Thursday, May 21, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Joseph Mahon

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

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

From Joseph's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a self taught artist, living in the sunny south east of Ireland. I paint in watercolour and oil, using only artist quality paints, paper and linen. My influences are great artists of the past, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Singer Sargent, and others. I love the work of current artists, Trevor Chamberlain, Charles Reid, David Curtis, Kevin Macpherson, to name but a few. I paint in my own style, bold, loose and impressionistic.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting as a child, like most people I guess. It continued with me through my school years, although I did not have an option of taking art in school. I continued my passion for art, in the form of drawing and watercolour painting. I sought out art books over the years to learn as much as I could. I subscribed to The Artist's Magazine to keep up with trends and contemporary artists. I still buy art books and recently I bought a biography of Andrew Wyeth, titled "A Secret Life". A great read, I must say.

Algarve Beach Evening
(click to see original image)

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

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

My painting career, in reality, has been a private pursuit simply because my career path was in a scientific capacity, but I always painted in my spare time, no matter what. In recent years, I have been able to devote more of my time to full time painting, it's great.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Watercolour has been the forefront medium for me for many years, but I now paint in oil paint as well. I had work accepted by the Royal Watercolour Society in 1995, which sold straight away. This helped to motivate me to keep with watercolour. The medium of watercolour is wonderful for expressiveness, its fluidity is so unpredictable, which makes it unique. Oil paint is so versatile, that I wish I had used it more over the years, but I hope to make up for that now. I tried acrylic, but I struggle with it, as the colour shifts are too much for me at times, along with the rapid drying times.

My favourite subjects are genre scenes, beach scenes and landscapes. I tend to avoid still life and portraits, but I have done the odd still life, as well as portraits of my family. My style started out quite tight, but loosened as the years have gone by, to an impressionistic style.

Bringing the Flock Home
(click to see original image)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to try cold wax medium in oil paint, as I am greatly interested in textures and impasto. I have been checking out YouTube to see how it's done. Also, I want to get to grips with acrylics despite my difficulties with it. I see enormous possibilities with this medium for me. I am fascinated with juxtaposing of colours, a method employed by the impressionists.

Who or what inspires you most?

My earliest inspiration was seeing a picture of "The Milk Maid" by Vermeer. I was truly bowled over. I loved the colours and the simplicity of the composition. Rembrandt, Constable, Turner and the Impressionists, are also huge influences. I admire the work of Winslow Homer, Trevor Chamberlain, Andrew Wyeth, Singer Sargent and Charles Reid for watercolour. For oil painting Seago, Monet, Kevin Macpherson and a wonderful artist Arthur Maderson.

Untitled
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me was not going online soon enough. I always put up an excuse and delayed. I am in a learning curve with all that Facebook, Google and other sites have to offer, with regard to self promotion and ones art it's a full time job.

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

I try to paint every day as a routine, no matter what, it's never a chore. I have my own little studio, where I can leave my work undisturbed and return to it without having to pack up after a painting session. It guarantees that I can pick up where I left off on the previous session.

Figures on the Beach
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I seek inspiration or subject matter where I can: a visit to a city, a walk, or when I travel. Portugal over a number of years has been a great source of subject matter, as well as my rural locale. Sometimes it's from a film I have seen, a TV show, a magazine or a book. I sort of know the subjects that interest me: colour and figures, landscapes, beach scenes and genre scenes.

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

I change from watercolour to oil painting every so often, just to keep my approach fresh. I always know when I am becoming jaded with one or the other. Watercolour mode it may last weeks, the same with oil painting. It is not possible for me to do both simultaneously, although I have tried.

Woman Sitting on the Beach
(click to see original image)

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

One is never done learning. I think it was Monet who said, one is always learning in art. Each new day I think that today, I will do the perfect painting. So far that has not happened, but I tell myself maybe I will get close.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I feel happiest during the process of painting and when I am challenged or inspired with new ideas. Often an idea or concept for a painting, means as much to me as the finished work. Life has its ups and downs, but art has been consistent for me. When I go to bed at night I usually think about what I am working on at the moment, problem solve if I am having a bit of difficulty with a piece, or think what next?

