Thursday, June 25, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: H.F. Wallen

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

To enter to win H.F.'s painting, "Beautiful Eyes" 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:

Growing up, art was a form of escapism discovered at a very early age.  I don't remember a time when I didn't draw, paint and sculpt whenever possible.  Even if all there was was mud, I found a way to impose some design or image with it.  In school, I was the kid sitting at the back of the class drawing on the margins of my workbook instead of doing the assignment.

I sold my first piece in fifth grade - it was a clay sculpture of a unicorn; I think I got $20.00 for it.  When I was young, I nearly always received encouragement for my art, so attending college as an art major came as a bit of a shock.  Don't get me wrong, no one came out and told me I didn't have talent, but, the prevalent message was, "Don't do what you're doing, do something else."  So I changed career paths, and gradually packed away my art supplies.

Beautiful Eyes
(click to see original image)

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

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

A few years ago I hit a couple of significant bumps with work and I began to reconsider art as an option.  I did a search for drawing classes in my area, just something to get my feet wet... Instead I found a beginning oil painting class at the Classical Art Academy in Boulder, CO.  Best decision I ever made!  For the first time ever, I had found an instructor who taught what I needed to know; basically how to paint the way I envisioned my paintings should look.  Mostly it was just good basic materials and tools information, but Michelle Philip is also an incredibly kind teacher with a good eye for seeing what needs to be fixed.

About two years ago, I made the decision to move to Iowa to free up time and resources to concentrate on my art.  Since then, I have received several awards at local artist shows, and had a show featuring my paintings at the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake, IA.  Last fall I decided to give Daily Paintworks a try and things have been going really well since - nothing is as encouraging as finding people who really appreciate your art!

Pike Place Market Entertainment
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oil paint has definitely become my medium of choice, I love the color intensity and versatility. I've tried, but I don't have the patience for watercolor, and acrylic paint always seems sticky to me.  As for other art mediums, I have to be careful; I'm kind of an art supply junky, every time I see some new product or or new twist on an old one, I want to try it! I actually had to pack up all my non-oil-painting paraphernalia and store it in the garage to keep from getting distracted.

Who or what inspires you most? 

For inspiration, I look at a lot of other artists' work: Jill Soukup, Qiang Huang, Tibor Nagy, Elena Katsyura, the list could go on and on... I seem to fight a constant battle to stay loose in my own work, so viewing artwork that has a sense of mystery to it helps remind me what I'm aiming for.

Lake Isabel
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?  How do you keep art “fresh”?  What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I'm easily distracted so procrastination is an issue. TV is the worst; the minute I turn it on I forget everything I wanted to get done, so I try not to turn it on. Basically, I'm learning that it's true, if you paint every day you get better.  I don't manage to paint quite that often, but I'm working on it.  I have discovered that if I go too long without painting, it takes a lot longer to get back into it and do anything that isn't complete garbage.

Green Eyes
(click to see original image)

The flip side to this is that avoiding burnout gets tougher, painting small helps, most days I can finish something in one sitting, other days - nothing comes out right and I have to stop and walk away to preserve my sanity.  If I just feel stuck, I pick up a pallet knife instead of a brush - some of my best paintings have been done almost entirely with a knife.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Finding ideas for paintings isn't usually a problem, finding time to paint even a fraction of the images I want to capture is the real challenge.  I have thousands of photos to work from, and I want to add still life and plein air painting this year - I have my pochade box all packed and ready to go!

Willow Creek Bridge
(click to see original image)
What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?  What makes you happiest about your art?

I love painting. It can be incredibly frustrating, and it's never easy, but however the end result turns out, I've still accomplished something. I'm always learning, always seeing new things that would make a great composition. I just hope that I can keep that going, but I have so far to go, I can't really imagine an end.

Thanks, H.F.

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, June 18, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alex Warnick

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

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

From Alex's DPW Gallery Page:

Hi! I'm a natural history artist from southern Indiana. Ever since I was a kid I've had the desire to draw and paint nature so that I could bring the "outdoors" inside and surround myself with the things that fascinate me. I graduated with an art degree from Brigham Young University Idaho with an emphasis in scientific illustration, and now I get to spend every day combining two of my favorite things, painting and the natural world! Life is good! (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting:

As early as my memories go, I remember painting and drawing.  I used to sit next to my older brothers as they drew pictures on poster boards for school reports and copy every pencil stroke. Under their tutelage I learned to draw cardinals, giant squid, turtles, etc.  From then on I was always playing artist, cutting out cardboard frames complete with plastic wrap “glass” for my drawings.  The same passion for art continued through high school and into college.  Now I get to play artist for real, and it’s the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

Kiskadee
(click to see original image)

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

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

Having recently graduated from college with an art degree, I have no stops under my belt.  Just one exciting start!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

For years I painted with watercolors and oils.  Only in the past six months have I switched to acrylics, and I love the medium.  In college I began as a landscape painter, switched to figurative painting, and then finally settled on a scientific illustration emphasis.

