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