Thursday, December 26, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Darlene Mowatt

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

To enter to win Darlene's painting, "Apples 2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Darlene's DPW Gallery page:

Creating art has been a lifelong odyssey requiring discipline and adventure. Over fifteen years ago, my focus turned to oil painting as a permanent medium. It’s so versatile and well-suited for my vision and working process. These small paintings bring me so much joy and a sense of ongoing accomplishment.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

In high school, my drawings were comparable to paintings: the whole thing would be shaded edge to edge. They were always large; my art teacher would give me paper cut from the 36” wide rolls that they used in school. I didn’t have art supplies but #2 pencils were pretty easy to come by. For some reason, seeing value in black and white was easy, transferring those values to color has been a challenge.

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

No, this has always been my passion.

Apples 2
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I owned and operated an art supply store and custom framing shop. In this industry, manufacturers offered training and support on products and techniques. Thanks to them my knowledge was substantial. Finding the right medium that suits your personality and working process is very important, so you need to try many things. Still life and landscape have been my most consistent subjects done in pencil and watercolor. Oil is my favorite medium. My recent dabbles have been in cold wax oil and it may be very suited for some of my landscape visions.

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

Oils have stuck for me personally and they are so versatile that it doesn’t seem possible to run out of new ideas or applications for this medium. Nothing ever falls away for me there are so many great ways to make art and so many great products. I don’t want to forget how to help others on their art journey.

Delectable
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In January, my travels will take me to Nashville, TN to attend a work shop with Maggie Siner. I love her paintings and how she breaks up color fields with her brush strokes. I want to learn her thoughts and process. At some point, people or portraits are in my sights as subjects.

Who or what inspires you most?

David E. Weaver lived in West Virginia. We were traveling through the state and by accident stumbled upon his studio. In his studio were the most beautiful oil paintings I had ever laid my eyes on. We were destined to meet: three months later he was in Ann Arbor Michigan teaching a workshop. That was the beginning of my journey into oils and a mentorship that lasted until his untimely death.

Raspberries
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

My motto use to be “if it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” Does this make me a procrastinator? I am always busy; being idle is not part of my being.  Sometimes too many idea’s float around in my head and that can feel like procrastination, but I like to call it thinking.

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

Just this year I have became a full time painter. I work Monday – Friday in my studio. Creating the small paintings fills my idle time between the larger paintings and gives me a sense of accomplishment that did not exist before. I feel like a real artist now that I treat it like a job.

Hunky-Dory
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My daily paintings come mostly from my kitchen and garden. My larger works represent my passion for the outdoors. Still lives in the Flemish style David Weaver taught me are a constant subject in my studio. Plein air is another style of painting that I practice. Sometimes, it’s just color or the drama you can create in values and not necessarily about a subject.

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

At any given time, my studio has two to four paintings in progress and I jump around from one to the other. No two are painted in the same style; that is challenging and keeps me engaged.

Bowl with an Egg
(click to see original image)

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

Maggie’s workshop is coming up in January and I love how she handles her color fields. Hopefully, this will be something that suits my style of painting and will be useful. This excites me right now. Carol Marine’s workshop taught me so much and continues to make me think in new ways; that is the greatest gift one artist can give another. Seeking new skills, thoughts and techniques is ongoing.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It is my life passion to study and create art and that makes me happy. The bonus is when someone appreciates your hard work and wants to own one.

Thanks, Darlene!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Liz Pasqualini

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

To enter to win Liz's painting, "Barefoot is Better" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Liz's DPW Gallery page:

Liz Pasqualini lives in Sydney Australia. She is a graphic designer by trade, but has recently quit her day job. She has decided to throw herself into the extreme sport of Oil painting and try to make a living out of her art.

She paints a variety of different subjects, often inspired by the beach culture of Australia. Small narratives of people enjoying the outdoors. Recently she has been inspired to start doing still lifes. She paints in oil, mostly on board and loves colour. Her paintings are generally 'alla prima' (painted in one sitting, and wet on wet).

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I always loved drawing, but never really did much painting other than when I was at school in Art Class way back in the 80’s. I only really started in 2008 when I enrolled in a Fine Arts Diploma and they had a painting class.

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

Since I actually started painting in 2008, I have been doing it as a hobby going to classes about once a week. But just recently in the last 3 months, I have made a commitment to take it seriously and try and paint every day. That was why I was so intrigued to discover Daily Paintworks. So I haven’t really had any stops and starts since 2008, it has just steadily taken over my world.

Barefoot is Better
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve tried watercolours, but that was a complete disaster. I’ve tried acrylics but it really frustrates me how the paint dries so quickly. As soon as I tried oils, I loved them, although I have ended up with quite a few muddy messy paintings in the learning process. As for genres, figurative work is definitely my first love, something with a bit of a narrative aspect. I have lately been doing some still life work and I am really enjoying that too.

