Thursday, April 16, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Anette Power

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

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

From Anette's DPW Gallery Page:

I like to pause to capture moments; yummy color combinations, the sun lighting kids at play, hazy atmosphere in nature and the timeless design of classic cars. These visual moments all stop me in my tracks. At my easel, brush in hand I ask myself: How do I best divide my canvas, find the right angle, balance the lights and darks and crop my subject in a way that tells a story? I want to capture life around me and document our fleeting place in history. I grew up in Sweden on an island off the east coast. Thanks to my mom and being a little far from town, my sister and I did a lot of creative play. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up on an island outside of town, off the east coast of Sweden, and my mom painted, so there was exposure to art and a lot of time to make it.  It made for a creative childhood where art was a natural part of it, as well as spending time in nature, making toys and playing with sticks. I also got positive feedback and won some art competitions in school, so it felt like my thing.

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

Acting was a priority for me starting in middle school and all the way up until age twenty-three when after two acting schools and living in the US, I realized that I’d rather go back to focusing on art – Here... Look at my work, not me.  I then found my way into the much smaller and friendlier world of Animation.  It was a wonderful way to learn about setting a mood and creating a world with color and light to support your story and characters.

When I had kids, I was determined to not take twenty years off from painting so I just had to find ways and time to do it in between family time!  Not an easy task, and it would be impossible without my supportive husband!

Sunny Stairs
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with drawing and watercolor as a child and dabbled with pastels and acrylics before falling in love with the directness and immediacy of oils.  I’ve tried print-making for the graphic look it can achieve and mixed media.

Landscapes were my subject matter more than anything.  I used to be so intimidated by the subject of people, feeling more connected to, and familiar with nature.  So it fit perfectly that during my fourteen years in Animation my focus was to paint the backgrounds behind the characters.  In more recent years, I’ve been working hard on my “people skills” by taking quick-sketch (and life-drawing) classes, and learning about character-design and caricature.  I still find that I get the most stuck on painting faces, and getting them right, but I’m not as intimidated as before and I have learned to break it down to shapes and planes and how the light hits those planes.

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

In the last few years, I’ve been more and more drawn to painting scenes with buildings, animals, kids, and classical cars because they naturally provide more colors.  It’s all in an effort to document the world and the colorful moments around me that speak of our time here.

Duck out of Water
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m always trying to go more abstract.  I’m so intrigued by the shapes and lines within the picture plane and how to crop and compose something in a fresh way.  I’m fascinated by abstract art!  When I do it myself, I inevitably fall into painting something more three-dimensional and descriptive.  I’m a bit of a control-freak so the unknown journey of an abstract is a little out of my comfort zone.   I want to keep working on adding elements of abstraction (or simplification) to my realistic work and it really keeps me on my toes, alert and challenged.

Who or what inspires you most?

My niece Manda, who only got to be here for a short time, continuously inspires me to do what I love while I’m here.

I’m inspired by many artists and collect work of artists that inspire me on Pinterest.

Here are some of the ones I admire for how they can toe the line of realism and abstraction - my Pinterest page Abstracted Realism.

The Regal One
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It’s easy for me to say that there’s never enough time to paint, so I don’t feel like I do a lot of procrastination.  But I realize that for me procrastination shows up as getting a little paralyzed when I want to work on something that’s out of my comfort zone, such as abstract work.  An artist’s life is full of ups and downs… I get into a show, work that I really care about gets rejected.  At those times, it’s easy to question what I’m doing and start comparing which also can lead to procrastination.   That’s when I need to just work on some daily paintings. Something small and fast to get back to the joy of capturing my impressions of the world.

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

It probably helps that I’m a little obsessed and get cranky if I don’t get my fill of making, seeing and planning for great art.  I then leave the dishes behind and escape.

Wharf Wiggles
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I research and look at a lot of art, which helps me figure out what I like to accomplish in my own work.  I take a ton of photos that I can go through if I ever run out of ideas.  I usually have way more ideas than time.  I would say that aside from capturing moments, my work is composition and theme driven.  My latest theme being on the subject of holding on and letting go…

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

Whenever I feel burned out, overly critical, am over-working things, or stuck on “getting it right”, then I know it’s time to paint outside.  There’s something about the immediacy of painting a living world and what’s right in front of me (before it changes) that helps.  It totally re-charges me and brings me back to the joy of painting.  It also gives me a feeling of my true size in the world, if that makes sense.  If I paint from photos, I like to turn them upside down to look at the image with fresh eyes!

DIY Bubblebath
(click to see original image)

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

I'm learning to trust that I know enough to let go and just paint.  See this blog post on practice, improvising and what actually happens in our brains when we’re in the flow of things according to a great Ted Talk Radio Hour.

I continuously work on simplifying. I'm not sure why it is so hard... Lol.  One concept that has helped me with that recently is Kevin McPherson’s thoughts on the Truth of Light and Shadow.  Liz Wiltzen does an excellent job of explaining it here.

There’s so much to learn about the business of art.  I feel like I need to look into possible gallery representation soon as I continue on my new series.  I need to figure out what the next step is for the next phase of my art career.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing the joy of creating art with kids and adults alike.  Seeing great art that inspires me to create.   Enjoying when others find joy in my work.  The camaraderie this journey brings with other artists and the belief that my best work is just around the corner…

Thanks, Anette!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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