Thursday, July 28, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Tammie Dickerson

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

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

From Tammie's DPW Gallery:

Tammie strives to capture the moments of life in graphite, oil, acrylic and now watercolor. Painting from life whenever possible, she is constantly transposing the scene before her onto her panels. Born in Kansas City and long time resident of the metropolitan area, this active local Missouri artist has won awards for her poignant portraits as well as her landscape work. She has attained numerous awards for her artwork in regional shows, One and Two Person Exhibitions, and juried competitions. Portraits from her masterful graphite series, "Mother and Child" are in private collections world wide. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first art memory is before I was in kindergarten!  I had drawn the vase full of flowers on my mom’s round, colonial table in front of the picture window in our living room.  I still remember the bright, south light as it flooded the room, the warmth of that sunlight on my legs and arms, as I studied that still life, choosing my colors from the crayon box.  The real thrill came when I gave my rendering to my mom - and she went bananas!  She was so excited that I thought, “Wow. I can really do something!”  And, that, was only the beginning of a life-long passion of all things artistic.

Sailing Lake Michigan
(click to view)

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

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

While in junior high and high school, I had to give up art for the select choirs.  Why do they make it one or the other in so many school districts?  I loved the social aspect of choir, so I did not take art again.  Looking back, I think I took it for granted.  I thought everybody could do this, and it was no big deal.  I always kept my hand in it, though.  I stopped painting in oils when the first three of our five children kept dragging their little fingers through my paintings!  I switched to acrylics, and then china paints, but didn’t get back to the oils until ten years ago.

It was very hard to juggle a family of seven and painting.  There were often times when I could not get back to the paints, but they continued to call out to me.  I started plein air painting while all five were still in the house!  Ranging from 18 to 3 years old, I was finally able to paint in spurts, taking the youngest ones with me when painting locally.  This has become easier as they have grown more independent.  My husband has been very supportive, picking up the slack, so I could get out and paint in the field. Teaching painting classes and workshops, helps to keep me in the paint when not in the field.

Roses in the Rain
(
click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oh my, maybe too many to list!  Oils, acrylics, watercolor batik on rice paper, watercolor, soft pastels, oil pastels, Chinese watercolor methods, pen and ink, graphite (perhaps my first real love), encaustics, flower pounding on muslin, china painting (I taught this for many years), pigmented ink and even sculpting!  Painting daily gives me such freedom to experiment!  If today’s method isn’t fabulous - I can always try something different tomorrow!  I like to mix it up to keep things fresh.

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

For plein air, I absolutely love the oils, and sometimes I use acrylics and watercolor in the field.  For studio work, I let the whim take me where it will.  I started pen and ink just this January, and I have found a new love!  Graphite portraiture will always be my soul soothing medium, and oils, acrylics and watercolors are constant companions at my studio easel.  I jump into the watercolor batiks on rice paper every so often, and I love how uncontrollable they are!  The mediums that linger in the background for me are the pastels.  I never did get a good hold on the oil pastels, and because of the dusty nature of the soft pastels, I tend to avoid them as a health hazard - though I adore paintings done in this media.

Light in the Valley
(
click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

For me, it is the beauty that surrounds me every day.  Starting with the first light I see spreading in from the east to the last light setting in the west, I see paintings everywhere!  I am so fortunate to live in the country where there is an amazing view in all directions.  The real challenge is to focus on just one painting, and to juggle that with my very busy schedule!

What does procrastination look like for you?

Like so many other women, I have always felt that my many chores had to be complete, before I could lift a brush.  Some days are so very full, that my first opportunity to paint does not come until late at night, when the rest of the house has gone to sleep.  I often trade sleep for painting!

Sweet Baby
(
click to view)

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

In January 2013, I answered a challenge from Leslie Saeta to paint daily for 30 days.  That simple, seemingly impossible challenge started me on a daily painting adventure that has not stopped.  That was nearly 1300 days ago.  I have finished a painting every day, through times of my dad being hospitalized due to grave illness, the marriage of our oldest son, and birth of one of the grandbabies who was in the NICU for some time.  So, when I feel like not painting, I just remember the really challenging times that I have been able to paint through, and somehow,  I just can't miss a day, simply because “I don’t feel like it”!  Starting that challenge made me accountable in a way I never imagined, and I have experienced so much growth because of it.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

There are more things that I want to paint, than I will ever be able to paint.  Everywhere I look, is a painting.  I am especially inspired by all things living. Often, even the hues of inanimate objects call out to me as well.  Any subject that stirs my soul is a painting, just waiting drop off my brush.