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

I work exclusively in oils now and 90% on board. The paint just seems to flow so nicely on board.

Oranges and Lemons
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Hmmm, I think I’ll stick to oils. I really feel like I've only just begun to find my way with them, and I still have so much to learn. As for genres, that’s a journey that you can’t really predict. I would like to try and do more portraits.

Who or what inspires you most?

Everything! Its hard to pin it down. I love looking at other paintings, I love to paint people, I love bright colors, I love the contrast of light and dark, I love reflections... and so it goes on. I do really like to paint what I see, I have never really been drawn to abstract work.

A Working Woman
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is such a weird thing. I love painting, so why do I sometimes find every reason in the book not to sit down and paint? I hate to be interrupted once I start a painting, so I convince myself that I am just trying to get all distractions out of the way before I start. However when you find yourself tidying up the linen cupboard before you start painting you start to think you’re kidding yourself.

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

I paint Monday to Friday and treat it like my job. So if I’m not actually painting, I’m out looking for ideas, sketching, visiting galleries or spending way too much time at the art shop. I get really frustrated if I don’t settle down to paint at some point during the day.

Sydney Tourist
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I just look around at my immediate surroundings, I have been drawn to still lifes lately and you can always put together an interesting little still life. I try not to fuss to much about what to paint, it is much more important to me just to actually paint something, anything, once you start it takes on a life of its own.

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

When I'm feeling flat and uninspired, a trip to the art gallery will always make me enthusiastic again.

Baby Elephant
(click to see original image)

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

I think I’m still trying to master my technical skills as an artist, so I am very focused on daily painting as a way to improve my skills. I do want to move on to doing larger work, but only when I feel confident with the small paintings.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The actual physical process, it is a form of meditation. You are so completely in the moment when you are painting, that is your whole world for those few hours. But the absolute best is when you are finished and the painting has really come together successfully, that is just sheer euphoria.

Thanks, Liz!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Catherine Temple

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

To enter to win Catherine's painting, "Rocky Bluff Chipmunk" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Catherine's DPW Gallery page:

Paint what you know, paint what you love...

Seems I’ve heard this somewhere before and for me what I know and love are first and foremost, wild creatures, with wild places and canine companions vying for second place.

Spending time with nature is a great passion for me, one that fills me with joy and amazement at all the variety of colors, textures and patterns. I am fortunate to live in an area of diverse habitat from rugged canyons, to beautiful rivers, to forested mountains as well as local parks and habitat areas. My daily walks and weekend outings are a constant source of painting ideas as well as providing me with interesting adventures. Every one of my paintings has a story behind it which you can read about on my blog.

Creating my art brings me great joy and allows me to use the gift that God gave me to create something beautiful and meaningful for others. It is my hope that my art may stir an emotion, spark a memory or cause someone to slow down and take a moment to consider how incredibly blessed we are to live in a world of such beauty and diversity. If my art can do that, then I have done my job well.

Visit my blog/website: www.catherinetempleart.com

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been creating art for as long as I could hold a crayon! Family members tell stories about how they kept me quiet by challenging me to draw an object or animal and I would happily sit for hours concentrating on copying what I saw to the best of my abilities. When I got a little older I would wander off to the fields and pastures around our house with my sketchbook and draw bugs, birds, dogs, animals...whatever nature offered up was fair game. I was fascinated by everything and I guess I felt compelled to record what I saw.

I took courses through high school, but really have no formal training. I have taken some workshops, but have largely taught myself to paint by studying books or other works of art and by a lot of trial and error.
Rocky Bluff Chipmunk
(click to see original image)

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

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

No, not really. No matter what else was going on in my life creating art has always been a part of it, even if it wasn't the main part. I have not always pursued it as a profession, sometimes it was just for me. I have changed directions with it several times, but I've never stopped. It keeps evolving and sometimes slides more into the background, but it never stops.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with oils, colored pencils, graphite pencil, watercolor and acrylic. I have painted wildlife and people and dabbled in landscapes.

Sunrise Sentinel
(click to see original image)

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

Really the only one that I have given up is oils. I never cared for the smell or that they took so long to dry, but the ability to blend the colors more was nice. Since my style is very detailed and realistic I enjoy working with mediums that I have a certain degree of control over. Each one has certain characteristics that are useful to achieve certain effects. I love the good old pencil for it's classic simplicity and it's a good packable tool for field studies. I work now mainly in water media. I use watercolor and gouache for field studies and some finished work, but have been experimenting more with acrylic the last few years and have really come to enjoy that medium.

