Thursday, September 25, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol DeMumbrum

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

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

From Carol's DPW Gallery page:

Carol DeMumbrum resides in her hometown of Brentwood, Tennessee with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Harris School of Art and O'More College of Design with a degree in Fine Art and Graphic Design. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

In fifth grade, I won an art contest at school and I can remember the excitement of advancing to a county art show. I did not win at that show, but I remember the incredible feeling of sharing my work with others.

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

After graduating from O'More College of Design, I worked as a graphic artist and illustrator. Then, came the different kind of creative years staying at home and enjoying the time with my two boys. About five years ago, I decided to pick up my paintbrush and paint daily. Although I don't always finish a painting every day, I am usually working in some way to advance as an artist.

Autumn Dew
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

When I was painting illustrations, I was mainly painting with gouache and watercolors. I decided I wanted to try oil again and was so excited to have a finished painting so quickly. I love painting pet portraits; capturing their personalities with paint is so much fun! The highlight of my week is when I have the opportunity to venture outside with friends and paint plein air with my local plein air group, The Chestnut Group.

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

Plein air was an experiment that has definitely stuck. I was so afraid to get out and paint in front of others, but the more I do it the deeper my love for it grows.

Harry
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to once again work with watercolor, perhaps on a children's book.

Who or what inspires you most?

I would have to say, first and foremost, God and His creation. Growing up on a farm and being in nature all day instilled in me the love and desire to paint my beautiful surroundings. When I go out and paint plein air, I feel the same awe and wonder I remember feeling as a child. I would also say I am definitely inspired by all of the wonderful artists here on Daily Paintworks, Facebook and my friends in the Chestnut Group. Wait, I can't forget the Masters such as Sargent, Sorolla and Rembrandt; just way too many to list.

Spring Babe
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I would have to say the fear of failing. The more I paint daily the less likely I am to procrastinate. I have come to realize not every painting is going to be a keeper and it is all a learning process. Just DO IT!

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

I found the best way to complete tasks that I don't enjoy first, such as housework, is a "To Do" list. Then, I have more time available for painting and marketing.

Beau
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I follow my heart when searching for reference or vistas to paint. There is usually something I am drawn to in a scene or photo. I love candid glimpses of everyday life: maybe dog buddies exploring together, or a couple sitting on a park bench enjoying their time with one another. I have found when it is something I don't feel strongly about, it is apparent in my work.

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

I am constantly being inspired by other artists. I know I have so much to learn, so when I can, I take workshops from artists I admire, such as Matt Smith, Anne Blair Brown, Kevin Menck, Dreama Tolle Perry and an upcoming one with Nancy Franke. (Please come to Nashville, Carol Marine. :) ) These workshops keep me thinking and growing.

Light Breakfast
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning what to put in, what to leave out, composition, and how to be patient with larger paintings. I'm always trying to find better ways to use my time.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I get to share something I love and feel led to create with all of you. I hope you will visit my Daily Paintworks Gallery and will contact me if you have questions. Thank you Daily Paintworks!

Thanks, Carol!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Beata Musial-Tomaszewska

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

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

From Beata's DPW Gallery page:

Hi, I'm Beata, cheers from Poland. :) I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Faculty of Painting. Just after the Academy, I started working as a 3D animator and a special effect designer. That's what I still do, but now at a big production house in Warsaw. So my professional life is filled with advertising, movie production, and a computer as the only tool. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have a funny association with that kind of question because my boss used to say to us (just for fun), "Tell me how your adventure with the film first started." I'm working for an advertiser which makes special effects for commercials and movies. But I laugh and call it “show business.” :)

But seriously, I started drawing intensively when I was thirteen. It was one year before my high school of art exam and it was my first instance of daily painting - I would draw at least one picture a day. These were figures, hands, feet, just to get proportion. So I passed the exam with flying colors.

Orange Triangle
(click to see original image)

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

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

Yes, of course. Well, actually no, because I have never really started my career, so I couldn't stop it. ;) I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk in Poland, Faculty of Painting. Just after the Academy, I started working as a 3D animator and special effect designer. It was my second love - the movies. That's what I still do for a living but now I do it at a big production company in Warsaw. So my professional life is filled with advertising, movie production, and the computer as my sole tool of work. I have been painting in digital world. So now, I am trying to rebuild my connection between my brain and analog brush. :) But I still miss the ‘undo’ option. :(

Blue Horse
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

My biggest experiments ever were during my studies, while I was working on my diploma. I created four big format (2/3m) pictures, each of them in a different technique. I put them together, into a cube standing in the center. Then people could watch them walking around, between my pictures and numerous billboards which I had hung earlier on the walls. It was a clash of two completely different esthetics - the colorful billboards and my pictures.