Grazing at Green Dirt Farm
(click to view)

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

Lately, the way warm and cool colors play together in the landscape is drawing my focus.  I am spending more time looking at the subtle color shifts on land and in the skies, ever on a journey towards perfect expression.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Just picking up a brush, pulling in through that thick, buttery paint, and letting a painting evolve.  The simple, tactile act of painting is sheer joy.

Thanks, Tammie!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Phil Couture

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

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

From Phil's DPW Gallery:

Phil Couture is a realist painter currently residing in Kyoto, Japan. Born in Quebec, Canada, Phil's appreciation and interest in art developed early on as a child growing up in Lakeland, Florida. Exploring new cultures becomes a running theme in Phil's work. "I enjoy painting and drawing what piques my interest, which usually includes visiting cultures from around the world." Whether it's painting geisha from Japan, holy men from Nepal, or the rocky shores of Greece, Phil enjoys exploring the exotic and the interesting. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting:

I have been drawing and painting my entire life, but didn't begin painting with oils until around 18 years old.  Before then, I painted with acrylics and occasionally with watercolors.  I was always intimidated by oil paint, but after experimenting and practicing, I soon realized just how versatile it is.  It is definitely my favorite medium to work with, but I also enjoy ink, graphite and charcoal.  

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

Since I was a child, I always dreamed of being an animator, but as I entered my high school years, I began feeling less and less like that was the right path for me.  I continued taking art classes, hoping to do something in the art field, but was discouraged by the lack of realism being taught at my school. I gave up on art as a career and eventually stopped drawing and painting altogether.  It wasn't until I got a job at an animal clinic in 2003 with fellow artists Tony Corbitt and Aaron Corbitt that I began drawing and painting for pleasure again.  I would draw animals from life for hours each day and also studied the works of the Old Masters.  This was definitely a rebirth for my love of art.  I began seriously studying art history and developed my skills by drawing from life as well as doing master copies and Bargue drawings in the same vein as classical ateliers. Eventually, Tony Corbitt and I started offering commissioned portraits of clients' pets. After a few years in the pet portrait business, I began offering original work at local galleries and started focusing less on commission work and more on originals.

Autumn Morning
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried many different mediums over the years including color pencil, clay, watercolor, acrylic, and drypoint etching.  When I began offering pet portraits, I only offered graphite, ink and color pencil, but as clients asked for larger and larger portraits, I soon realized that paint would be more efficient for covering larger surface areas. I used to use acrylic paint frequently, but never liked how fast it dried. I forced myself to try oil painting and over time and after many hours of practice, it became my go-to medium of choice. I love the range of transparency and opacity it can achieve as well as the way it handles.

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

The mediums I primarily use now are oil paint, graphite, charcoal, and ink.  I rarely use color pencil and haven't used acrylic paint for several years.  Graphite and ink are my favorites for drawing from life or doing thumbnail sketches.  I've found oil paint to be the most effective medium for what I want to achieve with a plein air or studio piece.  If I want thick texture I can take out a palette knife and go thick and if I want a flat, print-like effect I can thin it out and go as thin as watercolor. I also enjoy the vibrancy and blendability of oil paint.

Erawan Marigolds
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really want to try Indian ink as well as wood block printing.  I live in Japan and woodblock printing is still a very popular art form.  Traditionally, there have always been several artists associated with all the different steps in Japanese woodblock printing (the artists, block carver, printer) and I would love to try each one.  I would also like to get back into watercolor painting as I love the effects it can achieve. I think it would be great to offer a wide variety of mediums in my artwork.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by other artists both past and present.  The artists of the 19th century are the most inspiring to me.  The variety of styles and themes out of Europe, America and Asia during that time is incredible and definitely what I consider the "Golden Age" of art. I am also inspired by the city of Kyoto, Japan, where I currently live.  As the former capital of Japan and the center of traditional Japanese crafts, Kyoto is beautiful and one of my favorite cities in the world.  The city is beaming with artists that take great pride and discipline in their craft and always consider themselves students of their art, even into old age.  A simple bike ride through the city is enough to make me want to begin a new piece.

Katsutomo Tonal Study
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

In my studio, I usually like to work on a couple of paintings at a time, but sometimes I get distracted and excited about a new painting and become uninterested in finishing older pieces.  Procrastination for me looks like 10 or more unfinished paintings collecting dust that I "hope" to finish one day and end up piling up in the corner of the room.