My subject matter is almost always some sort of bird or animal now. I started with that when I was young then went into doing portraits of people for awhile, but never enjoyed it as much. I've done a lot of pet portraits in the past and that is still the source of many of my commissions, but going back to wildlife is the direction I'm heading now. It just makes more sense. I'm an avid outdoor enthusiast so wildlife painting is like second nature to me.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'd like to explore mixed media and learn to paint in a looser style just for fun. I've been painting in such detail for so long I'm not sure I could totally embrace a more "painterly" style, but it would be fun to step out of the norm for a bit.

Whitetail Fawn
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm am totally inspired by all of God's creation! He is an incredible artist! When I look at the design of our natural world.....wow! Take for instance how a birds feathers are created, how the barbs hook together, how they overlap like shingles to shed water, retain heat, provide lift for them to fly.....just amazing. Everything has a purpose. When I see those things and study those things it makes me want to create something to share with others, to maybe make God visible to a world that doesn't see him, yet we are surrounded by him every day. All we have to do is look outside!

What does procrastination look like for you?

Because I love the outdoors so much sometimes I can get distracted just exploring the beauty of it all. I can be sitting at my drawing table which faces a window into the garden and some interesting bird might fly into the feeder, or a hummingbird is zipping from zinnia to zinnia and the next thing I know I HAVE to be outside, watching, listening, learning, taking photos or making sketches and the project at hand waits.

One Snowy Day
(click to see original image)

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

Usually having a deadline of some sort or a commission keeps me at my drawing table.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I look out my window. I go for walks. A lot of time I have unusual or memorable encounters with the birds or wildlife and there's always a good story to tell. That's when I create a painting and write about the story behind it on my blog. Writing about it personalizes it and many folks really enjoy the story behind the art. It helps them connect with the piece because maybe they can say "Yes! I've seen that, too!" or "That's happened to me, too!"

Rufous and Trumpetvine
(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 study a lot. Every bird or creature I paint I want to know more about. I could have easily become a wildlife biologist. I guess I would describe myself as a naturalist now. I have a huge curiosity about everything. I study a lot of other painters, too, and if I see a technique I like I try to find out how to do that, adapt it into my own work if possible. There's always something new to learn so I never get bored!

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

The biggest hurdle I have to learn is how to market myself better and how to believe in myself more and trust that God gave me these gifts for a reason. I'm learning all the time how best to use those gifts.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing it with others especially if I can share the story behind it, too. If I can use my art to bring joy, spark a memory, stir an emotion or give someone an intimate look at something they may not have an opportunity to see then I'm thrilled.

Thanks, Catherine!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lisa Daria

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

To enter to win Lisa's painting, "1643 Begin" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Lisa's DPW Gallery page:

After 1,000 days of painting every day (including Christmas), I've no intention of stopping. For me, daily painting is a daily appreciation for living via the canvas. I'm a young adult cancer survivor so I have a persistence to make sure every day matters. Daily painting has become a reminder every day can bring with it reason. My optimism and perception have become part of the process of creating each day without reservation or excuse. The finished painting represents a consistently positive and stabilizing presence of my view of my immediate surroundings.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting 1,653 days ago.

As a young adult cancer survivor, I was looking for a way to journal and document each day without writing. I had always been attracted to artist John Evans' trash postcards. Evans collected trash every day on his way to work for 35 years and made one small postcard a day from those findings - he only missed one day because he was sick.

I decided I would emulate Evans by collecting trash during my daily walk with the dog. But the trash was disgusting (I don't know what I was expecting) and I didn't even make it home with my first day's findings; I couldn't stand touching it. At this time I noticed daily painters online and when the trash collecting failed, I decided to try daily painting as a way to visually record each day.

1643 Begin
(click to see original image)

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

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

I have had a lot of starts and stops over the years in painting, including a year as a painting major in undergrad. That year was really hard because I didn't know how to paint! I was also an illustration major, but I avoided wet media because I always ended up with mud. When I graduated from college, Photoshop was just becoming popular and I discovered if I painted with digital media I could achieve clarity with color. Painting digitally allowed me to explore my ideas and work commercially without being frustrated by the media. Also, because digital was so new, the possibilities seemed endless, and still are. But, for me, I still wanted to also paint traditionally because I wanted to have one original.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oh dear, here goes... I have worked with many different mediums in what I believe to be a search for my one favorite. It turns out, I do not have just one favorite. I started with pen and ink, which was highly detailed and painted with watercolor which was very loose. I have used scratchboard, colored pencil, charcoal, pencil and encaustics. I had a brief time with sculpture, both plaster and welding metal. I've also experimented a little with film, video and photography. As far as paint, I now only use acrylic and oil, but have tried just about everything. Also, pottery. Did I mention wheel throwing (some things should just be forgotten, I think!)? As far as genre, currently, I have two studio practices in which I explore working direct from observation and narrative.

