Thursday, March 31, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Trevor Downes

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

To enter to win Trevor's painting, "203 CLASSIC FLOWERS 5" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Trevor's DPW Gallery:

I have worked full time in the advertising industry for over fifty years... from message boy to operating my own advertising design and finished art studio employing fifteen artists. The majority of my work was design and finished artwork for brochures, catalogues, packaging and press advertising in both colour and black and white. I have been fortunate to have worked in studios in Australia, Canada, U.S.A., England and Germany. I have used the skills I have gained on my travels to produce thousands of designs and pieces of finished artwork. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was a thirteen year old at the local Australian State School, we read a book called “The Drums of Mer” written by Ion Idriess. In the weekly art lesson, we were asked to illustrate something that impressed us from the book. Using our limited range of pastels, we produced our drawings.

Two of my class mates made a lasting impression on me.

One drew a dark storm scene... black clouds, lightning and angry waves crashing onto a tiny outrigger canoe. The other boy drew a soft, azure blue, idyllic, tropical seascape with sunset, islands and palm trees.

They produced two completely different interpretations.                

They had used the same pastels that I had used but their work was so different and exciting.  What a challenge.

I was hooked then and I’m still hooked now.

203 CLASSIC FLOWERS 5
(click to view)


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

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

No Stops.  From age seventeen, I have worked as an artist in press, print and packaging combining layout, design, illustration, typography, finished artwork and photo direction. I even wrote copy for radio and T.V. commercials when required for advertising campaigns.


My first paid job was for a chiropodist who needed signs to be placed on the risers of the steps up to her rooms.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have used most mediums and my work is realistic/impressionism.

223 ORIGINAL LIFE SKETCH 7
(click to view)

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

Pencil, charcoal, oil pastel and acrylic are favourites but I will test drive anything new.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Computer graphics. There’s a whole new world out there. It’s just a different pencil.

Who or what inspires you most?

“Have a go” is a great Aussie saying and people who “have a go” inspire me. It doesn’t matter what field they are working in.

040 PARKS & GARDENS 8
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is something I don’t know much about. I’m happiest when I’m busy and I always have half a dozen projects on the go.

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

Art is my life. I do find time to play golf twice a week, swim twice a week and look after our grandchildren whenever needed. If I’ve been very busy and can’t get into my studio during the day, I can work through the night to satisfy my creative urge.

143 MOD GIRL 2
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I really don’t know. They just keep coming. I am able to design and paint in my head and I like nothing better than to dream of painting.

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

I get disappointed when something I have worked on doesn’t work out to my satisfaction. Having worked to extremely tight deadlines in advertising, I know I can’t win them all so I just have another go.

122 FLOWERS ABSTRACT 2
(click to view)

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

Learning to enjoy myself and paint for my own pleasure gives me a great feeling of freedom.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Finishing a painting to the best of my ability. It amazes me as to which paintings get the most hits on the DPW website. It gives me joy to have the grandchildren ask me to “show them how to paint.” To pass on that love of drawing is a gift all around.

Thanks, Trevor!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 24, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Paulette Farrell

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

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

From Paulette's DPW Gallery:

I am a sports and portrait artist living in Cheshire, England who loves drawing sports scenes involving movement. I sold my first professional drawing in May 2014, since then the demand for my cricket & sports drawings have increased dramatically, becoming collectibles. I am now a professional artist working from my home studio. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I did not start drawing until my late thirties.  My children were given a box of oil pastels for free, nobody seemed interested in using them so I thought I would give them a go.  I was not sure how to use them so then began a journey into discovering mediums, how to use them, what they look like in a piece of art.  I think I am still on that journey six years later but interestingly, I do not use oil pastels anymore.

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

Not so far, once I started I have never stopped.  Some days are quieter than others though.

Snow Spaniel
(click to view)
Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Paulette's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Quite a lot.  I initially used oil paints which I really love but soon shelved due to young children and the length of time it takes to dry. I have used watercolours, charcoal, soft pastels and pastel pencils.  With genres, I have tried landscapes, still lives, portraits and figure drawings.

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

Watercolours quickly fell away; I did not like the fixed nature of them as I like to change my mind.  My artists eye has improved greatly and I won't stick with a piece if it doesn't feel right.  I have to keep changing it until I am happy.  Oil paints I hope to try again with now that I have my own studio space.  My true loves though are charcoal and pastels.  I work with both.  Charcoal is fantastic for doing my sports drawings, it allows me to show movement really well.  I also feel pretty smug that I can accomplish something wonderful with a stick of wood and a piece of paper.  Pastels and pastel pencils are also a great medium, they allow me to be flexible and I love the subtle blends.

