Thursday, November 15, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Katie Wilson

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

From Katie's DPW Gallery Page:

I'm an artist living in Rockport, ME. The inspiration for my portraits and figures originally came from old family photographs - mostly of my grandmother as a girl and her childhood friends. Not long after, I began using my kids and friends as models. I have since dug further into the old trunk and have pulled out ancestors' photos one and two generations before my grandmother.

I received my art degree from the University of NH. My favorite instructor introduced me to collage way back when and it continues to "work" for me. The paper helps me establish color, especially when my reference material is a black and white photo. Oil is my paint of choice, but I work with a variety of medium. I love pastel, but oh so messy.

I believe strongly in the importance of the arts, and the more people that create or appreciate the arts the happier and healthier we all will be. I am enthusiastic about sharing my own creative process with others through discussion, workshops and tutorials.

You can find Katie's YouTube channel here, as well as her Fine Art American page here where she sells prints, gift cards, totes and other fun stuff! You can also find her Patreon page here.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I’ve always made things. I’ll spare you the details. I never took an art class in high school. I had to take Drawing 101 when I went off to college because it was a prerequisite for all the other classes I took like jewelry, weaving, intro to architecture. Then I ducked out of school. Life was calling and it wasn’t classes. Years later purpose and responsibility came calling, and for me that meant finishing my degree which meant I needed to declare a major… at this point it was pretty much a no brainer. It was going to be art and I ended up concentrating on painting. This seemed a likely choice since I planned on going into graphic design down the road. Consequently, I fell in love with painting. Paint and also charcoal. And also the smell of turpentine. The entire art building smelled of turpentine and chemicals. I loved it.

Red Cap
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

If you’re familiar with my work you know I use oil, acrylic, pastel and paper on a somewhat regular basis. I lean more towards the oil paint because I get frustrated with how quickly the acrylics dry on the palette. Also I’ve used up the last of my favorite color pastels and have no idea what color they were to order more.  I have dabbled in watercolor and monotypes. I wish there was more time to dabble deep. Alas.

I enjoy painting the woods. I like to try to make sense of all the chaos. But more than that, I enjoy painting the face - an emotion or interesting features. And if all goes well, make up some kind of a story. I’d like to think one painting leads me into the next. As I work, ideas come to me for my next painting. If I stay in my true creative flow my work has no choice but to be fresh and engaging. If it starts to become stale I need to put down the brush and meditate ;) take a walk in the woods, throw a stick for my dog. You know what I mean.

The Party
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Looking through my sample wallpaper book to find pieces for collage, wondering how that wallpaper would look on my living room wall, googling upholstery fabric for my sofa that would work with that wallpaper, believing the best wallpaper to be found is going to be on ebay, searching ebay, never buying, making a cup of tea and never drinking it.

Extraneous Flowers
(click to view)

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

Winter in New England isn’t really a technique, but it sure is easier to find your way to the studio on a dreary, gray day.

Oranges and Mangos
(click to view)

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

Time waits for no one! I have to spend a lot more time and energy in my studio. I have to look at other artists’ work. I have to stop looking at other artists’ work.  The more I let go of the outcome, the better the painting.

The Puppy
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Art is by far one of the best things this world has going for it, and I’m happy to play a small part in that.

Thanks, Katie!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 8, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sherri Cassell

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

From Sherri's DPW Gallery Page:

Sherri Cassell, a California native, was born and grew up in Santa Paula, a small town located in the Santa Clara Valley surrounded by lush avocado, orange and lemon orchards. She remembers as a child looking up at the beautiful mountains surrounding her home town and playing underneath the tall eucalyptus trees. This was the beginning of her love for the California landscape. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I went to cosmetology school to get my manicuring license, in school an artist demonstrated using an airbrush to paint designs on finger nails. I was so fascinated that I immediately got an airbrush and started specializing in nail art.  I would airbrush and hand paint designs on the nails of my clients for holidays and special occasions.

