Thursday, December 8, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mike Peterson

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

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

From Mike's DPW Gallery:

I grew up in northern Illinois where my interest in art took me to Chicago and the American Academy of Art. That was 1976 and at the time, my training focused on watercolor painting which I continued to pursue exclusively for about 15 years. Although I no longer do much watercolor painting, I appreciate its unique qualities and continue as a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I attended art school in Chicago at the American Academy of Art a long, long time ago.  The routine was fairly structured, life drawing in the morning and a course on fundamentals, including painting technique, in the afternoon.  My introduction to painting really began my second year when I studied watercolor painting with Irving Shapiro.

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

After art school, I moved from Illinois to Austin, Texas with the intention of becoming a full-time artist.  After about a year, the difficulties of making a living became apparent and I started a “temporary” day job.  It lasted thirty years.  Since retiring five years ago, I have been a full-time painter.  Finally!!

Yellow Scarf
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began my painting career as a watercolor painter and after about fifteen years decided to try something new.  I did not begin painting in oils immediately, but made the change gradually.  I started with acrylics, then water-soluble oils and after about two years took the final step.  These days, I paint exclusively in oils.

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

Oil stuck.  Charcoal stuck.  I haven’t painted a watercolor in about twenty-five years.

Street Scene
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I expect to be learning about oil painting for another twenty-five years.  The variety of effects: transparency, opaqueness, soft edges, hard edges, temperature changes, color contrasts, the list goes on.  I am confident that I will never completely figure it out.  But that’s the challenge.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by many artists, past and present.  John Singer Sargent and Nicolai Fechin are two of my favorites.

Lady with Green Dress
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I sometimes get stuck on a particular painting, but I don’t really procrastinate.  I start painting about 9 am and paint in my studio all day.  A couple times a week, I get together with a group of artists and paint from a model.  Painting from life and plein air has given a huge lift to my studio painting which for the most part is based on photos or studies.

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

Generally speaking, I think that if you enjoy doing something enough, you will find time to do it.  It may not always be as much time as you want, but even thirty minutes of sketching can be a satisfying experience.  It’s kind of like exercise, the hardest part is often getting started.

Boy at the Museum
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I take lots of pictures when I travel.  People, buildings, nature.  Many of those pictures never develop into paintings, but if I like something, I will usually do thumbnail sketches or value studies to start before beginning the painting.  With the basic values established, I am able to concentrate more on using color and playing with edges.

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

I am usually working on more than one painting at any given time.  If I lose interest or get stuck on a painting, I usually turn it to the wall and work on something else for a while.  I find that sometimes “not working on a painting” is more useful than mindless dabbing of paint on canvas.    

Girl with a Rose
(click to view)

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

Currently, I am trying to focus on good design making better use of a few strong shapes with a variety of edges.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It doesn’t always make me happy, but it always fascinates me.  I start a painting with a plan, in charge, and invariably there comes a point when the painting takes on a life of its own.  At that point, the painting leads the way, but I am not always sure where we’re going.

Regardless, it’s never a boring ride!

Thanks, Mike!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 1, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kaethe Bealer

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

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

From Kaethe's DPW Gallery:

My name is Kaethe, pronounced "Kathy". I have been A DPW member artist since 2011. I have been painting since the age of 16 and have been on a serious course to become a better painter for the last 13 years. I have had the pleasure of studying with numerous accomplished artists. Peggi Kroll Roberts, Tim Horn and Stanley Goldstein have been my consistent teachers. I have also tried to absorb the wisdom of the art community. My mediums are acrylic and oil. I love painting light and shadow and hope that I can take the ordinary and emphasize its beauty. Thank you for looking at my work! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I loved art since I was able to pick up a crayon. When I was sixteen, growing up in Hawaii, my Mom signed me up for an adult painting class with a local artist, the late Joe Dawson.  We had fun painting his formula waterfalls, lava flows, beaches and palm trees. To my chagrin, my mom still has those paintings hung up on her walls.  (Please Mom, if you are reading this…)

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

I didn’t do much art during my college years, especially during graduate school. I have a Masters in Social Work. I have always taken some kind of art class and was a “Sunday painter” until 2002. I am not sure what happened at that time but my light switch went on. I was excited about painting and wanted to get better at it. I became obsessed and the obsession is even more intense today.

