Friday, September 22, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Midori Yoshino

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Midori's painting, "The Equestrian Club in Al Ain" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.


I had studied painting and drawing for my job as a fashion designer, but it wasn’t something very important to me. Just a tool for my work. I started painting seriously in July, 2007.

A very sad thing happened to a friend of mine. I don’t want to go into details, but thinking about it made me feel I had to start doing what I really wanted to do. My daughter says YOLO. You Only Live Once. I think that is true and I didn’t want to waste my one life.

Art had been a hobby for me, but I was out of practice and needed to re-learn some things. I took a watercolour class at a local university and entered one of my paintings from that class in an Art competition. When I won, I realised that I really had some ability in painting.

The Equestrian Club in Al Ain
(click to view)

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


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

I did stop the ‘hobby’ painting when I got married and my daughter, Aki, was born. Since I started it seriously, though, I have never stopped. It takes discipline, but I decided I wanted to paint one piece every day. I have found it really makes me look at the world around me because I have to have something to use as a subject.

Once you start doing that, you see the world in a different way. There are many amazing things happening on the streets and in the markets of a town like Al Ain, many things of quiet beauty, but most people don’t see them because they have other things on their minds. 


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oils, watercolours, acrylic and water colour pencils.


Al Ain Mall
(click to view)


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

I learned oil first, but I felt it was not my medium. We Japanese use watercolour when we are in primary school. We all get used to using it. So watercolour painting is kind of part of our lives for most Japanese and, of course, it has been a big part of our culture. From ancient times, people in Japan have painted on silk or handmade paper with watercolours. Some of this is connected with calligraphy, because we write with a brush also, but there is a long tradition of recording things that are beautiful in nature with watercolours.

I love acrylic as well, though. I do work in it sometimes. The different medium gives me new ideas for how to treat the scene.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

My paintings are usually fairly small. So I want to try something huge.


Blue World
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I’ve been inspired by lots of artists. It is very hard to pick only one, though.

It’s probably Ms Keiko Tanabe. I took her workshop three years ago. It was a plein aire workshop in France. She paints in any situation or conditions, always produces incredible work and her personality is great as well. She has a very warm heart and always cares about other people.

Kanta Harusaki,Yoko Hausaki and  Kenji Aoe are favourites of mine as well.



What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like cooking a meal for my family, or doing the housework. That’s the only time when I’m not working on art. I teach students at a local university and in my home or theirs. Of course I meet with friends to drink coffee and chat sometimes, but that’s doing something positive, not just avoiding painting. I feel that I’m always busy.

Festival in Yemen
(click to view)


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

I don’t need to make time for painting, whenever I want to do it I can, pretty much. I teach watercolour almost every evening but I have enough time in the morning. I can usually just get out of bed and start painting.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Over the years I’ve become very interested in the work done by ‘invisible’ people. A lot of the ordinary jobs around Al Ain are done by men from the sub-continent, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. They are very hard-working and usually very cheerful and friendly.  I look for them sweeping the streets, repairing the roads, driving taxis and selling fruit and vegetables in the local souks.

I go sketching every day and do simple sketches and simple paintings at the scene which I finish at home. If I don’t have enough time, I take photos.




Yaka Chan
(click to view)

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

 
I never get bored with painting at all. I look for new things all of the time and I am always really pleased to discover something for the first time.

Whenever I go out, I can find out something to paint. I do sometimes get stuck and have no idea how to finish a piece.  In that case, I leave the painting in the store room and a few days later I take it out and I can usually paint on and finish it with new refreshed mind.


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


Everyday I learn from both my work and other people’s as well. Everyday I find out something new, that’s why I can continue painting I think.


What makes you happiest about your art?

When I teach and see the student’s happy face. That is the happiest time for me.

Watercolour is a very flexible medium. It is easy to do even in a bus or on an airplane with a tiny pan paint pallet and a pad of paper on your lap. I would like to spread the idea that watercolour is lots of fun.

Thanks, Midori!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patricia Musgrave

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Patricia's painting, "Painted Roses" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Patricia's DPW Gallery:

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and am a life-long painter. Gardens, florals and still life have been my subjects of choice, but landscape painting is where I believe I find the most challenge. Color is both a quest and reward. I never get tired of finding new ways of exploring color harmonies.

I believe that a good painting aught to be more than a two-dimensional object. It should not only provide pleasure, but must also give inspiration to the viewer that stays with them after they have moved on to look at something else. That is my goal with every painting I create.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I can’t remember a time not painting! But I suppose it would have been in pre-school or kindergarten, like many others. My mother was an artist at a time one was supposed to put away those fanciful ideas and be a wife and mother, but the artistic influence was always there.

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

Of course! I always thought of myself as an artist, but there were times other things seemed more important, but it was the birth of my daughter that got me truly serious about my work. I wanted to be a good role-model for her. Now, I try not to let anything get in the way, but life does.

Painted Roses
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I felt the connection to painting early on, and was never seduced by print making or sculpture, although I like them very much. I hope to come back in my next life and be a sculptor (and an opera singer), but I was always drawn to the colors, and thick and tactile quality of oil and acrylic paint.

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

As a younger artist, I was very interested in abstract art, but gradually came to see realism and all its intricacies as the greater challenge. I do have a variety of styles, and that’s because to me, each painting is different. From idea to execution, things develop - and change - and often the media or paint application needs to change as well.  Color has always been the most intriguing element to me. It's allure - the warmth and coolness of tones, the mixing of colors and where you place them, that has been the key element in my art.

