Thursday, December 20, 2012

DPW Spotlight Artist: Candace Brancik

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

To enter to win Candace Brancik's painting, "Pear and Pomegranate," go to go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Candace's DPW Gallery page:
I attended Atlanta College of Art and Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, then worked in a variety of studios and agencies as an art director. After 20+ years in the commercial art field, I retired early from my job to go back to the more fulfilling field of fine art.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I sort of followed in my sister’s footsteps growing up. She was very much into art and so I think that's where I first got my inclination. I just kept going with it. I participated in the advanced placement art program at our high school, earning a few college credits and then went on to study art in college.

Pear and Pomegranate
(click here to see original image)

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

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

Yes, I did. When I was studying in college, and with the encouragement of my dad, I decided to approach art from the commercial end, so as to possibly make a living at it once I got out into the world. So I got my degree in Illustration and went on to work at various jobs doing graphic design and illustration, eventually working my way up to art director for an internal department of a large corporation. 

Although I loved the people I worked with (and of course the paycheck), I realized that I had really strayed off the path of the dream I had started out with. So, after talking it over with my husband, I decided to quit my job to get back on that path. Since that time, I’ve been immersing myself in art. I have joined art organizations and painting groups, experimented with different media and styles, taken classes and workshops and basically worked on honing my skills and finding my voice, so to speak.

The Curious One
(click here to see original image)

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?

In collage and in my early career, I used gouache and oil paints for my illustrations. Then, easing myself back into art a few years ago, I mostly worked with charcoal and graphite, doing representational works. Then I ventured into collage, oils, oil glazes and more, trying different combinations. From that, I developed a mixed-media style using charcoal, gesso, and oil glazes. 

At the same time, I started doing figurative works and still life paintings in oil on canvas. I love working in both oil and mixed media, and would like to continue with both. Who knows—perhaps they’ll eventually work themselves into one style!

Your lush, beautiful paintings appear to actually be glowing! How did you learn to convey this particular quality of light against a backdrop of such rich color?

Much of what I know about oil painting, I learned from workshops. Two teachers in particular: Diane Rath (who was once a student of Richard Schmid) and Carol Marine. I learned so much practical information about color and value from Carol and am so thankful to have been able to get into one of her highly popular and always full workshops. Equally, I learned so much from Diane and am so thankful to have taken a workshop from her as, sadly, she passed away last year.

Lazy Daisies
(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?

I struggle with this constantly! Having a studio in my home is nice, but there are also lots of distractions. 

I try to paint whenever I can, but first thing in the morning usually works the best for me, before I have a chance to get too distracted… and most importantly, before I get on the computer! Once I’ve spent two or three hours painting, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and then can get on with the business of the day.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get inspiration from walking through a garden or a grocery store or a gallery; from watching my cats as they play or sleep or just sit in the sun; from themed art competitions and shows; just about anywhere. I keep sketchbooks and try to sketch on a regular basis. Then I can flip through past pages if I’m in need of inspiration. And I try to keep a camera close by at all times, as you never know when a great painting op will appear!

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

Variety. I am not an artist that can focus on one thing for long periods of time. So when I’m not doing still life paintings, I will do figure studies (I belong to a local figure painting group) or nature and animal paintings, or sometimes even abstract experimental pieces. Occasionally, I will take a break from painting altogether and work on knitting or quilting or ceramic tile making… as long as I’m creating something, I’m happy.

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

I’m mostly focusing on technical ability right now (of course that may be a life-long endeavor). When I’m not entirely happy with a painting, I always try to critique it in terms of its elements and what could have been better: composition, drawing, color, value, edges. Each painting may have a different weakness, so I am always working on improving all of these things.

Maine Coon 3
(click here to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love creating it and I love sharing it. I love being in a community of artists and getting words of encouragement and advice from people that I respect. 

And I thank God for the desire to create and the ability to follow through.

Thanks, Candace!

© 2012 Jennifer Newcomb Marine

16 comments:

  1. Huge Candace fan here. Great interview. I think of you as "Only the essentials" when it comes to your work. You give me a full impact image with out fuss or explanation. Your message is always clean and clear and fresh. I can spot a Candace painting the minute the whole DPW page comes up.
    Bang...there is is. ( Bang is a good thing)

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    1. Thank you Jo! I do appreciate the 'Bang'. It means a lot. I sometimes feel that my work too closely resembles some other painters, so I'm glad to hear you say that.

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  2. Beautiful work! Thank you for the interview!

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    1. Thank you Sherry. It was an honor to be asked by DPW!

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  3. I, too, am a big fan, Candace! It is wonderful to have these interviews to be able to get a fuller 'picture' of the artist behind the canvas.

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    1. Thank you Mary! As you know, I'm a fan of yours too, and enjoyed reading your interview also!

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  4. I so enjoyed reading your interview and learning about the path that you took to get to where you are. Your paintings are so full of light. I love your rich colors and your variety of subject matter. I especially love your light, yet exacting, touch on the canvas. How nice that you were chosen to be the artist this week!

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    1. Hi Jane, thank you so much! It was an honor to be chosen, and I'm glad I came on board—the encouragement on DPW is priceless!

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  5. Great interview! I also am a big fan of Candace's work. I love how she can capture the essence of her subject!

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    1. Thank you Angela. I have to say, your little bird paintings speak to me also :) I'm a bird fan and have done a number of mixed media bird paintings—there's so much expression in those little bodies!

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  7. I've never seen your work, Candace, but have totally enjoyed the interview and observing your paintings...absolutely beautiful and inspiring.

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  8. Candace you are an inspiration to me. I can't wait for the day I can get back to my true art also!! XOXO Bev

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    1. Hi Bev! Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you can get back to the true you soon too!! Love your work.

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