Thursday, May 19, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Salvatore Greco

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

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


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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

On the Beach
(click to view)

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

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

Acrylic has stuck. :)

Who or what inspires you most?

Cézanne, Monet, Nicolas de Staël.

After the Rain
(click to view)

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

In the Mountains
(click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Pommier du Japon
(click to view)

Thanks, Salvatore!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 12, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Holly Storlie

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

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

From Holly's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

Honeycrisps
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

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

Peonies
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

Little Sandals
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like to you?

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

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

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

Cup and Crayons
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

Clementines
(click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Holly!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 5, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Peter Bain

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

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

From Peter's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

Cow No. 2

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

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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Pt. Lobos
(
click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

Silence is Golden
(
click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

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

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

Two Red Pears
(
click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

Little Pigs
(
click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Peter!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 28, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elizabeth Elgin

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

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

From Elizabeth's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

Sun Dappled Cow

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

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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Goodnight Sun Take 2
(click to view)

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

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

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Ladybug Ladybug
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

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

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

Breakfast Reflections
(click to view)

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

Lilacs in Copper
(click to view)

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

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

Garuda Aviary Fundraiser - Sir Winston
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Elizabeth!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jean Fitzgerald

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

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

From Jean's DPW Gallery:

Jean Fitzgerald is a North Carolina impressionist painter. She received her BA in Art from Western Kentucky University and also studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and with Jack Beal and Sondra Freckleton. She taught watercolor workshops, and sold her artwork at outdoor art festivals and in galleries in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina. She has worked in oils, watercolors, and acrylics. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been engaged in art for most of my life.  I have a BA in Art Education from Western Kentucky University and pursued further studies at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.  During the nineties, I sold my work at outdoor art festivals and then in galleries in North Carolina.

Geraniums

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

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

I stopped painting for twelve years while I taught full time, and I have returned to painting since I retired five years ago.

Lavender Fields
(
click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Over the years, I have worked in water colors, acrylics, oil pastels and oils.  I am currently painting landscape, still life, florals and abstracts.

Who or what inspires you most?

The artist I most admire is John Singer Sargent because of his use of light.  By carefully controlling the values in his paintings, the works seem to glow.  I attempt to achieve this glow in subjects by using backlighting.

Orange Reflections
(
click to view)

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

I paint in the morning before I start anything else in order to assure that I have adequate time to work.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My garden, travels, and the landscape of the South provide me with my subject matter.  I have photographed interesting possible subjects over the years, but I only rely loosely on the photo reference.

Dimensions
(
click to view)

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

I continue to explore dramatic lighting and to push myself to eliminate unnecessary details while using expressive brushwork.  I am also making videos to share with other artists my working methods and how I use oil paints without solvents. I am married to the author, Michael Hammonds, and we reside in North Carolina and Ohio.

Peach Flowers
(
click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest with my paintings that have drama and interesting brushwork.  I attempt to keep them fresh by avoiding excessive detail and by not overworking them.


Thanks, Jean!


© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Annabel Chance

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

To enter to win Annabel's painting, "No. 37 Deer" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Annabel's DPW Gallery:

Hello! My name is Annabel Chance. I work traditionally in opaque and transparent watercolors. I'm inspired by nature and wildlife to create my colorful paintings. If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear from you :)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I'm from Florida and have had the pleasure of seeing the Gulf and being around nature from a young age. I've been told that I started finger-painting what I saw at the beach to show my parents before I could talk.

No. 37 Deer

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

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

My painting career is still pretty new. I wanted to get some more practice with my watercolors. That's when I signed up for an account with Daily Paintworks to motivate me. I really didn't expect to get so much positive feedback but I'm grateful for all the encouragement.

My wildlife paintings are a return to my childhood where I would just enjoy sketching at the beach or by the bird feeder.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I've had the opportunity to play with oil and acrylic but I think that I have the greatest affinity for watercolor.

Bluebill
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I've been thinking about creating some abstract watercolor paintings.

Who or what inspires you most?