The Kayaker
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have used oils, acrylics, water based oils, pastels, watercolors, collage and silk screening. I think I have painted almost every genre. I get bored painting the same thing.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

I paint with Golden Open acrylics and oil paints. I don’t really use anything else. My subject matter remains varied; cats, dogs, figures, interiors, flowers, cityscapes, seascapes, etc.

The Art Class
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I hate to say it but I don’t have any interest in other mediums. Is that a bad thing? I just want to be a better painter. If I had to pick something that kind of falls into the category of exploration, it would be changing up the sizes of paintings and the formats. I have been doing squares and mostly small works. I would like to do larger works. I am going to be working on a 24x42 in the near future which I am pretty excited about.

Who or what inspires you?

I live on a boat and everywhere I look, I see a painting. I see paintings when I go for walks with my dog and when I am driving down the street. (I only take photos at the stoplights!) I get inspired seeing other artists’ work. I am hooked on Instagram for that reason alone! I get inspired because of the encouragement I have received from other artists. I also get inspired by listening to art podcasts such as Savvy Painter, Artists Helping Artists, PleinAir, and the Jealous Curator.

Attentive
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I once heard that procrastination often appears when you are trying to be perfect. I suppose when I am trying to find ways to not paint, it's spending time online. When I am ready to get over myself, I can start my work and not think about things too hard.

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

Even though I don’t have a lot of space, I do leave my table top easel set up with my palette box. I often paint in the mornings before going to my day job. This is especially true when I have deadlines. Weekends are usually reserved for painting. I try to paint 'til the evenings when I want to spend time with my husband.

The Commuters
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your painting?

I am constantly observing, taking photos, playing with compositions. I use photo editing tools to help me arrive at an idea. I have thousands of photos that I periodically look through. I look until something excites me.

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

I give myself permission to take breaks. I think they are purposeful. I need to pace myself and not feel like a painting machine.  I use my breaks to ponder new ideas, look at other art or just do something entirely different away from art, like an art vacation.

The Flower Table
(click to view)

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


I think I am learning how to talk about my work. I have been such a visual person. In my work as a social worker, I am focused on listening to others. My brain is not wired to elaborate and especially not to elaborate about me or my work. Opportunities such as this interview have been presenting themselves to me lately.  I recently did a demo for the Tracy Art League (thanks Vince!) and have a talk scheduled for my “30 Paintings in 30 Days” at the Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton, CA. I think there is something in the universe that’s telling me to develop the language around my art.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When someone tells me they have a connection with one of my paintings. That a painting spoke to them in some way and perhaps provided them with a smile. That makes me happy!

Thanks, Kaethe!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 24, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Shannon Bauer

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

To enter to win Shannon's painting, "Don't Mind If It Rains" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Shannon's DPW Gallery:

My name is Shannon Bauer. I was born in Michigan and now live right outside of Cincinnati, OH. I've always had an interest in art and loved to draw and paint as a child. I took my first formal painting class when I was in college as an art major with a graphic design concentration. I've kept at it ever since, but now find myself most often painting with acrylics. I appreciate the quick-drying time, as a lot of my paintings have layers and layers underneath until the painting comes to a place I am happy with. Painting seems to be the most effective way for me to clear my thoughts. And now I just can't seem to stop!

Please feel free to follow me on Instagram @sbauerart. Thank you! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was always interested in art as a child. I transitioned into painting during my college years as an art major with a graphic design concentration. Studio courses for drawing and painting were my favorite and gave me the opportunity to discover a true passion.

Don't Mind If It Rains
(click to view)

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

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

I have had several periods of time where my work seems to come to a standstill.  Even though I enjoyed painting in college, I didn't make it a priority in my life until years later.  Now I try to paint at least a couple times a week, and the quality of the work that's produced on those days seems to greatly impact how eager I am to try another painting. I often have times of frustration, but I just push on!

Olive No. 13
(click to view)

Describe your journey through mediums and genres.

I've experimented with Oils, Acrylics, Pencil, and Pastel. Landscapes have always been my favorite to paint, but I try to branch out here and there, painting animals and still life subjects. I've been painting solely with acrylics for a few years now.  In the beginning, the drying time required quite an adjustment, but now I feel it helps me to paint faster and fuss less (on a good day).

Because it's been years since I've painted seriously with oils, I keep wanting to give it another try just to see what unexpected discoveries lie on that path! I'd also like to try to approach more cityscapes and larger projects.