Thanks, Joseph!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Friday, May 15, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Stefan Peters

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

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

From Stefan's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a professional artist from The Netherlands, now living abroad. I started as an abstract and colored pencil artist. After a while of experimenting with new mediums and painting many different subjects, I realized that I prefer a more realistic approach to my art. I especially like painting landscapes, wildlife and still life, which is also reflected in my daily painting series. Favorite mediums include oils, colored pencils and watercolors. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting and drawing in high school and even though I had an interest in it back then, I did not see it as a future carrier path.  A few years back, I met my wife who is also a full time artist and that sparked my interest for art again. For our first Christmas together, I received a small box of Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils and a block of artist drawing paper from her. The days after Christmas, I immediately started using the pencils to sketch some basic shapes. In the upcoming months, I started making more elaborate drawings using reference photos of birds and still life. At the end of January, I held my first paint brush again since high school and started experimenting with acrylic and oil paint. With my wife as a guide, I began by creating some abstract paintings. This was the start of my full time artist career.

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

Since I started painting full time five years ago, I have not stopped. I was very lucky that my wife had been doing art full time since 2006 and from the moment I started drawing and painting she taught me everything she knew. We both worked together to promote my works online and are always looking for opportunities to gain more exposure. 

Autumn Forest
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with acrylics, oils, colored pencils and watercolor (including watercolor pencils). I started with impressionist drawings of birds and still life. Not long after that I moved on to painting abstracts in acrylics and oils. I continued working with these mediums for about a year before trying out impressionist oil and watercolor paintings.  Then I began creating realistic coloured pencil drawings and have continued to work in these genres since. 

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

Over the years acrylics have fallen away as they did not really suite my style of painting. Oils, watercolors and colored pencils stuck as they allow me to work in the ways that I prefer. Colored pencils give me to ability to draw in great details as where oils and watercolors allow me to let the paint flow over my canvas or paper to achieve  impressionist works.

Wild Piglets
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In the future, I want to explore pastels and charcoal as they both seem very interesting mediums and I have seen some beautiful works done with both of them.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by scenery, landscapes, colors and the beauty of nature that surrounds us. Being born and raised in Holland, I have seen many different landscapes, beautiful and colorful tulip fields, charming narrow cobblestone streets, old architecture, farm fields and coastal landscapes. All of this still inspires my work. 

A major inspiration in this field of work is my wife as she has shown me that it is possible to have a full time art career if you are determined enough. 

Blue Bird
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I usually focus on my tasks and I prioritize them in such a way that I can accomplish them all timely. If there are any deadlines that need to be kept then I do these first and then continue on my other projects.

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

I am fortunate enough to be able to work on art full time and therefore have plenty of time. I usually work on several pieces in a day and if there is a day where other duties take me away from art for a short while, that is not really a problem. 

Jelly Beans
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have folders with hundreds of photos taken over time during travels, places I lived, etc. and when I want to start a new painting I browse through my image folders until I find something that catches my eye.

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

I keep my art “fresh” by switching between mediums. If I do not feel like painting in oils then I start a colored pencil drawing or a watercolor. It is usually an impulse decision. Sometimes I start a project and drop it for a few days, work on something else if I feel inspired to do so and then pick up the old project and finish it. I think this helps me avoid burnout and keeps me interested in always having an ongoing project. 

Rain Forest
(click to see original image)

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

A lot about marketing my work and selling it online. I think that the marketing part is directly connected to the artistic one and helps me succeed as an artist. For me it is not only about creating but also learning how to get myself known and to reach an audience that appreciates my style of work. 

What makes you happiest about your art?


Seeing progress in every new work that I make. Especially mediums that I am not very specialised in yet, like watercolors. The fact that I can do art full time and make a living of it. Waking up and not having to go to a job that is not satisfying is what makes me the happiest. 

Thanks, Stefan!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, May 7, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rasha Alem


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


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


Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have painted since childhood. It was always my favorite thing to do. When I was fourteen, I started copying most of Van Gogh paintings. I was fascinated by his work and his technique.

In 2008, I felt that I wanted to follow my passion and study academically how to paint.  I studied in different places around the world which exposed me to different schools of art.

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

2008 was my real start as I joined an art school in Florence -- that was inspiring! It took me to another stage of thinking about art.

However, life always ups and downs, I had a long pause after becoming a mom. I was busy with work and having a new baby, that stopped me completely and I didn't have time to paint anymore. It was very hard on me but fortunately, that did not last long.

My life changed and I managed to have time for my art. My spirits rose again as I resumed painting and I decided then that I couldn’t live without painting whatever my situation is. I realized that painting is part of me.

Daily painting was one of the motivating experiments as well.  It encouraged me to paint every single day and pay more attention to simple and small things around me. Choosing a new subject everyday from the objects I see is a good practice.

Going to Florence with other artists on a painting trip was an extraordinary change in my painting life.

In the Candle Light
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I currently use pencils, charcoal, acrylic and oil but my best friend is oil.

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

I have always stuck with the realistic school of painting; actually, contemporary realism is my ultimate goal. Others have fallen away!

