Thursday, March 23, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carmen Beecher

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

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

From Carmen's DPW Gallery:

Carmen worked for the Air Force in Utah, Florida, and the Azores Islands. She has been a secretary (she types really fast), graphic illustrator (finally her perfect job), Quality Assurance Evaluator (that annoying person with a clipboard), and Program Analyst (what they call you when they can't figure out what to call you). During this time, she published comic strips for the Air Force and other publications and was always the go-to person for anything artistic. She supervised a graphics shop and did freelance illustrations. Carmen is now a full-time artist and has ramped it up to being an almost-daily painter. She enjoys the rapid tempo and is inspired by the community of daily painters she has met online. Her work and how she does it is featured in International Artist Magazine, Feb/Mar 2012 issue. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I was always drawing and dreamed of being an artist. When I was ten, my mother’s last Christmas gift to me was a little easel. I attended an art class along with adult students at the University of Florida when I was twelve years old thanks to my aunt who worked on campus. I acquired my first set of oil paints at fourteen and fell in love with that medium.

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

Yes, when Life intervened! I married and had three children. A military family, we lived many different places, including Bermuda and the Azores Islands. I painted in my spare time, which was not often. During our second tour in the Azores I began working on the base, and that was the start of my long government career. Art was put on the back burner for years, but occasionally I squeezed it in. I did a comic strip that was distributed basewide. When we transferred to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, I worked in the Graphics Shop—finally, an art job—and I did two weekly comic strips there.

Snowy Farm
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oil is my first love, but I have done watercolor, collage, acrylic murals, zentangle, graphite, and pen-and-ink. I have done portraits, seascapes, landscapes, still life, animals; all the usual things.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

The mediums I never tire of are oils, collage, and graphite. I also enjoy making my own little world when I paint a mural. Comic strips in pen and ink are fun too, but they have fallen away since I became a daily painter. They require coming up with a joke and executing a story with a punchline as the climax, plus keeping the artwork expressive though simple. That’s very challenging.

Indian River Lagoon
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am trying to stay away from any new media, but am open to new techniques. If I chase too many ‘shiny objects’ I get away from serious painting and drawing.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Going to an art museum is the most inspiring thing I can do. For contemporary artists, I love the work of Richard Schmid and Jeremy Lipking, plus too many others to name here. Looking at what God has done with the earth inspires me. My very supportive husband inspires me.

Steve Jobs
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m not much of a procrastinator; I would describe my form of procrastination as “stalling.” Just doing a few too many things in the morning before starting my work, or suddenly having a need to clean up my work area—just a little stalling around. I never miss a deadline.

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

Having enough time is the bane of all artists. I am a morning person, and I get up early and jump in as soon as possible. I have recently started setting alarms to make myself take breaks, because when I am “in the zone” I don’t want to stop, which results in stiff limbs and dry eyes.

Cybertot
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I sometimes see a scene that strikes me because of its lighting, colors, or composition. Frequently, I see children in poses that beg to be painted. The ideas usually come when they are so obvious I can’t miss them. Some artists can take the most boring scene and paint it beautifully. That is the real mystery for me. I want to learn to do that.

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

I am not one of those people who sit around waiting for inspiration to strike; I’d never get anything done that way. I am very disciplined, and being a daily painter has been a good reinforcement for that. I consider art my job, and I enjoy getting up and going to work. I rarely feel burned out, but taking a good workshop is a great cure for that. I think that one thing that keeps me productive is my painting group. I paint weekly with seven friends, and it is both encouraging and therapeutic. Joining the group was the best thing I ever did for my art.

Little Hikers
(click to view)

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

I am doing black-and-white illustrations right now, and I am reminded that graphite drawing is a beautiful art form.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Two things make me happiest about my art: when I know I have done a successful painting; and when someone else is drawn to it. If a collector tells me that a painting touched them in some way, that makes me very happy. Art is one of those professions where someone saying your work brought them to tears makes you smile!

Thanks, Carmen!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alejandra Gos

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

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

From Alejandra's DPW Gallery:

I am a software engineer in the Seattle/Bellevue area. I got my Computer Science degree at National University of La Plata, Argentina. I moved to the US in 2005 and have been working and living in Washington State since then.

I have a passion for drawing, and art in general, specially landscape painting. I used to spend a lot of time playing the piano, always hoping to go back to that some day. I am in love with the mountains, the ocean and all the scenic views Washington has to offer. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting about seven years ago. As a child, me and my sister were exposed to the arts. I played the guitar and piano. And I was also a good drawer. My mother is the best drawer I know. She had some pastels at home; even though they were old I worked with them a bit, but not much.