One day I was talking to one of my nail clients who is an accomplished artist and I mentioned to her that I would love to learn to paint more lasting art, on canvas or paper, not just nails.  She told me about an artist that taught watercolor and that I should take lessons. I called and set up lessons; that was the beginning of my art career.

Sparkling Meadow
(click to view)

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

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

Yes, I would have 9-5 day jobs off and on for many years. I would have to work my art schedule around work and sometimes even put it completely on the back burner for a while.  I am so thankful now that I can focus on my art full time.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started out studying watercolor and then went to a demonstration on pastels and fell in love with the medium. Most of my art career I have focused on pastel but recently have started painting in oil and also gouache and love both of those mediums. I think I may concentrate on them more in the future but will always find time for my pastels. I also have a love for art journaling where I sketch and still play with watercolor.

Reflective Moment
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

As a landscape artist the land and sky inspire me the most, especially the sky and its endless beauty.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Spending too much time on social media instead of painting! I love Instagram and sometimes go down the rabbit hole when on it!

Spring Fling
(click to view)

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

Getting an early start in the morning works for me, I definitely do my best work before noon. Having a plan on what painting I am going to work on for the next day helps too, I might end up working on another painting but at least the goal got me into the studio.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for you paintings?

I did a lot of outdoor painting a few years ago. I would get my ideas from being right out in nature, taking photographs also for future ideas. In the last year I have painted more from my imagination, abstracting the landscape just a little and exaggerating colors. I work in a series at times and get my inspiration from my last work.  I ask myself how can I paint that subject in a new way.

Sunny Day
(click to view)

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

It seems I can’t avoid burnout at times, but when I am experiencing it I remind myself it is just temporary and either try to just push through it or take a little break for a day or two or week; however long I need. One thing that does help to avoid it at times is switching back and forth from oils to pastels or gouache or even trying a completely new medium that I have never worked with before.

Blue Sky
(click to view)

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

I am learning to not take myself so serious! To just keep practicing my art and have a fun time doing it!

What makes you happiest about your art?

Art is healing and nourishing to my soul and I am so blessed to have it in my life!

Favorite Place
(click to view)

Thanks, Sherri!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 1, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Vitaly Borisenko

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

From Vitaly's DPW Gallery Page:

Vitaly was born in 1989 in the former USSR (nowadays Kazakhstan). During the next years his family moved multiple times within Russia before ending up in Vitebsk, Belarus (hometown of Marc Chagall). There he graduated from the high school and studied professionally German and English at the Vitebsk State University. For the next two years he worked as a school teacher, translator and interpreter with an international company in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. In March 2014, Vitaly moved to Pennsylvania, USA. Here he finally gets the chance to try himself in oil painting, something he always wanted to do. Since that time he continues painting with oils in realistic style, learning from books, online video lessons as well as from advices of experienced artists. Since recently Vitaly is resident of Lititz, PA and explores the discipline of Daily Painting, painting every day, exclusively from life and in one sitting ("Alla Prima" approach). (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Well, there is a photo of me from 4 years ago. May 20, 2014. I am sitting on the floor of a hallway and painting with oils for the first time in my life. With the cheapest paints from eBay ($7 for the whole set), cheapest brushes from Michael’s (turned out they were for watercolors), on cheapest bargain cotton canvas. Scribbling some flower pot from a garden book. Just looking to see what I can do. It’s like if you wanted to play a guitar and you took one into your hands and started trying the strings. No education. No mentor. Just take it and go. The pre-story to that photo is that I am starting a new life at that moment. I am a Russian, who just landed in the USA with an immigration visa two months before the picture is taken. Starting a new life, having all roads open.



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

I did. I had several periods after I started my first job here in America and then a second one later, when I didn’t touch the brush for a few months in a row. Eventually though I inevitably got back to the easel.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Since I am self-taught and was developing in a “free fall”, with no particular teacher, I experimented with different genres. I tried still life, then landscape, then seascape, then pets. I was never interested in portraiture for some reason. As to the medium, it always has been oils. I was always a good student and learned over the years, that if you want to master something new, you need to focus. Plus, oils have a particular historical “higher class” meaning for me. I am an elitist in a way.