Little Blue
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In the next stage, I want to play more with contemporary realism, and figurative paintings.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by artists who follow the classical modern school. Also, music. Beautiful music inspires me with new ideas and motivates me to put those feelings and emotions on canvas.

The Falcon
(click to see original image)

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

I am always trying new techniques, but I revert to the academic one, which helps me create innovative direction.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I research a lot on my subject. I also always try to see what other artists are doing with the subject and how I can achieve that in my own style.

Self Portrait
(click to see original image)

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

Preparing the surface under paint well is extremely important. Working light with hard brushes and displaying your brush strokes always keeps the paint fresh. Using the beautiful, handmade Williamsburg colors does also.

Smoke
(click to see original image)

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

I am learning about new techniques and modern, contemporary methods to achieve classic paintings in a different methodology.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I feel happy when I make a brush stroke that is both methodical and spontaneous at the same time. When I see my feelings reflected on the canvas, that makes me satisfied and happy about my art.

Thanks, Rasha!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, April 30, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Randal Huiskens

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

To enter to win Randal's painting, "Tiger No. 3" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Randal's DPW Gallery Page:

To create great Pop Art, you have to present something that has been seen before in a new way. It is this fundamental realization that has led my artwork to evolve from 19th century style Post Impressionism into 21st century individual expression. I am influenced by both Pop Artists and traditional Fine Artists. In the beginning, for me, there was Cezanne. I was captivated by his use of color, a melange of different shades and hues suggesting shadow and light on the simplest of flat surfaces. By combining this concept of color with the method of divisionism and the subjects of Pop Art, I feel I am merging two disparate types of art... creating Pop Art with a Fine Art sensibility. My influences include Henri Mattise, Chuck Close, Andy Warhol and Freek Drent. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I had been drawing with pencil ever since I can remember... by the time I started grade school, it was pretty well determined that I would be some sort of artist. I was always fascinated by color and paint. One day I took some model car paints, and did a painting on a sheet of paper. I only had a few colors, but it worked and I was hooked. Eventually, my parents bought me a set of acrylics and some canvas boards and I started doing some small paintings. In high school art class I experimented with oil paints, but I didn't like the need for solvents for cleaning, so I stuck with acrylics. In art school, I immediately chose painting as my major and it took off from there.

Tiger No. 3
(click to see original image)

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

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

I have been a painter since art school, but it only became a "career" in the last five years. When I first left art school, I had no idea how to actually make a living as an artist. I spent the first few years touring in punk bands, working a series of jobs before eventually settling into being a website developer and graphic designer. I continued to paint and create art during this period, but sales were few and far between. In 2010, I decided to really get serious about becoming a successful painter, and gave up all other pursuits to focus entirely on painting.  In 2013, I was able to close my web development business and make my living entirely by selling art.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have always liked to draw, doing layouts in pencils and finishing with pen and ink. For a long time, I wanted to be a comic book artist. In high school, I published and sold my own humor magazine, similar to National Lampoon, with comics and stories. Up until a few years ago, I was publishing comics online, but I took it all off of the web when I decided to focus entirely on painting. I have also done some sculpture over the years, clay modeling and "junk" sculpture. For a while I worked in an industrial furniture shop, assisting in the making of artistic furniture out of angle-irons, rebar and marble slabs. In the digital world, I am well versed with the Adobe Creative Suite (from the years spent as a graphic designer), as well as digital video production.

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

It's all painting now. I used to go in a lot of different directions all at once; it wasn't until I focused entirely on painting that I was able to make a living at it. I still do some web development and graphic design, but it is all in the service of promoting my artwork.

Iggy Pop
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I wouldn't mind getting back into some sculpture, but it's not really on my radar at the moment.

Who or what inspires you most?

I don't really think in terms of "inspiration." Making art in one form or another is something I have always done, and it wouldn't be normal for me to not just do it. I can't really say what drives me to do it or what inspires me. I just get up every day and get to work. I think more in terms of influences... the artist Chuck Close is a big influence, you can see it in my work. Other influences are Andy Warhol and Netherlands artist Freek Drent.

Vase of Flowers
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I have never been a procrastinator. I have always preferred to get things done as directly as possible, and giving myself enough time to do it right. You only procrastinate with things you don't want to do, so I couldn't imagine procrastinating when it comes to painting. I work just about every day, so I never put it off.

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

I don't have a problem making time for art, I actually have a problem with making time for anything else. I try to be efficient as possible in everything I do so that I am not distracted by outside endeavors. When you are an artist, time is the most precious commodity.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have a general idea of how I want my form of Pop Art to relate to the history of art and where the art world is early in the 21st century. Each painting is merely a piece in that larger vision, and the idea for each one is somewhat subservient to the overall vision. Of course, each painting needs to stand alone as well, and the idea for each individual painting just strikes me at a moment. It just pops into my head that this one idea will work. From that point on, that individual painting MUST be done.