In 2010, I decided I needed to go back either to some sort of painting or to music. I was a bit bored with just my job. I am a software engineer. And so I found people in my area (Seattle) that worked with pastels and started hanging with them. It just went from there until today.

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

Not really, I consider the start of my career to be 2010. I have not stopped since then.

Behind the Trees
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Pastel is the medium I know how to work with the best. However, I have used acrylics before. Lately, I started playing with oils. I would like to be able to switch mediums without changing my style.

I am a landscape painter, but I have done birds and figures in the past. People have received them well. I like to paint a blue heron once in a while (my favorite bird).

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

The genre that has always remained is the landscape. Specially scenes with light and shade. One of the things that stands out in my work is the use of vibrant color and pastel is the medium to achieve that. So landscape and pastels have prevailed.

Summer in Rosario Beach
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am very interested in oils. I like the way they run when applied to the canvas. I enjoy mixing colors and there is a lot to explore there. Its an endless learning curve.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me. I usually go for walks with my dog, and I find myself snapping a picture or just staring at the simplest things. Maybe a ray of light hitting a tree trunk will do it. That gets me motivated. Also, other painters I have had the pleasure of learning from inspire me a lot. I have been lucky to study with Marla Baggetta, Barbara Jaenicke, Janet Hamilton, Richard McKinley and others.

Reflecting Gold
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Definitely buying art books and taking pictures for future paintings is my procrastination technique. When I find myself only reading art books and not getting to the easel, I know I am procrastinating. It takes me a while to get back to it. I usually have to remind myself that it's just a piece of paper and chalk, and that I have produced good work in the past in order for me to end the loop.

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

I have tried several times during the day, but what works best is early in the morning. I have my day job and I have to commute, so usually I get up at 6am, work for a couple of hours (I set up an alarm so that I can paint freely without worrying about the time), and then get ready to go to work. It's much harder to do this in the evening.

Beauty on the Wetlands
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have a box with many pictures I have printed out that would like to paint. I do much of the idea work ahead, even before I print them out. I have now started cropping to standard sizes and doing more composition either when I take photos or later in my computer. I also combine photos together.

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

I keep art fresh by going to workshops and seeing other artists paint. It's easy to get stuck in our own ways and think that we cannot do it differently than that. We are wrong. You can always change something - even a little thing, that will change a lot of other things around them. My preferred ways are working on a series based on a location,  going out in the field to paint, paint larger or smaller, use a different combination of colors.

Across the River
(click to view)

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

I am learning that practice, consistency and confidence enhance my work. If you look at how I painted five or even three years ago, the growth is huge. I am convinced that pushing thru is the recipe to success. I am learning right now that no matter which medium I use, my work is still the same and that I shouldn't be afraid of a new medium or subject. And that's such a good feeling.

What makes you happiest about your art?

My art requires a lot of concentration and coordination but at the same time it allows me to switch gears from my engineer work. My art gives me a break from my day job, but it also keeps me occupied. That's the best part for me, since I am a person that needs to be doing something at all times. With time, I am getting better at making this switch faster and makes me feel productive: the best feeling in the world for me.

Thanks, Alejandra!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 9, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dimitriy Gritsenko

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

To enter to win Dimitriy's painting, "Black Diamond Peak" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Dimitriy's DPW Gallery:

Dimitriy Gritsenko is a practicing fine artist who has studied extensively in institutions and in private with a broad spectrum of artists. Costumer satisfaction is Dimitriy's utmost priority, so please ask any questions that may interest or concern you about his art. Thank you. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about your first painting experience.

I don't recall the first time I picked up a paint brush, however, I clearly remember the first oil painting I did in art class. The minute I started I was hooked, I still remember the landscape that I painted.

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

There was a time where I was offered a job for a glass engraving artist, so I put my painting aside and took up the offer. After a couple months, I was getting really anxious to paint again, so I dropped the job and returned to the easel: it was a difficult decision, but well worth it.

Black Diamond Peak
(click to view)

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

What mediums have you experimented with?


I've gone through most of the well known ones: gouache, acrylic, ink, egg tempera, watercolor, etc.

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

Oils haven't let me down and I love working with them. I do like acrylic, however- even with the extenders- they dry to fast for me. As much as I enjoy watercolors, I struggle to paint boldly, accurately, and make critical decisions all at the same time.