#1038 Forward
(click to see original image)

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

Everything has stuck except welding and encaustics (and wheel throwing, I keep forgetting about that).

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to exploring all the ones I haven't tried yet.

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many things to list, so I'll make some subcategories.

What inspires me the most:
Attending artist talks and lectures are my favorite things to do. Of course, going to museums to revisit permanent collections as well as seeing current exhibits is also a favorite. I enjoy reading anything about other artists, like interviews, statements and criticism. I find fiction writing and films inspiring as well.

Who inspires me the most:
Five artists who inspire me that work with daily ritual as practice: On Kawara, Roman Opalka, Danica Phelps, Emese Bencz├╝rn and Ignasi Aballi

Five contemporary artists (not painters) who inspire me:
Miranda July, Cindy Sherman, Martha Rosler, Caleb Cole, Candy Chang

Some contemporary painters who inspire me:
Dana Schutz, Helen Verhoeven, Amy Sillman, Florine Stettheimer, Cecily Brown, Neo Rauch, Peter Doig, Vera Iliatova, Jackie Gendel

1583 All This
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me equals two walks and one oatmeal scone.

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

I follow a daily schedule. I allot 5-8 a.m. for my daily painting, then move into the studio working in one hour increments on other work. I take breaks after each one hour session to answer emails, etc. Identifying and removing distractions is the technique that has worked best to ensure I make time for my work.

#1045 Two Jars, One Ledge
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The idea for the direct from observation work is that I never look too far for something to paint. I respond to my surroundings.

The narrative work is an exploration of a theme, and that theme is what drives the desire to paint every day. I gather a lot of images from every day and art history and repurpose them to tell a story. Discovering contemporary artists who bridge painting and narrative with an illustrative approach has been most interesting lately.

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

I avoid burnout by simply keeping in mind, that I must show up for the job.

Attending artist talks and lectures can break a rut as well as looking at film. I also collage found images to expand what I already know.

1121 After but Before
(click to see original image)

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

I am learning that I work the best with rules.

I have set parameters for the daily painting project, such as using a limited acrylic palette, creating the paintings alla prima and working only from direct observation.

Contrarily, in the narrative work I have rules that are the opposite of the daily painting project. The narrative paintings are both additive and subtractive in process (I often use a sander). Instead of working and completing the painting in only one sitting, they take months to finish. I use oil and do not limit my palette. The paintings includes figures, deep space and are not limited to only direct observation.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Daily ritual as practice and the search for something unexpected.

Thanks, Lisa!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Andy Sewell

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

To enter to win Andy's painting, "Colorful Cosmos" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing his interview.

From Andy's DPW Gallery page:

I have been an artist and loved to draw all my life. After studying art, architecture and graphic design in college, I graduated from the University of Idaho (USA) in 1989. From there I worked as a graphic designer for fifteen years. I never quit painting on the side. I love watercolor painting from loose flowing washes to tightly rendered details. And now the more I paint in oils, the more I grow very fond of oil painting as well as its buttery blending and the option for texture.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started in college. My first year of college, I wanted to take a watercolor class and my dad would not let me so the following year I started to study architecture. I had to take art classes for architecture so that's how I got my foot in the door and I really enjoyed watercolor from the get-go.

Colorful Cosmos
(click to see original image)

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

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

I started painting watercolors in college in 1987 and never really quit. In the late 90s, I started gearing up to try to sell my work at 'Art In the Park' type shows and that's what got me really painting a lot more. In 2003, I went full-time as an artist and have been going strong since then. I just started oil painting within the last two years and the more I do it the more really like it. I'm sure it will be a lot of what I do in the future.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

When I was in college I did take one class that introduced me to some acrylic painting but I preferred watercolor a lot more. I also took a silkscreening class. Another term I took serigraph and I liked that a lot. There also was a time where I made some t-shirts. I really respect serigraphs; I think they are misunderstood and not respected as much as they should be. I wished I would've taken and learn more about other forms of printmaking when I was in college because I think printmaking is a really neat medium as well. For example, when you print on nice cotton paper you can then go back and watercolor over it.

