Thursday, June 17, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rosalind Morgan

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

From Rosalind's DPW Gallery Page:

My passion for art began before I can remember, and was encouraged by my parents throughout my early life. The path to where I am now has not been a straight one and the drive to create laid dormant for long periods, but it never went away.

In the summer of 2018, I visited the Cinque Terre in Italy where the desire came flooding back in full technicolour, loud and proud!

Since then, I have been following Carol Marine’s model of daily painting, which equipped me to consistently paint regularly (and happily!) for the first time.

In October 2020, I decided to quit my job, move back to England from the USA, and make the leap to painting full time; a goal that came fully to fruition in March this year.

I live in Buckinghamshire with my mum and our happy, 14 year-old marmalade cat.

What did you want to be growing up?

An artist! I’m interested in many things, but always come back to visual art. There have been fallow periods during which I pursued other creative outlets, all of which I’ve enjoyed, but painting refuses to go away.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I imagine it started at birth! I was fascinated by the visual world as a child, always looking closely at plants and insects, and my parents encouraged my drawing and painting. I’m told that when I was four, a drawing of mine was chosen for the cover of my school’s annual magazine. My parents were very proud.

Cherry Pair
(click to view)

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

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

I don’t think I’ve had a period of any significant length without some form of creative expression, but I have had periods of months and years wherein I did no drawing or painting. Advice from other artists and inspiration from looking at their work, through instructional books and, more recently, the internet, are what helped me find my way back. Daily painting, specifically painting small and often, was the key to moving forward as this approach released me from the need for every painting to be successful. Removing ego from the conversation empowered me to embrace the learning curve. Of course, that’s an ongoing battle, but it’s getting easier - and painting’s a lot more fun now!

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

I’ve discovered art I love created in all mediums and genres. Colour’s what gets me the most excited about anything. I use oil and gouache for my own work, simply because I enjoy using them and have found them easier to use than acrylic and watercolour. Learning watercolour is one of my ambitions though and many of my favourite artists are watercolourists. I also hope to do more landscapes in the future. At the moment I’m enjoying the possibilities within still life oil painting - they’re endless! And cats are my favourite subject for gouache. With both mediums, I enjoy starting with thinner layers, followed by thicker paint with more texture. I work alla prima as it suits the loose style I’m striving for. 

Pensive Tabby
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I consider myself at the beginning of my career and think my personal style is still evolving. Hopefully change will continue throughout, but I expect a consistency of subject matter and mark-making will emerge over time. For now, I’d say I’m a representational artist who wants to be able to express in a painting the beauty I see that brings me joy. The most important aspects to me in a piece of art are colour and shape, which rely on accurate values and strong design. So these are what I’m always aiming to achieve.

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

How long have you got?! A short list is Karen O’Neil, Teddi Parker and Sarah Sedwick for still life. Ken DeWaard, Kim English, Trevor Chamberlain, and Anne Blair Brown for landscape. Lena Rivo for gouache. Claude Simard and Su Blackwell for work I love that’s completely different to what I do myself. 

And I can’t not make a special mention of Carol Marine! Carol has been the single most important influence in getting me back into painting. Her book, Daily Painting, provided the tools I needed to get started painting again after many dry desert years. I follow Carol’s guidance in general and specifically for still lifes in oils and her gouaches of animals are the inspiration for my pet and animal portraits. 

Juicy Orange Quarters
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

This is going to take a long time. That’s one of the beauties of learning and you’re going to do a lot of bad paintings before you get near to where you want to be. Your love of learning and the visual world is what will carry you through and there are many other things you need to learn about yourself before you’ll be ready to be a painter. 

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

Yes, I tell myself I only have to paint for a short time- as little as ten minutes. Then once I’m doing it, I usually find I get into the flow. I also think it’s important to honour the ebb though, and not try to force the flow if it’s just not happening. It might be that I need to refill the creative tank before I’m ready to make something again, so then I’ll look at work by other artists or do something completely different to give my brain a break.

Tuxedo Cat
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I remind myself that doubt and adversity have their function. They are here to keep me pushing on to improve and not get complacent. They also never last. So far at least, they haven’t outlasted the desire and drive to create. 

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

I could write pages on this! And do, in my journals. A love of learning and growth underpin my approach to art and life in general. In a nutshell, I strive to keep improving artistically and personally by setting and writing out tangible short-, mid-, and long-term goals. My specific plans and goals are constantly evolving and tracking these draws a map of where I’m heading and a way to gauge how far I’ve come. 

