Thursday, July 31, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karen Park

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

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

From Karen's DPW Gallery page:

I have only been painting in watercolor a short time but have been drawing on and off since a child. Painting in watercolor is such a challenging medium sometimes with a mind of its own. Before one painting is finished I am all ready excited about the next one. I am self taught from studying books, other artists and internet seminars. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been painting in watercolor for three years now after needing a new hobby to fill my time during which is now a chronic illness. I have been drawing and painting in other mediums off and on since a child and did quite a bit of folk art when it was popular. My watercolor I have learned from books, other artists on video and computer seminars. I like Winsor and Newton paints on 140 lb Arches watercolor paper, preferring to use the transparent colors as much as possible.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Last year, I added pencil crayon painting to my portfolio when I needed a mental break from watercolor painting. I always go back to my favorite genre watercolor. It is such a challenging medium, sometimes having a mind of it's own.

Cinnamon and Apples
(click to see original image)

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

Which genres and mediums are you looking forward to exploring?

Next, I would like to learn to paint with a looser style, I try too hard to make the painting match the picture. My love for watercolor will always be first but at some point I hope to give oil painting a try after seeing so many wonderful paintings done in this medium.

Norway Neighborhood
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I take my camera everywhere I go - always looking for the perfect pictures to paint, an old house, run down barns. Neighbors and friends are used to me crawling around their gardens, posing their pets and children. I have a large garden myself, my second love which provides some nice photographs of flowers, birds and little critters for me to study or paint.

Mother's Pride
(click to see original image)

 Who or what inspires you most?

I sometimes get lost for hours going over photographs, researching techniques, and communicating with other artists I have befriended on Daily Paintworks when I need inspiration to start another piece. A lovely piece by another artist can be enough to inspire me not to get frustrated during a slump.

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

I prefer the realist approach and love to add detail to my work. I pick my photographs with that in mind. Are there good contrasts in tone, detail and shadows? The more a picture interests me the more excited I get to try to paint it. I love to go back and forth between wet on wet, wet on dry and dry on wet.

European Fruit Stand
(click to see original image)

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

I have so much to learn, it is a never ending education of trying new techniques. I now find I pay more attention to everything I see: colors, textures, and shadows - will that make a good painting?

Like other artists, I aspire to make the next painting better than the last and it can be both enjoyable and frustrating at times. The art has taught me patience, relaxation and gives me a sense of excitement in doing something that I enjoy very much, even if not every painting is good, it is about the learning process for me.

Chloe and Keisha
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am very tough on myself wanting perfection which I realize is not what art is all about. I love to see the reactions of people I have painted for or a donation I have made.

Thanks, Karen!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

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