Slippery When Wet
(click to see original image)

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

Watercolor has definitely stuck and I think it has made me more of the artist I am today than anything else. I am really glad I learned to start painting with watercolor because I think it teaches you a great foundation for whatever medium you pick up from there. I really enjoy the spontaneity of it and the challenge of trying to control it with its washes and how there's almost an outside force involved and painting with you. It's really a great medium but I also think that oils will stick because there's just a lot of things about oils that I'm finding are practical and really more flexible and forgiving.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Oil painting is so new to me and I'm excited to explore more of what it can do. I want to explore and see what I can do with texture, glazing and just all the different options it gives you. Whether you paint one painting in a couple hours via plein air while it's wet or you let it dry overnight and paint that way, there's still a lot for me to learn in oil painting.

Who or what inspires you most?

I love God and he inspires me and guides more than anything else with his Holy Spirit and his beautiful creation. I am compelled to give him all the glory and credit for this. Once, I did a painting inspired by God. It was an image of gumball machines in the sky as though there's an endless supply and the label on the gumball machines were all different. Some of the labels were love, peace, joy, hope, healing, freedom, goodness, and kindness. They represented all that God has for us if we just become aware of that and look up, we position ourselves to receive from him all of his good stuff. I think too many people think that God is not good, but I hope my art can help people see that he really is good and he wants to bless us.

Untitled
(click to see original image)
One time, when I was in prayer I imagined a picture from God that I want to paint someday, but I haven't been able to yet.  I need to get models and somebody who looks kind of like the traditional Jesus because he's going to be in the painting. The gist of the painting is Jesus driving an old rusty truck down a dirt country road. Jesus is also in the back of the truck having an ice cream cone and playing with a bunch of kids. The message for the painting would be that we are his kids and we're happy to let Jesus drive and guide our life. We enjoy joking around as we sit in the back of his restored old truck munching on good stuff and having a really good time together, safe with him.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I guess one of the main things procrastination is to me is not shipping orders out as fast as I should. I would much rather paint a new painting then package one up to ship. Shipping out things is kind of boring. It would be cool to be kind a like Amazon or these big hotdog companies that can ship out within a day or two but when it's just one guy doing everything, it's kind of tricky sometimes.

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

I like to eat and selling art helps me do that. I like to stay living in my house and paying my bills and because this is what I do to pay the bills and buy food, I am motivated to keep painting and framing. I also find that it seems like I am just made to paint and when I do I'm happy. When I have a day or two or even a week goes by where I don't get the paint, I start to get irritated because I'm just not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So, I think I can only go so long without painting/creating; it is just something I love to do and I have to do it.

Pansy Trio
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I alluded to this earlier, I am definitely inspired by God and his creation, beauty and goodness. Also, the things around me and things I love.

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

Recently, I partook in an event where thirty artists painted thirty paintings in thirty days and sold them for thirty bucks which was neat. It made me work faster, looser and without getting too involved in thinking about what I'm painting. I could be more spontaneous and paint something that I wanted to try but didn't know if it would turn out very well. I really like the idea of giving myself a deadline or having to paint something small in a short period of time. You can experiment and if it's a mistake, it's not a big one. You are willing to risk things because there's not so much at risk.

Misty Morning Bull
(click to see original image)

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

I'm always learning how to be more disciplined and more diligent. Can you ever quit learning that kind of stuff? I'm always learning more how to market my work and sell it. Creative new ways to sell work is always something I'm interested in. As I said, I'm new to oil painting so I'm still learning that medium. I want to get better at not being so tight and meticulous but instead looser, fresher and more impressionistic with bigger brushes, lost lines and freshness.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What really makes me happy is following God, knowing him and doing what I believe he made me to do. I believe everybody has gifts and talents that they are made to express. When they find that and walk into it, that's what makes one happy. I am also happy that I can create things that make other people blessed and happy. I love the idea of people getting up in the morning, looking at a painting or picture that I made and making their day a brighter day. That's really a cool thing.

Thanks, Andy!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Don Stewart

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

To enter to win Don's painting, "Two Hues of Green" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing his interview.

From Don's DPW Gallery page:

Don has created an astounding amount of art in his life. For over twenty years, it's been for the illustration field and nearly one hundred of his paintings have been published as book covers for clients like HarperCollins, Macmillan, Moody Press, Pocket Books and Scholastic. Countless paintings have also been in magazines, advertising, children's books and textbooks. In addition, Don is a pioneer of digital painting methods and those, along with his digital paintings, have been featured in the last five consecutive editions of The Painter Wow! Book.

Since 2006, Don has devoted himself to creating works of fine art and that's what you'll find in this gallery. Everything here is painted from life, not photographs. He works in oils and is equally accomplished at painting people, landscapes and still lifes. Much of his fine art has been exhibited and is held in private collections.