Divide and Conquer
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

To live a life committed to authenticity and personal improvement. Continual growth both as an artist and a person - identifying, facing and working through fears. Anne Blair Brown says, “In some of us there’s the need for growth that transcends the need for oxygen.”

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

In 2020 I decided to quit a life that wasn’t working for me and didn’t even feel like my own, move back to England from the US, and jump in to becoming an artist full time. Fears are the signposts directing me to the next area of change needed. I’ve learnt that facing fear and commitment to positive action is the only way for me to build a life of which I can be proud.

Thanks, Rosalind!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 10, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Samantha Koehn

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

From Samantha's DPW Gallery Page:

All my watercolor paintings are painted with non commercial watercolors. The majority of my watercolor paint is bespoke. From vendors on Etsy, one Japanese company and a vendor who has been around for nearly a century. I prefer to paint with non commercial paints, I am a collector and prefer to support small business, just like myself. I also believe it brings something special to my art. And the colors, boy, do I love the colors of the bespoke watercolors, real pigments.

I am available for commission work. I am reasonably priced, and my turn around is often fast, depending on the subject matter. I prefer hard objects as opposed to fluffy, cats, dogs, or pets. I will leave those commissions to the experts!

Thanks for stopping by, Sam.

What did you want to be growing up?

I grew up in London, England. Fashion, Arts, Theatre Arts, anything that was not related to office work was really where I wanted to be. I lacked the confidence to be a part of these genre’s - I was VERY shy. Alas I did not end up with a career in these areas!

When did your artistic journey begin?

I have always had an artistic journey since I was little. Art in secondary school was my favorite subject. I do not think there has been any part of my life that I have not dabbled in art in some way. Up until today, art has always been a hobby. I was laid off from my long-term career in corporate retail at the end of 2019. Then 2020 hit. To cope I decided to paint one picture a day for the year 2020. As the year progressed my work grew. My supportive husband encouraged me to put myself out there and open an Etsy shop for my art. I would say the abundance of my art path, has been from 2019 to present day.

Big Tree Big House
(click to view)

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

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

I do not have long periods without creative expression. A couple of days at most. I usually go for a walk, exercise, visit with my kids, or surf the internet for inspiration to shake the cobwebs. Right now, I have an abundance of energy and creativity. Maybe ask me this question again in a couple of years! I do understand burn out though, humble enough to know it will happen one day.

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

Right now, all my art is watercolor. I LOVE this medium. I love the fluidity, the motion, the texture. I love that you can paint transparent or layer and layer until you get the desired intensity. Watercolor feels natural to me.

I used to only paint with acrylic. I loved how I could get messy with the paint. Now it makes me feel a bit suffocated. Oils. I have not dabbled with. They intimidate me. Maybe they are too technical for me!

Magic Garden
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I do not like to be very technical or concise with my art. I am a pretty fluid person by nature, and I think this reflects in my art. I like pretty things, and I paint pretty. My rt does not always have to make sense.  I think in the past six months I have found my true voice, I seem to paint now with a similar style, no matter the subject matter. I try to remember to paint with whimsey. Would I like to be in this picture, would I be happy in this picture?

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

My husband. Jim Koehn. He is a historian with a twist. He is very technical and has been painting for close to forty years. I have learned SO much from him. It helps to live in the same house!

My favorite famous artist is David Hockney. I mean come on! His landscapes, who would not want to be in his countryside.

Mule Ears, Big Bend National Park
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Never think you cannot be the person you really want to be. Confidence comes from within, love yourself first. The rest will follow, even if it takes forty years.

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

Procrastination is minimal in my DNA. I am what my mother called a “do-er”. I only tend to procrastinate when it comes to numbers! I do get distracted, more in the way of too many choices. I must learn to focus on one thing at a time.

Ocean Blues
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

For me self-doubt is a painful experience. A discussion with (usually my husband) shakes my self-doubt. His positive outlook usually kicks me into gear. Even if it takes me a couple of days for his words to register. I guess patience pushes me forward.

What are some of your long and short-term goals for yourself or your art?

I am happy to be able to paint daily. My long-term goals are to keep doing just that. Short-term and long-term it would be nice to sell more of my art because it speaks to people.

