by my art studio, I might just have to go in and then I’m gone, I am in my world! So I try to get my chores done and then I can let go when I paint, but chores are definitely what I procrastinate doing. I don't put painting off because I love to do it.

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

The number one thing for me is I treat it like my job. I know that might not fit for some artists, the word “job” sounds a little like drudgery. For me though, in order to keep my art from being on the back-burner, it has to be that way. If it’s my job, then I give it first priority, like I am going to work and punching a time clock. Especially when I was a stay at home mom, and now that I am my mother's caretaker, time can get gobbled up quickly with other things you need to do. I make art a priority by saying this is my job, I have to go to work. That’s how I make sure that there is time for it.

Reaching Out
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I love simple, everyday things like a farmer’s market or kids playing on the beach or things around my house. I take tons of photos wherever I go. Then I go through them and pick the ones I am most excited about painting. I also love to sketch so I will often get my ideas from my sketch book, in fact most of my paintings are sketched and designed there first.

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

I think I keep it fresh by being excited about the subject I am painting.  I also love to paint in a series, so I will paint several paintings and then I’ll think oh this subject would be great in this series too. People have told me that my little paintings tell a story and I just love that. I also like painting things that reflect the season I am in. I have been producing a calendar the past three years "Celebrating the Seasons" and it's fun to put that together. The only time I have felt burned out was when I was doing arts and craft fairs. They are a struggle, it’s kinda like moving, lots of packing and unpacking and then back to the easel after a long weekend so that you have more work for the next show. I love the part where I interact with my collectors so shows were worth it, but they did burn me out at times. I guess I would say for me the technique for not getting burned out was easing up on my shows and keeping the right balance of shops my art is in so I don’t get overwhelmed. I also think getting away from the easel for a bit is good; I tend to look at things with a fresher perspective after a walk or some yoga.

Roundabout
(click to view)

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

That I am capable. That it was right for me to follow my gut and take the path I was passionate about. That the internet has made it possible for me to have my art business and it is continuing to grow and get better.  That all my experiences have led me to this point, each day doing what I love to do.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The way people respond to it. I have had some really amazing letters, emails and comments from people who have seen it or purchased it online, at shows or in the galleries and that never gets old. I met my husband in a life drawing class thirty years ago, he loves to joke I was the model! I'm happy that he has been so supportive all these years, always encouraging me. From building shelves in my art studio to helping me at all my shows and telling me we are in this for the long haul. I have also made some really great friends through my art. It also makes me happy that I get to paint the subjects I pick and have people want to own them because it makes them happy too. I love when people tell me they are giving a painting as a gift, that’s very special to me. I think it's a wonderful thing to be able to work each day at something I absolutely love to do.

Thanks, JoAnne!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 25, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Oleksii Movchun

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

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

From Oleksii's DPW Gallery:

I am Oleksii Movchun. I live and work in Ukraine. I have been into drawing since early childhood, when I could hardly remember myself. At the age of two, I produced my first significant and ambitious works - the walls of my room painted with a marker. Unfortunately, at that time critics didn't give me much credit for my creation. It was not until I tried myself in the sphere of architecture (I got my degree in architecture), was I able to find my true vocation - art. In recent years, I have been mainly engaged into painting, namely into writing portraits. Life, nature, a wealth of colors around us, the uniqueness of each person are the things I find particularly inspirational. I believe artist should portray subjects (people) as they perceive them. They must "fall in love" with what they see and make the audience "fall in love" with the created image.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

At the age of two, I produced my first significant and ambitious works - the walls of my room painted with a marker. Unfortunately, at that time critics didn't give me much credit for my creation.

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

There was once a period when I didn’t touch a paint brush at all. Having graduated from the university, I started working as an architect. Only after being at that job for five years did I realise that I should change something about it and follow my true calling – painting. Three years ago, that moment came – an office was replaced with a cosy studio, and I could fully immerse myself into painting. You can’t escape from yourself.

Vitamins

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I like to work with both a paint brush and a palette knife. I have experimented with various genres, but I finally ended up painting portraits and still lifes - genres I derive most pleasure from.

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

Being honest, I didn’t quite enjoy working in the sphere of abstract painting. In my opinion, an artist should be versatile, which means being conversant with many techniques. Having said that,  it is delving deeper into one sphere that will lead him or her to success and self-fulfillment.

Would You Like Some Tea?
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

An uncharted area for me at present is landscape. Painter’s cases are biding their time.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature is what inspires me, in all its manifestations and beauty. No sunrise is the same, no two landscapes are alike.

Pomegranate
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me has to do with the lack of a genuine interest and absorption in the process. Thus, there is always a temptation to put off something I don’t take pleasure in to a later time. Conversely, passion for painting prevents me from this, and I eagerly engage myself into the world of art.

