Friday, March 30, 2012

DPW Interviews: Diane Hoeptner


From Diane Hoeptner's DPW Gallery page:
Diane Hoeptner's paintings feature poetic arrangements of flowers, fruit and sometimes cats. Her work has been featured by Kohl's, Obaji, Saks Fifth Ave and American Greetings. She currently resides with her husband and two cats in Cleveland.
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I can't remember when I didn't paint or draw.

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

I'm the queen of stops and starts! It was worse when I was single and dating. Finding my husband late in life has been a blessing. He's incredibly supportive and I've found an amazing freedom and peace of mind to focus on my art.

(click here to see original image)
Sharing my paintings through blogging has really helped too. I don't think it's unique to have a lot of stops and starts though. Projects fall through and we try things that don't work, it's part of the journey.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

Oh gosh, I could write a book on that!

I worked as an animator/3D modeller for years. I also used a combination of watercolor and color pencil for a long time, even had lesson packs on my technique published. When I started painting in oils, that definitely stuck.

Regarding genre: When I was using color pencil and watercolor, I painted a series called "Children at Play." Figurative painting is very close to my heart, landscapes not so much. I LOVE the track I'm on now. Painting my snarky cats on decorative patterns fits my abilities and provides amazing challenges.

(click here to see original image)
I love the richly textured backgrounds in many of your paintings. What inspires those? And how do you make your cats look so realistic that I actually want to sneeze (since I'm allergic to them)? 

Thank you!  Cats don't make great live models, so I work from photographs. I have literally thousands of photos of our cats...  Included in the photos, of course is my house - and that means the vacuum cleaner, occasional piles of laundry, newspapers etc. So I paint that stuff out.

Then it occurred to me that floors and walls are perfect for pattern, something I had experimented with in my florals. I love old Art Nouveau posters, William Morris wallpapers, Victorian patterns, the paintings of Klimt. Those flat patterns that so inspire me are the perfect compliment to the sculptural beauty that I see in cats.

(click here to see original image)
What does procrastination look like for you? What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art? 

When I dive headlong into "networking," "marketing" and "marketing materials," it becomes depressingly apparent that I am avoiding studio time. That's what procrastination looks like for me.  I'm not saying the business side of art is un-necessary. But if I do it for more than two days at a time, it's overkill.

The reward of doing good work is that the right people eventually find you. Concrete, short term, written goals are a must have. They might include "x number of paintings" by a particular date, etc...

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

My painting ideas are like a cumulative recollection of what's working and what I can do to up the ante and make it more interesting. Keeping things simple helps. I know I'm on cats right now, so that helps sift out the million other things I want to paint.

(click here to see original image)

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

It's not always going to be fresh. Sometimes you have to paint a thing a few more times before you genuinely realize you are over it. Having a bad day painting is still better than a day without painting!  Painting through second thoughts is necessary.

When "all cylinders are firing" I try to eat right, take regular breaks and remember to play with the cats and shower. LOL. Whenever that happens, my work is better because of it.

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

I'm learning that having every light value in every painting is not necessary. What you paint can be as important as how you paint it. Lately, I'm painting a little bigger which requires attention to drying times, so I'm learning how to pace everything to look cohesive.

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

As an art collector myself, I know the deep joy that a painting you love can bring into your life.  I cherish my time in the studio, but when collectors and fellow artists connect with what I do, that's what makes me "happiest."

Thanks, Diane!


© 2012 Jennifer Newcomb Marine

Jennifer Newcomb Marine is the Marketing and Community Manager of Daily Paintworks. She's an author and blogging and marketing coach.


8 comments:

  1. Great interview -- great artist! Love your work Diane.

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  2. Loved the conversational nature of this interview.Love your work/style Diane! Congrats!

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  3. Wonderful interview! I have loved Diane's work for a long time now...she gets better with every painting she does!! thanks for sharing.

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  4. Great interview! Really interesting reading the thoughts that go into making these fabulous cat paintings! (and the thoughts about the ever struggle to "keep it fresh") Thanks Diane!

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  5. What a lovely interview of Diane and her lovely work!

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  6. Thank you, Debbie, hmuxo, Roxanne and Diana!!!

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  7. Wonderful interview! Love how your hubby is supportive and gives you what you need to create!

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