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

My studio is in my home, so I realized a long time ago that I needed to be disciplined and adhere to a schedule for creating art.  Trying to go about my day and squeezing in art here and there wasn't working for me and I found that I couldn't focus and my artwork would suffer. My daily schedule isn't super strict, but it does consist of setting a routine in the morning, afternoon and evenings for marketing, creating art, downtime, grocery shopping, etc.   My wife and I now have a baby, so a daily schedule is more important than ever!


Gion Shirakawa
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint what inspires me and I am particularly fascinated with world cultures. I love painting exotic people and places that I've encountered during my travels.  Flipping through art books or going to a gallery is a great way to get ideas for compositions and themes.  Listening to music also gives me ideas about the kind of mood I want a painting to have.    

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

The questions I ask before starting a new piece have always been: "Is this interesting?" and "Would I hang this in my house?"  If I'm not excited about a new painting I'm working on then I can't imagine how someone else could be.  Plus, if I I am not excited at the beginning stages of a painting, then chances are I'll get bored and never finish the piece. I try and complete my paintings fairly quickly to avoid getting bored. For small pieces I try finishing "alla prima" and for larger pieces I try to finish in a few days.  Looking through a collection of my own work also helps me see when I am just repeating myself and need to change themes, compositions, styles, color schemes, mediums, etc.

Heian Dance
(click to view)

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

I am trying to learn more about the Japanese philosophy of art.  Studying Japanese art has definitely influenced my work as I try and combine a Western painting style with Eastern themes.  "Wabi sabi" is an important aspect of Japanese aesthetics and deals with asymmetry, imperfection and simplicity. It is applied to many areas of Japanese arts and I hope to incorporate more of that philosophy into my work.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the idea of my paintings hanging in homes around the world. The ultimate compliment is when someone purchases a piece or several pieces of art from me. No matter how many paintings I sell, I will always be honored and extremely grateful when someone decides to choose my artwork to hang in their home or give to a friend.  It makes me happiest when a vision of mine can be conveyed onto canvas and then appreciated for many years.

Thanks, Phil!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 14, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Arti Chauhan

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

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

From Arti's DPW Gallery:

I am a self taught artist from India, now living in the United Kingdom. I love to paint all things living - be it people, animals or birds. Watercolor is my favorite medium but I love to experiment with my work. Previously having worked as an animator for two decades, now I am enjoying my life as a full time artist. Painting has given a meaning to my life, I can not imagine a day without painting. I hope you find joy in my art, too. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been an artist for as long as I remember. My first memory is being a student in the third grade, drawing faces and figures on the back of my notebook. With years, I came to understand the concept of portraits, and with some encouragement from my mom, I kept drawing more and more; mostly copying from magazines and newspapers. Painting came much later, when I was in high school. I remember not being at ease with watercolours initially. Oils suited my temperament better as I liked to paint in detail – for many years I only used Oil and Pencil.

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

Art has had a constant presence in my life - whether as a hobby or my job as a computer animator and illustrator. But my career as a professional artist took off only about five years ago when I moved to the United Kingdom from India. I met the head of our local art centre on my second day in the UK, showed him my work and asked for his opinion. He was kind enough to offer me a place to exhibit my works. Encouraged by my first exhibition in 2011, I decided to devote all my time to art and I haven’t looked back since. At times it is tough to depend on art as a career, but I have been fortunate to have my animal and wildlife paintings find buyers all over the globe.

Grey and White Finches
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Graphite pencils, pastel, oils, acrylics, watercolours - I have experimented with almost every medium. Initially, I used to do only figurative works and portraits which were detail oriented and realistic. In recent years, I have experimented more with impressionism, painting ‘loose’ and being less focused on realism. It works well for my animal paintings. It started with my first elephant artwork, which I quite enjoyed painting. It was greatly appreciated and I believe it was the first painting that I sold online. It paved the way for many, many more and while I still love painting animals, detail oriented work such portraits are still not completely out of the picture.

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

Watercolour is the medium that has got me hooked completely. I love the spontaneity, transparency and vibrancy of this medium. I am not working in pencils so much as I did earlier in my career. I think it has to do with the fact that I am no longer interested in creating hyper-realistic art. I would rather create a painting that evokes some emotion rather than a carbon copy of life.

A Happy Day Donkey
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to explore acrylics and oils once again very soon, using different techniques. I would also like to paint landscapes and cityscapes someday, perhaps indulge in plain air painting.

Who or what inspires you most?