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

I can’t say that I have some special techniques. Carving out time for my art – it all comes naturally, without extra efforts. Once I embark on a new painting, it’s hard for me to stop. Again, love of art is what drives me and combats any indolence.

Sliced Orange
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Staying mentally awake, conscious and observant, perceptive and open to anything – my formula to generate new ideas. Everything I come across in the daily life, every feeling and emotion, every thought that springs to my mind may be then expanded, developed, and translated into canvas.

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

I believe that if you set yourself off on a quest for a relentless exploration and self-development, “freshness” in your art is inevitable. If you grow as a personality and a professional, you are always born anew, get inspired, and this pushes your works to a new level.

Silver Fish
(click to view)

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

I am now learning not just to copy the reality, but rather to convey my impressions and emotions.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It’s extremely rewarding and satisfying to see my own progress, set goals and pull them off. But I must say that the feeling of complacency is short-term and fleeting, as accomplishments shed light on new unexplored areas – and it happens again and again. :)

Thanks, Oleksii!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jane Frederick

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

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

From Jane's DPW Gallery:

Art was originally a form of therapy for me. I began making art to escape the crazy life of a stressed out advertising sales rep. Painting allowed me to go to my "happy place" and lose track of my worries and responsibilities for a while. As I progressed in painting, I found it infinitely challenging. No matter the current skill level, there is always so much more to learn. Although I have no formal art training, I have taken numerous workshops from artists including: Qiang Huang, Nancy Tankersley, Stephanie Birdsall, John Cosby, Randall Sexton, Chuck Rawle, Charles GruppĂ©, Derek Penix, Denise Mahlke, Joshua Been, Ron Rencher, and a slew of others. I’m very much looking forward to a workshop with Carol Marine later this year.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was always interested in art but didn’t get serious until a friend bought me an oil painting lesson (although at the time I was more interested in watercolors). By the time I took the class, I had enough money invested in supplies that I felt I had to continue, at least until I used up those supplies. It just mushroomed from there.

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

Not really, once I joined DPW in late 2011, I have been painting pretty steadily.  DPW was really the turning point for me. As paintings started selling it encouraged me to paint even more. While I’d like to say I paint every day, I’m afraid that would be stretching the truth, but I do paint a lot.

Coneflowers
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve always wanted to be a realistic or impressionistic painter. I’ve tried watercolor, pastels (both oil and soft), acrylics, colored pencils, and oils.

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

I really love to work in oils best, but I still like to keep my hand in soft pastels as well. I mostly use watercolors for my travel journal.

Enchanted Rocks
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m not really thinking about expanding my media right now, I’m more focused on mastering oils and to a lesser extent pastels.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me and I am always striving to interpret it on the canvas. As far as inspirational artists, I’ve been inspired by so many. The crop of current artists working is amazing. I’m a big fan of Qiang Huang, Joshua Been, Haidee Jo Summers, John Cosby, Stephanie Birdsall, Carol Marine and way too many others to mention... Vincent Van Gogh is also one of my heroes, he painted constantly through all his adversities.

Grackle Stare
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I find myself piddling around the studio doing unnecessary busy work, I know it’s time to buckle down and paint something.

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

When I figure it out I’ll let you know. Time is always my biggest battle. I’ve got so many varied interests and I seem to have a problem saying “No” so I’m always busy.

Butterfly
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I keep a camera in my lap when we travel (if I’m not doing the driving) so I’m shooting photos of anything that looks interesting. I go out on plein air paint outs with other artists and take lots of photos. I’m always trying to find interesting things to paint in everyday scenes no matter where I am.
How do you keep art fresh? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I try new subjects and attend as many workshops as I can. I follow a lot of artist blogs, and read as much as I can about techniques and new approaches. I never seem to get tired of painting, so I don’t think burnout is a problem for me. I feel that the pursuit of art is an endless one. I will never be as good as I want to be, it is always a challenge and I thrive on challenge.

Duck Dating
(click to view)

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

I feel that I’m still exploring everything, but if I can glean one new concept out of each workshop I take, I feel I’m succeeding. Right now I’m trying really hard now to work on lost and found edges and abstracting the background.  So many people say they can’t even draw a stick figure, it’s not true. Anyone can become an artist. Like anything else, to get good at art or anything else, you must practice, practice, practice.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I really love when I can see progress in my work. Especially on those rare occasions when I feel I really nailed a painting. It’s even better when someone else likes it and buys it.

Thanks, Jane!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Katia Kyte

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

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

From Katia's DPW Gallery:

I always wanted to be an artist. When I finally had an opportunity to paint full time, I found out that it wasn't easy. Painting can be joyful when it goes right and a great frustration when it doesn't. I learned that "for improving painting skills, it is far better to paint thirty one-hour paintings than one thirty-hour painting" (Craig Nelson).