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm inspired by vast spaces of clouds, hills, oceans, and all nature really.  When I feel that I need an extra boost of inspiration I like to look up the work of Stuart Shills, Jon Redmond, Eric Aho, Mark Bohne, Oliver Akers Douglas, Liza Hurst... and the list keeps growing.

First Things
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Playing scrabble on my phone against my husband, checking out social media, and sometimes cleaning.

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

I always have a space in the weekend when my family knows I will be busy painting for a couple hours.  Sometimes at night I have enough energy to sketch out the bones of a painting and that gives me a little momentum for the next day if the baby decides to nap!

Sydney
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

A lot of my landscapes come from photos I snap on my phone when my husband is driving and I'm staring out the car window.  I do take artistic liberties... Sometimes the most beautiful cloud formation is hanging over an unappealing parking lot.

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

I am no master of this, but I can say when I start to feel burnout I usually switch to another subject.  If I haven't painted a landscape I'm happy with for awhile, I'll start taking pictures of my cat or buildings and go from there.

Later That Year
(click to view)

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

I always wanted to be able to paint loosely and somehow still have every stroke look intentional and flawless.  That approach hasn't worked out for me. Right now I feel I am learning to embrace imperfection. When my hand becomes tight and too controlling I am usually not very happy with the product. In contrast, sometimes the imperfections are the most interesting parts.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get in the zone and I'm listing to my music, I can forget about absolutely anything that was bothering me prior to painting. It's a nice escape that helps me feel more balanced as a person.  As an introvert, my art helps me to connect to people that I may not otherwise be able to connect to, and that always makes me feel good.

Thanks, Shannon!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Friday, November 18, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Shari Buelt

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

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

From Shari's DPW Gallery:

I grew up surrounded by the beautiful, tropical colors unique to Hawaii. My love of the ocean continued after moving to the Pacific Northwest and discovering the Oregon coast and the Salish Sea. Many of my painting express the beauty I am surrounded by daily. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always loved art, but mostly dabbled in drawing, ceramic sculpture, and decorative painting.  When our youngest daughter was about six months old, I decided to check out a local painting class.  That was fourteen years ago and my passion was ignited!

Surfer Boy
(click to view)

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

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

Definitely!  The longest "stop" was when we began home schooling our girls and moved onto our sailboat.  That was about seven years of very little painting.  When we weren't schooling the girls and the weather was nice, I'd get out my easel and paint outside on the back deck of our boat.  Also, while we were living aboard, my husband gave me a "vacation" for Christmas every year.  I would go away for a few days and stay somewhere by the sea, and paint my heart out.  So I had little plugs of painting to keep the embers of creativity warm.  Four years ago, we moved off our boat and into our house in Olympia, Washington.  It didn't take long for me to start painting again on a semi- regular basis. About a year and a half ago, while browsing through various art magazines, I saw an article about Carol Marine's Daily Painting.  It was like a light bulb went off in my head! Painting small and often... Genius!  I ordered her book and the rest is history.

Heron of the Sea
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

My first few paintings I did back in 2002 were done in acrylics.  It didn't take long for me to give oils a try and fall head over heals in love with their buttery consistency and richness of color.  When we decided to move onto our sailboat, I knew I would not be able to continue my love affair with oils;  The dry time would be ridiculously slow as well as not having space to store them as they dried.  I also didn't want to subject our kids to the odors of the various solvents.  Soooo, back to acrylics I went.  Through the years, I learned to love the flexibility of acrylic paints and the dry time can't be beat!  I fantasize of painting with oils again, so it's definitely something that could be showing up in my paintings in the future.

The Sand Man and Beyond
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Housework, laundry, and playing with the dog!  I am terrible about this.  I can't stand dirty clothes piling up or dust bunnies accumulating around the house.  A good friend of mine sent me this wonderful quote, "Don't let housework stop you from achieving your dreams".  I try to remember that when I'm vacuuming instead of painting.  As for our dog, Salty, I'm a sucker for him, so there's no helping that!

Plump Little Robin
(click to view)

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

The biggest thing for me is prioritizing my artwork.  It has to be on the top of my list, or I will whittle away my time with nonsense.  Getting a routine down really helps me too. After our girls are off to school and I've walked the dog, I make coffee and get to work.  If I put off painting until the afternoon... forget it!  It won't happen.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Most of my ideas come from my surroundings.  Whether it be when we are out sailing, walking about, volunteering at the dog shelter, watching our girls grow...