I find my inspiration in nature and its creations. “Life” is the theme of my paintings, be it human face, figures or animals. Anything that lives, breathes and moves can become my subject. Even when I am painting abstracts, the theme revolves around nature - the sky, clouds, water, etc. When I feel uninspired, I browse through the works of other contemporary artists, who are working in the same media and genre as I am. Seeing work that is brilliant often inspires me to create brilliant artwork of my own.

Watchful the Emu
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I rarely fall victim to procrastination - mornings are a time I keep aside exclusively for painting and I follow this routine religiously. Still, sometimes I feel burnt out from a lack of change. I tackle this by taking a day off from painting, catch up on some reading and other chores and come back when I am refreshed.

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

I make it a point to paint for a few hours every day. I plan my day so that all the household tasks are taken care of before ten in the morning and I am free to spend next few hours with my paints. I would take a break now and then, do a bit of housework in between and that breaks the monotony of the day. Taking a walk mid-day often rejuvenates me as I work alone most of the time. I keep my late evenings to manage my website, blog and social media.

Umber Stripes Zebra
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I work mostly from photographs or memory. A visit to India often produces some great reference photographs for my portraits. For my animal paintings, I visit local National parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries frequently. These pictures are then my inspiration once I am back in my studio. I have a huge database of reference pictures and I would go through it all, waiting for the moment when something jumps out at me!

Sometimes people write to me and make suggestions about what they would like me to paint and that points me to new direction. Funnily enough, at times I do find some obscure ideas floating around in my head when I am half awake – usually between 5 and 6 in the morning; about what I am going to do that day. I cling on to them until it’s time to actually sit down and paint and it has actually led to a few beautiful paintings.

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

Watercolour is a medium that is fresh and spontaneous. My watercolour paintings tend to be quick so it does not get tedious. Still, I like to change track every now and then. Painting an acrylic or dabbling in pastels is just the way to see things in new perspective. Each Arti Chauhan medium behaves differently so you have to snap out of your comfort zone and take a different approach with each of them.

Purple Mist
(click to view)

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

As a self-taught artist, I have to keep learning constantly. I like to experiment with new techniques and mediums all the time. At the moment I am reading up on oils, hoping to produce a new body of work soon.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I wouldn’t be painting if it did not give me happiness. The process of creating art is what makes me happy. I am even happier when I share my work with the world and people get in touch to say how much they like my art. To be able to sell my work is just the cherry on top!

Thanks, Arti!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 7, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Connie McLennan

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

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

From Connie's DPW Gallery:

After graduating with a BA in journalism, I studied illustration at San Francisco's Academy of Art. With thirty years of advertising and children's books behind me, I am a "recovering illustrator"--concentrating on painting and still a work-in-progress. Because of my background, I began as a realist, but I admire and am moving toward more painterly impressionism. I have been blogging my paintings sporadically since 2007 and joined DPW in November, 2012. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

After receiving a BA in journalism and attending art school, I freelanced as an illustrator. I took occasional painting workshops and dabbled in “daily painting,” but for a long time my only goal was to become a better illustrator. I never aspired to paint exclusively until my advertising work finally succumbed to the digital age, and I lost interest in illustrating more children’s books. In 2010, a series of classes with impressionist Don Hatfield opened my eyes to a painting approach that inspired me to paint more seriously.

Gerbera Quartet
(click to view)

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

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

Life has thrown me some major curves, with interruptions lasting days to months; but art--sometimes a solace, sometimes a frustration--has always been part of my identity, and I have never been away from visual expression of some sort for long.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Depending on the assignment, I have used graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, pastel, scratchboard, gouache, watercolor, dyes, acrylic, and oil.

Merriam's Chipmunk
(click to view)

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

For painting, oils provide everything I need.

Who or what inspires you most?

Historic and contemporary California impressionists inspire me, but an assignment, goal or deadline is still my most effective motivator.

Winter Hills, Monterey County
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Like many women, I have always put family concerns first. As other artists have noted, perfectionism--fear of failure or mistakes--causes procrastination, and I probably spend too much time online.

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

Entering a competition, committing to a show or open studio, and feeling obliged to post more frequently on DPW are the surest ways to keep me at the easel.

Magnolia Buzz
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

For a while, I collected inexpensive vintage objects to pair with flowers or produce for still life. I look at other paintings and am intrigued by the architecture of trees. I travel short distances to photograph subjects, with the goal of painting more local vegetation and landscapes. In everything, I am most interested in the path of the light and in integrating and adjusting the local color to reflect my internal color sense.

