Thursday, January 7, 2016

DPW Interview: Gina Pater

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

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

From Gina's DPW Gallery Page:

Hi! My name is Gina Pater and I've been an online artist for the past seven years. I love being able to try and portray God's beautiful creation through paintings of landscapes and other types of subjects. I am not particular to one subject but enjoy a variety as well as the style of paintings I do. Thanks so much for taking the time to view my work and always feel free to contact me with any questions! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always been involved with art in some form for my entire life.  As a kid and teenager, I would spend hours in my room drawing various subjects over and over.  I remember the art courses in high school playing an important part, as it allowed me to explore a variety of mediums and techniques.  In 2005, I began painting murals in people's homes and it expanded from there!

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

I did have various stops and starts in my career.  I am married with two kids, and they always take first priority in my life.  They are currently fifteen and twelve and in school full time, but during their summer break when they are home from school, I always put my brushes down to take that time with them.

My painting career had been swinging by through the past few years, but a year and a half ago, my husband was struck with viral encephalitis, which is a swelling of the brain, and relative to the patient and treatment, the permanent results can vary dramatically.  It can take anywhere from six months to two years to recover from.  So for approximately a year, I put my brushes away and my family was my only priority at that time. Through much prayer and by God's grace alone my husband healed and it was a valuable experience for us all.  It was only this past fall I got my brushes back out and started again, and was amazed at how therapeutic the painting and artistic process is!

Little Clock
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have an appreciation for all mediums, from the simplicity and beauty of a simple pen and ink piece, all the way to the variety and texture of thick oils and other mediums. Personally, I had began with basic pencil and pen sketches, moved to acrylic, and later oils.  I laugh when I still think of when I started oils, I was so amazed and completely frustrated at the drying time!  (Obviously having patience is not one of my strong points, haha!)  But because I wanted to conquer oils, I stuck with them over and over and ended up falling in love with the texture, vibrancy and process.  Oil is now my medium of choice for most of my work and probably always will be!

As for genres, way back when, most of my pencil and pen sketches were of people.  I loved the variety and expression you could portray in a personal subject.  When I began painting and still to this day, my love for a variety of genres from landscapes, still life and abstracts might almost be my downfall, I want to work in them all.  The challenge of portraying realism in still life is so intriguing to me, trying to convey the beauty in a landscape is always fun, but most recently, allowing myself the freedom to work in abstracts has been really enjoyable and allowed me to loosen up in my technique.

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

I think oils and acrylics will always be my mediums of choice, depending on the subject and technique I'm working on at the moment, and the beauty and vibrancy you get from bolder colors is just naturally part of my work.  I tend to get bored way too quickly, so I will most likely keep working on still life subjects and continue to explore abstracts, as they both challenge me in different ways.

Blue Agate
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I look forward to exploring abstracts, but will most likely maintain some work in realism as well.  Both present challenges and beauty that I love working with, and due to my annoyingly curious nature (there was never a Christmas present I didn't peek at), I'm sure somewhere down the road I'll be pulled into other areas as well!

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm amazed at the variety of areas inspiration comes from!  I'm always amazed at how many amazing artists there are out there, and the variety of their subject matter and techniques.  Also, the deep colors and vibrancy in sunsets and the sky, the age and "feel" of vintage objects, not knowing what they've seen or been through, as well as deeper meanings behind the subject matters I choose, for example, the clocks I've done.  I look at them and not only see a symmetry in them that I like, but also what they represent: time which is limited, sometimes repetitive, never retrievable and unknown in what it holds.  And sometimes I just choose a subject either for it's simplicity, color combinations, humor, or sometimes just because!

Bowl of Pears
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Ahhh, procrastination... I'll get back to you on that... kidding!  I would get nothing done without coffee, chocolate and diet coke.  Procrastination is an ever evolving, always there, monkey on your back that just keeps hanging on; at least for me!  Sometimes I'd rather even CLEAN THE HOUSE rather than paint... BLAH!!  Personally, I really feel my procrastination is fueled from fear.  Fear of failure, fear of not being able to portray what I'm trying to, fear of criticism.  But if I choose not to paint and create because of that fear, I still fail.  And that type of failure, to me, is unacceptable. If I'm going to fail, I'm at least going to fail trying.

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

For me, scheduling and force do NOT work.  I need to be inspired, to feel the desire, to want to create it.  Or else it just comes forced, because I 'have to'.  And I think sometimes that force can take out some of the beauty and emotion from your work.  So I basically paint when I feel it; when I'm inspired by something and need to get it on canvas.

Cabin #3
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Purely by chance.  It's a glance at an object that stirs something in my soul, a sunset or sunrise that entices you to capture the colors, the clouds floating over the sky that makes you realize how far they've come and how small you really are in this world.

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

As much as I love realism and working to get your piece as close to the real thing as possible, I'm finding freedom in abstracts and allowing everything else to dictate the process instead of focusing on exact details.  Sometimes I get sick of working in acrylics and oils, so I pull out something else, and although I might not list it or make it available for sale, I do mess around with other mediums just for fun.

The Clock is Ticking
(click to view)

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

At this point, especially as an online artist, I feel like it's an ever-evolving beast in keeping up with the online world in trying to market yourself and your work.  It is fantastic that you're able to get yourself out there worldwide, but within that ability, if you are really working towards making art a career, you have to keep up with who, what, where and how artwork is being sold, as well as what type of work is going at the moment.  And also just being confident and comfortable in yourself and your work.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I think what makes me happiest about art is the satisfaction in being able to turn a blank white canvas into something that a client wants and loves to hang on their wall. Being able to portray feelings, images, and colors that evoke different responses in others is extremely satisfying.  And knowing I can create something they hopefully will see and love for years to come is very valuable to me, as well as doing my best to keep it affordable. There's something very special about having an original painting on your wall vs. a print, so I do my best to keep my prices at an affordable point.

Thanks, Gina!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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