Thursday, May 1, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dietrich Moravec

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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I started drawing and painting when I was a teenage boy. I remember when I was about twelve or thirteen, my room was wallpapered with my gouache paintings from bottom to the ceiling. I never went to art school, I am completely self-taught.

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

There were times when I didn't have much time for artwork, but I never took a break from it for long. I always tried to do at least a little bit of drawing and painting.

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 the early 1970s, I adored the old masters and their techniques. There was no art school or academy to teach this kind of stuff. So I had to learn from books and by trial and error. At that time, I experimented with egg tempera, casein tempera and oil colors, mostly in combination. It's called "Mischtechnik". I used to be an admirer of the "Vienna School of Phantastic Realism". Some of it's members used this technique. It's a wonderful painting technique, but not too easy and very time consuming. So, in the following years, I changed to acrylic colors, which allowed a faster working process.

Plums and Starfruit
(click to see original image)

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

In the 1980s, I was concerned with printmaking, especially etching, another laborious technique that gave me great fun. Twenty years later, I learned a new printing technique from the internet, called "intagliotype". A fascinating kind of printmaking without any poisonous or hazardous ingredients.

In the beginning of the 90s, I returned to painting. At that time, I discovered photorealism was for me. I had used photographs in many earlier works, but not really in a photorealistic way. Now I was, first using acrylic colors, later on I moved to oil colors, which are more tractable for this kind of work.

After 2000, I started a new style I call "Color Zone Painting". These were large paintings up to 2.40 meters in length and 2.00 meters in height. I didn't paint the colors in smooth transitions, but in subtle gradations from the lightest to the darkest tones. I guess you can imagine that such large paintings are hard to sell, so I tried a something new.

Dark Eyes
(click to see original image)

For two years, I made graphite drawings in a photorealistic style. After that, I discovered colored pencils (on the internet, where else). Last year, I stumbled upon daily painting and decided to give it a try. Now, I am here looking forward for the things to come.

Printmaking I have given up due to lack of room and time, but I carry on with the other techniques. Recently, I started with soft pastels, a great material which I would like to explore more intensively. What comes next? Well, I don't know, but there will always be something around the next corner which will attract my curiosity.

Who or what inspires you most?

I have more than two hundred Facebook friends, most of them wonderful talented artists from all over the world. Many of them inspire me in many ways, they encourage me to make efforts to get better and better (though I'll never reach their level). My other inspirational, unexhaustible source is nature. I can always find motivation and stimulation there.

Onion with Droplets
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is a state I know very well. From time to time, there are phases when I can't bring myself to go to work, especially when I have to start a new painting or drawing. The best thing to do in this situation is just to start something: setting up still lifes, sketching or doodling. In most cases, motivation comes around and overtakes me.

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

As in my oil paintings, I work in layers. I cannot finish a painting in one session. So, that does not work for daily painting, unless I paint on several pictures at the same time. I still have to work for my living (I'm a teacher by the way, but just for one more year, yippee!), so I would rather use faster techniques like acrylics and colored pencils.

No Breakfast Egg Today
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Most of my ideas come from photographs, some of them made by photographers who kindly give me permission to use their pictures, or take my own shots, although I'm not the best photographer. The best themes I find in my surrounding nature.

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

I hope my art is still fresh, but when I have the feeling of burnout or boredom, I change my technique or try something new. Lately, I started to draw with colored pencils on unprimed plywood. The unaccustomed surface gave me a thrill and a lot of new ideas.

Red Grapes
(click to see original image)

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

My whole life I have always learned something new, and I'm still learning every single day. Thanks to the internet, I find so many interesting and thrilling things that make my curiosity stay alive. I want to learn everything that gives me a kick to improve my art, so I'll never get bored and hang around with nothing to do.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Can art make someone happy? Well, maybe some viewers or collectors. I don't know if other artists are happy in making art. During the working process, I'm not happy at all. The painting or drawing does not always come out as I have it in my mind, but when one picture comes as close to my imagination as possible, there is a certain moment of happiness. It doesn't last long, because my thoughts are already busy with the next task. It is a kind of addiction, but at least without physical consequences. The greatest gratification I get is when my works are hanging in an exhibition and some people have a look at them at least more than two seconds.

Thanks, Dietrich!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

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