The content of my work is inspired by the animals that I paint: their behavior and personality. Visually, I'm caught between a love of representational art and the abstract. John Singer Sargent is my favorite painter.

Snow Leopard
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I struggle a little with photographing my paintings and sharing them online. I'm always ready to paint but I don't have the same focus for formatting images, writing descriptions or choosing keywords.

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

Keeping a space that is ready for me to paint is really important. I make note of ideas for paintings, collect references, and prepare paper in advance so when I have enough time to paint there aren't any obstacles in my way.

No. 36 Chihuahua
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I try to focus on three things in the early stages of my paintings: form, expression and color. I'll decide on an animal I'd like to paint and will attempt to make it instantly recognizable. I study animal behavior and expressions and I try to bring that through in my work. I also try to create a color scheme that is appealing on an abstract level.

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

I think watercolors are prone to becoming too fussy. I begin with a big wash of color and then I carve out the subject. I don't want to hide that this is a watercolor painting. I love the big abstract splashes of intense color and I've thrown away my masking fluid.

No. 24 Mourning Dove
(click to view)

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

I'm learning to do the work that I love. Even though I was told that there wasn't much of a market for watercolor animal paintings, I think that my genuine affection for and fascination with wildlife comes through in my work. Other people that love wildlife have really responded to that.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I have so much focus when I'm painting. I work with purpose and confidence. I used to worry about ruining my painting but now I just respond to whatever the watercolor decides to do. I don't try to control the flow of paint. I rely on it to be unpredictable. It's a unique process to other methods of painting I've tried and it feels like a collaboration with the medium.

Thanks, Annabel!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 7, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rentia Coetzee

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

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

From Rentia's DPW Gallery:

I have been creating all my life! Combining patterns and colours brought me hours of pleasure! Then I discovered painting, Pandora's box! Grateful to art teachers willing to share and guide! Golden advice, miles on the canvas!!! (click to view)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I had empty nest syndrome six years ago and a great art teacher led me to a full time job and an all consuming passion. I tried to paint years ago but babies and life had other plans for me.

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

When I started six years ago I never looked back. I was fortunate enough to get into galleries very soon and that gave me a lot of self-confidence. I paint every day from 8am until 4pm. It is a job that I take very seriously and I love every moment of it.

Happiness
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I paint in all mediums except watercolour. I have a very heavy hand for watercolour. Oils are my favourite at the moment as well as pastel. I use charcoal in all my drawings and inks are so clear and versatile to work with. I love all genres, portraits being my strongest and landscape my weakest although I am working on it.

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

Everything has stuck like glue except watercolour - not there yet.

My Cat Amy
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to explore mixed media and have an acute yearning for abstracts. Hope to get the opportunity to explore it further.

Who or what inspires you most?

I adore DPW - best discovery I ever made. I absorb and dissect all artworks, look at artists' galleries and really learn. The weekly challenge is great and I try to get to it as often as possible. My husband and children inspire and motivate me every day. They are my biggest fans but harshest critics. I find inspiration in a beautiful or unique photo. My cellphone is always on hand for impromptu photos which I paint asap. Nature and our Creator inspire me every day to improve! I do courses all the time, read art books and watch art dvds!

Lunch 2
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

What is that??? I only procrastinate when I have to cook, clean or do admin! Painting… never!

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

I am very strict with my working hours. My husband and kids had to learn the hard way. When I work I don’t chat and I try not to get diverted. I am constantly completing commissions with deadlines. I strive to be happy and fulfilled in all aspects of my life and I hope that shines through in my artwork.

Let's Go Boating
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am constantly googling pictures and ideas. I get a lot of references from friends on FB. When I see an idea I immediately know that I have to paint it - whether oils, acrylics or pastels.

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

I look for a different approach and try new mediums. I also try to think out of the box and into something original! I avoid burnout by relaxing with my family, special time with my husband and sleeping well. When I paint I stand with a mirror 3m behind me, that helps me not to get too tight and keeps my paintings fresh!

