Thursday, February 12, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amy Schimler-Safford

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

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

From Amy's DPW gallery page:

I studied textile design and painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA. I work as a children's illustrator by day and have returned to my passion of painting these past few years. I work predominantly in oils, alla prima style. Color is very important in my paintings as well as my illustration work. I hope you enjoy my work, thanks so much for stopping by. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have done artwork ever since I can remember. I dabbled in painting with oils on and off as a teenager and then when I was in my twenties, I took a class. I went back to art school at age thirty to study painting but wound up focusing on textile arts. I didn’t get back to it until two years ago in my late fifties. I wondered all of these years what my painting voice is.

Roses and Berries
(click to see original image)

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

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

Many, the typical life interruptions – starting a family, work obligations, and I also had some medical issues layered on top of that.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked with gouache and acrylic in my work (I am an illustrator by day) and also have done collage and monoprint.

Trio
(click to see original image)

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

I still love working with gouache; love the printing process too. I just don’t have time to do everything I want to, so for now I have made a commitment to oils.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I feel like my journey with oils has just begun.

Who or what inspires you most?

Color, color, color – shapes, nature, interesting moments where colors meet.

Persimmons
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It used to be an interruption when I was just getting started, but I think that had a lot to do with not being comfortable with the medium. It was hard work and a lot of hits and misses and feelings of discouragement.

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

Now that I feel I am over the first hump of the challenge of learning something new, I look forward to it. I make sure to paint weekly.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I just look to see what inspires me. I went through a period where I was drawn to all of the fall vegetables in Whole Foods.

Saturday Peonies
(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?

Studying with painters I admire, trying to understand what I respond to. Recently when I paint, each time is a different experience, I try to let go and trust the process. I remind myself to look, to see color, to see the light and to see the dark.

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

How to push color and light. How to let go. How to keep a brush stroke meaningful and expressive. What to include, what to leave out.

Friday's Flowers
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Doing it, sharing it and playing with buttery color for hours at a time.

Thanks, Amy!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

1 comment:

  1. I have loved your paintings. I should have commented on many of them. I will from now on. I am a peony painter too. Trying to get the essential from without going in petal by petal is what is interesting to me. I see you have a similar goal. I call it "Peony Quest" . But it applies to all subjects. More later..Jo

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