Dad and Daughter Beach Day
(click to view)

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

Striving to be better with each painting helps me as well as mixing it up.  I don't stick to one subject matter.  I paint what inspires me that day.  I always want to have fun and feel gratification from my work.  Once it becomes a chore, the spark is lost for me.

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

I am trying to loosen up a bit in my painting.   I want to be a little less realistic and a bit more impressionistic.

Thanks, Shari!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 10, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nicki Ault

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


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

From Nicki's DPW Gallery:

Like many, I have loved art my whole life, but for various reasons I have only recently begun to pursue this passion. In August 2009, as an exploration of this artistic side, I began my blog "Nicki Ault: Me, Myself And Who Am I?". In Dec. 2009 I was fortunate enough to join the St.George Ave. Artists' Group in Saskatoon and happily set up my first studio space. In 2013 the building was sold and we had to move. Three months later a new studio location was established with eleven Saskatoon artists; I have been painting at Studio On 20th since early 2014. It has truly become a home away from home. I love working in the studio, but I am a huge fan of painting en plein air, in particular, I love painting in the northern Boreal forest of Saskatchewan. My 8" x 8" original oil paintings are carried exclusively by Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. My work can be found in private collections in Canada, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.A. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I turned thirty, I realized I didn’t want to let any more time pass without pursuing my love of art, so I actually started out by taking figure drawing classes. Two years later, I decided it was time to start painting so I chose to immerse myself in a week long class at a campus in northern Saskatchewan (Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus) using acrylics for the first time. I really didn’t know what I was doing; I didn’t even know what gesso was or why it was on my supply list. I learned a lot from the group critique sessions, discovered plein air painting and loved the instructor, but unfortunately I didn’t gain much technical help. Rather than feeling defeated, I came home with a burning desire to learn more and I immediately signed up for a technical painting class.

Road Closed
(click to view)

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

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

Yes. After two years of taking several classes to learn more about painting with acrylics, I discovered I was having my first baby. Once he arrived in 2002, painting was put on the back-burner and after his brother arrived in 2004 it was put on the back burner’s back burner! Being a new mother pretty much consumed me and I was very sleep deprived, so making art just seemed too impossible energy-wise. I ended up being away from art for five years until my husband encouraged me to return to the northern Saskatchewan art campus in 2007. That experience was transformative for me; I realized I had been ignoring a vital side of myself and one way or another art had to become a priority. Since then, there have been minor breaks in my painting journey, but I think they have just been the ebb and flow of a creative life.

The Ceremony of Fall
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Mediums: graphite, charcoal, oil pastels, acrylic and oil paint
Genres: figure/portraits, landscapes, floral still lifes, abstract reflections

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

My main love is landscape painting- it has definitely stuck- and I seem to reach for my oils way more than acrylics now.

Golden Reflection, Lynx Lake
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I feel like my entire foray into floral still lifes was exploratory- the subject (flowers), the medium (I layered oil paint and oil pastels over acrylic washes!) and the support (terraskin paper). I feel like I have some unfinished business and would like continue to experiment with these ideas.

Who or what inspires you most?

My kids certainly inspire me to keep trying to make this art thing happen. I could make a very long list of who inspires me and it would include musicians and authors, but for the sake of a focused answer, I will say that I have been most significantly inspired by early 20th century Canadian painters Tom Thomson (my favourite) and the Group of Seven (especially A.Y. Jackson and Fred Varley). However, I am perhaps most inspired by the artists in my community- the “real” people I know who are actively engaged in making art and bravely sharing their work with the outside world. It is not an easy thing to do. My beloved Saskatchewan landscape provides endless inspiration for new paintings; the northern boreal forest, fresh lakes, big skies, open prairies and wild grasslands. Most recently my studio mate’s new acreage has inspired a whole new series that has me very excited about painting!

On the Edge of Canola
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Scanning social media, chatting with my studio mate, eating Lindt Sea Salt dark chocolate bars.

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

Actually scheduling in painting time on the family calendar. Occasionally, sending lunch to school with my kids (rather than feeding them at home) so that I can spend longer stretches of time at the studio.

The Descent
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas come to me by getting out into the landscape- drives in the country, hikes in the forest or on prairie trails, and even boat rides in the summer! I take tons of photos to use as resource back at the studio.