Kobus
(click to view)

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

Painting shapes with Chantel Barber is the course I am doing right now. What an eye opener. Right now I have arrived at the point where I no longer want to render. I try to get myself into my artwork. Fresh, original and uplifting is what I strive for.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm happiest when someone says I have captured a soul or the essence.  An insult to me is when someone says it looks just like a photo. I am ecstatic when I look at a piece and it is just so - even if no one else thinks so!

Thanks, Rentia!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 31, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Trevor Downes

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

To enter to win Trevor's painting, "203 CLASSIC FLOWERS 5" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Trevor's DPW Gallery:

I have worked full time in the advertising industry for over fifty years... from message boy to operating my own advertising design and finished art studio employing fifteen artists. The majority of my work was design and finished artwork for brochures, catalogues, packaging and press advertising in both colour and black and white. I have been fortunate to have worked in studios in Australia, Canada, U.S.A., England and Germany. I have used the skills I have gained on my travels to produce thousands of designs and pieces of finished artwork. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was a thirteen year old at the local Australian State School, we read a book called “The Drums of Mer” written by Ion Idriess. In the weekly art lesson, we were asked to illustrate something that impressed us from the book. Using our limited range of pastels, we produced our drawings.

Two of my class mates made a lasting impression on me.

One drew a dark storm scene... black clouds, lightning and angry waves crashing onto a tiny outrigger canoe. The other boy drew a soft, azure blue, idyllic, tropical seascape with sunset, islands and palm trees.

They produced two completely different interpretations.                

They had used the same pastels that I had used but their work was so different and exciting.  What a challenge.

I was hooked then and I’m still hooked now.

203 CLASSIC FLOWERS 5
(click to view)


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

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

No Stops.  From age seventeen, I have worked as an artist in press, print and packaging combining layout, design, illustration, typography, finished artwork and photo direction. I even wrote copy for radio and T.V. commercials when required for advertising campaigns.


My first paid job was for a chiropodist who needed signs to be placed on the risers of the steps up to her rooms.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have used most mediums and my work is realistic/impressionism.

223 ORIGINAL LIFE SKETCH 7
(click to view)

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

Pencil, charcoal, oil pastel and acrylic are favourites but I will test drive anything new.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Computer graphics. There’s a whole new world out there. It’s just a different pencil.

Who or what inspires you most?

“Have a go” is a great Aussie saying and people who “have a go” inspire me. It doesn’t matter what field they are working in.

040 PARKS & GARDENS 8
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is something I don’t know much about. I’m happiest when I’m busy and I always have half a dozen projects on the go.

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

Art is my life. I do find time to play golf twice a week, swim twice a week and look after our grandchildren whenever needed. If I’ve been very busy and can’t get into my studio during the day, I can work through the night to satisfy my creative urge.

143 MOD GIRL 2
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I really don’t know. They just keep coming. I am able to design and paint in my head and I like nothing better than to dream of painting.

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

I get disappointed when something I have worked on doesn’t work out to my satisfaction. Having worked to extremely tight deadlines in advertising, I know I can’t win them all so I just have another go.

122 FLOWERS ABSTRACT 2
(click to view)

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

Learning to enjoy myself and paint for my own pleasure gives me a great feeling of freedom.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Finishing a painting to the best of my ability. It amazes me as to which paintings get the most hits on the DPW website. It gives me joy to have the grandchildren ask me to “show them how to paint.” To pass on that love of drawing is a gift all around.

Thanks, Trevor!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 24, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Paulette Farrell

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

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

From Paulette's DPW Gallery:

I am a sports and portrait artist living in Cheshire, England who loves drawing sports scenes involving movement. I sold my first professional drawing in May 2014, since then the demand for my cricket & sports drawings have increased dramatically, becoming collectibles. I am now a professional artist working from my home studio. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I did not start drawing until my late thirties.  My children were given a box of oil pastels for free, nobody seemed interested in using them so I thought I would give them a go.  I was not sure how to use them so then began a journey into discovering mediums, how to use them, what they look like in a piece of art.  I think I am still on that journey six years later but interestingly, I do not use oil pastels anymore.