I live in a small coastal town called Lincoln City in Oregon, USA with my daughter Sasha. Please contact me at kyteart@yahoo.com if you have any questions. If you would like to stay connected via Facebook, "like" my page called Katia Kyte Oil Painter. Thank you so much for your comments and support! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up in Russia. As a middle schooler, I took art classes on composition, drawing, still life and art history. I remember when my friend and I first experimented with oils. It was at her house and we painted a landscape together. I still remember the scent of oils. We were both so proud of it and ended up repeating the same landscape on our own.

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

I pursued different goals in my career. (Actually being an artist wasn't even an option.) After graduating high school, I went to a linguistic university and was seriously thinking about moving to Moscow to work as an interpreter for an embassy. It never happened. Instead, in 2008, I immigrated to the US - the land of unlimited possibilities - and started taking art classes as I always was interested in art.

Wooden Blocks
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I tried acrylics, watercolor, and experimented with cold wax. For a while, I painted impressionistic landscapes with a palette knife.

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

I've always loved oils. Its aroma, feel, colors - it all makes my heart sing. :) I'm staying faithful to this medium.

Rainbow Carrots
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

There is so much to learn about oils. I probably won't live long enough to explore that medium fully. However, I'm looking forward to drawing more, especially human figure. I find drawing with ink very relaxing.

Who or what inspires you most?

I would say artworks of Konstantin Korovin and Sergei Bongart. If I need to be reminded of where I am going, I go to my Pinterest album with their paintings.

Azalea
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Instead of painting, I might get obsessed with renovating my studio. Or decide to get a certain fabric for a still life I had in mind. I might spend my whole "painting time" searching for that fabric.

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

Usually, having a deadline works for me. I set a goal, for instance to paint thirty paintings in thirty days and post every day on my blog. If I have a show coming up, that definitely forces me to find time to paint.

Cherry Tomato and Peppers
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Some days, I decide to paint something red or I choose to finally paint that vase that I have bought months ago, so I make an arrangement around it. Also, plein air painting seems to give me plenty of ideas.

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

I have a timer in my studio. Usually, I set it for an hour if I paint a 6"x6" still life (it doesn't include preparation and setting a still life). When it beeps, I'm not allowed to touch the painting. I usually don't look at it for a day or so. It helps me to avoid the urge to fix something in it.

Daffodils on Purple
(click to view)

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

I'm learning to let go and just paint. Being as patient and supportive as I can towards myself and my art.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I am free to paint whatever I want.

Thanks, Katia!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 4, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Andrew Daniel


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


To enter to win Andrew's painting, "Chicken Head #8" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Andrew's DPW Gallery:


We are often too busy and preoccupied to tune into nature. Also, we are so used to seeing our
environment that we grow numb to it's appearance. I am numb to it as well. It isn't until I have gone through the ritual of pulling out my painting equipment, prepping my surface, deciding on my compositional approach, quieting my mind and settling into the process of actively reproducing the object of my gaze, that I start to see it better. All I can offer the viewer is a record of what I saw during the process, along with my best attempt to use paint in a way that is dynamic and interesting according to my personal tastes." - Andrew Daniel

Andrew Daniel lives with his wife and daughter, in the small coastal Northern California town of Arcata. He has been painting as a professional artist since 1992. He received his Bachelor degree in Fine Art with a painting emphasis from Humboldt State University California. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Well... That question takes me back to my first years of community college in Maine. Initially, I had wanted to be a photographer, loved the darkroom process and walking around seeing things in a creative way. Then, I started looking at the printmaking department, thinking I wanted to have more creative control to work with symbols. Finally, painting made more sense because I didn't have the patience to run prints with any kind of accuracy, wanted a medium that was maximally creative and minimally rote process. The professors were probably a big factor too. I had a tendency to be too heady, over intellectualizing, weaving concepts in my mind that didn't really come across in the work. Painting helped to ground me.

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

I often can't tell whether I'm stopping or starting. It does seem to be a momentum thing. Just keep moving, making adjustments in career and craft. I have a tendency to switch styles a lot, right when I am finding some success. I start thinking, "Is this the kind of work that I want to do for the rest of my career?" Then I'm off on another road. I think I'm finally figuring out my direction now. Landscapes... gonna double down on landscapes, see if I can just maintain that focus for three years. No divergent ideas. At least that is the point I am at in my decision making cycle.

Chicken Head #8
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Besides the aforementioned, I really felt a calling to figurative sculpture. That is super fun. It makes sense on a body level vs. an analytical level, shaping things out of your hands! I've done acrylics for a few years, watercolor... Lately, I am mainly an oily dude. Though Casein paints have been a fun distraction and I think I'll still use them for quick small sketches. They are really fun!