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

Hmmmm, I am not sure I have always been successful at this. When things feel stale or forced (this happened earlier this year) I have learned to allow myself to take a break from creating so I can recharge. Instead, I look at art books, visit with friends to “talk art”, I go out and experience the landscape to practice “seeing”… and I take naps!

Flutter By
(click to view)

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

Right now, I am learning to use neutrals in order to make colour really pop and I am experimenting with different layering and scratching effects in my underpaintings. I think right now I am learning to be more focused on the process of painting rather than being focused on the outcome.

What makes you happiest about your art?


That when I am making my art I feel like the most authentic me I know.

Thanks, Nicki!


© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 3, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gilles Poulizac

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

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

Special note: This interview has been translated from French.

From Gilles' DPW Gallery:

A French painter born in 1970, I am a graduate of Fine Arts in 1999. I live and teach painting at Vannes in Brittany. I teach concepts of values, composition, light being important to make a "good painting" but it must also expresses spontaneity. I simplify the forms for an optimal atmosphere; "suggestion rather than detailing." (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting in a place called Saint Maur in Paris. I was a teenager and passionate about painting.

Wood Boat
(click to view)

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

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

Once I caught the virus, I never stopped painting.

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

I started by drawing a lot! My Fine Arts education emphasized the practice of drawing. I tried acrylic and collage but found that the mediums most suitable for me are watercolors and oil. I prefer oil for its "passages", its cast, its impasto. Watercolor allows me to work easily.

La Mobe Bleue
(click to view)

Right now, I practice mostly watercolor. I try to work in the studio, to translate the themes I usually find with oil. I watch a lot watercolor artists who are on the front stage (Joseph Zbukvic, David Taylor, Jhon Vardley, etc.) They are very inspiring.

Village
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

In fact, I'm a real sponge. Many painters inspire me and influence in my work. My favorite has long been Edward Hopper. I also look up enormously to impressionist painters, Edgar Degas, Wislow Homer, and John Sargent.

À la Cuisine
(click to view)

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

I like to approach painting full of different themes to avoid monotony.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Light especially will trigger the subject, object or landscape work.

Fauteuil
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

It is the intoxicating side! I listen to music while painting in my studio. When everything works, it seethes, I cast off and I paint without difficulties, it's almost like an innate gesture.

Thanks, Gilles!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 27, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Natasha Ramras

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

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

From Natasha's DPW Gallery:

Natasha Ramras has been interested in art since she was a little child. She has a formal art education, but for a number of years was more focused on raising a family and her career. After learning to draw, sculpt and paint using a variety of mediums, she has chosen oil as her most favorite material. She loves painting water: any water, just about, and is fascinated by reflections. She is trying to paint every day.

Natasha has exhibited her paintings in Delaware and Wisconsin. Now she lives in Portland and paints the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She loves to travel and finds inspiration everywhere she goes. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I finished a four-year art school when I was in high school. We learned the basics of drawing, painting, art history and sculpture among other things. I enjoy the creative process, but did not think this was my life’s calling. I have been working full time in a fairly technical job, mostly with numbers, and over the course of my work career have been drawn to the creative process to keep myself balanced. I painted when my kids were little, and off and on for years. Reading Carol’s book on daily painting, her own success and that of the fellow artists that she has watched over the years have spurred my interest in art again. I was not looking at art as something requiring long periods of “down time coupled with a lot of inspiration”, so I decided to give it a try and it certainly is working for me.

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

Yes, multiple ones over the years. I was lucky enough to get represented by a gallery twenty years ago, but could not keep up with the production requirements. At that time, I truly believed in “getting into the zone and finding inspiration” during my paining sessions. Unfortunately, those moments were rare and far between.

A Dog
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love all of the mediums with color – watercolor, pastel, oil. I have done a lot of drawing too and like charcoal for its softness, but mostly I enjoy color in my work.

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

I am still trying to decide! I enjoy all three – oils for my ability to control the medium and correct mistakes, watercolor for being uncontrollable and for its transparency and pastel for its brilliant colors. I find my paintings being the brightest in pastel. Each medium has its challenges and rewards and the differences between them keep my interest up.

Cold!
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I feel like there is still quite a bit to learn in each of the mediums. Eventually, I would like to learn how to control the watercolor and make it look effortless and uncontrolled at the same time.

Who or what inspires you most?