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

Seeing and designing the masses, further developing my color sense, painting with less separation of color, and working more boldly and fearlessly are my lasting challenges. And I probably should work more on figures.

Late Afternoon, Pt. Lobos
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

For me, art has always been both work and play. To paraphrase various writers, sometimes I hate painting, but I love “having painted.” I like solving a problem or seeing progress. After working commercially for so long, I appreciate the freedom of choosing what and how I paint and am endlessly gratified by sales of work whose sole purpose is someone’s enjoyment.

Thanks, Connie!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 30, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jessica Green

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

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

From Jessica's DPW Gallery:

I find joy in creating beauitful works of art; it is a refreshing and life-giving process. I love color and visible, vibrant brushstrokes. Thanks for visiting my Daily Paintworks Gallery, it's a joy for me to be a part of this community of artists! :)

My professional background is in art education and I worked full-time as an elementary art teacher (best job ever!) for seven years. I was laid off in 2011 due to budget cuts in my school district. It was hard to leave my students and a job that I loved, but that situation has actually been a blessing in hindsight as I've seen God provide new opportunities for me since that time! (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I went to college to become an art teacher and through that training was exposed to lots of art mediums and processes. After about eight years of being an elementary art teacher, I stopped working full-time to be at home with my two young children. It was around that time that I discovered the daily painting movement. I was attracted to the promise of growing my skills by painting frequently and on small surfaces. In 2013, I started my DPW journey with my goal of painting 500 paintings and also launched my blog which would chronicle my progress and growth along the way.


Backyard I
(click to view)

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

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

Finding time each week to paint is still sometimes a challenge for me. I teach art classes for children throughout the year and run art camps in the summer. I am also starting the adventure of homeschooling my two kids… so finding time to fit all of this in along with painting is tricky for sure. There are a few months of the year where my teaching commitments are less and I try to maximize those times with lots and lots of painting!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

As an art teacher, I’ve been able to experiment with a variety of art materials. I started off painting with acrylic paints in college and the years following, but then transitioned to oils. I’ve always been drawn to Post Impressionism with its bright colors and brushstrokes. I also love subjects that are easy to relate to such as landscapes and still lifes.

Decisions
(
click to view)

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

I like the easy clean-up of acrylics, and I still use them when leading painting classes. However, oils have won me over for the long haul due to their vibrancy, sheen, and ability to blend.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Someday, I’d like to try pastels in plein air and also some abstract encaustic wax work… but I feel like my hands are pretty full at the moment, maybe next decade!

Mark from Above
(
click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by paintings where the artist has a keen understanding of warm/cool colors, can nail values, and has fresh and fun brushwork. Carol Marine was one of the first artists I came across who had this effect on me. Some of my other favorites include: Troy Kilgore, Hollie Storlie, Liz Mullens, and Donna Shortt.

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

Scheduling set times during each week where my husband or my parents can watch the kiddos so that I can have some quiet space to paint. Also setting goals has really helped. I participated in the ‘30 Paintings in 30 Days’ challenge this past January and that really helped me get a lot done. I was posting each day on my social media outlets, so I had the accountability/pressure not to quit which really helped me push through.

Marina
(
click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I generally use everyday landscapes that I observe everyday while driving around in the car. We live in Indianapolis and are only 15 minutes away from downtown. By driving the opposite direction, we are about 15 minutes to country fields… I enjoy the variety of urban and rural inspiration. I also am drawn to color and shapes from subjects like produce and flowers for my still life pieces.

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

Aiming to have most all of my pieces done alla prima (completed all in one session), which helps me not to overwork my paintings.  I also gather a lot of inspiration from artists that I follow on Instagram and they give me ideas on directions I can experiment with in my own style.
Trader's Tulips
(
click to view)


What makes you happiest about your art?

For me, painting is like speaking a language and exercising a muscle. It feels great to exercise a gift that I’ve been given, to translate a beautiful scene or subject with my own voice or style. After I’m done with a painting, it’s satisfying to stand back and see the results; it keeps me coming back for more!

Thanks, Jessica!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 23, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jessie Dodington

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

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

From Jessie's DPW Gallery:

Jessie Dodington is a visual artist working in oil, acrylic, watercolor and drawing media. She graduated with a BFA from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada in 2008 and moved to Portales, New Mexico in 2010 with her better half, a biochemistry professor.

