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