I absolutely love the work of Alvaro Castagnet, Joseph Zbukvic and Mary Whyte in watercolor. I am inspired by all of the great landscape painters, Charles Palmer, a local northwest artist, Clyde Aspevig, Scott Christensen, Sorolla and great Russian painters, like Repin, Levitan and Aivasovsky.

Horses
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Waiting until 6-7PM to start painting daily, even if I had had the time earlier in the day would be an example. Also, sometimes I take breaks when the work is especially stressful and I feel drained in the evening. I have observed that if I force myself to paint on those days, I love every second of it, get a good product at the end and feel much more refreshed after I paint. Sometimes, making an excuse and not painting is just too easy.

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

I set an expectation that I have to finish the painting before my family can watch TV in the evenings on work days, so I have roped my family to be my “nagging support system” to get me going and not procrastinate.

Lavender Field
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I love painting everything I see. Ideas have never been an issue – I get fascinated with the simplest things and have more ideas than I can put on paper. One of the recent examples includes a painting of a leaf on concrete – I saw it on my way from the office to the car after work that day. The shadow pattern was so interesting that I had to paint it. My challenge to myself was to make that painting glow to represent the low autumn sun.

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

For me, switching between mediums helps to keep me engaged and interested. This is a great way for me to deal with failed paintings too – I just walk away and switch the medium and do something entirely different. I also love painting water—in any medium, of any kind, except brackish. It is very meditative for me to paint water. I am also lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, with waterfalls, rivers, lakes, mountains and easy access to the Great Pacific. I think the Pacific Northwest is a landscaper’s heaven! Finding endless water subjects is not very difficult.

Fascination with the Smallest Wonders
(click to view)

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

I am taking classes at the local art college in drawing—both a classical approach to drawing and figure drawing. I really like getting the refresher course in the basics and learning new, sharper skills. I believe solid drawing skills make the foundation for the work with paint that I love so much and sharpen my observation skills. The biggest challenges for myself I set is to try representing the light to make the paintings glow.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I really enjoy the process itself and what it does to my perception of the world. Painting process is very calming and meditative for me. When I paint, I forget about the rest of the world and get to play with colors, what better activity could one ask for? It brings out the child in me. Painting helps me see the world differently, brighter, more rose-colored and beautiful. I look around and am in awe of the beauty I am surrounded with. I want to paint it all, catch the fleeting moment and let everyone else see how beautiful the world is!

Thanks, Natasha!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 20, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Cory Proulx

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

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

From Cory's DPW Gallery:

Cory Proulx is a local artist living in Oakville, Ontario. After realizing art was his true passion, Cory led on to achieve a higher education in the arts studying at Sheridan College facility of Animation, Arts and Design, graduating with a Diploma in Visual and Creative Arts. He is currently pursuing a BAA in Illustration at Sheridan College. Cory's objective is to create beautiful oil paintings primarily working with "wet into wet" techniques. He explores not only with his brush but also with a wide variety of materials to create interesting and intricate marks for the viewer to interpret.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting?

I tended to lean towards drawing as a kid and this followed through high school. I would say I didn’t actually start painting until my first year at Art College, which would be roughly about five years ago. Once I began taking classes and learning the fundamentals of painting, I simply got hooked and began to get more and more involved in the process. After two years, I graduated with a diploma in Visual and Creative arts and realized quickly that I wanted to continue to progress as an artist and take it more seriously. From that day forward, I decided that I would pursue my dream of way day becoming a professional artist. I am now currently in my third year studying Illustration for my bachelors degree at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario Canada.

The Receding Five
(click to view)

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

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

Yes of course, painting can definitely be seen as a love hate relationship but in the end I always come back to it for more. I would have to say the fine art side of my work tends to slow down during the school year for that a lot of my attention and focus weighs heavily on producing illustrative content. Although that slows down, drawing and painting never stops for me for that I’m always applying it towards some type of work.

Still Life
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

This is a hard question to answer for that I have experimented so much over the years and never stop experimenting with new materials. I find it very important as an artist to experiment for that's how you continue to progress, grow and find new means towards your work and mark-making. To list a few traditional mediums and genres I’ve experimented with: gouache, gouache resist, acrylic, oil, ink, watercolor, charcoal, pastels, gesso, gold leaf, lino, print making, screen printing, sculpture, film, animation, wood working and the list could go on. Then on the digital side of things, I’m constantly learning and working in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After effects and Cinema 4D.