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

Oil appeals to me because the paint stroke is so immediate, it feels tangible, substantial. Also the colors can be so subtlety shifted, and lately I'm really enjoying playing with blending and blurring strokes. The brush stroke that oil has can be so subtly manipulated. Acrylics felt clumsy by comparison, I feel like I'm painting with the end of a stick I found on the ground. Watercolor does not provide the room for indecision and reworking that I like. I like to take a painting on a journey, with watercolor I feel like I have to stop working before I've walked a block to keep it "fresh". Casein paint is my favorite alternate medium, because it is really user friendly, I taught six painters in a workshop recently and they all had great results, from beginning painters to more advanced. You can just keep layering, that helps a lot. I highly recommend it to people who don't know how to paint.

Mattole River Bend
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am sick of exploring mediums actually. A couple years ago, I had told myself that it was time to stop buying new art supplies, either they sit around unused and taunting you for being impulsive at the store or they take you off on huge tangents! Casein gobbled up my time for five months but now I'm back to oils, the prodigal son returns again.

Who or what inspires you most?

Light! Glorious natural sunlight shining on glowing spring leaves! The way the coastal atmosphere of Northern California obscures items in the distance to make mysterious somber silhouettes. The melancholy expression a model's face shifts into when they have been posing for hours... No NO! Stop that, you are doing landscapes! It's important to stay focused!

Abby at the Pool
(click to view)


What does procrastination look like for you?

Obsession with side projects. Designing businesses I'll never get around to running, binge watching every episode of Cheers, which was like seventy of them, I think. Stupid games on my phone. I love to research things, that can really pull me down the rabbit hole. It seems like things that take about fifteen minutes are the worst, because I always think I can afford another fifteen, until my whole painting time has been used up. Maybe what is a more productive question might be how do I get out of a creative slump. It almost always starts with calling up friends and painting with them. Setting up next to them in their studio, or out in nature or sharing a model. The camaraderie is so helpful to get past a block.  Eventually, I get sick of the various constraints that go with painting with others, then I'm ready to work alone again.

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

Painting at the same time every day really helps, for me it is in the morning for 3 hours or so, then life catches up with me until my family goes to bed, then I try to get some more in.

Cosmic Pigeons
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I hoard images, taking photos constantly, or finding fun ones on the SKTCHY app or on the wetcanvas.com image library. I go out and paint nature or meet with friends like I mentioned earlier, I've got at least fifty unfinished pieces, the ones that inspire me get the extra treatment to be completed. I just hooked up a big flat screen to to my laptop so I can rework my plein air paintings in the studio. It really makes it so much more easy and fun!

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

I try to challenge myself a lot. Give myself parameters for a series. By repainting the same subject over and over, I have to push myself to try new things to stay engaged. I often deliberately start paintings that are so technically confusing that I'll have to learn something in order to finish them. I think I use a scientific mind process at times, coming up with goals, researching how others accomplish them, trying it, analyzing my result, adjusting my approach, trying to fail forward and learn from my mistakes. Meanwhile, I try to listen to my intuition to help guide me through what the art needs...

Pink and Black
(click to view)

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

I kinda stumbled across a few things recently that are really interesting to me. One is forcing myself to take a lot of time with my thin underpainting. I realized that I like the luminosity of thin paint and the amount of control that is possible, so I'm trying to drag out that stage, using Gamblin Solvent Free fluid. I have also been really interested in wet on wet layers that utilize blurriness to unify things. Another thing came from my time with Caseins, I used to use really textural strokes on my last layer to build depth and atmosphere. Imagine a lock of hair painted with a splayed out brush that has thicker paint. It grabs the eye as if light is reflecting of it. Finally, the big thing I'm excited to get into is larger multi session landscapes. My favorite paintings I've done from the past involved visiting the same location six times to apply more layers. That is really a lovely way to paint, because that certain day at that certain time is so familiar it starts to feel like a home away from home. So I really want to push myself bigger.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I guess the happiest I get with art is when I have been working on a larger work, revisiting the same beautiful spot in nature and I'm learning what it is like to be there every day, the same way the plants or the critters are, that spot becomes my neighborhood, and I get to know how the sun angle influences the scene during that time of day, the pond starts out placid and reflective, then an hour later the wind picks up and creates shimmers on the surface, at the beginning of the session the reeds on the left side really light up from the sun and by the end the effect has moved the dramatic light to the right. Meanwhile, I'm getting to know the dog walkers and the bird watchers and the photographers that show up every day. A community is building around this place and time. Brotherly love is in the air. And, I'm collaborating with nature, the place is beautiful, the changes are inspiring, and as my piece evolves and reflects the beauty that I see around me I get that warm feeling in my chest, like I'm at home in nature, and I see God in everything.

Thanks, Andrew!

© 2017 Sophie Marine