Her work has been exhibited in group and solo shows in the United States, Canada and the U.K. She enjoys multi-day hiking, camping and painting excursions around New Mexico is an active member of the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, New Mexico Art League, Portales Art Guild, Pintores Art League and New Mexico Watercolor Society. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I really connected to the act of painting in grade six, around the age of twelve. I fell in love with the paintings of the famous Canadian “Group of 7” who painted rough en plain air studies of nature and the Canadian wilderness. I happened to have a great teacher at the time who introduced me to so much, as well as an encouraging family who appreciated art. Long before grade six though, when I was really small, my grandfather made me a really nice easel that I used regularly, so I suppose you could say I first started painting then.

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

I had a few detours in my painting career. I wanted to see if there was a career other than art that could make me happy because art as a career is such a challenging and uncertain path. I have enjoyed these detours; I have been a web-design intern, knitting designer and then school librarian, but found they did not leave me with enough time and energy for painting. And without enough painting in my life, I discovered I was unhappy.

Sandy Cliffs
(click to view)

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

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

I think I’ve at least tried most mediums either in art school or on my own. The ones that have stuck with me are oils in the studio and watercolor when traveling. As soon as I discovered oils, I stopped using acrylics for over a decade. I am beginning to experiment with acrylics again though because of how quickly I can create layers upon layers as they dry so rapidly.

As for genre, I most enjoy creating landscapes and any paintings with nature as the main subject matter. I find it easiest to connect to my immediate outdoor surroundings so that is often the content of my work. I have an affinity for animals as well, and they will likely continue to make appearances in my paintings for a long time to come.

Which mediums are you looking forward to exploring? 

I have painted in oil for thirteen years but still feel I have so much more to explore within the medium.

Fox and I
(
click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I love witnessing the output of prolific artists, regardless of their styles or subject matter. Seeing that fever-to-create in others is thrilling. Reading about Vincent Van Gogh and how much he created, how he couldn’t resist making painting after painting every day is awe-inspiring.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is sneaky! For me it takes on the guise of other jobs and interests. I am interested and enjoy so many different activities (tennis, reading, yoga, writing, brewing kombucha and growing keifer, hiking, crafting… to name a few) that it is VERY easy to be distracted and busy all the time. When I am honest with myself I realize that what would make me happiest is to focus on painting more, and that includes putting in the necessary time getting my paintings out into the public eye.

February Desert
(
click to view)

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

The internet has been great in helping me feel like there is an audience for what I make and that I need to keep making it. Sometimes, if you live in a remote location like I do, or you haven’t found an audience for your art, you can forget why you work so hard to produce art that only you see. Blogging has held me accountable to create and reflect back to the public on a regular basis. I think the Daily Paintworks website is a brilliant way to motivate painters to keep up regular production and posting.

Lately, it has been my involvement with artist organizations that keeps me committed. As a part of the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico (PAPNM), I take part in regular “paintouts” in beautiful locations around the state. I also wrote myself a letter and taped it to my studio wall to remind myself why I keep at it.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I keep sketchbooks and write about ideas with no filter that I peruse later. I also take a LOT of photographs for their potential as reference material. I decide on most of my plain air subjects based on the light. If the light catches my eye the next thing I’ll think is, “do I have time to make a painting of this?”

Doug
(
click to view)

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

I’m not sure I’ve learned how to avoid burnout… but I cope with burnout by putting the series I’m working on (and often the medium too) on hold and switching to drawing or watercolor. It’s the eggs-in-one-basket issue. As long as I have a variety of interests, I can always switch between them when I feel bored or uninspired in one area. No matter how often I’ve felt I’d never regain interest in a particular series, I usually do. I also tend to have even better ideas when I revisit the series after a period of avoiding it. Ongoing research, reading and just having other interests informs my work and keeps it fresh for me.

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

Right now, I’m learning about the business side of being an artist. I know how to paint and keep up the desire to paint but I’m still learning how to view my work as an outsider, see the bigger picture and make tough decisions about my future and career goals. I’m beginning my Masters of Fine Arts at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and am counting on learning a lot more about my art and the art world in the next few years.

Galisteo Basin Preserve
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Art feels like a best friend I met when I was twelve. We go through everything together and she’ll always be there for me.