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

I wouldn’t say any of them have actually “fallen away” for that they all have their place and purpose and I indeed to continue to use them where they are needed. I could say that I tend to use gouache, acrylic, watercolor, oil, charcoal or digital tools on a daily basis.

Steeped Tea
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Any medium that I cross paths with.

Who or what inspires you most?

I highly enjoy getting out when I can and going to museums, galleries and independent shows to look at artwork in person. A painting or piece of art viewed in person rather than over the computer can truly be a life changing experience and I would encourage more people to do this as well. I also get really inspired when being out in the wilderness, camping or at a cottage, exploring the land and lakes by hiking and canoeing. To end on a high note, being in school surrounded by friends, students, and instructors that are constantly pushing themselves to work harder, produce amazing work and content is truly one of the best forms of inspiration I can find.

What does procrastination look like for you?

During the school year, to be honest, there isn’t much time to procrastinate for that the work load and deadlines are very overwhelming so you're constantly working on things. I am, though, a huge believer in try, try and then try again if something isn’t working, but if all falls apart I’ve learned to simply take a break. When it does come around, it really helps having a dog to distract you and pull you away from work; I also just really enjoy hanging out with my dog haha.

Loose Pumpkin
(click to view)

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

I’m not sure if I actually have a technique for this; I just feel the need to be constantly working on something. If there was something I could say, it’s simply developing better time management for everyday activities so that you are able to produce work at some point in the day.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It’s honestly always different, it could be the mood I’m in or the mood I want to portray in the painting. For still life paintings, a lot of the time I enjoy coming up with themes so that I can attach or create a story for the viewer to interpret.

Floral No. 2
(click to view)

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

Going back and forth from fine art to illustration really helps to create a balance in my artwork, although in some ways they can be linked together. I tend to work on one or the other for a long period of time, and then I switch it up so that I don’t get burnt out from either and then when new ideas come about they continue to stay clear and fresh. I would also like to say that getting a regular amount of sleep helps me stay in tune but unfortunately I’m not one to talk for that I don’t have much of a normal sleep schedule.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I simply love to draw, paint and tell stories.

Thanks, Cory!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 13, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Anja Berliner

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

To enter to win Anja's painting, "086 Mantelwetter" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Anja's DPW Gallery:

She was born in the sixties in Saarbruecken/Germany near the french border and graduated at the University of Arts Berlin.

With the daily paintings Anja Berliner just started in July 2016. She loves the unspectacular moments of the daily life in Berlin. And raspberry cake. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I can't remember when I began. As child I assume. Seriously, I started painting three months ago.

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

Yes and no. I painted about one picture in four years. Then this year in July, I began with daily painting. But drawing I practiced very much and continuously over the years.

086 Mantelwetter
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have drawn with graphite, colored pencils, fineliner, charcoal and have painted with watercolors, gouache, acrylics, oil painting, oil pastel. I printed with screen, linoleum, etching, stencils and experimented with machine embroidery.

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

Acrylics have stuck, as well as watercolors and oil painting. Charcoal and red chalk have definitely fallen away. I hate the noise they make on the paper and the dust and smear all over.

068 Mops
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I look forward to exploring oil painting.

Who or what inspires you most?

The interplay of sunlight and shadow, colors, every day things like the subway and the coffee, working people and pastries. And of course wonderful artists such as Wayne Thiebauld, Andy Warhol, Xenia Hausner, Carol Marine, David Shevlino and so many more.

082 Die schwarze Tasche
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Many works in progress and not finished.

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

Wanting to show my daily paintings on my blog forces me to paint.

064 Die blaue Tür
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint what I love or what touches my mind.

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

When painting, I think about how much I love the smell and the colors and the light and the noise. I try to be IN the situation like an actor who IS the person he plays in that moment. About the avoidance of burnout, I can't say anything yet. I just began the daily painting three months ago.

063 Himbeerkuchen No.5
(click to view)

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

Not to struggle with the whether and why at each new painting. Since I decided to do my daily paintings, I don't question it. I just do it. At least for one year. That saves a lot of energy.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The shining of the colors. The smell of the brush cleaner. And the miracle when I paint abstract strokes with the blind confidence of a sailor on the high seas and suddenly it turns indeed into a raspberry cake.

Thanks, Anja!

© 2016 Sophie Marine