Thursday, September 20, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Diana Marshall

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Diana's painting "Autumnal Colour" 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.

Art was always my favourite subject at school, but I only really started painting when I joined a friend to paint in her home in Spain almost twenty years ago. From then on I was hooked and haven't stopped since. I often wonder why I hadn't started to paint sooner as I have always had the urge to be creative, though in many other ways.

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

My painting career started gradually. All the while, I was gaining knowledge and experience, first giving away paintings and then beginning to sell as I gained confidence, I would say that everything that I had done before has led up to where I am today. Every year seems to get better and better and I just love what I do.

Autumnal Colour
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started painting with water colours and progressed on to acrylics, dabbled a little in pastels, but finally settling into painting with oils which is my favourite medium. I have tried to paint loosely, abstractly and with mixed media, but I always come back to realism and the 'tight' way of painting. I guess I am a perfectionist at heart and there's no getting away from it!

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

Today I paint mainly in oils, occasionally I play around with water colours, though I love them, I find I don't have enough time to devote to them.

2027 Ready for Painting
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I love to peruse other artist's work on the internet and gain so much inspiration and ideas from them. I was originally inspired by Karen Jurick and Carol Marine to start painting daily, which improved my painting immensely. Now I take my inspiration from many American artists such as Karen and James Hollingsworh, Blaire Atherholt and many others besides. 

What does procrastination look like for you?

Where my art is concerned I don't have too much problem with procrastination, more with jobs I wish to avoid such as cleaning and ironing!!

2008 Candle Light
(click to view)

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

I paint almost daily and get fired up by new ideas and can sometimes not paint fast enough to keep my galleries supplied and have enough work for exhibitions. Having deadlines helps too, and delegating household chores to my hubby gives me plenty of time to paint.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Painting still lifes, I like to paint short series and am inspired by the items I collect in junk/antique shops, I never seem to run out of ideas, in fact I have more ideas than time.

2029 'Opening'
(click to view)

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


I think trying new compositions, new techniques, new colour combinations, new viewpoints, the options are endless. Looking at other artists' work often helps to get new ideas if I'm stuck.

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

I'm always learning through doing and trying to remember how I achieved certain colours or effects by taking notes. Reading about other artists and also watching video demonstrations is really an excellent way of learning too. The more I learn the more I realize that I haven't even scratched the surface yet!

2024 Blue Teapot
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

This is the first 'job' that I have had in my life that I absolutely love and will never get tired of.
I also love it when a piece of my work is purchased by a collector, it is such a compliment to me; it means that I can carry on doing what brings me happiness and as long as I can hold a brush or a palette knife that is what I will be doing for the rest of my life!

Thanks, Diana!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 13, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Charlotte Fitzgerald

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

From Charlotte's DPW Gallery Page:

Charlotte Fitzgerald is an impressionist painter. She received her BA in Art from Western Kentucky University and also studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and with Jack Beal and Sondra Freckleton. She taught watercolor workshops, and sold her artwork at outdoor art festivals and in galleries in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina. She has worked in oils, watercolors, and acrylics. Her impressionistic oil still life and floral paintings reflect her love of gardening and the beautiful gardens and countryside. The shapes and colors of flowers are endlessly fascinating and provide inspiration for her colorful oil paintings. As well as large paintings she paints many small affordable paintings.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always been interested in painting and drawing, and my degree was in art education.  I left the field of art twice to be a buyer in a department store and to teach school.  Four years ago, I started painting small paintings to get back into the swing of things, and it has been the best experience I have had in painting because it allowed me to complete many paintings and find my own voice as a painter. 

Rose of Sharon
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

At different times I have worked in charcoal, ink, acrylic on both paper and canvas.  I collage many of the prepared papers.  Lately I have painted in oils on both canvas and gessoboard.

A Stroll in the Flower Garden
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by the colorists Wolf Kahn, Richard Diebenkorn landscapes, and Wayne Thiebaud.  I enjoy the use of color as well as the way they apply the paint.

Three Sunflowers
(click to view)

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

I schedule time each day to paint.  It has helped me to stay motivated because I wanted to post a small painting each day.

Abstract 8
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Over the years I have taken thousands of photographs which I have arranged by subject in shoe boxes and later on the iPad.  Most paintings are loosely based on references that I have accumulated.  An art professor once advised me that if it occurred to me to do something then I should try it.  If it doesn’t work I take it out.  I think this has helped me develop my own style.

Foreground Trees
(click to view)

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

Currently, I am exploring exaggerating color while still maintaining basic landscape format.  I am constantly adjusting values a little lighter or a little darker to arrive at a pleasing arrangement.  During this process I take advantage of the textures that develop from the brush strokes and I try to let under layers show through to make the surface more interesting.

Thanks, Charlotte!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 6, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: J. Dunster

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

From J's DPW Gallery Page:

I've loved art since I was a little girl. I started taking oil painting lessons in my early teens, and started selling portrait art not too long after. Later I attended Otis College in Los Angeles, where I studied drawing, anatomy, and painting.

My favorite mediums are oils, some acrylics, as well as graphite. But mostly oils. My aim is to explore a variety of subjects, with more attention spent on portraits and figure painting. I'm also now dabbling with still lifes and animals, in particular cats and birds! (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I had always loved drawing. I remember being obsessed with drawing when I was four years old. When I was about thirteen, I discovered a local artist (I walked by her open studio and walked in). Turns out she had a painting class for kids every Saturday. My parents said I could go. It was probably one of the most exciting and life-changing times for me! She was an amazing portrait artist and helped me so much.

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

Oh, sure. Up and down, up and down. Sometimes I had an artist’s block or some other obligation that stalled me for a while. But I can’t say I ever *stopped* painting in my heart, even though there were detours and delays. The biggest detour (not that I regret it) was ceramics. I fell in love with pottery, but what I most enjoyed about it was what they call “surface decoration.” I didn’t stop painting, I just painted on pottery! I haven’t done pottery in a while but really miss it. I wouldn’t give up oil painting for ceramics but there’s no reason why I can’t bring it back in my life.

Sweet Tabby Slumber
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve tried most mediums. Not to say that I’m really comfortable with them all, but I’ve tried watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, airbrush, soft pastel, oil pastel, pen & ink, and of course oil and acrylic. (And of course the aforementioned ceramics!) In my art school days I was primarily working in colored pencil and pen & ink. Now I’m back with oils, my first love.

Mostly I have always been interested in representational work, because I love to draw what I see. My favorite subjects remain portraits and animals. Over the years I’ve loosened up and would like to continue to do so, but I think I’ll always be interested in representational work.

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

Oils are #1 for me. I’m still open to working again in ink and colored pencil. I liked soft pastel but probably won’t work with it again (but never say never!).

The Greek Artist
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I just want to paint looser! I am still too tight and detailed. Right now I’m also working in acrylics more. I always was more comfortable with oils, but decided that acrylics really needed a second look. I think I’ve made a small breakthrough with acrylics because I’m really enjoying working in them. But I anticipate that I’ll always consider oils my primary painting medium.

Who or what inspires you most?

So many artists inspire me... my first painting teacher, Shirlee Prescott. One of my figure drawing teachers in art school, Burne Hogarth, changed my life. A more recent painting teacher, Adam Clague, also changed my life. I have had many teachers in my life that I will always be so grateful for because they somehow changed *everything*.

My first teacher, Shirlee, also claimed that there was “something in the air” (her description for a spiritual element) that gave her inspiration. I find that she’s right about that. I’m a religious person, and so have long believed that God (or a Higher Power, or whatever name one might use) is *essential*. Without being attuned to that, things fall flat.

Low Light [ZORN PALETTE]
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It *is* me! I am a victim of procrastination, big time! Procrastination can manifest itself in thinking, “I’ll wait until I am a better artist to paint that.” Or, “I will wait before I use that big canvas, I’m not good enough to use *that* expensive canvas yet.” I’m working past that because if not now, when?

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

The sooner I get my other tasks done for the day, the sooner I have time for my art. If I get a late start on the day, my art always suffers. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, my art suffers.

Shadowed Kitty Portrait
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I look through my reference photo collection to see if something jumps out at me. Often I’ll use Photoshop to crop and edit a reference photo to get it just how I like it.

Right now I paint mostly animals (cats) and portraits. I grew up as a portrait artist (that’s all I wanted to paint when I was a teenager). Then when I first started with Daily Paintworks, one of my sisters suggested I paint some cats since everyone in our family is a cat lover. I found I really enjoyed painting them and it seemed like my collectors liked them too. So, now I divide my time between cats and portraits. I’ve also decided to push myself to do more landscapes as I feel it’s a deficit--that I haven’t ever felt comfortable with landscapes.

One thing that really excites me is approaching a painting with some color exercise in mind. Telling myself, “I’m going to use the Zorn Palette on this!” really gets me going! (The Zorn Palette is a limited painting palette consisting of white, yellow ochre, vermillion or cadmium red light, and black. It is an excellent academic exercise to mix all your colors with just these pigments and see how far you can go.) I also like the challenge of difficult or unusual lighting situations. To see if I can get the values and color temperatures correct. I still feel there’s so much to learn there, so no matter what the subject of my painting is, if there is a “challenge” to it then I love it all the more!

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

There’s so much yet to learn, who has time for burnout? But if f I feel like I’m getting stressed or burned out by pushing myself to finish a painting too fast, then I need to slow down no matter what. And what I was mentioning before, approaching a painting with a “challenge” in mind (some color exercise or whatever) always keeps me excited to get to my easel!

Backlit Tiger
(click to view)

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

There is so much yet to learn. I still am struggling with color, composition, and technique. Basically, everything! But that’s what makes it exciting!

One thing that amazed me (and encouraged me) was a few years ago when I was studying with Adam Clague was that he and his wife (Andrea Orr Clague) also seemed to believe that “there is so much left to learn” even though to my eyes, they had both “arrived” as artists and were amazing! I thought that I could die happy if I could paint like them, but to *them*, they aren’t satisfied with where they are and strive to improve even more.

I don’t think any artist believes they have “arrived” and that’s the way it will always be.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I guess that I am seeing gradual improvement. I’ve also gotten some lovely and generous feedback about some of my paintings and that is very gratifying. Most of us paint to communicate something to our viewers so it’s good to know that we are connecting. But basically, if I felt I wasn’t improving, I couldn’t be happy with my art.

Thanks, J!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 30, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Renee Robison

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

From Renee's DPW Gallery Page:

Just three years ago, I retired after thirty-six years as a retail buyer. My husband and I have dreamed of extensive travel since the day we met. Somehow, I reached the finish line first. With new time on my hands, I decided to finally take that painting class I daydreamed about since I had taken one of those "paint and sip" classes. As I pushed a swath of paint across the canvas for the first time, my heart sang and my soul said, "YES, this is what you want to do." (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Several years ago, I took a “paint and sip” class.  Okay, I did have a glass of wine before starting but I could feel the first stroke, across the canvas, right down to the tip of my toes.  Of course, that painting wasn’t great, but it was better than I expected.  Three years later, I was retired with a long “to do” list I was determined to tackle.  But a month into my new life, I took my first real art class, learning to paint in oils.  By week two, I had set up an easel at home and was painting everyday, I was hooked. 

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

Confession, I did take an art class in high school and was turned off when my teacher didn’t like my composition.  Instead of using her words to tell me how to correct the painting, she took the pastel from my hands and started doing it herself.  That was more than forty years ago and it is still a vivid memory, I stopped being interested that day.  I can’t say I would have become a professional artist if I had stayed with the class, but I definitely walked away from an opportunity to explore that avenue.  I shouldn’t complain, retail was a very good career for me, with lots of product development as my creative outlet.  I was blessed to retire at fifty-seven and start the next stage of life, who knew??

Bursting with Color
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have “stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I started with an oil painting class for the first two years.  I have taken two sessions of watercolor class but I have not spent the time to develop that medium. It is great to take with me on our travels.  I am also working in acrylic these days.  I haven’t found a class to learn the medium so I’m watching online videos and experimenting at home.  It’s very different from oil, but, like oil, it’s also forgiving, just keep painting and you can make it better.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m taking a pastel class at Artisan Expo in Santa Fe next month. 

Fresh From the Florist
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Before we retired, my husband and I had dreamed of being able to travel for more than a standard two week vacation. He retired a year after me and off we went, ticking off countries from a very long bucket list starting with Italy, Costa Rica, Spain and New Zealand.  Thanks to my handy iPhone and the cloud, I can take thousands of pictures for painting references when I return home. 

Last year, with five other friends, we walked across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago.  This is a five hundred mile pilgrimage on foot with no cars, buses or trains; carrying everything you need in a backpack.  It was the most amazing experience of my life and it provided thirty-two days of beautiful inspiration. Over the last year, I have painted a series of fifty paintings called “Inspired by the Camino”.  They were just featured in a gallery exhibit during the month of August.

Explosion of Poppies
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I was not involved in many things outside of work before I retired and had tons of time to paint.  Now, after three years, I’m chairing committees and helping family members.  I have to schedule time to paint just like I schedule meetings and appointments on the calendar.  It’s very easy to get caught up in other things and avoid my everyday practice.  I also must strive to keep my studio (dining room) cleaned and organized, clutter can be a big distraction. 

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

As mentioned above, scheduling the time.  Scheduled classes are another way to get a solid three hours without interruptions. 

Queen Anne's Lace
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

From extensive photos organized by theme, birds, landscapes, country, etc.  I try to get on a theme or style for at least three to five paintings.  I’m also inspired by surroundings and time of the year.  When we are in Florida, I like to paint beach birds and palm trees.  When it’s fall, I like to paint pumpkin scenes. 

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

Classes are a big help, take a class that’s challenges you outside your comfort zone or is different from your regular style.  I especially love “happy accidents” that can lead to something new.  I was recently trying to improve some older frames with gold leaf, that didn’t work at all.  But then I pasted some scraps onto a painting and voila! a new idea was started. 

White Poppy Closeup
(click to view)

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

There are so many mediums and styles to explore, that’s a journey for a lifetime.  This past year, I’ve been working on portraits with my teacher, Kim Cypert Russell.  There is so much to learn in this difficult subject matter.  It’s okay when you paint a stranger from a trip that no one knows, but painting a friend or family member adds a lot of pressure to make it look just like them.  She is teaching us about the planes of the face, the proportions of the face and body and the subtle highlights and reflections you never realized were there. 

What makes you happiest about your art?

Color, give me lots of bright colors.  :)

Thanks, Renee!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 23, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Michael Hutton

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

From Michael's DPW Gallery Page:

I am the artist Michael Hutton. I am a self taught artist and have my own unique style of painting, and I love mixing colors. My passion is creating, designing and hand painting original works of art of nature, birds, animals, still life and more in watercolors.

For the watercolors I use Winsor and Newton professional watercolor paints on Arches 140#, 300 g/m, cold pressed, White, lightly textured, acid free, 100 percent cotton watercolor paper.

All my paintings have their own personality and are painted to uplift spirits, bring a smile to your face and add a sense of peace and calm as well as color to your home. Something that you would look forward to seeing everyday.

To see my acrylic painting site click on this link.

Summer Morning
(click to view)

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I am Michael Hutton, a self taught artist. I have always been in the arts. I began as a musician/playing lead guitar/singer/songwriter starting at age thirteen in a couple of good bands. We had the opportunity of playing at the then Keil Auditorium in St. Louis, which was very exciting, with other huge bands and our band was on a tv show. At that time, one of my two songs that I had written, we taped and entered it in a contest and it won and was playing for quite a while on KSHE radio in the early days.

For thirty plus years, I have designed, created and handmade twig mosaic creations in wall decor and furniture, also being a rustic furniture artist. This is when I began painting. Like landscape, mountain and cabin scenes on door panels, and drawers. My furniture has been in many books, on some covers of books and in magazines. I had been told that I was one of the top ten furniture makers in the US.
I also made unique, one of a kind whirligigs, which I also hand painted on.

Dawn
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?


I have been painting in oil on anything that I could get my hands on but dropped that due to concerns about health hazards.

So I started painting with artist colors pigmented acrylic paint and this is something that I really enjoy. I use the ampersand gessobord to paint on.

I also started painting with Winsor and Newton professional watercolors painting on Arches 140# watercolor paper. I can not tell you how much fun it is to paint with these watercolors! Even though watercolor is unforgiving, I just absolutely love it. I am finding that mixing colors is one of the things as well as creating illustrations that is the most exciting for me.

I paint birds and flowers, landscapes, still life and illustrations for children's books and more.

Breakfast
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

So I am a musician, acrylic and watercolor painter. I love to create and hand paint my original paintings using the watercolors and acrylics. I want to continue to improve.

I get a lot of pleasure out of reviews when people say how much they love their painting, and it is just perfect, that it uplifts their spirit and how the colors are so bright and cheery.

What I aim for my paintings to do is to uplift peoples spirit, bring a smile to their face, to transform the feel of their room and and bring color to their life.

Winging It
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am very much inspired by nature and my other inspirations come from many other artists like from Bob Ross to Catherine Klein.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Since I am semi retired I thankfully have time to paint. I keep looking for new ideas and ways of painting, new techniques to use. I also have learned that you will always feel that you can improve, the next one will be even better. So you will always keep trying to improve upon yourself.

Morning Light
(click to view)

Thanks, Michael!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Friday, August 17, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lisa Sotero

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


From Lisa's DPW Gallery Page:

Creative expression has always been a part of my life but oil painting didn't take hold until my early 30's. About seven years in came kids and a blip in the radar...

Now, I paint because I need to, satisfying something inside. Iconic and ordinary subject draw me, whether it's a gadget, an animal or landscape. Sunlight and cast shadows, reflective and rusty surfaces, angles and curves. I'm passionate about all of these things. They make me want to paint.

I have studied at Scottsdale Art School under Susan Diehl and Henry Stinson as well as San Francisco Bay Area artists Timothy Horn, Barbara Bailey-Porter and Keith Wicks. In 2010, I began showing my work at Scottsdale Fine Art, AZ and Wright Gallery-Kona, Hawaii in 2014.
Raised in Southern California, I now make home in Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay where I'm fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty. Family, friends, volunteering, traveling and painting satisfy my soul... And great food!

Please follow me on my instagram account; lisasoterofineart.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

We always had art and crafts going on in our home. Woodworking in the garage with my Dad, sewing, drawing, screen printing.  But my great aunt, is the one who inspired my painting, she was a SF Bay Area artist active in the 60’s and 70’s. In college I took many art classes while studying design and architecture but it wasn’t until the late 80’s that oil painting entered my life.

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

I had no easel time when my kids came along but they were the perfect reason to bust out poster paints, watercolors, paper and glue etc., introducing them to the arts early on. Those valuable times filled a void and helped develop my children into incredibly talented artists. About 5 months ago I got the green light to pursue my painting passion more fully, that’s when I joined Daily PaintWorks.

Vanilla Creams
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I will try just about anything but primarily, oil, watercolor, acrylic. Screen printing, mono-printing, paper making, ceramics, photography, welding, woodworking, jewelry, even basket making. I love being a “maker”.

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

Oil is my favorite, I love the texture of the paint, how it blends. And even though it’s not a good thing, when the lid is cracked on my brush washer the smell of mineral spirits gives me a charge. Watercolor “fell away” but my niece recently treated me to a workshop in hand-mixing watercolors from raw pigment. It’s revitalized my interest and daily sketching is becoming a habit.

Vintage Dresses
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

Non-representational work has always interested me and to feel natural, comfortable working in this genre is a goal.

What or who inspires you most? 

The old axiom, “It’s not what you paint, it’s how you paint it”, makes just about anything worthy of painting. Artists who inspire me are my sister, Beth Lauterbach (my foremost critic and owner of Scottsdale Fine Art), my great-aunt, Sorolla, Bongart, Rothko, Diebenkorn, Hockney, the Society of Six, many of the Daily Painters and on and on.

Golden Gate
(click to view)
What does procrastination look like for you?

Watching YouTube videos of artists at work.

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

Even though painting can consume my thoughts, I‘ve marked specific days on my  calendar. Otherwise distractions draw me away.
1950's Triumph
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 


I’m visually stimulated by small, ordinary subjects to grand vistas. Whether it's an iconic gadget, an animal or landscape, color, patterns, sunlight, cast shadows, reflective and rusty surfaces, angles and curves. I'm passionate about all of these things, they make me want to paint.

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

Taking occasional workshops, online tutorials, and visiting other artists on DPW.

Charlie
(click to view)

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

In technique, I’m trying to loosen up. Sometimes I simply have to paint left handed to lose the edges. I’m also learning about the way the internet and social media is changing the art market.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Just doing it, creating!!! It’s definitely a bonus when others appreciate what I’ve done.

Thanks, Lisa!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 9, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kristina Sellers

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

From Kristina's DPW Gallery:

Growing up in a modest home, in what some would call a nondescript suburb, was really a good thing for me. Turns out when you have to look a little harder to find beauty, you appreciate it. This has shaped my relationship with art. I have been called a "slice of life" painter and I love it! Helping people to see beauty in ordinary things is a wonderful privilege. In my college years I pursued art as a career, quickly realizing becoming an art teacher or a graphic designer seemed to be what I was being funneled towards. Both are worthy fields, but not what I wanted to do. I took a break from school, during which time I met and married my husband, joining him in his real estate business. Some years later I took a plein air class on a whim. I had never tried oil paints before and didn't know anything about plein air painting. So this was a double "Aha!" moment. I loved the tactile quality of oil paint and the adventure of being outdoors. I was hooked. (click to continue reading)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was an obvious artist from a very young age. But surprisingly, I never tried oil painting. While visiting a local gallery, I noticed they offered workshops. I signed up for a plein air class with artist Eric Jacobsen. The experience of delving into the feel of oil paint and the adventure of plein air combined was almost too much! I was totally hooked.

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

I was a real estate agent alongside my husband for many years. Ever since that first plein air workshop, my husband and I made it a goal for me to do art full time. I went full time a few years ago and haven't looked back!

Red Roof
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Although I started with plein air, I enjoy working in my studio, or from live model sessions. I have self imposed painting seasons. When the weather in Oregon is great, I'm outside painting and socializing with fellow artists. By the time fall weather rolls around, I'm ready to take some time to myself and hunker down in my studio for a few months, exploring ideas and working from photos I've take along the way.

I've experimented quite a bit with palette knife painting. I find it interesting that most artists discount it as a tool. It's difficult to do an entire painting that way and you have to be ok with giving up control of your drawing within the painting, but it can have such a vibrant outcome.

Spring Bouquet
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Currently, I'm working on trying to marry my brushwork and palette knife work. For the most part, I don't like it when I see a painting that's been done with brushes and has a couple swipes with the palette knife. To me, it's a bit jarring. So I'm trying to figure out how I can harmonize that in my own work.

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm endlessly inspired by color and light. I know it's a simplistic answer but it's so true! I would call myself a colorist for sure. And when I am out plein air painting I care far more about catching a fleeting light effect than painting every tree in the landscape before me. I love mystery, so I guess following what makes me curious is very exciting to me.

Summer Mixer
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I definitely go through times when I experience a sort of stage fright. I'll do anything else but paint. I'll gesso panels, watch videos about painting, go through endless amounts of photos trying to decide which one to paint. But paint... oh no! Usually I beg my husband to give me an assignment. I don't like the assignments he gives, but it spurs me on to make a decision to work on something.

I have tremendous support and kinship with fellow artists in my community. That has been a wonderful surprise for me. I figured before I got started that being an artist would be a bit isolating. My fellow artists keep me inspired and help me keep my perspective in check.

Pomelo
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I try to bring something fresh to the table every time I paint. For me, growth and following that bit of mystery is the reason I'm doing this. I want to stay engaged and hopefully that translates to engaging work for everyone to enjoy. I still actively pursue knowledge and training and take workshops. I never really turn off the "artist switch". By that I mean that even if I'm watching a show or going for a drive, I'm noticing things. Making mental notes of why things work together, or what would make them work better together.

Rowena Sunset
(click to view)

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

Sometimes it seems like I'm one of those performers that is spinning dozens of dishes at one time. I'm learning complicated heady stuff, but if I don't keep up with drawing, some plates are gonna come crashing down in my work. Or if I'm thinking only about color and value, my composition plate is going to get wobbly. It seems like learning about painting requires you to constantly get back to the basics and nail those skills down better each time.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm very happy when people key in on what I am trying to communicate in a painting. When they really connect and have an emotional response, I've done something worthy.

Thanks, Kristina!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 2, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sue Sneeringer

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

From Sue's DPW Gallery:

I have been an artist since I can remember. I love to paint as much as I can. I adore mid-century modern kitsch! (click to view Sue's gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been drawing and painting since I can remember. For fun, my brother and sister and I would spend hours drawing away. We loved Mad magazine and would copy all the characters from the magazine. Both my brother and sister are incredible artists as well. This activity was strongly encouraged by our parents probably because it kept us quiet, ha ha. I have always considered myself an artist and studied art in both high school and college.

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

Too many to count. Since I discovered Daily Paintworks, I know I will never stop creating art in some fashion from here on. DPW was the right thing at the right time to get me inspired to start painting regularly again. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Twilight on First Avenue
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have a lot of experience with photography, having worked in custom photo labs for years. This lead me to my love of realism in painting. I want to get back to painting with oils as soon as I get a proper studio with good ventilation.

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

Acrylics are my go to paints, especially when painting on a daily basis. I have attempted pastels but could never conquer them, I am so in awe of Susan Bjerke and her pastel works.

Flowers
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I love what people are doing with collaging and silk screening. Some day I will be the Banksy of Southern California.

Who or what inspires you most?

Other artists seem to inspire me most. My go to favorites are Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Kahlo, David Hockney, Alice Neel, Kenton Nelson, Andy Warhol, Lee Krasner, Claire Basler, Barbara Kruger, Shag, El Gato Gomez, Donna Mibus, I could go on and on. I try to go to all the museum exhibits and art shows that I can. I recently went to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, where real people become works of art. It has been going for 85 years and is incredible. I look at all the paintings on DPW everyday and see what everyone is up to. I follow artists on Instagram and love when they post their processes.

Arrow Motel
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Me being lazy. I try to work through it every day.

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

I schedule my day so that I have a few hours every afternoon to paint. Since painting is so enjoyable, it’s something to look forward to.

Vintage L.A. Scene
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Most of my paintings come from pictures I have taken or from old Kodachrome slides I collect off of eBay. I am obsessed with mid-century America. I love the architecture, advertising, cars, you name it. Most of my paintings seem to be about old signs, places or scenes.

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

I like to experiment with different painting surfaces and sizes. I am very fortunate to live 2 blocks from an art supply store and go there a lot to see what they have that is new. I usually come home with new colors, brushes and markers to use on my work.  I love to see what other artists are buying there and see what they are working on.

Cadillac Fence Hardware
(click to view)

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

By being a member of the DPW community, I am learning something new every day. By painting every day, I learn what works and what doesn’t in my artwork. I am trying new things and ways of painting that I never thought of before. It is also interesting to see what sells and what doesn’t. I don’t create a painting with the idea that it will sell, I am painting really just to please myself.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I cannot lie, I love when people like my paintings and when they buy them. I love when I finish a painting and I can get started on the next one.

Thanks, Sue!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 26, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Edward Sprafkin

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


From Edward's DPW Gallery:

Edward Sprafkin is a landscape painter whose favorite subjects are the changing terrain and dramatic light of the Southwestern landscape. He strives to create a great sense of depth and atmosphere in his paintings regardless of the painting's scale.

Edward's artistic interest sparked at a very young age. He was the child with a crayon in hand, copying drawings out of the Sunday Funny Pages and later creating characters of his own. After graduating high school Ed went on to study cartooning and comic book art.

Cartooning fell by the wayside shortly after being introduced to plein air painting in 2009. Edward began participating in plein air events and became a sought-after instructor at nearby art museums and visual art centers while residing in his home state of New Jersey.

Edward is just as passionate about teaching as he is for painting. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and finds inspiration in seeing students progress onward to new skill levels.

Edward relocated to Arizona in 2014 and quickly found new inspiration in the pursuit of landscape painting.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting?

I'm asked this question often and It's hard to put an exact date on when I started because I've been drawing since I can remember and it seemed to be a natural progression as a creative kid moving on from crayons to watercolor then pastel and acrylics and later oil. Whether I was fully aware of it or not, I was always an artist.

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

Yes, all the time! Stops and starts seem to be built into the artist's lifestyle by default. There are always varying degrees of successes and crashes, lucrative times and slow but the one constant is the drive to create.

Mission Roses
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Just about all of them including the big four: watercolor, pastel, acrylic, and oil. I enjoy painting and drawing from live models as well as being out in nature. I can't forget to mention still-life painting. Still-life is a great way to learn about light and form and all of the fundamentals of painting.

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

I spent many years using pastel and I still love the medium. However, I backed off of using pastel full time because one of the galleries that I was showing with decided not to accept pastel anymore due to the framing involved. I picked up oil in its place and haven't revisited pastel in awhile. Oil was great for many years too but I never liked the chemistry with all of the different mediums, solvents, and fat over lean rules. Not to mention the horrible smell. I know some artists love the smell of oils but it always bothered me. I did give the water-mixable oils a try but didn't find them to be much of an advantage. Maybe they have improved since I last tried but then again, I'm not really looking for another medium at this time.

For me, acrylic has always been the most intuitive and liberating out of all of the mediums. There are no rules, no limit to substrates, no limit to layering, no limit of application techniques, no solvents, no smell and they clean up easily, and you don't have to wait very long for them to dry. Even though many artists tirelessly try to compare them to oil or expect them to be a replacement for oil, they are not. Acrylic is its own entity. Acrylic can mimic the look of an oil or watercolor but acrylic is best thought of as acrylic. There will be fewer hang-ups if an artist goes in with that mindset when first using the medium.

Campfire & Petroglyphs
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Acrylic is my primary medium and because of its versatility, there are so many techniques and approaches I've yet to explore. Oil paint is a very close second. There are still many great reasons to use oil. One being, plein air painting in the dry Arizona heat. I do use acrylic often when plein air painting but during the really hot or breezy days, oil is less fussy about the weather conditions.

Who or what inspires you most?

Human interaction and mother nature are my biggest inspirations. There's an energy and creative exchange when working with a live model. That model's character and uniqueness, features, attire/style, and personality are all intriguing and inspiring. When outdoors nature is awe-inspiring and quite often presents a humbling, learnable experience.

Saguaro Lake
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is more of an issue in the studio. It's such an easy trap to get stuck into but in the end, it takes far less energy to just start on the project at hand rather than find ways to dance around the inevitable. Funny how procrastination is never an issue when working in plein air or with a live model.

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

A clean studio helps but that is a never-ending battle. Now I just aim to keep my studio workspace functional so I can jump in at any time. There's always a painting in progress on the easel and thumbnail sketches planned for the next one in line. Plein air days are the most productive. Not always the most successful but the most productive because then I'm totally detached and disconnected from the little time-suckers of a homebound studio; internet, emails, etc.

Fleeting Moments
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas can spark from just about anywhere, but mostly it comes from an experience or interaction of some sort. When outdoors, it could be a specific location, a light or weather effect, or a mood. I will then determine the story of the painting and begin designing a composition and value plan that best tells that story. When working with a model an idea can spark from the lighting, a costume, perhaps a suggested narrative with supporting props.

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

I think burnout is built-in with the previously mentioned stops and starts. If you're a full-time artist I'm sure you have experienced burnout at one time or another. Outside of a commission deadline, giving yourself permission to take a day or two off once in a while is totally allowed and completely okay. I don't recommend taking off much longer than that because the longer you're away the tougher it is to get back into the swing of things. I enjoy working from both figure and landscape. I think painting or drawing from a variety of subject matter helps to keep things fresh. Traveling and exploring new locations can certainly jumpstart a creative funk.

Light Catchers
(click to view)

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

That the carrot might be right in front of your nose but it will always be just shy of reach. Meaning the level we aspire to will always exceed our skills. The great masters were never content as they were always striving to one-up their last painting. More than ever I feel the need to dig deep and keep on pushing.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I thoroughly enjoy the creation process. The subject selection, the planning, building upon the composition and telling the story. I'm completely over the moon when a viewer deeply connects with a piece.

Thanks, Edward!

© 2018 Sophie Marine