Thanks, Jessie!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karleen Kareem

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

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

From Karleen's DPW Gallery:

The historical town of Sanford, FL. is where I call home. This town has a lot of art and culture, and I love it. I live in a historical house and from there is where I do my artwork. Most of my work is Contemporary/Naive/ Folk Art / Whimsical. Recently, I started doing Abstract, which I enjoy very much. Since doing Abstract Art, I found it to be much harder to do than what I previously thought, therefore, I have a new admiration for those that are successful at it. My favorite medium is acrylic, but I do use watercolors, as well. I use either stretched canvas or quality canvas paper and for the watercolors, quality watercolor paper. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  

There's a workbook called 'The Artists' Way'.  It's not just for artists, but for everyone because everyone was born with creativity.  When some of us were very young, our creativity was crushed by one way or another.  This book has twelve chapters (exercises) for you to do which brings out your creativity, whatever it my be. It helps you find that creativity hidden inside. Through this workbook, at the age of sixty, I discovered that I LOVE to paint, so I started painting every day.

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

So far, I haven't had any stops, but I've only been painting since the beginning of 2013.  I've heard that all artists go through that 'stop' period, so maybe that will happen to me too, but, I hope not.

Summer Cottage
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I do acrylic and watercolor.  I've tried soft pastels and oil pastels, but I don't care too much for those. Haven't tried oils yet, but that may come later on. As far as the genres, I enjoy contemporary landscape, cityscape and seascape the best.

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

As far as mediums, I have to say the pastels have fallen away.  And as far as the genres, I guess I would have to say the still life has fallen away.  But, you never know.  I change my mind a lot. Ha!

Flower Garden on the Hill
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I look forward to someday exploring oils. I want to see the difference between acrylic and oil painting.        

Who or what inspires you most?

Color is what inspires me.  My favorite artists are the ones who paint with a lot of bright colors.
Colorful landscapes, colorful streets of the city, etc.


Spending Time on the Beach
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I love painting so much that I procrastinate working on promoting my art.

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

Honestly, I need techniques to make time for other things like housework.  I do my housework while I wait for paint to dry.

Peaceful Mountain Living
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I might see some houses, or some buildings that I like and then I incorporate them into my painting. But, I have to say, that most of my paintings are from my imagination.

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

I don't do the same thing all the time, or the exact same style.  I like to try little things that make the art more interesting and a little different.  I see that some artists seem to do the same exact style on every painting, same medium, same colors.  I try to change my style a little and try different things.
But, I guess if an artist finds a style that they're really good at and it sells well, they might as well stick with it.

Sailboats and Fish
(click to view)

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

Well, since I'm a new artist, I still have a lot to learn and I'm learning all the time.  Right now, I'm learning how to place the color, what color I should place beside it and what, in my painting, I want to make as the focal point.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I can finish a happy painting and it makes me smile, I'm happy because that's what I want my art to do... put a smile on the faces of people.

Thanks, Karleen!


© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 9, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Haze Long

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

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

From Haze's DPW Gallery:

I am a professional artist in my 30s living in Malaysia. I grew up loving art and would frequently draw portraits to ease my mind. As with any other chinese family, pursuing any sort of creative endeavours would result in a demotivating backlash. Looking back, studying something more academic would make more sense since I had the brains for it. Nevertheless, I insisted on furthering my studies on Film & Animation. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting when I was in my teens, it was an outlet of expression and I would draw portraits all the time. Slowly they became better and more refined over the years.

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

Definitely, I stopped painting when I was in university in order to focus on my studies. It wasn't until after my father passed away that I've finally picked up a brush and started painting again. My best friend convinced me to pursue a career in art and fortunately for both of us, it went very well.

Potted Succulent III
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I first started out with sketches and was trained rigorously in pen sketches by one of my lecturers. I painted digitally often when I was young and that helped my business when we started a mural and arts company in my country. Since then, it has been 24/7 acrylics and mural painting. We did all sorts of art from pyrography to graffiti. My skills soon improved immensely and I was motivated to try oils. That's when I discovered Daily Paintworks.

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

Well, I enjoy every medium I have learned so far and mastering one leads to greater understanding of another. I think I am not suited for color pencils or pastels, nor am I inclined towards hyper realism. I simply do not have the patience for working on the same piece for a long period of time.

Asa II
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Right now, I am back to digital artwork, watercolor, charcoal and oils. Oils is such a difficult medium to master and I am expecting a life long learning process for that one.

Who or what inspires you most?

Steve Jobs.

Lemon in a Box
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It can be very difficult, especially lately. There can be canvases and projects ongoing and I will just be sleeping the day off. The one thing I've learned is to know that things get easier once the wheels have started rolling.

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

1. The art doesn't have to be a masterpiece
2. I don't have to finish it today
3. Have someone else set a deadline for me
4. Watch tutorials and read books on art

Iris II
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It usually comes when I am working on other art projects and other mediums.