Clint Eastwood
(click to see original image)

Can you elaborate on your overall vision? How does your artwork relate to the current state of the Art World?

Well, Pop Art has long been considered the unruly step-child of Fine Art, and certain people don't take it all that seriously. But I contend that Pop Art is, and will continue to be, the most important type of art at this point in time. No one likes art that needs to be explained to them, and Pop Art is accessible and relatable across the widest spectrum of people. Most people today look at a copy of Art News or Art In America, and think to themselves "why is this art? Why is this important? It looks like something a child did." If you've studied the history of art and followed the artistic trends, it might make sense, but most people just don't get it.

Pop Art, on the other hand, is immediate and relatable. People get it right away. So my goal is to take the artistic values of Fine Art and apply them to Pop Art. The modern concept of painting is that the painting is not an image on a canvas, the painting is the thing unto itself - it is not an image per say, but its value is that it is paint on a canvas. I am merging this concept with Pop Art. What I'm creating are art objects that adhere to the modern concept of Fine Art painting, using Pop Art as a motif. I am trying to state that Pop Art and Fine Art do not have to be at odds. Most Pop Art is about the image in the work. My Pop Art is about painting.

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

I do not consciously think about that. It would never occur to me that each new painting would not be as fresh as a new painting can be.  I have so many ideas for paintings in my head at any one time, it is more a matter of finding the time to create them. I do try to mix up the color palette as much as possible, and keep my eye out for subjects that fit within my overall vision, but that is more a matter of course. I would suppose that because each new painting presents new painting problems, solving those problems keeps the work fresh. I do have to step away from the easel and take some time off every now and then, but it isn't long before I am anxious to get back to work.

Clockwork Butterflies No. 9
(click to see original image)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?
 
The business side of art. Of course, artists continually are learning about art with every piece they make. Now that I am making a living at it, learning about the art market is important to me right now. I have spent years running my own business as a web developer, but the business of art is a different animal. I am trying to figure out how to maintain my artistic vision and still pay the bills.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I can make a living at it. It's kind of the goal of any artist, I would think. I know many artists who are very fine artists, but they all work a job and do art "on the side." I am very happy that I can get up every day and go to work at making art to the exclusion of any other career.

Thanks, Randal!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Anette Power

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

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

From Anette's DPW Gallery Page:

I like to pause to capture moments; yummy color combinations, the sun lighting kids at play, hazy atmosphere in nature and the timeless design of classic cars. These visual moments all stop me in my tracks. At my easel, brush in hand I ask myself: How do I best divide my canvas, find the right angle, balance the lights and darks and crop my subject in a way that tells a story? I want to capture life around me and document our fleeting place in history. I grew up in Sweden on an island off the east coast. Thanks to my mom and being a little far from town, my sister and I did a lot of creative play. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up on an island outside of town, off the east coast of Sweden, and my mom painted, so there was exposure to art and a lot of time to make it.  It made for a creative childhood where art was a natural part of it, as well as spending time in nature, making toys and playing with sticks. I also got positive feedback and won some art competitions in school, so it felt like my thing.

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

Acting was a priority for me starting in middle school and all the way up until age twenty-three when after two acting schools and living in the US, I realized that I’d rather go back to focusing on art – Here... Look at my work, not me.  I then found my way into the much smaller and friendlier world of Animation.  It was a wonderful way to learn about setting a mood and creating a world with color and light to support your story and characters.

When I had kids, I was determined to not take twenty years off from painting so I just had to find ways and time to do it in between family time!  Not an easy task, and it would be impossible without my supportive husband!

Sunny Stairs
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with drawing and watercolor as a child and dabbled with pastels and acrylics before falling in love with the directness and immediacy of oils.  I’ve tried print-making for the graphic look it can achieve and mixed media.

Landscapes were my subject matter more than anything.  I used to be so intimidated by the subject of people, feeling more connected to, and familiar with nature.  So it fit perfectly that during my fourteen years in Animation my focus was to paint the backgrounds behind the characters.  In more recent years, I’ve been working hard on my “people skills” by taking quick-sketch (and life-drawing) classes, and learning about character-design and caricature.  I still find that I get the most stuck on painting faces, and getting them right, but I’m not as intimidated as before and I have learned to break it down to shapes and planes and how the light hits those planes.

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

In the last few years, I’ve been more and more drawn to painting scenes with buildings, animals, kids, and classical cars because they naturally provide more colors.  It’s all in an effort to document the world and the colorful moments around me that speak of our time here.