Winter in Seattle
(click to view)

Which one are you exploring? 

Egg Tempera is the medium other than oils which I'm currently exploring.

What inspires you most?

The limited amount of time I have on earth.

Portrait in Charcoal No. 1
(click to view)

Share an art experience where you went out of you comfort zone.

In high school, I volunteered to paint at a fine arts assembly.

How to do you manage your time to paint?

It's not that easy because just like any other work there has to be variety, or else painting becomes monotonous. I avoid the latter by managing my time to take longer breaks and work later into the evenings.

Bridge Enthusiasts
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It will usually be a "wow, that would be a nice piece" moment, which I make a mental note of or write down for later.

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 painting, my brainpower and strength sometimes cant keep up with my ambitions, so I find refreshment in reading and various outdoor activities- including plein air painting.

Keep Calm and Swim On
(click to view)

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

The importance of being well balanced physically and mentally.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The people who connect to it on a personal level.

Thanks, Dimitriy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 2, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dipali Rabadiya

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

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

From Dipali's DPW Gallery:


My name is Dipali Rabadiya. I live in a Greensburg, PA (Suburb of Pittsburg, PA) with my husband and two sons. I have always enjoyed painting and drawing ever since I was a child and never stopped thinking about it. I enjoy oil painting a small still life subjects and landscapes from all prima from life. So, I joined the daily painting movement this year.

I have Masters degree in business administration from India. Worked for few years but, my love towards oil painting has never changed. I am currently working on my BFA in graphics design from Seton Hill university in greensburg, PA. Few more credits to go. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been painting since I was a child. Even after graduating from an MBA, I always wanted to be an artist, so I went to pursue my BFA in Seton Hill university in Greensburg, PA in 2009. That program helped me a lot. In 2014, I signed up with DPW and that changed my life. The website was so amazing that I would go through lists of artists that inspired me and wanted to paint daily to improve my skills and be a successful artist. I am very happy with Daily Paintworks.

Owl
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love to paint in oil colors, but I also enjoy charcoal and sketching. I often work with pencil sketch.  I have tried painting in acrylic and other mediums as well, but I am more into oils. I have tried painting still life, landscape, figurative, seascape and flowers. I have never tried abstract.

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

As far as I know, still life is my strongest genre. I feel comfortable doing it.

Bananas
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am interested in making large oil paintings. I would like my painting to have that loose and spontaneous feel to it. Portrait would be something that I would like to get comfortable with.

Who or what inspires you most?

This is tough question. Lots of artists have inspired me though out my career. I am a big fan of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings. I love Carol Marine as my mentor. She inspires me a lot. I like Qiang Huang as well. I love to paint still life because it is convent for me. Strong drawing, bold and bright colors inspire me the most.

Pears and Stacked Cups
(click to view)

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

Having two small children in the house makes it hard to paint. When my children are at school, i have assigned that time for my painting. I choose to paint small and frequently. I usually paint 6x6, 5x7, 6x8, and 8x10 size canvas. I have a small studio space in my house where everything is ready to paint. So that solves half the problem. My painting style is alla prima. It means wet on wet/all at once. I finish my painting within one or two hours. Then I take a picture and am ready to post it on DPW, Pinterest, Instagram and my blog. I am also selling my artwork on eBay.

Little Girl Playing
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I always think before I start arranging my objects in my shadow box. I will have some idea before I even start. Since I like to paint still life, I often open my refrigerator and look for items that I am attracted to that particular day. If I am interested in painting something other than still life, I will go though my vacation pictures and look for something that attracts me as well. I like painting small children playing in the sand or at the beach.

Pink Flower
(click to view)

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

I have a limited palette that helps me understand my colors better. It also makes my job easy. I start with a bigger brush and then use a smaller brush. I don’t use a lot of brushes. When I am painting I use maybe three brushes. That’s all. I also change my subject matter often. That helps me keep my art fresh.

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

I feel like I have so much to learn and progress as an artist. I recently took a workshop with Qiang Huang in Scottsdale, AZ. It has given my an idea about how someone can be so successful in this career. All I need to do is keep working and keep improving my skill. My motivation comes from family and resources around me. I want be in a gallery and I want to teach and so on.

Charcoal
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Joy of painting. The process of creating something and the finished product is absolutely different than anyone can imagine.

Thanks, Dipali!

© 2017 Sophie Marine