Currently, Don divides his time between fine art, illustration and teaching. In addition, he hosts the ArtistChronicle channel on YouTube and writes the ArtistChronicle eNewsletter. He received his BFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and currently lives in that city, which is centrally located in North Carolina's picturesque heartland.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

About 30 years ago, I earned a BFA degree with a concentration in painting. I remember that it was my junior year when I determined what my major would be. Up to that point I had narrowed it down to music, psychology or painting. I didn't really excel at music and somehow I got the mistaken notion that I'd have to experiment on helpless little pigeons for a psychology degree - which didn't appeal to me at all.

At that time, I was taking an introductory drawing course, and so, decided to put my skills to the test. One evening, I made my way up the art building stairs to a classroom that was empty, except for its easels and still life set ups. I positioned my 18 x 24 inch newsprint pad onto an easel and with vine charcoal and kneaded eraser in hand, attempted to copy the still life before me. About two hours later, I emerged from the room - victorious! I had a knack for this drawing thing, it seemed. From that point on, I worked hard to hone those drawing and painting skills.

Two Hues of Green
(click to see original image)

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

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

Does an over twenty year stint freelancing as an illustrator count? Prior to that, fresh out of college, I worked briefly as a mechanical artist at a printing company. Then for four years as a preproduction illustrator at an advertising agency. It was only about seven years ago that I returned to Fine art and my painting career.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Over the years I've experimented with many mediums. Egg tempera, gouache, watercolor, acrylics and oil to name a few. As an illustrator, most of my paintings were airbrushed acrylics with colored pencil. Any illustration work I do currently is digital and rendered on the computer.

No Shade for Chickens
(click to see original image)

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

My favorite fine art medium is, and always has been, oil. As for genre, I haven't ever ventured too far from a representational style of painting. And I've usually stuck with traditional subject matter - still life, landscapes and people.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm planning to explore gouache in the near future as a way to expand and improve my oil painting technique. I plan to begin using it for color studies, too.

Surrounded
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I'd have to say that seeing the work of masterful artists inspires me the most. How can any representational artist ponder the paintings of John Singer Sargent or Richard Schmid, say, and not be inspired?

What does procrastination look like for you?

First, please excuse me while I take a break and brew a cup of yerba mate. I might add a little cocao powder and honey for a flavorful variation. Have you ever tried yerba mate? Are you a coffee or tea person? What about herbal tea? Why, yes, I do have time to chat a bit. I'll answer this question later.

Valerie's View from 59
(click to see original image)

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

Knowing that I'll be sharing my art through things like blogging, eNewsletters and Daily Paintworks helps motivate me to make time for it.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas come from things I see around me.

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

I'm a perpetual student and am always looking for ways to improve my art.

Tangerines and Blue
(click to see original image)

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

Currently, I'm honing my drawing skills and am working towards being able to draw more from memory and imagination, rather than from observation, only.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Doing it! Creating it! I love to create things out of nothing. Oil painting is my favorite way, by far, to do that.

Thanks, Don!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 14, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Brandi Bowman

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

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

From Brandi's DPW Gallery page:

Brandi's paintings and prints reflect what she loves, simple beauty. With a BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design, she continues her artistic study everyday through painting, print, drawing and technology. Inspired by nature, children and fellow artists, Brandi is always experimenting, learning and creating works to share her vision with anyone who is willing to stop and appreciate the simple things.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Painting used to intimidate me. In college, I fell in love with printmaking, primarily black and white, and didn't really care for my painting courses. It wasn't until after college that I really started to explore painting on my own.

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

Many. I used to go months between painting which always made it hard to start up again. I would get really frustrated, but then I started following Carol Marine and her daily paintings which inspired me to try painting on a more regular basis. It was hard at first, but after a while it just became part of my day, and the practice continues to make me a better painter.

Buddies
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Charcoal, pen and ink, a wide variety of printmaking techniques, watercolor, acrylic, oil, mixed media, photography and some graphic design. I love to play around and combine things. I love still life and figure studies, and lately, portrait painting. Floral and landscape are always in there too. I have touched on abstract elements in my work, but haven't fully explored them.

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

Oil painting is the main one that has stuck. I don't use acrylic unless I am working with kids. I only use photography for reference right now and I love printmaking, but it is tough to do at home without a press.

Boat Drinks
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to try some pottery and jewelry making. Abstract painting has always intrigued me, so I would love to explore that further and see how I could incorporate it into my work.

Who or what inspires you most?

Children inspire me the most I think. I have a 6 year old daughter and watching her explore and play with art energizes me and helps me take things less seriously. And kids are so open, when you ask them to make a silly face it is instant, there is no thought behind it just pure joy and silliness. I love to have kids play dress up with hats and masks to see what they transform into. I get my best reference photos for portraits that way. I also get a lot from nature and other artists. I love to go to the bookstore and get all the new art mags, a coffee and sit and look at what is currently happening in the art world.