Duck out of Water
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m always trying to go more abstract.  I’m so intrigued by the shapes and lines within the picture plane and how to crop and compose something in a fresh way.  I’m fascinated by abstract art!  When I do it myself, I inevitably fall into painting something more three-dimensional and descriptive.  I’m a bit of a control-freak so the unknown journey of an abstract is a little out of my comfort zone.   I want to keep working on adding elements of abstraction (or simplification) to my realistic work and it really keeps me on my toes, alert and challenged.

Who or what inspires you most?

My niece Manda, who only got to be here for a short time, continuously inspires me to do what I love while I’m here.

I’m inspired by many artists and collect work of artists that inspire me on Pinterest.

Here are some of the ones I admire for how they can toe the line of realism and abstraction - my Pinterest page Abstracted Realism.

The Regal One
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It’s easy for me to say that there’s never enough time to paint, so I don’t feel like I do a lot of procrastination.  But I realize that for me procrastination shows up as getting a little paralyzed when I want to work on something that’s out of my comfort zone, such as abstract work.  An artist’s life is full of ups and downs… I get into a show, work that I really care about gets rejected.  At those times, it’s easy to question what I’m doing and start comparing which also can lead to procrastination.   That’s when I need to just work on some daily paintings. Something small and fast to get back to the joy of capturing my impressions of the world.

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

It probably helps that I’m a little obsessed and get cranky if I don’t get my fill of making, seeing and planning for great art.  I then leave the dishes behind and escape.

Wharf Wiggles
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I research and look at a lot of art, which helps me figure out what I like to accomplish in my own work.  I take a ton of photos that I can go through if I ever run out of ideas.  I usually have way more ideas than time.  I would say that aside from capturing moments, my work is composition and theme driven.  My latest theme being on the subject of holding on and letting go…

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

Whenever I feel burned out, overly critical, am over-working things, or stuck on “getting it right”, then I know it’s time to paint outside.  There’s something about the immediacy of painting a living world and what’s right in front of me (before it changes) that helps.  It totally re-charges me and brings me back to the joy of painting.  It also gives me a feeling of my true size in the world, if that makes sense.  If I paint from photos, I like to turn them upside down to look at the image with fresh eyes!

DIY Bubblebath
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning to trust that I know enough to let go and just paint.  See this blog post on practice, improvising and what actually happens in our brains when we’re in the flow of things according to a great Ted Talk Radio Hour.

I continuously work on simplifying. I'm not sure why it is so hard... Lol.  One concept that has helped me with that recently is Kevin McPherson’s thoughts on the Truth of Light and Shadow.  Liz Wiltzen does an excellent job of explaining it here.

There’s so much to learn about the business of art.  I feel like I need to look into possible gallery representation soon as I continue on my new series.  I need to figure out what the next step is for the next phase of my art career.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing the joy of creating art with kids and adults alike.  Seeing great art that inspires me to create.   Enjoying when others find joy in my work.  The camaraderie this journey brings with other artists and the belief that my best work is just around the corner…

Thanks, Anette!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, April 9, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Linda Hunt

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

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

From Linda's DPW Gallery Page:

My name is Linda Hunt and I am a painter. I love to paint focusing my attention on light and color. I paint common things in my environment and love to challenge myself to paint almost everyday. My style of painting would be termed abstract realism. I paint quickly and energetically working wet into wet paint. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how your first started painting.

Like many artists, I began painting and drawing in my childhood. I did take art lessons as a child at the Portland Oregon Museum Art School . I remember the feeling and the smell of those class rooms and the joy that I felt. Later in my undergraduate studies, my emphasis was in drawing and sculpture.

When I was in graduate school, my focus shifted to abstract expressionist drawing and painting, but my emphasis was still sculpture. I painted and made mixed media collaged paintings, drawings, and assemblages for many years after graduating. In 1988, I began to have an interest in painting from life in oil paints. I began to paint interior spaces that were comprised of more or less collaged images that I painted from life, incorporating them into believable room settings. My work has always merged abstraction with the representational.

Red Wedges
(click to see original image)

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

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

When my son was young, I didn't paint as much and there was about a ten year lapse in creating. In 1978, I went back to school, majoring in Fine Art. I have been creating and painting since that time. I studied for the next eight or nine years as a single working parent and student while obtaining three degrees in art. It is a funny thing because my real education came after school while struggling on my own to learn what I didn't learn in college.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

During the 1990's, I began to produce small assemblage interior wearable art pins that were exhibited and carried by many museum art shops throughout the United States. As an example, I sold my pins at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery in Washington DC. They were so much fun to create. I used shrinky dink art material to fill each interior space with furniture and vases of flowers that I cut and shrunk and then painted with oil paints. In early 2000, I began painting strictly from life and after taking a workshop from Carol Marine in 2008, I started to paint on a daily basis.