North American Nuthatches
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most? 

Ever since I was a kid I have been surrounded by people who are fascinated with nature.  I remember my dad transforming a room of our house into a model of the local ecosystem (complete with a fish tank featuring the flora and fauna of a nearby river, dragon fly larva that hatched and flew free in the house, and frogs that found their way into adjacent bedrooms…it was short-lived).  Like my dad I also have a desire to bring nature inside and surround myself with the things that fascinate me, but instead of fish tanks, I use fine art.  Over the years it has become a passion that has transformed into a lifetime pursuit.  That’s why I paint.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Bird watching!

North American Eiders
(click to see original image)

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

For me it’s important to have a system of accountability.  I find it’s helpful for me to have a blog or an Instagram account or Facebook account that features my art.  If for no other reason than it compels me to constantly create new artwork for the sake of those following what I do.  It’s also a wonderful way to receive feedback during the creation process.  Nothing gives me a greater boost of motivation than when I learn someone loves what I’m creating!

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I’m constantly combining different elements in nature, a certain flower or a certain tree with a certain bird, etc. until a light bulb goes off and an idea for a painting is born.  It’s usually a combination of colors that inspires me first.

Wood Duck Hen
(click to see original image)

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

I’m constantly trying to paint something that perfectly expresses the aesthetic message I have to share with the world.  What makes painting exciting is that I don’t fully know what that aesthetic message is yet.  It motivates me to keep experimenting and keep progressing.  Some day I’ll put my paintbrush down at the end of a painting and give myself a high five because I finally did it!

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

Gamut masks, light-fastness in pigments, and painting mediums.

Melospiza Sparrows
(click to see original image)
What makes you happiest about your art?

One time my sister said to me, “You can’t have a Wood Duck.  You just can’t.  But you can paint a Wood Duck.  And then you have one.”  My art is my way to collect all the things I love in nature, and make them mine.  It brings me a lot of happiness to have the ability to do that, and to be able to help all the other people out there who have seen the loveliness of a Wood Duck and just wished they could have one.

Thanks, Alex!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, June 11, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Suzanne Woodward

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

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


From Suzanne's DPW Gallery Page:

I have lived most of my life along the coast of Maine. I love the ocean with its jutting ledges, desolate beaches in winter, crashing waves, and raging storms. All provide a mood to be captured or a story to tell. I am inspired by the natural beauty found "right in my own backyard." I enjoy exploring and translating these the beautiful scenes that are part of my everyday life into paintings. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I've liked drawing ever since I was a kid, but never did much with it until I was a young adult. I did some traveling while taking a break from college and lived in New Orleans for a while. I would go down to Jackson Square everyday and hang out with the artists. I even tried my hand at "face painting" during Mardi Gras and made money doing it. I had a lot of fun and when I got back into school, I switched my major to art. My grades immediately improved because I had found my passion and I was on my way. It's been my true North ever since. 


Marshland in Spring
(click to see original image)

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

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

It hasn't always been on the front burner for me, but I've been able to do it in some capacity along the way. In my 20s, I worked full time and took the occasional night class. In my 30s, I got married and had kids. I had this grand idea that I would "get lots of painting done" while the kids took their naps. Of course, that didn't happen, but still I managed to take workshops and classes which helped me to keep my brushes wet, so to speak. As my kids got older, I found myself with more time and energy freed up for my art. Then I started going on painting retreats along the Maine coast.  In the last five years, I've worked on getting my art out into the community and have had numerous shows in my area. I honestly feel as though I'm just getting started. I'm really excited to see what happens next. 


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I've worked in printmaking, photography, drawing, collage, oil painting and watercolors.

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

I took an oil painting class in college and struggled badly. Nothing I did worked out. I had more immediate success when I took a watercolor class and was much happier with the results. So I spent the next 25 years painting with that medium. I switched to acrylics a few years ago and haven't looked back. I'm getting the color saturation and intensity with acrylics that I just was not able to get with watercolor and I'm having a lot more fun.