The Girls
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I have a home studio, which is good and bad. Good, because I can work at any hour and don't have to leave the house. Bad, because I have many distractions with family, house, yard, dog, etc. I really have to make painting a priority and think of it more like a regular job, but that is hard for me sometimes.

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

I have set a goal of ten paintings a week. I work small, so I can usually get two done per day. It is working so far.

The Artist
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It is always different but seems to reflect the time of year. If I see flowers at the farmers market, I grab some and do a series of florals. After apple picking this year I did apple studies. I always have wine around, so wine paintings frequently happen. Recently, I did a series of portraits based on the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico around Halloween time.

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

I try to change things up when I can. I am always looking for new color combinations or new subject matter. I will even listen to different music while I paint. It is amazing how that can affect your paintings.

Isabel
(click to see original image)

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

I recently started writing short tutorials about how I paint. This is really teaching me a great deal about how to communicate my thought process to others.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the almost meditative state you enter into while producing a work of art. To lose yourself in the process of creating something is wonderful. And when someone else connects with one of my paintings and it makes them feel something or reminds them of a certain person or time in their life, that makes me happy.

Thanks, Brandi!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Friday, November 8, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ande Hall

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

To enter to win Ande' painting, "Chilly Crabapple Chickadees" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Ande's DPW Gallery page:

I am a (mostly) retired veterinarian now exploring the world of art. I love experimenting with new media and techniques. Not surprisingly, I end up painting animals a lot! I donate 5% of my art income to IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the world's oldest and largest wildlife conservation organization. Prints of my art are available through my Etsy shop: AndeHallFineArt https://www.etsy.com/shop/AndeHallFineArt?ref=si_shop Please visit my facebook page: Ande Hall Fine Art. https://www.facebook.com/AndeHallFineArt

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

In 2008, I sold my house and veterinary clinic in Santa Fe and moved to rural Kansas to marry a wonderful man. Exploring art was a big part of my new life. For three years, I did ceramics at the small college where my husband worked. Surface design was my favorite part of the process, and most of my pots were elaborately decorated. When we moved to a bigger town with a bigger college in the fall of 2011, I decided to take a painting course. I had always wanted to try painting. After two decades of wandering through galleries in Santa Fe, muttering to myself, "I want to do that!!" it was time to take action.

Chilly Crabapple Chickadees
(click to see original image)

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

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

Yes! I first started painting in September of 2011, then five months later my husband came home and announced that he had been offered yet another job, at yet a bigger college in an even bigger town. We had only just moved eight months earlier! So, painting walls and ceilings replaced painting canvases for a while. We have moved twice in two years, and we have renovated three old houses. I began painting pictures again in January 2013.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have done mostly acrylic, acrylic collage and oil pastels. I have tried oils only a few times. I would like to do more with oils, but I paint in the basement, and the ventilation is poor.

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

See above.

Cloudy California Quail
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to try watercolors, and inks. Also encaustic. When I did ceramics, I really loved wet clay sgrafitto, and I have been trying to figure out ways to do something similar with painting. I did buy some clayboards, but I haven't used them yet (fear of wasting expensive art supplies).

Who or what inspires you most?

Early twentieth century artists fascinate me the most. I discovered that the little college where I did ceramics had an unlimited interlibrary loan system. I ordered truckloads of art books and devoured them. Before that time I really was totally ignorant about art history. My favorite painters are Klee and Kandinsky (and I like Klimt, too). But inspiration comes from basically everything I see and think about. I jokingly refer to myself as suffering from "Obsessive Creative Disorder". But it's only half joking!

Floral Reef Angelfish
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like a computer. Seriously, I think being an artist does require a huge amount of discipline. That was one thing I did like about veterinary medicine. Procrastination was simply not an option. Your patients show up, you treat them.

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

As I said, I have really only been doing this for less than a year, and I am really struggling with self discipline. My biggest time waster is internet surfing.

White Ibis
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas for paintings generally bombard my consciousness throughout the day. Particularly, when I am riding my bike or walking. Also when I am trying to go to sleep. I have spiral notebooks all over the place where I sketch out ideas.

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

I don't think I am qualified to answer this question yet.

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

EVERYTHING! I really don't know where to begin, because I am still so new to art! I spend a lot of time looking at art, my own and others, and trying to analyze why I like it, or don't like it. I think a lot about how art interacts with people.

Sumatran Rhino
(click to see original image)

Have you had any surprises or unforeseen events in your art career?

I had a big surprise a couple of months ago when a buyer contacted me asking if I would ship to Hong Kong. He said he wanted five of my original oil pastels to use them for "packaging designs". I had no idea what he meant, but I figured that if he purchased the paintings he could do what he wished with them. I now know that this is not true; that purchasing an original does NOT automatically confer reproduction rights.

