Thursday, September 22, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mary Jabens

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

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

From Mary's DPW Gallery:

I love living in Southern Utah! We have desert, mountains and all four seasons is my description to people who ask. The diversity in what to paint each day can take several minutes to decide: red rocks, trees, big vistas, close up to mother nature, it is endless. And when my dog, Max, comes along, it makes an even better way to spend the day! Of course, he is in training regarding patience in painting in one spot for awhile!! (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started with crayons when I was little and kept going! During an illness when I was younger, my mom bought me my first set of paints/brushes and lessons. I was hooked forever. Later in life, a friend interested me in painting outdoors (plein air). I immediately knew this was a perfect match for me.

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

Yes, I think all creative souls have the “ebb and flow” of art. Creating has always been a healing mechanism for me so that makes it even more personal. I moved a lot based on my husband’s work. That brought many new places to see. Some of these moves inspired me and some not so much. When I just couldn’t paint, I spent my time absorbing art and finding my way. I think I will always have starts and stops, it is part of my life’s rhythm.

Sunlight in the Canyon
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I paint in oils now but have done watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, and colored pencils. I am an impressionist painter in oils/watercolor and more of a realist in the pen/pencils. There are so many mediums to delve into, I have to stay focused or I would be hopping from one to another and never accomplish anything!

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

Oils stuck with me since that first childhood lesson. I may have used other mediums along the way but oils were my love. I tried acrylics, just never made a connection with them. I would probably do more watercolors if I didn’t have to plan so much. I like to let my mind wander when painting and watercolor is not receptive to that path!

Rain in the Vallery - Silver Ree
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am intrigued by encaustic, gauche and fiber media. I took a bookmaking workshop that was astounding. The possibilities of combining found objects and created art at the same time is endless.

Who or what inspires you most?

I have several close friends who are my mentors/friends and crazy painting buddies. They, along with past friends/mentors, let me see their world as they see it through their mediums and that is incredible. With today’s media access to art, I am inspired daily by new artists and their work, many I would never have known about if it weren’t for the internet. Growing up in Montana I have always loved Edgar Payne, Thomas Moran, Charlie Russell and way too many others to list. I am in awe of Jill Carver, Mark Bodges, Brian Blood, Scott Christensen and Tibor Nagy.

Morning Sunshine and Mountain Daisies
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I worry too much about everything to be a successful procrastinator. I drive myself crazy making sure my commitments are done ahead of schedule… well maybe except for housework!

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

I work full time so painting time is always a challenge. Since my husband died I am in a whole new world. It has taken me a bit to figure out how to keep my life going. His gift to me in the last few years was to handle much of homelife, freeing evening/weekend time to paint. It is a daily challenge to find that normalcy I had before. Now I tend to let my “other” responsibilities override my time for art. Knowing that of myself, I am learning to be selfish about painting. Defining what is important helps me put the guilt away and go paint! I find my emotions and state of mind are on a much more even keel when I paint often. That is the incentive now.

Spring in the Canyons
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Living in Southern Utah has endless subject matter. I start driving and am cognizant of “glimpses.” A quick shot of light or a shadow shape, these are my favorite. Color or combinations of colors that scream my name make me turn around to find them. When I need additional inspiration, I look through my photos and paintings reliving the thoughts and feelings at the time I was there.

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

That is a hard question. It is easy to fall in the pattern of repetition painting: scenes I have painted many times and require little input from me, just memory. To avoid this, I change up everything: places/subjects and time of day. I paint in every season and all types of weather. Color is a catalyst which spurs me to find new ways to express what I am seeing. I have a friend who loves to paint everything. He constantly pushes me to expand my painter’s mind and abilities.

Cedar Breaks - Spring Flowers
(click to view)

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

Seems like so much, my head is a jumble sometimes. Right now it would be edges. They are so elusive yet so important. I am also working on variation - light to dark, warm to cool in each object and the painting as a whole. Composition, and keeping the viewer’s eye moving throughout the painting.

What makes you the happiest about your art?

Setting up my gear and pushing paint makes me smile. I love it when a viewer’s comments are exactly what I was thinking and hoping to convey. Painting lets me focus on the process and set aside life’s issues for a little while. More importantly, painting heals me. It gives me an outlet for the negativity of the day and replaces it with hope and joy of life.

Thanks, Mary!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

No comments:

Post a Comment