Thursday, December 15, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Chantel Barber

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

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

From Chantel's DPW Gallery:

Chantel Lynn Barber resides in Bartlett, Tennessee. Her passion for art began flourishing at age twelve when she studied under various local San Diego artists. Chantel studied art while living in Rhode Island and Keflavik, Iceland. She remained active in local art communities. Chantel opened her own art business "Chantel's Originals" in 2006. Chantel has benefited from workshops and demonstrations with outstanding artists including Dawn Whitelaw and Michael Shane Neil. Chantel is the Tennessee State Ambassador for the Portrait Society of America and is also a member of the American Impressionist Society. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My earliest memories are of painting with children’s watercolor. When I was ten years old I was introduced to oil painting by a neighbor who was an artist. She gave me lessons once a week for the next three years.

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

Most definitely. In the early years I struggled with feeling that I was not good enough and at one point I packed my art supplies away for two years. I also had times where health issues and raising two boys caused me to put my art on hold.

In Paris
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in oil, charcoal, graphite, acrylic, soft pastel, mixed media and clay. I have explored painting landscapes, animals, buildings, still life, botanicals, and portraiture.

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

Portraiture is definitely a genre that has stuck with me! I continue to enjoy plein air painting, along with creating botanical still lives. Without a doubt, acrylic is my favorite medium - closely followed by graphite and soft pastel. I just love working in these! I no longer work in oil.

Looking Up
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I continue to delve into the possibilities of the acrylic medium. I am drawn to it’s versatility. I want to develop techniques using acrylic to create plein air pieces on location.

Who or what inspires you most?

People inspire me! I was recently at the Grand Canyon and while everyone else was absorbed in the beautiful landscape, I was drawn to the variety of people all around. Every face was so interesting and unique. I cannot help but be captured by the human spirit and often find myself working out how to express this in paint.

Take Notice
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Cleaning! I clean and organize when I am avoiding the easel. I know a painting is not going well, or I am avoiding it, when I find I would rather clean a toilet than paint.

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

A daily routine is key to my painting almost every day. When in the studio I control distractions. I love to listen to audio books while I paint and a good story will ensure my presence at the easel.

On Your Shoulders
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am a keen observer of things around me. Often seeing a display in a store or watching people walking by inspires me. I am always on the lookout for props to be modeled, hats in particular. Once I have a hat, I look for a model who brings emotion to the piece.

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

I learned early on that continuing to work on a painting which has lost it’s freshness is a formula for burnout. If a painting is not working, or the idea has faded, it is recycled or tossed. During the painting process, a stroke that is not reading right is never left on the canvas. It is removed and a new stroke laid down. I am not afraid to wipe a painting down to it’s ghost and start over rather than continue with an over-worked piece. It is not a waste of time and supplies because I have learned valuable lessons about what worked and what didn’t.

Being Me
(click to view)

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

I find I am more concerned with the overall effect of a painting rather than getting caught up in the details. I am intrigued by how important controlling values are to the success of a painting. Everyday brings new challenges in this area.

What makes you happiest about your art?

This is a tough one to answer. I love the finished pieces and the way others are blessed through my art. But the process of getting to the finished piece is truly where my happy place is. There is nothing quite like standing at the easel, brush in hand, watching a piece emerge. I am grateful that God has shared this talent with me.

Thanks, Chantel!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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