Small Violin
(click to see original image)

One of the pictures was a painting on a metal board. I treated it with acid (to achieve the rust weathering effect), then oil paint and finally a blowtorch. The other one was made of expanding (polyurethane) foam - deeply textural. And the next one was encaustic. I tried to show two starkly contrasted esthetics - juxtaposed together, and the dissonance between them.

Who or what inspires you most?

I don't have one favorite painter, but I love many of them: Hals, Broughel, Velazquez, Goya, Guardi, Van Gogh, Boudin. From within Daily Paintworks, I particularly admire: Krista Eaton, Jacqueline Gnott, Faith Te, Arena Shawn, Carol Marine, Barbara Jaenicke, V Yeremyan, and many others.

Grebe
(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 get bored very quickly, so I prefer to paint in the same breath, meaning in one day and the next one. Additionally, I often change the subject and technique, and take up new challenges in order to not get stuck in a rut. I am not afraid of kitsch. Now, I am painting animals, landscape and people. That is what I really enjoy. I love nature but isn’t it ironic that I live in a big city? I happen to live in the capital of Poland. But to feel better, ten years ago I built a house in the countryside thirty-five km from Warsaw where, because of traffic jams, I can spend only weekends.

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

Patience and more patience, humility, and how to cut down on my living expenses. You know, artists are always poor but I'm overparticular both in life and painting. So that is what I strive against the most.

Orange Flower
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Meeting new people, both online and in real life. For me, painting eliminates boundaries and distances between people. In addition, it makes me happy when I can give somebody a bit of joy and reflection. I also like be my own boss - that means freedom for me. I would like to thank you for offering me the opportunity to promote my work. You give people lots of fun. My kids say it's much better than Facebook. ;)

Thanks, Beata!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Pera Schillings

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

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

From Pera's DPW Gallery page:

Artist Pera obtained an MA in Graphic Design and an MA in Photography in Aachen, Germany, before immigrating to South Africa. She worked as a graphic designer with architects, as an art director in the film industry and later as an interior designer for many years. In 2005, she started to paint in oil, experiencing intense pleasure and joy from playing with color. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Strangely enough, I just heeded the call from my inner artist, bought oil paints, brushes and canvasses, and off I went. The year was 2005 and I haven’t stopped since. As a novice to the medium, I was bold and na├»ve enough to follow my heart. I took photos of flowers and painted them close up and oversized: floral portraits.

I was blessed with some excellent teachers from the Stellenbosch Atelier and also with early business opportunities to sell my work in an artist run gallery with lots of overseas visitors.

One of those customers commissioned me to paint vegetables for their kitchen, I did some research via the net and discovered Daily Paintworks. The rest is history.

Egg and Lace
(click to see original image)

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

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

No, I found my calling (a great surprise to me, since photography was always my first love and forte.)

What mediums and genre have you experimented with?

In the early years at art school, I experimented with water colour, pastels, pen and ink, pencil and charcoal, but never oil.

Two Persimmons
(click to see original image)

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

Pencil and pen and ink. I love a good, old intricate line drawing with a pencil!

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Both as well as joining the urban sketchers movement.

Who or what inspires you most?

The strong light here in South Africa, the people with their love for bold colours, graphic patterns and the diversity of cultures, landscapes, fauna and flora.

Orange II
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Sometimes fear of a new project lets me dwindle time away, luckily it doesn’t happen often.

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

I do everything else first thing in the morning to clear myself of any lingering “to do’s.” That includes emails, marketing and life itself.

I paint from 12.00 to 18.00h straight, Mondays through Fridays, and weekends when I have a deadline.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

By observation, I like to look at everything.

For Things to Come
(click to see original image)

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

Feeding the “Well” with images from books, fashion, movies, music, history, other artists and the world around me!

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

Improving my skills on all levels. Edges.

Heavenly Chocolate II
(click to see original image)

What makes you happy about your art?

Feeling blessed to be able to follow my true vocation and to give people joy and pleasure with my paintings!

Thanks, Pera!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elena Lunetskaya

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

To enter to win Elena's painting, "Rainy City" 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 have been drawing since childhood. When I was three years old, I wanted to write a letter to my grandmother. I did not know how to write, and decided to draw it. I drew a story, painted with gouache, then found an envelope, took my mother's sewing kit and began to sew. As I didn't know how to end the stitch, when the thread ended, the needle remained hanging outside. As a result, on the letter hung about fifteen needles. It was my first art object. My mom kept it in a box for a long time, and often pulled it out, scaring guests.

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

There was a time, after the completion of training at the institute, I worked as a designer in an advertising agency, then as an illustrator in publishing. Then my son was born. Continuing a career in the office was difficult and I again took up painting.