Fresh Local Peaches
(click to view)

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

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

Still life has really stuck. I know, in academics it is considered not the most serious genre for a professional artist, but that is what I like.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I was thinking of my love for the tall ships and old sail boats. Maybe one day I will try more seascapes and paint ships in harbors.

Orange and Silver
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

For a long time my biggest inspiration has been Sarah Lamb. She is a contemporary American painter. Sarah is amazing and was courteous enough to give me few tips via email when I wrote to her. Also, since last year it is Julian Merrow Smith and his daily painting project “Postcard from Provence”. Most recently I find inspirational the work of Michael Klein. Inspiration also comes from looking at old antique copper pots, crates, raw fabrics. Old and New Masters’ paintings online always help, too.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Heavy feeling to carry around. But with the daily project it is a bit easier, since it is “Alla Prima”. You know that you just sit down and paint and it is done. With larger projects just thinking of all what needs done can be scary, and could be a reason to procrastinate. It reminds me of an analogy – if you have to climb a high mountain, just looking up scares you away from starting. So, focusing on your very first step and then on the next one makes it much easier to have the work done.

Local Peaches
(click to view)

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

Most of all – having a set schedule. A set daily layout from the morning to the evening. If doing this consistently, it just goes automatically, becomes a “flow”. It gets harder when “life happens” and something disrupts it. Then it’s harder to go back.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

All of my larger paintings are either commissions (people tell me what they want in it) or something that I saw and it clicked in my head (“I want to paint that”). With my daily painting project it is sometimes the hardest thing to find a subject. “What do I paint today?” Many times I end up going through the fridge and the cupboards in the kitchen or through my shelf with props in the studio. Whatever clicks. Of course, then the subject needs to be arranged well. It is not what you paint, it is how you paint it.

Lititz Pretzels
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?"

I think, it refers to two things: First, the subject, and second - the technique. Keeping the subject fresh is a matter of leaving the walls of the studio and visiting markets, stores, farm stands. As to the technique – it is about constantly learning something new. Recently I tried a new palette of colors, medium and brushes from M. Klein. It changed the whole look of the resulting painting. Not saying it turned out great (yet)... But fresh!

What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Burnout is a thing, that is true. Working with a set schedule in the studio day in and day out can become monotonous. Getting out there, going for a drive, meeting people helps to balance it out. Adding highlight/shadow contrast is usually what helps to make artwork vibrant and engaging.

Wilbur Bud

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

I recently got some instructional videos from Michael Klein (East Oaks Studio). There is a whole new concept of painting in both materials (lead primed ACM panels; new paint colors and mediums from new manufacturers) and painting techniques (round brushes and rough glazing on the second pass; more impasto; free shape drawing instead of measured outlines, as well as a whole new way to set up the easel, the palette and color organization!). All of it shook up my standard way of painting I am used to. Maybe even too much, because some results scared me. I decided to make a step back and take some more time and practice, before I can get the results that I find satisfactory.

French Kitchen

What makes you happiest about your art?

We artists paint for other people. I heard of an experiment when several artists were offered commissions under one condition: Their paintings will be locked up forever, and nobody will ever see them. The artists refused. So, when I hear someone saying they like my paintings (mostly at art shows), then I am the happiest. When someone loves my painting so much to purchase one, I am the happiest. When I receive an award, I am the happiest. I guess, “public recognition” is the description word here. But of course, the very process! A painting session in my studio on a sunny day, with a cup of tea in my hand, and a history podcast playing from my phone — it makes me the happiest.

Thanks, Vitaly!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 25, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elizabeth Chapman

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

From Elizabeth's DPW Gallery Page:

Welcome to my gallery here on the Daily Paintworks!

Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions or purchasing information regarding any of my abstracts. ...or even to just drop an encouraging note. Love to hear from you!

My paintings may be purchased directly from my website, my Daily Paintworks gallery or you can email me: elizabethchapman@artlover.com

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Those first strokes go way back to my early childhood. In high school I took lessons from a professional watercolorist who taught me the technique of painting with transparent watercolors. In college I took painting classes and learned to work with oils, which I loved. That was all a start.

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

Oh yes! I placed all and any thing art on the back burner as I was raising kids. It was a great time of our lives and they turned out pretty creative too! Elsie and Emma (abeautifulmess.com) run several businesses together and Doren is a graphics designer. As they got older, I got a job teaching high school art in a public school. It was through that exposure that I caught the ‘I want to be an artist’ bug. I resigned that job after ten years and went home to live out a new dream. I knew absolutely nothing about what I was doing, but that’s another story. I can tell you that it did work out! It’s been a lot of hard work and perseverance. I can now call myself an artist!

Around the Bend
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Experiment. I love that word! I love playing around with various mediums, techniques and styles. I began years ago painting very realistically. You would not believe how realistic from the looks of my work today.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away.

When I left my teaching position I needed to make an income and make it fast, so I began with what I had been taught. It was all that I knew. That was to paint realistically with transparent watercolors. At the same time I was playing around with some abstracts in watercolors. I hated acrylics, I mean just hated acrylics. They dried too fast for some one who liked to blend paint. It was because of this that my style of painting emerged.

One day, I decided to just give them a try. I knew I would have to work fast as they were not going to allow me to blend. So, I pulled out a canvas, turned on the music and got those hated acrylics out. I worked really fast and the painting that came out of that was amazing. It was so different than anything I had ever done. It was titled “Ocean Opera” and can probably still be found in the archives of my blog. Still I wavered back and forth between painting realistically and abstractly. In the end the abstracts won out!

Fascinae
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would have to say I’m looking forward to exploring the abstract painting even further. Lately, I’ve become interested in mark making and have been adding that to my work. I’m collecting pics of people that are of interest to me and can see maybe one day doing some more work with figurative abstracts. The possibilities are endless!

Who or what inspires you most?

Listening to music while I paint is inspirational. But not always. I go through periods where I paint without music too. I think I would have to say that what probably inspires me the most is life itself. Living a simple, content and happy life.

Marvel
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like to you?

That’s easy. It’s me sitting in a chair in my studio, phone in hand scrolling through my Instagram feed, Facebook, etc., while a blank canvas stares at me from the easel. What they say is true, ‘the first stroke is the hardest!’

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

It’s a matter of discipline. I just know that everyday I am going to make time. Ten years ago when I first began, I made an 8-5 job out of it, just as if I was' going' to work. Over the years with various family responsibilities I learned to be more flexible. For example, at age forty-nine I found myself a full time grandmother taking care of a baby during the daytime. Family first. I made time to paint in the evenings and took full advantage of those weekends. It’s important to be flexible. It can change. Nowadays, as empty nesters we go to bed early and we get up early!! I can get a lot of painting done before the sun comes up! Lately, I’ve turned a portion of our kitchen table into a painting area. I can work on small paintings while I’m cooking, in between loads of clothes, housework or maybe just to be in a different place.

Ideal
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Not sure. They just seem to pop in my head. Sometimes I have an idea before I start, especially if it’s a commission. Initial ideas usually end up changing anyway. Most of the time, I just start, put those first marks, colors down and the ideas emerge from there.

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

I’m not sure that I have managed to avoid burnout. It happens. I don’t like it. It’s a terrible place to be. I have learned that the best thing for me to do is accept and embrace it. It’s part of the process. The ebb and flow. Sometimes you're on top of the mountain, creating, creating, creating and then it's a struggle. It’s a great time to go do something else, get the studio cleaned up, clean house, take up cooking, travel, etc., sit out for a bit. Listening to and viewing other artists' at work helps to spur me on.