Lately, I have been experimenting with gouache which, to me, is much like oil paint. I love the velvety texture and am looking forward to pursuing my studies with this medium in the future. I also enjoy pastel and drawing in charcoal. I love oil paints and that is my main medium of choice.

Brunch
(click to see original image)

What inspires you most?

I am constantly looking at art so I have so many artists that I find inspirational. I recently purchased a DVD by artist Lori Putnam and am finding many tips and ideas to incorporate in my own work. I am always looking back at some of my favorite artists such as Manet, Van Gogh, Sorolla, Anders Zorn to name a few. I love to look at art and let it infuse my soul.

I would say that what inspires me is light: light falling on objects and creating patterns and shadows. The tactile quality of oil paint and its beautiful sheen always excites my senses.

Still Life #7
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like to you?

Procrastination is something that I fight each and every day. It takes a lot of energy to keep and run a household and paint. I make sure that I paint almost every day even if it is something small. I usually work out, run errands, and take care of my two Golden Retreiver Dogs in the morning. In the afternoon, I go to my studio and begin to work. I also like to paint in the evening after my husband and dogs are bedded down for the night. I enjoy the quiet solitude of night working until I am too tired to paint any further.

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

I make sure that I show up in my studio each day. I love the quote that I believe is from Picasso "Inspiration can only come if it finds you working."

Portrait
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My surroundings are inspiration for subject matter in my paintings. I work mostly from life, although there are times when a photograph makes more sense. I would love to plein air paint, but I have not spent time doing this, so my landscapes are done from photos that I take. My hobby is to frequent my beloved thrift stores and look for items that capture my attention and inspire me. I also love flowers and fruit. My best paintings come when I have an idea that haunts me until I can get paint to canvas. I love it when this happens; it is such a gift.

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

I know that I am on the right track if I maintain an orderly studio and palette. When things get messy it is time to take a break and pamper myself by taking a walk, reading a good book, or just close the studio door for a while until I can regroup.

Geisha 2
(click to see original image)

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

Currently, I am working with a new limited palette of only three colors and I find it challenging and very stimulating. The other interest of mine is in laying out a painting and working to refine my composition. This particular interest is an ongoing, ever-evolving problem to solve.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the look and feel of the paint and the act of painting brings me joy. (Well, with a little frustration mixed right in there to sweeten the mix.) Pure clean color makes me happy.

Thanks, Linda!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gretchen Hancock

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

To enter to win Gretchen's painting, "Silver Bowl, Lemons, Lavender" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Gretchen's DPW Gallery Page:

I live and work on Vashon Island near Seattle. I have been painting realistic subject matter for a long time and often include scenes from the Pacific Northwest where I live. I have been blogging since 2010.

I am interested in how light describes an object, and how shadows and highlights add drama. I sometimes paint outdoors, but often paint in my studio from still life subjects that I arrange, or from photographs that I have taken. Whether I am doing a still life or a landscape, I am very much interested in composition and design and I work to simplify my subject matter so that the composition reads as well from across the room as it does close to the painting. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started with a drawing class in college, which I enjoyed very much.  I wound up majoring in ceramics because I really enjoyed the process, and I earned my living as a potter for several years.  When I moved to Alaska, I switched to painting watercolors because the pottery studio didn’t go into a backpack.

Silver Bowl, Lemons, Lavender
(click to see original image)

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

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

I managed to paint part time when my children were little, but stopped painting to learn drafting.  I designed and built two houses and didn’t pick up a paint brush for about ten years.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in ceramics, watercolor, acrylics, pastels, and oils.  I have also taken classes in Photoshop and have used the program for development of painting ideas for the last fifteen years.

Spring Onions
(click to see original image)

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

I’m using oil paints these days, though I do paint large paintings using acrylics.  When I am painting small, I want to be able to blend and soften edges; for this oils are perfect.  For the large acrylic paintings, I paint on textured canvas instead of smooth hardboard panels, and I rely on broken strokes and scumbling to convey blending and soft edges.


Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

As I get older, I realize I want to focus on what I’m already doing in order to take it to the next level.  So, I may switch brushes or choose different subject matter, or different sizes or formats, but it’s all oil painting.

Daisies and Bachelor's Buttons
(click to see original image)
Who or what inspires you most?