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

Not so far, once I started I have never stopped.  Some days are quieter than others though.

Snow Spaniel
(click to view)
Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Paulette's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Quite a lot.  I initially used oil paints which I really love but soon shelved due to young children and the length of time it takes to dry. I have used watercolours, charcoal, soft pastels and pastel pencils.  With genres, I have tried landscapes, still lives, portraits and figure drawings.

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

Watercolours quickly fell away; I did not like the fixed nature of them as I like to change my mind.  My artists eye has improved greatly and I won't stick with a piece if it doesn't feel right.  I have to keep changing it until I am happy.  Oil paints I hope to try again with now that I have my own studio space.  My true loves though are charcoal and pastels.  I work with both.  Charcoal is fantastic for doing my sports drawings, it allows me to show movement really well.  I also feel pretty smug that I can accomplish something wonderful with a stick of wood and a piece of paper.  Pastels and pastel pencils are also a great medium, they allow me to be flexible and I love the subtle blends.

Whippet Style
(click to view)

For genres, from the moment I started to draw I wanted to do portraits.  I think I liked the romantic ideal of having a sitter and drawing them.  This is something I have not done enough as I tend to work from digital photos more than anything.  My sports drawings come from my love of sport - particularly cricket and hours spent watching my children play.  I love the twist of bodies and the awkward shapes that sports people get into.  My pet drawings came from commission requests.  They were going well, but I always got really nervous when a new commission request comes in. I try to draw independently some tricky animal drawings to help my drawing.  I found I liked sourcing my own beautiful images and transforming them into art.

Who or what inspires you most?

A great or interesting pose, a moment in a sports event that captures movement and a key turning point.  The artists I love are those who represent beauty in art, who bring out the wonderful elements that we all see.  I love Renoir and Rembrandt and Carl Larsson.

Silhouette
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I had to look up what procrastination means, I think it means distraction or putting things off.  I have not drawn this weekend because I have spent almost all of it discovering lightroom and photoshop, only by chance because I wanted to know how to show my scanned drawings with a white background.  That led to three days kind of wasted but not really because I know a bit more now. So for me, I am guilty of going off on tangents and not staying focused. That said, it is probably a tangent that I needed to take.

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

This is a constant angst for me.  I work part time as well as having three teenagers, a dog and two cats.  I find it hard to settle down to draw when I know that there is other stuff to do.  The best thing that I have found lately is to ensure I work on a timetable.  I have three art days in a week and I now have those three days carefully planned to fit in website/email work, drawing, framing and promoting. The difference was immediate when I began to follow my timetable: a clearer mind with everything running fairly well.

Grace
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am a great lover of Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.  I follow a lot of sports contacts and I am always on the look out for great moments caught on camera.  I draw from life when I can, a sketch pad at a cricket match is a wonderful way to people watch.  The animal drawings are easy inspiration, as they are so lovely, the more natural looking the better though.  I prefer to capture certain 'looks' or moments with animals and people.  Probably the most common theme that captures my eye is movement, the more complicated the better!

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

Again a differing of opinion.  Good advice I have read is to stick to what you are good at or enjoy and become brilliant at it or completely contrary advice is to keep trying new things to maintain your interest and passion.  I tend to do the latter.  I like to keep up to date with new materials and techniques, I follow many artists and publications, go to galleries, etc.  It's what I like to see in other people's work that makes my own style and if I keep on admiring and evaluating other people's art then mine also improves.

Black Prince
(click to view)

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

I've recently taken up graphite drawing in order to improve my sketching skills.  Never a big lover of graphite, which I felt tended to look dull and dirty, it has come as a surprise how much I love it and indeed I am now marketing it as a new medium/style for me.  I think being able to use charcoal so well has helped me take up graphite so easily.  Also, I have recently discovered Nitram charcoal which is wonderful and allows me to be more accurate whilst still retaining the soft beauty of charcoal.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When the finished piece is the same image or better than the picture I had in my head.

Thanks, Paulette!

© 2016 Sophie Marine