Eutaxy
(click to view)

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


I am thinking about what it must be like to get older as an artist. Not sure that I have processed all of that yet in order to talk about it. Teaching again. I’ve done a few workshops recently that I truly enjoyed. Giving. I’m more comfortable with teaching now than ever before. Maybe it’s because I had to become an artist first!

What makes you happiest about your art?

That it makes other people happy! I love hearing about how it makes other’s feel, perhaps joy, cheerfulness to a room, memories long gone, stories they see and so forth. Recently, I was sitting at a local musical event, enjoying the show, and seeing how it was touching others. Taking them out of their elements for a while. I sat there and thought to myself, ‘thank God for artists’ as they make this world such a better place to live in. Then I thought, oh ya, I’m one of them too!!

Thanks, Elizabeth!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 18, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Pamela Hamilton

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 "Peaceful Pass" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Pamela's DPW Gallery Page:

Pamela Hamilton attended Chicago's School of the Art Institute, then later continued her education studying Graphic Design. She began a career in print and publishing, eventually becoming the Art Director for Country Sampler Magazine.

As her children grew up and started lives of their own, Pam enrolled in a series of oil pastel classes. One medium lead to another, and she discovered soft pastels. It was then that Pam decided to end her career and fully immerse herself in her artistic pursuits. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I’ve always been an artist, even as a small child. I recall making paper dolls for my classmates during indoor winter recess in elementary school. I was voted class artist in High School and received a small fine art scholarship followed by a short study in painting and drawing at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute. I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself in my craft until about six years ago.

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

Definitely yes! I started my family when I was very young and had three children by the age of twenty-six. There was no time to paint and no money for school. Following a divorce in my early thirties, I enrolled at the community college and studied graphic design. I worked very hard to provide for my family. It wasn’t until many years later that I was able to switch gears. I registered for an oil pastel class at the local fine arts center and I knew then there was no turning back! Within one year I was entering (and winning!) art competitions.

Peaceful Pass
(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?

I’ve dabbled in acrylic and watercolor, but favor graphite, oils, oil pastels, and pastels. I really love all representational genres. Particularly still life, animals, and landscape.

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

My early work (high school and college) was mostly in graphite and oil. Later, when I resumed my artistic journey, I worked in oil pastels. I really liked them, but the medium is not recognized as a “pastel” by the International Association of Pastel Societies. Therefore, I wasn’t able to compete in pastel competitions. Plus, plein air painting in the steamy Midwest summer heat turns the oil pastels gooey. So about six years ago, I ordered a box of soft pastels and they suit me much better. Now I incorporate watercolor, acrylic and inks as underpaintings with my soft pastels. I never get bored with pastels!

Cornucopia
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I may pick up a brush and oils again soon, but for now I plan to continue my pastel journey, experimenting with homemade substrates and underpainting techniques.

Who or what inspires you most? 

I love Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas and Sargent. I’m lucky to live an hour from the Art Institute of Chicago where I can study the beautiful works of these amazing historic artists. Many of the impressionists used pastels in their field studies, then produced their large oil paintings in the studio. I have MANY contemporary favorites including Richard McKinley, Liz Hayward-Sullivan, Alain Picard, Gwenneth Barth-White, Mike Beeman and fellow DPW artist, Rita Kirkman.

Winston
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Really the only time I procrastinate is with commission pieces when using customer-supplied reference photos of poor quality. Without a good, clear reference, there’s no way I can produce quality work. I busy myself in mundane household tasks to avoid starting these pieces until I can’t put it off any longer.  Once I get rolling, they typically turn out better than expected.

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

Making time for my art can be a huge challenge! I’m a wife, mother and grandmother before anything else and make my family a priority. That being said, without my art, I’m off-balanced and gloomy. I teach pastel class every Thursday. In addition to guiding and mentoring a group of talented, enthusiastic artists, it’s a block of time each week in which I can demonstrate and putter on my own work. I often return to my home-studio after class and complete work started earlier that day. Also, I’m a member of several local art leagues including the Wayne Art League. They have scheduled Paint-Outs on Monday mornings from May through October. I choose my favorite locations and add them to my calendar like any scheduled event to ensure that time is for me.

Bevilacqua
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

There is beauty all around is. Everyplace I look, I see something that inspires me. I think any artist will say that we’re always seeking the light! That is key to me, whether a landscape, traditionally-lit still life, portrait, or a bird in sparkling water, I love the way the light reflects and interacts with color.

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

I’m constantly experimenting and challenging myself. This keeps it fun and exciting! My earlier work looked almost identical to my reference photos. I’ve been working at softening edges and creating expressionistic backgrounds and skies through serendipitous underpaintings. I want to stay true to my love of realism yet develop my mark-making skills, color usage and style.

Cat in the Box
(click to view)

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

Sometimes it’s OK to fail. It’s just paint, paper and time, right?

What makes you happiest about your art?

I thoroughly LOVE pastels—the colors are so vibrant and exciting! The fact that I can swipe a dry-chalky stick on a piece of paper and turn it into something beautiful is amazing. My art grounds me. If I’m feeling down or cranky, a few minutes with my art and I feel re-centered. And I love to share my work with other people. When I exhibiting at the art fairs, I’m often told I have “the happy booth”.

Thanks, Pamela!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 11, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kaia Thomas

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

From Kaia's DPW Gallery Page:

Painting has been my passion since a young age. It is my meditation and anchor, coupled with a desire to share the beauty I see and cherish in this world. There is always that hope that the beauty I see and feel resonates through my work.

I prefer painting in oils and my subject interests are all over the place, but I do love painting the landscape, particularly the southwest landscape, and spend a good portion of my time painting outdoors. Second favorite subject would be animals, I love capturing their beautiful spirits on canvas!

I have had a number of inspiring artists and teachers in my life - early influences as a teenager were Georgia O'Keeffe and Maxfield Parrish, later influences include Richard Schmid and Maynard Dixon - just to name a few of course. I have studied and taken art workshops with Phil Starke, Chris Morel and Glenn Renell. I have participated in painting events such as the Escalante Canyon Art Festival, the Bisbee Plein Air Festival and as guest artist at Maynard Dixon Country. I'm a member of the American Impressionist Society and an American Women Artists member with distinction. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Whether I first started with Sumi-e painting or oils I can’t quite remember, but I was around fourteen at the time my uncle, who had a background in the arts, introduced me to both mediums. The Sumi-e supplies (Japanese black ink painting) came from his Japanese foreign exchange student who had left them behind, so I had the ink, grinding stone, brushes and rice paper to play with. I loved it! It was my first lesson in not being timid in my application. It’s a very quick, expressive art form. For both the Sumi-e and oils I found books on the subjects and taught myself basic techniques.

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

Over the course of my time as an artist I’ve always had to endure creative dry spells, as does every artist. When I had a house cleaning business, I rarely had energy for my art. These past six years since going full time artist have been very focused and any dry spells have been short-lived. It’s nice to have other hobbies or interests to lean on when that does happen though, it helps to recharge the batteries.

Cotton Study
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried pretty much all the traditional media and once saved up money to buy an airbrush, still not sure why I did that… way too frustrating and complicated for me! My first serious medium was a Rapidograph pen set, given to me around age twelve. I filled many sketchbooks with imagined animals and plant life. Landscapes and animals have always been subjects I love, although I prefer to paint what inspires me rather than be bound to a subject.

Lola
(click to view)

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

I think oils will always be my one true love… I rarely work in anything else, but I do enjoy charcoal drawing and occasionally watercolor.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I recently watched Lorenzo Chavez do a pastel demonstration during Maynard Dixon Country and it really inspired me to pick up the pastels again. I would love to take them “en plein air” and give them a try.

Mesmerized
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Beauty, nature, light, contrast – stuff that can show up anywhere, anytime. It’s why I prefer not to drive because I’m always craning my neck or having to stop the car for pictures. I get inspired all the time by other artists, thanks to social media. A few inspirations to name: Maynard Dixon, Georgia O’ Keefe, Richard Schmid, Sergei Bongart, James Gurney, Jill Carver, Glenn Renell, Tibor Nagy… and the list goes on…

What does procrastination look like for you?

Hmmm… let me get back to you on that. :)

Utah Afternoon
(click to view)

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

I try to treat it like going to a job… I need to be in the studio by 9am and put in at least two hours of painting. I use a timer for this to stay focused and to remind me to stop and stretch. I also designate certain days of the week for stuff like computer work or plein air outings. I do try to paint every day, but life happens.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Well, if its plein air painting, just step outside! In the studio, I usually have something in mind that’s been nagging at me to paint. When I don’t, I spend time going through my reference photos until something speaks to me.

Trouble Maker
(click to view)

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

I’m always experimenting with new tools, techniques and colors which keeps it interesting. Changing my subjects helps too. I flip back and forth between landscapes and animals, and more recently I’ve been working on some figurative pieces which are challenging. I think challenges keep it interesting, pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Garlic Study
(click to view)

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

Right now I would say balance… it’s a struggle sometimes to get everything done in a day and often it’s the wrong things that take priority. For example, if the body doesn’t get taken care of, without it there’s nothing more to talk about. Putting the right emphasis on what needs done and creating more balance in my life is well worth figuring out.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Definitely creating art and witnessing when that art speaks to somebody… selling it feels pretty good too!

Thanks, Kaia!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 4, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Chris Greco

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Chris's painting "Hale Farm 2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Chris's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a Fine Artist, Illustrator, Animator and Art Director.

My film and TV projects include; Mulan, Tarzan, How to Haunt a House, Lilo and Stitch, Brother Bear, My Peoples/A Few Good Ghosts, Polar Express, Spiderman 2, Get Along Gang, Word World, Free Birds, Rainbow Valley Fire Department, Rainbow Valley Police Department.

I have worked on Video Games and Mobile Games (Panda Pop, Juice Jam and Dwarves) In addition to my work in animation,I have had a long career in illustration.

I am best known for my work on sports trading cards, including; SCORE and Team PINNACLE Baseball, Footbal and Hockey trading cards. My illustration clients have included; Hallmark Greeting Cards, American Greeting Cards, ABC, NBC, King Features Syndicate, General Electric, LA Times Syndicate, Doubleday and IBM.

Originally from New England, I currently reside in Ohio with my family.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I knew at five years old that I was going to be an artist. I was obsessed with Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell, John James Audubon, John Gnagy and all of the illustrators in my mothers magazines. I was never very interested in coloring, but in creating my own drawings. I became serious about learning to paint at about fourteen or fifteen when I got my first set of oil paints.



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

I have always had to work so that has at times interfered or slowed down my painting but has never stopped it. I was a tattoo artist, newspaper comics artist, illustrator, greeting card artist, animation (film and TV artist - (background painter, animator), videogame/mobile game artist, art director. All of it has both helped and slowed down my own personal painting.


Hale Farm 2
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in most traditional mediums. Drawing and painting in the commercial art world demanded versatility and I have always been curious.



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

I paint in Oils primarily but over the last three years I have moved towards Gouache and Acrylic and occasionally Watercolor. I like the variety of materials. I will be moving back into oils soon as I begin large works that I have been interested in for some time.

Air brush, I am so happy that I haven’t had to use one in fifteen years and I hope I never see one again!



Boys Shelf
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have always been interested in trying egg tempera. I am also interested in learning and exploring print making.


Who or what inspires you most?

I love most of the same painters that all other representational painters like, ie – Sargent, Zorn, Hopper, Homer, Rockwell, Wyeth etc.  I find inspiration just about everywhere and in just about everything. The act of creating is addictive and as necessary as breathing for me.

Huntington Crowd
(click to view)



What does procrastination look like for you?

Depression. It is difficult for me to determine if I am depressed, so I procrastinate and “don’t” paint or if I’m depressed because I’m “not” painting. What is easy for me to recognize is the cure – painting!



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

Compromise, as a father and husband it is imperative.  I frequently used my wife and children as subjects so that we could still picnic, go to the beach etc., everyone had to take a turn and pose for twenty minutes and then we can play.  Nowadays, I don’t make plans or socialize much to avoid any conflict with my painting time.

Clague Park View
(click to view)



How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Usually I have a general theme in mind, sometimes a fully thought out idea but I think that I just start and an idea will grow out of the painting. I am a big believer in the organic growth of the painting. I am always “texting” ideas, phrases, words to myself. I also have ideas that marinate in my imagination for years and then become paintings.



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

Changing mediums is great for that, also sizes and shapes and boards, paper, canvas etc.  I also change up my process often. Drawing, no drawing, large brushes, small brushes, different palettes, etc. I also have been switching subjects a lot lately, still life, landscape etc.



Rivers Converge
(click to view)

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

I’m concentrating on the pure joy of painting. I love painting the things that are overlooked or that most would ignore or never consider and also discovering the things that have some personal meaning to me.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the notion that one of my paintings will be a part of a family’s memories. A painting that Mom and Dad or Grandma and Granddad had hanging in their house that brings back those memories when it is passed down and is hanging in a new home.

Thanks, Chris!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 27, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Christopher Long

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Christopher's painting "A Great Absence" 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. 

There are several different ways to spin my ‘origin story’, but the plain truth is equally as interesting.

In brief, I failed at every other job I had attempted, was sick, and had a family to support, so this was essentially my Plan B for life. Some Hail Mary passes connect.

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

No. Once I started about seven years ago, I haven’t stopped. The longest I’ve gone without painting was one entire weekend back in 2012 when my second daughter was born.

A Great Absence
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

My medium evolution:

I started painting with model paints, then moved to oils, then to gouache, mixed gouache and acrylic together, then melted crayons, then tried watercolor, then digital (for only one day). I think I’m settling with oil.

My genre evolution:

Regional New Orleans food and drink (because that’s where I started), then portraits, then miniature still life paintings, and now currently, landscapes.

(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

I’m not sure I can answer that truthfully.  People have thrown that question at me for years now in the context of purchasing a piece- and my answers have ALWAYS been a mixture of cold-reading and absolute bull****.  It’s just not a thought I prioritize. You’d have more luck asking me at age ninety what motivated or inspired me.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I don’t procrastinate. I may absentmindedly forget things or mix up deadlines, but I’m generally focused. I enjoy the laborious aspects of painting.

Market Street, San Francisco
(click to view)

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


If I’m not traveling or spending time with my family, I’m painting. It doesn’t come naturally to me, so I need to be prolific in order to advance.

I try to keep my life simple; I don’t pretend that I’m talented enough to juggle several endeavors at once. I’m not in a band on the side nor do I have a baking hobby (not that I think those things aren’t worthwhile).

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

The thought that enters my mind most often is: Can I make that more interesting than it already is? Most of the time I can’t. But, sometimes...

Yumi
(click to view)

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


I maintain my progress by waking up in the morning.  I haven’t burned out because I haven’t been able to create what I want see yet.

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

My main challenge is definitely dealing with the social media aspects of having an online art business. I receive so many rude, bizarre and intrusive requests and comments that I’ve just begun blocking people on Instagram and not responding to certain emails.

Competing Lights, Burbank
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Who’s claiming that painting makes them happy?

I’d be incredibly lucky if smearing some color around brought me any true measure of joy.  It’s simply my focus; I’ll keep pursuing this for as long as I can muster.

Thanks, Christopher!

© 2018 Sophie Marine