I read somewhere that artists don’t paint a tree because they see a beautiful tree, they paint a tree because they see another artist’s painting of a tree!  I think that’s true for me.  I see how someone else has interpreted a subject and suddenly I have an idea.  “I could paint that, only I would do it like this and this.”  Currently, I am studying the work of Bato Dugarzhapov.  I love his high key palette and fabulous grays and his fearlessness in capturing color and light.


What does procrastination look like for you?

I am not an organized person.  Often, every horizontal surface is covered.  When it gets too chaotic, you will find me doing crossword puzzles instead of cleaning up!

From the Cliff
(click to see original image)


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

I am a night owl.  When everyone else is asleep, I am up painting.  I like the quiet time and lack of distractions.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have a digital library of thousands of photos that I’ve taken.  I mine them constantly for ideas.  Even if I don’t paint every day, I will work in Photoshop every day.  I crop and re-format, draw, and move objects or change elements, I lighten and darken values, adjust colors , and saturations, and generally simplify the composition.  I store similar ideas together in a folder, labeled according to subject matter, for example, “trees” or “beach” or sunsets.”  I make all of my compositional decisions while working on the computer; I find that half of the work of a painting is done in this preliminary stage.  My computer is my sketchbook.

Traveling Chicken Visits Vashon
(click to see original image)

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

Working from photographs is very removed from the subject matter, so to keep from burning out, I switch to still life which I set up in my studio, or go out painting en plein air.

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

I am learning the same things over and over, because, of course, I make the same mistakes over and over.  I have a checklist – soften and lose edges, simplify areas, focus attention, make a path into the scene, simplify the colors.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when something I have done stands up over time.  Recently, I went back to look over pieces that I had produced in the last twenty or thirty years, and I was pleased to discover how many of them I still liked!

Thanks, Gretchen!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 26, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Saundra Lane Galloway

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

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

From Saundra's DPW Gallery Page:

An artist for over 35 years working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, wax and most recently mixed media. You will see paintings in several different media. Saundra graduated with a degree in Art Education and taught public school secondary level for over 10 years. She now works in her home studio and teaches workshops in mixed media, wax collage and other requested art topics.

Saundra has won awards in Nebraska and Colorado and shows regularly throughout Colorado. (click to view more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I actually began painting in 1975 when I was in college.  For many years, I read books and I really taught myself.  The desire to paint and be an artist began before I can remember.  I always wanted to be an artist.  I used to draw “Bambi” in magazine articles that were advertisements for art schools.  They sent me letters back that said I should pick another career.  However, that never killed my desire, so I just practiced and read and observed the world around me and did my own thing.

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

Yes, I stopped when my children were born so I could do the mom thing, and then, when they were older, I painted and drew when I got off work.  When I began teaching full time in the early 90’s, I did not have time to do my own art during the school year, but picked it back up in the summers.  Eventually, I figured out that I could create lesson plans that incorporated what I wanted to do - teach and create a painting or piece of artwork for an example… I didn’t get to work constantly on my own interests, but it did allow me to keep my fingers in my work.  My students were very enthusiastic learners, and even began selling the work they did in class.  It was very rewarding to see!

S'up
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Saundra's interview.
What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in oil, watercolor, acrylic, wax, charcoal, fiber, paper, wire, metal, wood; well just about everything I can think of.  I absolutely love experimenting!

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

I have developed a way of working that has allowed me to hold on to just about all the media I’ve experimented with.  I don’t do a lot of wax collage, but I still love it.  I don’t work in straight watercolor anymore, but I do manipulate acrylics as if they were watercolor when my work needs it.  
Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to work more in 3-D.  I love working with materials I have created and am constantly trying to find ways to combine them.  Lately, I’ve been interested in how I can use my paper casts that I created molds for in old window frames; combined with branches.  My mind just will not stop trying to find ways to do things in a visual sense.

Who or what inspires you most?

My inspiration comes from observation and experimentation.  I have been an avid “watcher of the world” ever since I can remember.  It can be a color, or the way a composition comes from seeing a shoelace in the sun… just about anything.  I am inspired by Alisa Burke; our work isn’t the same, but her desire to find new ways to explain existing things and her recycling very much inspires me.  Other strong women like her have always been an inspiration.
What does procrastination look like for you?

I have never been one to procrastinate, so I’m not sure how to think about this.  I was always that kid that did what I was asked first, before I played, and that has followed me all my life.  I suppose it is a bit boring, but I am just wired that way.