Sheep in the Road
(click to view)

What are your goals as a painter?

I look forward to painting more and painting better! Even though I have painted for decades, I feel like I have not reached my high-water mark. Whether it is to paint “the perfect painting” or to reach and succeed at a higher level, I just don’t know yet, but I look forward to finding out "the journey".

Who or what inspires you most?

I’d like to say everything does, but to be more specific, daily life inspires me - I try and see the beauty in everything I look at, and be open to ideas. My fellow artists also inspire me - not just the masters, but we live in a time where there is a lot of really good art being made, and I feel constantly inspired.

Late Summer Sunflowers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

All the other stuff when I’m not painting. Appointments you can’t get out of, family visits, laundry, dinner, stuff. You have to be as vigilant as you can in your own interests.

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

First of all, I have regular painting hours that I keep sacred, and no one can bug me. I say “I’m sorry but I have to work”, even if I don’t get much done. Then I put on music, the music is an "audio reminder" that I’m supposed to be painting. I guess it’s all self-discipline. I think the discipline to keep working is as important as good paints and bushes.

Dusk, Lima, Peru
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I’d like to say that everything gives me ideas, but I guess it’s a mindset. I try and keep my “creative channel” open at all times. But I also get ideas from pictures, stories, other artists and what they’ve done - what colors and combinations they’ve used, what techniques, etc. It’s all “information in”.

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

Tough question. Assuming my art is fresh and vibrant, I try to keep a good mood while I'm painting (going into “ the zone”), and not paint on an important painting when I’m sick or feeling blah or upset. Looking at the great masters of history as well as current artists is also important, asking questions  - how did they do that, why does this work? Also, visiting museums, and galleries, seeing “real" paintings where ever I can.

Breakfast
(click to view)

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

How to improve on what I do. There is so much to know and understand. It’s a life long quest.

What makes you happiest about your art?

First, just doing it. The sheer joy of putting paint on a surface (usually canvas) and having it “work”. Then other peoples' appreciation, not the ego stuff, but the sharing of some inexplicable thing. They see this picture and feel happy or rewarded, and there’s some kind of a connection, human to human. That connection, to me, it is what it’s all about.

Thanks, Patricia!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 7, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alina Vidulescu

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Alina's painting, "Florence Panoramic View" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Alina's DPW Gallery:

I love to paint landscapes, and architecture but am also trying different subjects and styles. Most of my paintings are inspired by my travel. I love painting with acrylics but occasionally use oil.

I paint because:
• It makes me smile.
• I love yellow, purple and the smell of fresh cut grass.
• I love contrast.
• I like the way the brush sings. I paint anything that makes me happy.

My work is collected throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

See some of my sold work here: www.yessy.com/alinavidulescu

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I picked up the brushes pretty late in my life, and discovered that I probably loved painting all the time, and had no idea about it. I studied, and worked in the finance field, and while working in corporate America, I took up painting as a hobby. In 2008, after my work contract ended, with the support of my husband, I decided to give painting a chance. It took me a while before I was comfortable saying that I was an artist.

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

After my daughter was born, I guess I can say I stopped painting constantly. Now that she's started school, I am trying to paint a few times a week. My goal is to be a daily painter, and hopefully I'm not that far from achieving it.

Florence Panoramic View

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started painting with oils, an odd choice for a beginner but just went with it. I loved it but because oils dry slow. When my storage was limited, I switched to acrylics. It's still my favorite medium.

Recently, I started experimenting with oil pastels. I'm still getting comfortable with them, so am sticking with acrylics for now, and playing with the pastels from time to time.

If I want some texture or something different, I am also working with sea shells and sand dollars, fabric and other things, and give mixed media/assemblage a go. My daughter also enjoys working with me on projects like these.

As far as genres, I love painting landscapes and cityscapes (rooftops especially), and also still life. I tried some abstract as well.

Landscape
(click to view)

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

Acrylic is definitely my favorite medium.

I don’t paint still life so often anymore, and abstract is something I don’t identify with.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I definitely want to learn, and work more with oil pastels.

Who or what inspires you most?

I love the impressionists, but also a lot of contemporary artists.  I get inspired the most by my travels but also by every little thing. I always see paintings when I look around: be it the light on my neighbor's house, the sunset or the flowers I pick at the supermarket.

Prague Rooftops
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Internet is a big distraction, but in my defense I spend a lot of the online time looking at art.

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

Keep the studio area clean. I cannot start working on a new piece if things are everywhere!

Glenfarclas Distillery
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

As I said before, travel is a major inspiration for my paintings but really, inspiration is everywhere around me. The important thing is just to keep looking and find the beauty in all places and things.
When I feel I need a new idea, I always go back to the pictures I took on my trips. Looking at other artists' work is always inspiring as well.

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

I alternate the subjects when I feel it's time for a change. Also, I am changing my palette; using some colors I haven't used in a while, getting some new colors from my local art store. Sometimes taking a break also works wonders.

Alversund Norway Fjord
(click to view)

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

I am really trying to get to a looser style. I am working on learning when to stop, not over do it.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I paint, I am the master of my own world. There are no limits or rules, just beautiful colors and pure joy!

Thanks, Alina!

© 2017 Sophie Marine