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

For me, I can't stop painting. Once I stop for a day, a long timeout occurs until I am motivated again. The busier I am, the more productive I am. My art works when I put less thought into it, I just need to focus on either the emotion or the objective of the artwork.  

Secret Waterfall at Serendah
(click to view)

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

I am still a painter. Loads to learn before I can consider myself an artist.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happy now that I am finally creating art for myself and slowly stepping away from signature-less art creation.

Thanks, Haze!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 2, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Heidi Malott

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

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

From Heidi's DPW Gallery:

Hello! I have been driven by art since I can remember. I studied art in college for a couple years. Life got a little tangled and I had to quit school and go to work. That did not deter me. My love for painting would always be a part of my life. A few years later I fell in love with "one of the good ones". We started out with little but we still managed for me to stay home and raise our 4 children which I am still in the thick of doing. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have enjoyed painting since I entered an art contest in the second grade. I really haven’t stopped drawing and painting since grade school. I attended college to study fine arts. Along came marriage and children. I attended a couple art workshops and had the privilege to plein air paint with a group of local artists. One whom I feel I owe such gratitude to, Dr. Fred Doloresco. For years, I had been painting but really struggling with the techniques of oil and color. I learned more painting en plein air with him than I ever did in the classroom.

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

Definitely, many times!  I am a wife and stay at home mom with four children.  When I was in the trenches of motherhood, painting at a career level was not possible so I put it on the back burner many times.  Creativity was always on my mind and would surface in an occasional commissioned piece, sketching, hand-quilting and many times watercolors with the kids or even sidewalk chalk.

A New Morning
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In college, I was introduced to watercolor by a wonderfully talented professor.  I also worked with charcoal, pencil, pastels and three dimensional art.  I always put off trying oil as a student, knowing it was an expensive medium and that someday I would be ready. I finally bought some tubes of oil about eighteen years ago and haven’t used anything else since. I started with realism but love expressive impressionism.

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

I work exclusively in oil.   Impressionism has been my ultimate goal.  For years, I worked very detailed and longed to capture the essence and mood of a moment.  When I am inspired by something, I want to draw the viewer into one of my paintings and have them explore and “travel” around the painting and hopefully find some nice “resting” spots, hopefully seeing what inspired me to do so.  If a group of people paint the same scene it is amazing how differently it is interpreted.   This is exciting to me.

Farmer's Market
(click to view)
Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I don’t know if I could ever be done exploring oil.  I am always learning what works and what doesn’t.

Who or what inspires you most? 

I am inspired by John Singer Sargent, Edgar Payne,  John F. Carlson, Robert Henri, Nicolai Fechin, Edward Potthast, Mary Cassatt, Kevin Macpherson,  Peggi Kroll,  Jennifer McChristian, William Wray, I could go on and on.  Plein air painting and alla prima painting.  I love the urgency of capturing a fleeting moment.

Floral Bouquet
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination happens when I hit the dreaded artist block.  I usually check out other artists' work online.  This can be a good time to clean and organize my studio.  Sometimes I just take a break from painting and resume mundane household things like laundry.  Sometimes you just have to take a break.

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

I am fairly disciplined and very much a creature of habit.  I treat studio time like any job.  I have a certain amount of time carved out and if I don’t get started it won’t get done.  I start early in the morning.  Coffee, breakfast, and exercise help keep me moving forward.

Longhorns
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

This is the best and worst part of painting!  I am easily distracted by things I want to paint.  I can be driving to the grocery store and notice that the clouds in the sky are amazing.  I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled over to get out and take pictures, even with my phone (best part of a cell phone if you ask me.)  The hard part is when I feel I am in a rut.  I bounce from one subject to another or I get burned out.  That is why you may see four beach scenes that I have painted and then I move on to painting chickens or cows and so on.

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

Oops, I guess I started to answer that in the last question.  Plein air painting and small scale daily painting keep my work fresh.

Patient Partner
(click to view)

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

Hm… this may be due in part to getting older but being content with the process of creating art.  Not feeling anxious about whether a painting turns out or not.  I like being productive and having something to show for my effort but that doesn’t always work out, so I try to be content with the process as a journey.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

Every day that I am able to paint is a gift.  Ten years ago, I started posting paintings online.  I would have never guessed that my little paintings could make a connection with others across the globe.  I am so thrilled when someone says that my artwork touches them in some way, whether it reminds them of their hometown or just makes them happy.

Thanks, Heidi!

© 2016 Sophie Marine