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

If I am excited about what I am doing there is nothing that will keep me from working on my art every moment I can.  I think of my art as my job; my fun job mind you, but still my job, my responsibility, so I apply responsible thought to my work.  I have a routine where I get up and begin… before I shower, before anything just about. It doesn’t matter if I do it for five minutes or an hour, I just start. After that, inspiration takes over and there is no stopping me.
How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

As I have mentioned, I am an observer of everything: color, pattern, design in everything. One idea came to me from the design on the back of my bathroom door while I was showering.  I have ideas for two paintings that I see in the tiles in my shower.  I take time to look at lots of art.  I want to find inspiration in them.  I see the colors they use and that gives me ideas, I see a line that looks so nice and it can become a beginning of a new piece.  I am just always thinking and experimenting with so many things and ideas just come from that.

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

If I am bored with what I am doing it is a clear indication that I need to grow. If I feel burned out, I take time to get away.  I use that time to see the world, walk a path near a lake, anything to clear my head.  It usually doesn’t take very long.  My fingers itch when I go too long without working.
Again, experimenting with many different materials is the absolute best way to continue to grow and keep work fresh.  I don’t feel like I have to continue doing the same thing because it is expected of me by a gallery owner or a collector.  I believe it is my responsibility to myself to continue to grow and change and find exciting ways to express my vision as an artist and person.

I have found that if I am excited with my work others will feel it as well.  There is no wall to stop a person if they are willing to find a creative way through it or around it or over it!  I apply this belief system in my life.  I don’t like the word “can’t”.  It is stifling and well, just not true in my world! Ha... within reason.  I’m pretty sure I can’t spontaneously speak another language, but I can learn how.
What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

To continue to work diligently at something I love and becoming a success.  Success to me is a fulfillment of my dreams. I will find joy and excitement in my work, and I will share it.  I am learning that there are no walls, that there is always a new thing just around the corner that I will want to try and share.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I get to do it!  I am so thrilled that my mind just keeps coming up with ideas and thoughts that lead to new work.  I have ideas that, in order to follow them all will take years… That is thrilling and fun!

Thanks, Saundra!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dorothy Fagan

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

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

From Dorothy's DPW gallery page:


I paint in oil and mixed media. I work en plein air and in my studio near the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. In 2013, I was fortunate to have a six week residency in France, painting en plein air in Provence, Brittany, Normandy, along the Emerald Coast, Giverny and Paris. I became fascinated with the juxtapositon of ancient structures, vibrant people and the landscape.
You can find info on Dorothy's current art show (happening March 20-22) here - http://paradisecityarts.com/


Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.



I have been painting since I was a little girl. My bedroom was always an art studio. I won my first award at fourteen, a five-county regional in New Jersey.


Cliffside Dwelling, France
(click to see original image)

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

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

As a young mother, I suffered a series of traumas. The PTSD and depression caused me much difficulty. Ultimately, my art became the healing force which enabled me to move past them. This helped me learn the connection between energy medicine and painting. As a result of this, I lead classes in healing color for people from all walks of life.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have a BFA in Printmaking and Painting. After college, I worked in pastel exclusively for twenty-five years. I also work in oil. During my residency at Musee de la Grande Vigne in Brittany, I experimented with turpentine wash fused with willow charcoal. Returning to the States, this led me to my mixed media fusion paintings, using alkyd paint with willow charcoal and pastel.

Island
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Landscape has always been my inspiration. However, since my French residency in 2013, I find much inspiration in my interactions with people. My blog has become a Virtual Artists' Residency where I am exchanging creative ideas with readers. I have begun teaching again and find it very stimulating.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't procrastinate. I have some projects which are in the incubation period. Others which are in action. I don't confuse the two.

Blonde Wax Beans
(click to see original image)

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

I am painting all the time. Even if I don't have a brush in my hand, I am painting in my mind's eye. Generally, I write in the mornings and paint in the afternoons. I take a day off to have lunch with a girlfriend.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am still working on ideas from my French residency. One painting usually begets others. I follow them and they lead me through self exploration. Writing about them on my blog opens new ideas as well.

High Tide, St Jaces de la Mer
(click to see original image)

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

Some time ago, I came to the realization that even if my painting is inspired by something I have seen in the landscape - what I am really painting is a self portrait - an inner landscape. This realization made me a better painter and keeps me engaged in exploring new territory every day. I am always eager to go into the studio to see what I painted yesterday - it always surprises me!

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

This year, I am planning a residency in Tuscany. From August through October, I will paint and blog from Tuscany. My project is called, "Muses of Tuscany," as three 'muses' will visit me to inspire my paintings. When I return home in November, I will exhibit the paintings at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, MA. People can register to follow this project on my blog.

Lavande Magic
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when I connect with someone through my paintings. Watching someone see themselves in a painting is a humbling experience. I am so fortunate to be able to paint and share my art. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. I even paint with my grandchildren!

Thanks, Dorothy!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine