Thursday, March 12, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Diane Eugster

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

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

From Diane's DPW gallery page:

Since my mother was also an artist, painting has always been a big part of my life. As a child I loved drawing people, as an adult I hiked the red canyons of Nevada capturing the rugged landscape, but figurative painting has always been my passion. Teaching classes and workshops over the years has definitely helped to hone my painting skills. I've been involved in and won awards in Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society exhibits as well as being represented by several galleries; The Weatherburn Gallery, Naples Florida, The Lee Youngman Gallery, Calistoga California, The Willow Gallery, Scottsdale,Arizona and the Gallery at Summerlin, Las Vegas. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My mother was an artist. I don't know how she found the time to paint with two small children, but I do remember the smell of linseed oil on rags as she toned her canvases. When I was a teenager my father bought The Artist, an art supply store, which was also my first job. Reading all the art books when business was slow and getting substantial art supply discounts enabled me to creatively experiment with many materials. This experience provided the spring board to really dive into painting.

Reflection
(click to see original image)

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

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

Oh yes, in around 2008, I was questioning my motives for painting. The excitement in the beginning had been replaced with meeting deadlines for shows, the experimenting replaced with "just getting it done". So one day, I boxed up my brushes and paints, not being sure if I would ever open them up again.

Three years later, I realized the original things that drew me to painting were still there, I just had to go back to a place before I let other things get out of control. Someone told me to just paint what I love and other people will share in my enthusiasm, that has been very good advice.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I worked for several years in watercolor. I was even the librarian on the board of our Las Vegas Watercolor Society. Again, devouring the books and videos, taking yearly workshops offered, and featuring artists such as Stephen Quiller and Don Andrews caused my skill level to rise exponentially. Eventually, I changed to oils when I realized what a flexible medium it was.

First Tide
(click to see original image)

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

Oil paint really allows me to "speak paint". The things I want to express about my subjects just seem to flow from paint to canvas. It feels very natural to me. I don't see myself changing mediums anytime soon.

Who or what inspires you most?

When I began oil painting, it was primarily as a plein air landscape artist. Hiking in the Red Rock Canyon to find subjects to paint was my favorite past time. I loved the feeling of being outdoors, even in adverse conditions while I painted. In 2001, I started going to weekly life drawing sessions. This is where my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities of using not only the human body but also individual expressions to make painterly stories.

On a day to day basis, I've found many artists on the internet that give me inspiration. One of my favorite places to find inspiration is Pinterest. My top three list would include John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorrolla and John Asaro.

Mending Her Shoe
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I find procrastination creeps in when I make a drawing for a new painting in the morning. I'll look at it over and over but there it is, untouched for the rest of the day. I tell myself I'll begin on it tomorrow but other "more important" things come up that I just have to do. After a day or so of that, I realize I didn't have a firm idea of what I wanted to do with that painting in the first place. The remedy then is to move on and choose another subject. Not every image is a good reason for a painting.

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

Since doing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, I've realized I need to be working in longer blocks of consecutive time so that my paint stays workable during the whole process. I've documented many of the things I learned during this challenge on my blog at DianesPaintingBlog.Wordpress.com. Now, I plan my painting to fall on three consecutive days. Day 1 - get the drawing down correctly, day 2 - work for five to seven hours on the painting, day 3 - as long as it takes to finish. This gives me the rest of the week to get other things done.

Looking West
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I orchestrate photo shoots using scenes and clothing that fit the personality of the individual I'm working with. The resulting photos fill my thoughts with so many scenarios and stories I just can't wait to get them out of my head and onto the canvas.

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

I don't plan my paintings as much as I used to. Jumping into it a little unsure of what's going to happen keeps my senses sharp. I also learned doing the 30/30 to just hang in there, every painting has it's rough spots, and it's all a part of the process. I believe in the past I've given up on too many paintings too soon.

White Veil
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning more and more about the importance of harmony in my painting. Using fewer colors and slowing down to see how everything is interconnected has improved my work immensely.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get to that place in a painting I mentioned above, the rough spot, then I begin to slowly pull it out of discord and into the place I had imagined in my head. It's such a fantastic feeling, like playing an instrument and making beautiful music.

Thanks, Diane!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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