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

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