Whippet Style
(click to view)

For genres, from the moment I started to draw I wanted to do portraits.  I think I liked the romantic ideal of having a sitter and drawing them.  This is something I have not done enough as I tend to work from digital photos more than anything.  My sports drawings come from my love of sport - particularly cricket and hours spent watching my children play.  I love the twist of bodies and the awkward shapes that sports people get into.  My pet drawings came from commission requests.  They were going well, but I always got really nervous when a new commission request comes in. I try to draw independently some tricky animal drawings to help my drawing.  I found I liked sourcing my own beautiful images and transforming them into art.

Who or what inspires you most?

A great or interesting pose, a moment in a sports event that captures movement and a key turning point.  The artists I love are those who represent beauty in art, who bring out the wonderful elements that we all see.  I love Renoir and Rembrandt and Carl Larsson.

Silhouette
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I had to look up what procrastination means, I think it means distraction or putting things off.  I have not drawn this weekend because I have spent almost all of it discovering lightroom and photoshop, only by chance because I wanted to know how to show my scanned drawings with a white background.  That led to three days kind of wasted but not really because I know a bit more now. So for me, I am guilty of going off on tangents and not staying focused. That said, it is probably a tangent that I needed to take.

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

This is a constant angst for me.  I work part time as well as having three teenagers, a dog and two cats.  I find it hard to settle down to draw when I know that there is other stuff to do.  The best thing that I have found lately is to ensure I work on a timetable.  I have three art days in a week and I now have those three days carefully planned to fit in website/email work, drawing, framing and promoting. The difference was immediate when I began to follow my timetable: a clearer mind with everything running fairly well.

Grace
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am a great lover of Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.  I follow a lot of sports contacts and I am always on the look out for great moments caught on camera.  I draw from life when I can, a sketch pad at a cricket match is a wonderful way to people watch.  The animal drawings are easy inspiration, as they are so lovely, the more natural looking the better though.  I prefer to capture certain 'looks' or moments with animals and people.  Probably the most common theme that captures my eye is movement, the more complicated the better!

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

Again a differing of opinion.  Good advice I have read is to stick to what you are good at or enjoy and become brilliant at it or completely contrary advice is to keep trying new things to maintain your interest and passion.  I tend to do the latter.  I like to keep up to date with new materials and techniques, I follow many artists and publications, go to galleries, etc.  It's what I like to see in other people's work that makes my own style and if I keep on admiring and evaluating other people's art then mine also improves.

Black Prince
(click to view)

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

I've recently taken up graphite drawing in order to improve my sketching skills.  Never a big lover of graphite, which I felt tended to look dull and dirty, it has come as a surprise how much I love it and indeed I am now marketing it as a new medium/style for me.  I think being able to use charcoal so well has helped me take up graphite so easily.  Also, I have recently discovered Nitram charcoal which is wonderful and allows me to be more accurate whilst still retaining the soft beauty of charcoal.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When the finished piece is the same image or better than the picture I had in my head.

Thanks, Paulette!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 17, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: R Kwong

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

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

From Rita's DPW Gallery:

Hello, This is Rita from Hong Kong.

Attracted by the tomato cover from Carol's "Daily Painting"; amazed and inspired by Carol's skills, ideas and suggestions; impressed by David's website and here I am. This is a great way to push myself to practice more and improve. Thanks for the setting up the platform and thanks for visiting my gallery. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

It's been my dream to learn Chinese painting since I was little but it wasn't until fourteen years ago that I had the opportunity to pick up Chinese painting.  I was lucky to have found a great teacher.  It’s been a slow yet amazing journey.

Roses Are Yellow
(click to view)
Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Rita's interview.

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

There are many down moments when I am not able to do simple stroke the way I want to. Those are the moments that I want to quit but I keep going and realize that there are two things: a) there is something called magic brushstroke where you can create a perfect brushstroke that you are not going to redo again. It's like magic. As such, the more you practice, the more magic strokes you are gonna get.  b) there is something called power minute where concentration is the key.  If you don’t have time to practice, just concentrate and do a few minutes of practice, each day.  It's better to concentrate and practice for short periods of time than to practice long periods of time without concentration.

Early Bird
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started portrait and figure drawing in pencil, charcoal, oil and acrylic last year.  I totally love the mediums and subject.  Although Chinese and Western mediums and method are different, I see them sharing common grounds and I only wish to try as many as I can for more inspiration.

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

I am still exploring different mediums and I don't want to get stuck in a particular one yet.  If I had to pick a medium to get stuck with, it would be Chinese painting.

Daisy-like Chrysanthemum
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Soft pastel.  I have not tried any soft pastel but already am in love with it.  I am reading Pastel Painting Atelier, hoping to have the time to explore.

Who or what inspires you most?

My husband inspires me the most.  He has semi formal art training while I don't.  He has sharp eyes and he is very honest about my paintings.  No, he doesn’t teach me but his critique is helping a lot.

Baby Chicks
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I do have trouble with that because I have a demanding full time job.  I basically can only paint on weekends. Joining Daily Paintworks is the key to disciplining myself to paint after work. Thanks again for the Daily Paintworks platform. I only wish I can be determined one day to quit my job and do full time painting.

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

I set aside weekends for art appreciation.  It sounds strange to need to break apart art and non-art time, but it works for me.  My full time job is very demanding and I don’t get to see daylight on weekdays working in the office.  I need to catch daylight on weekends to do sightseeing, painting, reading or go to art classes.

Yummy
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

From sightseeing.  I pay attention to wild flowers, insects, birds in particular.  I have friends doing bird photography and their photos inspire me a lot.

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

Read books.  Go out into nature.  Do photography.  Go to art galleries.  Best thing: go to auction preview - you get to see real paintings from masters!

Wisteria
(click to view)

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

Never give up.  There is never an end to art.  Keep seeing, searching and painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I look at my own piece, I say to myself, humm, that's not bad. I hope my piece brings you joy too. Thank you Daily Paintworks.

Thanks, Rita!


© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 10, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Pamela Munger

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

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

From Pamela's DPW Gallery:

In 2005, I picked up a paintbrush for the first time and have been completely obsessed ever since. The creative aspect is what draws me, therefore abstract appeals to me most, although I do enjoy painting a painterly landscape or still life now and then. I'm not into realism....obviously :) I'm more interested in color and light and breaking the landscape up into simple shapes. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

In 2005, I got a paint set for Christmas and I did my first painting. That was the start of what I had been searching for - to satisfy a need to create.

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

I haven't stopped painting since that first painting. If too many days go by where I don't paint, I get very restless and sort of depressed.

White Floral
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

One of my downfalls as a painter is that I like to experiment maybe a bit too much. I do mostly acrylics but also oil and watercolor. I'm always trying out different surfaces and mediums and styles of painting. I admit that I get bored with one way of painting and trying different methods keeps it interesting for me.

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

I started painting abstracts awhile ago and that definitely stuck. I also developed a much looser and faster style that feels comfortable to me. I stopped trying to paint realism as it left me feeling bored and non-creative. The last few years, my semi abstract floral paintings have been selling well.

Untitled
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'd like to try so many more things, the options are endless! We plan to move in a couple more years and then I can have a bigger studio and explore doing some really large scale work. I have a strong urge to swing my arm wide with a big brush of goopy paint.

Who or what inspires you most?

I keep an eye on design blogs and what's happening in the d├ęcor world. Second to creating, I like to sell, so I do pay some attention to colors and designs that are trending. I've worked with several designers over the years and used to do a lot of commissions but have scaled back with those as they are time consuming. I'm also inspired by reading about the art world at large and going to galleries.

Blue Muse
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Too me, painting is mostly about thinking about painting so even though it may look like procrastination as I sit in my chair with a far off expression on my face, it's really all part of the process. Which is to say, I don't feel that I procrastinate much in regards to my art. It's a priority for me, sometimes to the detriment of other things.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I arrive at ideas through so many different ways, same as other artists. Nature, taking photos, a certain slant of light, a certain color, etc. When you're looking at the world with an artist's eye, the ideas are coming constantly.

Beach Day
(click to view)

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

As I mentioned, I'm always trying lots of different methods in order to grow and keep it fresh and interesting to me. I can't paint just abstracts, or just landscapes or just florals. I would probably be a lot more successful if I could focus more but I try to strike a balance between doing what I like and doing what sells. I'm a self taught artist. I've taken only a few classes because I find that too much instruction really stifles me. I learn best by discovering for myself. So, I waste a lot of paint and have to do a lot of tossing out and repainting but along the way a little learning seeps in.

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

I love how painting can tell you who you are as a person. I'm learning how much courage it takes to grow as an artist, how willing you have to be to fail.

All Together
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I did a large blue abstract painting a few years ago that I loved and had hanging on my wall for a few months. I sold it to a set designer for the show Mad Men and it was in season seven. That was pretty thrilling. To be able to create and then sell it online, it doesn't get much better than that. Thank you Daily Paintworks for being an awesome venue!

Thanks, Pamela!


© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 3, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patti Frasier

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

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

From Patti's DPW Gallery:

I love to paint. I feel like it's what I'm meant to do. I paint every day because it makes me happy. And if I can make someone else happy in the process, that's the icing on top.