The Island Way
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to give oils another chance. I was so frustrated with the medium in college but that was a long time ago and I've learned so much since those days. I think I could actually do something with oils now. 


Who or what inspires you most?

I love the effects of sunlight as it moves over the landscape.  Living in Maine and having access to beautiful scenery along the coast is incredibly motivating to me. I especially resonate with Monhegan Island and make it a point to get out there every summer. I also love the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I've had some great workshop instructors too - Carl Schmalz, Carlton Plummer, Guy Corriero and Don Andrews. Lastly, having a core group of artist friends to paint with has been important to me over the years - it's a lot of fun to gather and paint.  


On the Way to Monhagen
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Facebook!


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

At first, I carved out time for painting by taking a class. That guaranteed that I would get 3 hours in per week, at the very least. That's when my children were young. As they got into middle school, I declared Wednesday mornings as my painting time in addition to my weekly class. It doesn't sound like much, but I was consistent and produced a lot of paintings when I followed that schedule. Like anything else, it's a matter of making it a habit. Now I paint almost everyday. Joining dailypaintworks.com also made a big difference for me. I don't post every day, but I am painting a lot more because I love uploading my work and getting feedback from other members. I love doing the challenges too. One of my favorites was the "Donut Challenge". I went down to The Cookie Jar and bought my favorite treat - a cream-filled, raspberry turnover. Painting it was fun, but eating it was even better!

Winter Afternoon
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I enjoy painting on site, but with my schedule, I can't always get outdoors. I always carry a camera and when I see something that looks intriguing, I take a ton of pictures. I take photos almost everyday. Having a lot of reference material available keeps the ideas coming.


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

I love taking workshops and classes. I get so much from watching someone else paint - I study how they apply the paint, how they mix color, how they make brushstrokes, how they "solve problems", what their process is and what their thinking is. Looking through art books is another motivator for me - it gives me a fresh perspective on what's possible.



Manana Island - Noon
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning to get bolder with color and tackle new subject matter. I aspire to say a lot with a little, but still have a long way to go. Over the past few years I've been learning how to integrate my art into social media outlets. DPW has been instrumental in that department. I love the community here and the support we have. The thought of building a website has always been daunting to me, but having a site on DPW has given me the confidence to move forward online. I've recently created an FB page, a website is in construction (finally!) and I have joined Twitter. 



What makes you happiest about your art?

I love how I feel when I'm involved in a painting. I don't think about anything else. Time slips by and I'm totally engaged. Of course, it doesn't always go smoothly and I'm not always happy with my results, but when I'm successful, it's an incredible feeling. There is really nothing else like it.

Thanks, Suzanne!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, June 4, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patty Voje

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

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

From Patty's DPW Gallery Page:

I grew up on a small hobby farm in rural Cottage Grove, Minnesota, where I developed a love for farm animals and nature - two of my favorite subjects to paint. My real job is Creative Director and President of Spot Communications. I like spending my free time "unplugged", oil painting as often as possible. In an effort to become a better painter in 2015, I'm challenging myself to crank out 200 paintings, which I'm finding is no small feat while holding down a full-time job, but I'm determined. :) (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I've always loved art. I have an amazingly bad painting of Elton John that I did in 7th grade, :)

Summer Chicken
(click to see original image)

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

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

I've never allowed myself to consider art as a career. I took the more practical path of "designer". After art school, I got a job in advertising and pretty much walked away from fine art until my late thirties. Then I'd get too busy with work and take more time off. A few years ago, I finally returned and currently I'm painting more than I ever have before. Though I work full time, I'm determined to become a better painter, and the only way I can do that is to churn out a ton of paintings. So, that's what I've been doing - painting every day.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I tried watercolor but found it too unforgiving. I've also tried acrylic, but really prefer the buttery feel of oil painting. I also flunked a pottery class once.

Agnes
(click to see original image)

What are you looking forward to exploring?

I really admire painters that have mastered architecture. I'd love to be able to take on more complex compositions. I have a painting trip to Italy planned for next fall, I'm hoping to work on my street scenes skills before I go!

Who or what inspires you most? 

I've always been inspired by artists such as Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn. I also have to add Rosa Bonheur to that list - that lady could really paint farm animals! Which brings me to farm animals. I grew up on a hobby farm and farm animals will always have a special place in my heart. That explains why so many cows make their way onto my canvas.