Rainy City
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I experimented a lot. When I was younger, I even drew comics and won a prize at the international competition. Quite a long time ago, I did decorative compositions in mixed media (and I still do this sometimes). Oil gives more options, nothing is better for painting that has been invented.

I also attended the Russian school of painting, a very conservative school. It is absolutely authoritarian. Our artistic education is offered through great schools, but no one teaches students how to creatively apply their skills. Usually, well-educated Russian artists do not have stylistic diversity. They are always wanting to do everything correctly, but can't explain why. Some understand it later, and someone - never.

My husband is an ethnic Georgian who studied in Batumi, Georgia - a small Caucasian country with a strong identity. They teach very little of the classical school of thought, but there is a distinctive national artistic style. I can always recognize works by Georgian artists, they are difficult to miss. So now, we have each other to retrain. I gradually forget about what I was taught in St. Petersburg and my husband learns my northern style. Sometimes we work together.

Strawberry Fields
(click to see original image)

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

Comics have stuck. :). As for the rest - everything is up in the air, nothing can be sure. Maybe soon I will again work as a book illustrator. Everything is constantly changing. I think my author's style has not yet formed completely. I am slowly but surely forgetting what I was taught and teaching myself to live.

Who or what inspires you most?

Oddly, I love art from the early 20th century. I love the great mystics - Mikhail Vrubel, and Philip Malyavina. They both have a unique power (though perhaps blasphemous to compare them). And Pavel Filonov literally grows his paintings from animal or plant cells. They are scattered on atoms, separate worlds. When creating them, he does not think about anybody - just about collecting his painting, like legos, listing everything that comes to mind, collecting the smallest particles. You watch them, you raise them in his head, watching them rise and wilt.

What else inspires me: I like to read a collection of essays by Alexander Jakimowicz "Magic Universe" - inspired works of art as a struggle against the absurdity in our worlds. And, of course, Jorge Luis Borges. Wise man, who established the guidelines of the infinite chaos of modern culture.

And anything can inspire. In my youth I was familiar with an artist (he was quite successful, some of his works were purchased by a Russian museum). I came to him once as he was hanging on the wall a blank white canvas. And on it - an orange spot. He says to me, "I cannot tear myself away - what a beautiful orange spot. For a week I look at it, there's nothing more I can do. Why should I paint now, if I can't make anything more beautiful than this orange spot? I just sit on and look, I need nothing more. "And then he sold the apartment and went to Donetsk. To this day, I still remember it.

Pink Orchids
(click to see original image)

No matter what the source of inspiration is, the most important this is, ultimately, productivity: to not to get stuck and not go crazy. My small personal nightmare is to lose myself in the orange spot and never be able to create again.

Only you can inspire yourself. You wake up in the morning - there you are, and that's a reason for inspiration. This is something that can not be changed. Previously, the artist has been an integral part of their environment. He went somewhere and talked with colleagues and critics. Now, there you are online, you can see everything at once, and no one can digest all of that information. Now, I'm in Russia, St. Petersburg and am writing you this interview. Someone from Australia will see my pictures. Here you have the Library of Babel, and Borges would never have dreamt of this.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination - no such thing. But a week doing nothing - it's scary. Idleness breeds demons. Scariest is not procrastination itself, but that it creates apathy and laziness, and then is replaced with a fatal belief in the impossibility to change anything.

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

I teach painting classes as a profession - making time for art is not an issue.

Along the Coast
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I do not have constant ideas or have continuously experienced subjects. Although perhaps ideas come spontaneously - you can see something, then remember something. Daily work of life, travel on trains, types of villages and roads, all of it gives me ideas. It is probably not so much an idea, but a way to express a certain state. I love the story of Agatha Christie, who is asked where she takes subjects for her works. She replied, "I come up with them while washing dishes. When I wash the dishes, I always think about murder."

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

This is an interesting question. Ultimately, any creativity powered internal dissonance, it is also its consequence and cause. In fact, private madness is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Thank God, this is not about me. In fact, the variability of perception is a feature of any normal person.

The Dandelions
(click to see original image)

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

Contemporary art and life in general, are both a deeply creative process. We choke, not only in the stifling of passions, but also in the information chaos. There is so much information and the brain is small. It's hard to remember, and even more difficult to organize and catch trends. One of my dreams is to cut off the excess, leaving only the essentials. I would like to know that my actions will have real meaning, and not just to me.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I would like it if someone, upon getting one of my paintings, took a long look at it as my friend did on the orange spot. For a whole week they would do this - as a continuation of the absurd. And they would see what I see and feel. But this is impossible, and the glory of God. You can not change other people's worlds, imposing your own. Therefore, I would be happy if someone received one of my paintings and was just happy to have it. :) Just because it's cute and cool and it adorns the wall. I'm quite a logical and a nice lady with only the best wishes for all.

Thanks, Elena!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse