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.


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