So, I said yes and he emailed me images of oil pastel packages with my paintings on them (as well as a tiny image of me!) Then I understood, it was an art supplies manufacturer. It is definitely NOT a fine art supplier; their website is clearly targeting kids and hobby arts and crafts. At first, I couldn't decide if I should feel honored or embarrassed. I quickly decided that it was totally awesome that my paintings would be on oil pastel packages all over China.

As soon as I let my friends know, I was bombarded with chastisements for failing to ask for royalties, etc. I spent a day feeling like an idiot, then decided that I didn't care. It was still cool to see my art on boxes of pastels. And he did promise to send me some pastels.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When people tell me that they are moved or touched by something I have created, it is very rewarding.

Also, there is something truly thrilling about having an idea, then developing it into a finished product. For me, there is a huge difference between seeing something "in my mind's eye", and seeing it in real life.

Thanks, Ande!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 31, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Celine Yong

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

To enter to win Celine's painting, "Peace at Noon" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Celine's DPW Gallery page:

I have a life long passion in drawing and painting. Painting is a joy. I am self taught in art. Since 2004, I have been painting as a partial commitment on every weekend. It's about time for me to go on to next level of painting. I am mostly inspired by beautiful nature for landscape painting with my favorite medium, pastel. But I do enjoy working with watercolor and oil as well.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Making art was always in my heart. I admired artists who create a world with their art. I have been inspired by many creative artists in history. I wished art come would into my life. But starting art was not an easy option for me. I did not have any courage to break out from the intimidation of practicality. While working in odd jobs for many years (more than 10 years actually) and being under stressful conditions, I began thinking what I really wanted to accomplish under my name. After that, I decided to make friends with art because I thought painting was the only thing I liked. So, in 2004, I started to paint on the weekends.

Peace at Noon
(click to see original image)

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

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

Lack of courage and insufficient personal economy were some of the obstacles I faced in making art. When I look back at what I did in the past, time spent running around in the mundane seems so meaningless to me. Thinking of this, as a human being I feel I have a responsibility to make my life meaningful. That is what gets me started again when I face stops and obstacles in my art.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

At an early age, watercolor was the only medium available to me. Around 2004, I started looking for other materials to use. I found pastel which had such luminous and spontaneous color, and were easy to handle compared to other mediums such as oil paint. I love all aspects of pastel: the lightness and sparkling effect. I believe pastel is perfect for landscape and helps to create any kind of mood. I also want to work in watercolor and oil.

Forest of Summer
(click to see original image)

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

At first, I stuck to portraits in photo realism. You need an actual person for modeling except for painting self portrait. I could not afford to secure as many models as I needed and soon discovered that kind of system did not work for me. Sometime later, I found myself inclined to impressionist painting and I moved to landscape. Even though my main subject is landscape, I could see myself someday approaching portraits again, this time with a more impressive manner. I used pastel more than 10 years, for now I alternate oil and pastel.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Usually, I am into landscape, but I wish I could explore a mystical mood so that the viewer can expand their imagination through my art.

Passing By
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Beautiful nature inspires me always. There are so many places to be explored still. As for contemporary artists, I admire pastelists like Elizabeth Mawry and Susan Ogilvie.

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I find myself procrastinating, I feel guilty. I can not tolerate time being wasted. However, I need to take some time out to be inspired.

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

I admire expressionist style and am always trying to develop it into my own individual style.

Eastern Fall
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

To get a painting idea, I refer to photos I took myself while walking, or hiking, etc. But I don't paint every mountain and valley literally. I call upon my artistic license so that some imaginative variation may be reflected into my work. I really love to paint outside as long as time allows.

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

To keep my art fresh, I change some of my painting manners and techniques. For example, I might change from a soft image to a vibrant subject or from landscape to still life or garden flowers. In that way, I think I will escape from some of the boring repetitiveness that one can fall into. Some times, I browse other artists' works in different genres from my own. Looking at old masters' works and reading about their lives and passion helps me regain my energy to paint.

Dream of Forest 2
(click to see original image)

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

As an artist, I think the art world has some mysteriousness to it. Generally, what you expect would be successful turns out be mediocre or a failure. Failure, to me, means that my art is not satisfying. Reaching for the viewer's heart, moving someone's thoughts, is like learning conversational skills. I communicate with the world with my voice, what I use is visual method. When I pour out spirit and soul into it, the skill will be valuable. The more I paint, the more I learn about life.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Looking at my work, if my hands have not failed me. That makes me smile and happy.

Thanks, Celine!

© 2013 Sophie Marine