I'm also inspired everyday by the art I see on Daily Paintworks. There's a lot of amazing talent out there and I love to bask in the genius of others. Lastly, I have to say, my mother. I'm the youngest of nine kids. My mother used to set up her small metal easel and tackle a painting with 9 kids under foot. My memory of her is a constant reminder that I'm capable of accomplishing more in a day than I think I can. :)

Don't Fence Me In
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't procrastinate when it comes to painting, I have just a small window everyday to paint. I look forward to it too much. I never take that time for granted.

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

I read the book "Daily Rituals of Artists" and realized that most people just need 2 to 3 hours a day to really accomplish their artistic goals. I've also given up housework and TV, that frees up a wealth of time!

Princess Crabby Pants
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My paintings are either done on location or from photos that I have taken, so I take a lot of photos. I'm always on the lookout for a handsome herd of cows, a rolling hill or fresh bouquet.

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

I still consider myself new at this, so I'm always looking at different colors, brushwork and technique. I read a lot of art books, there's always new methods to try. My favorite is Alla Prima by Richard Schmid, not a cheap book to pick up, but worth every penny.

Puppy Love
(click to see original image)

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

After studying with teachers the past few years, I currently find myself, quite horrifyingly, learning on my own. I feel like I've taken off the training wheels and am learning to trust myself to build on what I've learned, incorporate what works for me and see what rules I can break. The Daily Paintworks site has been an immense help and source of inspiration for me.  I love seeing what others are doing. I love reading about their process. I also appreciate the feedback I've received on my work. It keeps me motivated. There's so much to learn, I'll never be done!

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the process. I'm happiest painting. Sometimes paintings work, sometimes they don't, but the process of painting is definitely my happy place. :) I also love hearing from people who have purchased a painting. A woman who recently purchased a lilac painting shared a story of why lilacs mattered to her. It was a lovely note and made my day. It's wonderful to know your art is appreciated.

Thanks, Patty!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

Thursday, May 28, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Bhavna Sehgal

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

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

From Bhavna's DPW gallery page:

I was born and brought up in India. I did my Masters in computer Science. I took some initial art training in India during my graduation. Once I finished my college and got into a job, I stopped painting. I always had an interest in learning art, so I kept searching for local art classes but because of my job I could not do much. I came to the US in 2010 and I took a break of six months from my Job. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Art is ongoing learning process for me. I started painting in college and instantly fell in love with it. During college I used to take evening art classes. For the last three years, I've been taking online classes which helped me to find confidence in myself. I like to paint whatever inspires me, from nature to still life to landscapes.

Butterfly
(click to see original image)

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

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

I have had my share of stops and starts in my career as an artist. Once I started working as a software engineer, I almost didn't touch a paint brush for more than six years. Finally, I started taking some online art classes on the weekends and this put me back on track. Now I am committed to finishing a few paintings every week.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I think oil is my favorite medium. I also like to paint in watercolors and recently I started working in acrylic too.

Tomatoes in a Copper Colander
(click to see original image)

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

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

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I just want to do what I'm doing for now. I have so much to learn, and I want to improve myself more. In the future I would like to explore acrylic as well.

Sunny Side Up
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I get my inspiration from paintings and drawings that others have done as well as nature and various things around me. I am also inspired by the old masters' paintings. I like spending a day in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City or any other art museum.

What does procrastination look like for you?

My computer/phone is my biggest procrastination. It is a great aid in viewing other artist's work and can be a source of inspiration. But sometimes I lose track of the time I spend going through other artists' work.

Seashells
(click to see original image)

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

Well, I want to paint every day but sometimes it's not possible. I started following the rule of make x number of painting every week and I try to stick to that count. I also work on different sizes to make sure I get some of them finished quickly.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I browse through copyright free photographs from various websitse like morguefile, paintmyphoto, pixabay and also go through my library of photographs I have taken while visiting various places. I keep looking through them until I found some photograph which catches my eye to paint.

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

I am always looking for something different, something new to paint. Always try to challenge myself. I keep switching medium from oils to watercolor to acrylic.

Zebra
(click to see original image)

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

Learning never stops for an artist. I do lots of research before starting any painting. I spend a lot of time looking at art, analyzing it, learn from it.  Other than that, the biggest hurdle I have to learn is how to market myself better and how to believe in myself.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happy when I pick up a brush and when I start making progress on my project. I feel I am on the top of the world when I finish my work. Painting makes me feel so alive and I am fortunate to be able to paint.

Thanks, Bhavna!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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