I want my paintings to be like a poem -- just enough to tell the story. Impressionism with a sense of abstraction. Strong, decisive brush strokes. And exciting, unexpected use of color. I love to explore the beauty of nature and everyday things that we tend to take for granted. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have loved making art since I was a child and art was always my favorite subject in school. I started to pursue it in college, but got discouraged early on by an insensitive teacher. I didn’t pick it up again until I was in my 30s, taking lots of drawing classes in the evenings.

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

I wished I had pursued art in college, as now I believe I could have made a happy living of painting and teaching. It feels like what I was meant to do. The other obstacle is that I spent a lot of time learning how to draw, probably too much time, and put off learning to paint because, to be honest, I was a bit afraid of it.

I didn’t start painting until I was 53 and wondered why I ever waited so long to try it because I love it so much. But it is very challenging and takes lots of time, effort and practice. I always tell people it’s like learning to play a musical instrument. You would never expect to pick up a violin and play beautifully right away. It’s the same way with painting; it takes years of practice to be skilled and proficient. It takes years to integrate all you learn along the way, such as color mixing, temperature, values, composition, drawing and designing a painting.

Golden Delicious Light
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Fortunately, I started out painting with Linda Hendrickson, who teaches acrylic painting in a fun way. You start with what she calls a “doodle start,” just flowing paint on first in different colors and marks, not trying for any sort of representation. It really loosens you up. She also uses a very bright color palette, which makes learning to paint even more fun. Then you paint the subject over top of the loose underpainting, using the underpainting to make up some of the subject.

I switched over to oil painting later on after taking classes with Trisha Adams and Kurt Schwartz. I love the way oil paint flows onto the canvas and makes it easy to blend and lose edges. Acrylic is a bit less forgiving in that way.

I also took a class from Lisa Daria recently and she uses acrylics to paint small florals in a very abstract style without any initial drawing. I tried that for a while, but I missed oil paints and since I spent so much time learning to draw, I’m a very good at it and enjoy it, so I went back to a more representational style. I love when some of the drawing (calligraphy) shows through in the final painting.

I have painted portraits, figures, landscapes, florals, pets, birds and still life. Portrait and figure painting is much more difficult as you have to match the likeness of your subject. Other subjects are more forgiving, so I paint mostly florals and still lifes. I have also recently started painting more pet portraits, which I enjoy because I love animals and the clients are so thrilled to have a painting of their beloved pets.

Many Colored Peaches
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m looking forward to getting better at painting florals. I have a passion for flowers, but am finding them very challenging to paint. It’s a bit harder to see the values and keep it simple. I also want to do more plein air painting and pet portraits. Right now, I’m exploring how to paint a snowy winter scene. Then I want to practice painting roses. I love Qiang Huang’s roses.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am most inspired by painters with a loose, painterly style. I think it’s difficult to achieve because it takes a lot of practice to know how to lay down the deliberate, bold brushstrokes it requires. I love the impressionistic aspect of this style because it turns the artist into somewhat of a poet, only describing what needs to be described, in as few strokes as possible.

Sunlit Sunflowers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like reading too many books, watching too many videos, taking too many workshops and not just putting in the time to paint. Sometimes it looks like getting up too late so I don’t have time to paint.

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

I work full-time at a day job, but I work from home so that helps. I get up extra early and paint for at least an hour before I start my job. I also carve out time on Sunday mornings to paint. These are my non-negotiable painting times. I also do at least one task each day to keep up with my art business such as posting to DPW, Facebook and Pinterest and mailing purchased paintings. Saturday is my time to varnish and frame paintings. I guess you could say I’ve created a structure for myself because I realized I am not happy unless I’m painting so I need to put it first by scheduling it into my daily life.

I think I avoid my art because I’m afraid of failure. I’m sure it’s the same for most artists. Having a routine, painting at the same time every day and not taking it so seriously helps. No one is going to die if a painting isn’t successful. I also expect to feel a little fear and frustration along the way. It’s part of the process.

Sometimes, if I’m really avoiding my art, I tell myself to just do something for five minutes. Of course, that usually turns into more, but it gets me over the hump.

Mini Maddie
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I just stay aware of what I feel inspired to paint, kind of going with the flow. Sometimes I feel inspired by what another artist is doing.

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

I keep it fresh mostly by not over painting; stopping before I kill the painting and lose the freshness. I also like to let some of the under painting show through.

Eileen's Bakery
(click to view)

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

Right now I’m learning to slow down and study my subject and think about the design first (such as the focal point and what to exaggerate) before I start painting. I’m learning how to really observe. I think that is what makes a truly great artist. I’m also finding my style as an artist. It takes a while and it’s not something you can force.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I just love the creative process of painting – how the painting sort of takes over and tells you what it needs. It’s very magical.

Thanks, Patti!

© 2016 Sophie Marine