Garden Shed
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

This question does not relate to me just for art. Success for me is to be happy in all aspects of my life.  As a wife, mother, friend, sister, to have found the right tribe. To live with a humble lifestyle, that affords nice things now and then, and affords road trips, travel, and paint!

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

The year 2020. When I was brave enough to put myself out there and not be afraid of what people think of my art. If you do not like it, fine, if you love it, awesome.

Thanks, Samantha!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 3, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jen Finch

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

From Jen's DPW Gallery Page:

Starlight Finches is the name for the art by Finch Jen Volkening. Finch is an artist from Austin, Texas. She has a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas and has lived all over the United States, including Hawai'i, Oregon, North Carolina, and Washington DC. She is influenced by many years of working with children, all of the art she has ever seen, and a love for nature and getting 'lost' on a trail. Her work is inspired by the interplay of what is wild and what is safe; what is real and what is imagined.

What did you want to be growing up?

I don’t think I ever identified with wanting to be something in particular, but I knew I wanted to have animals around me and live close to the mountains and woods. Some combination of author and person who takes care of baby animals, I think.

When did your artistic journey begin?

When I was a child, I used to love to write, especially describing imaginary worlds and animals. I was basically painting with words. I used to love going to bed because that was the time I would ‘write’ in my head. I would get so excited about these ideas that I would have a hard time getting to sleep. That creative space before falling asleep was probably the root of my artistic life.

Blooming Kalanchoe
(click to view)

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

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

I have definitely had times when my creative expression has been dormant or on hold. In the past ten years this has been related to moving, my work-life being out of balance in favor of work, and studying to get my AMI diploma or other kinds of certifications that aren’t necessarily artistic. Usually those times are followed by other times when the creativity bursts out once my mind can finally sit still… like one of those cartoons where a kid cleans their room and shoves everything in the closet, but then the mess ends up pushing it’s way out in a huge heap. I’m definitely working on regulating this cycle.  

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

I have always gravitated towards 2 dimensional art and 4d art (video/simple animation). That third dimension has always felt out of my grasp, although I love ceramics and the challenge of wheel-throwing. That speaks more to my own strengths and limitations as a visualizer than an actual preference. I love paint, color, glaze, lines, charcoal, graphite… things that feel very direct and accessible.

Half Moon Lizard
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I still feel like I am in that process now. I get inspired very easily, so for me the challenge is to sit still and put my compositions to paper before another wave of inspiration washes the first one way. It feels like an ongoing balance between inspiration and output, or imagination and order. I feel like I am at the beginning of that now.

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

I admire so many artists! Off the top of my head Robyn O’neil, Julie Speed, Jessie Homer French and Sascha Gordon. I’m drawn to how these artists mix vast space with flat sort of illustrative/hyper detailed qualities. I love how their paintings go beyond the description and become the story in and of themselves, if that makes any sense.

Dark Peony
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Maybe to have learned more about the business aspect of the art world before I graduated from art school. (I probably wouldn’t have listened 😊)

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

I think that sometimes it’s okay to embrace and maybe even important to give in to procrastination. Sometimes what I really need to do is go on a walk or sleep on an idea before it’s put into action. But if there is a deadline involved or the procrastination goes beyond a day or two, my strategy is to prepare my workspace (clear the table, find music, light a candle), go drink coffee or tea, and then sit down and just start on some aspect that is accessible. Like choosing colors or sketching a thumbnail. My dog really likes to nap next to me while I work, so that’s good motivation as well.

Half Moon Birds
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I also think sometimes it’s okay to take a few days and sit with the negative emotions around doubt and really name what they are and where they came from. It’s part of the process of knowing yourself and what you are afraid of. Once a thing is named and known, it’s a lot easier to keep the overwhelm at bay.  After that, I think movement is helpful, especially swimming because you’re physically propelling through a barrier. Then I move into my same strategy for defeating procrastination, setting a space and sitting down so that my dog can nap peacefully 😊 If the adversity is less emotional in nature, then it’s time to get resourceful and problem solve based on the situation and what is available and possible.

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

My long term goal is to try to be a good and truthful person each day and have a body of work, including larger paintings, that I feel proud of. My short term goals are pretty task based and mundane… but those little goals are crucial and add up like a jar of change. Today I have a short term goal to finish work at my day job, finish this interview, buy a meterstick at Home Depot and roast these vegetables that have been sitting in the fridge for a few days before they go bad.

Clover Bee
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success to me means that I am living a life where I am engaged in meaningful work while as much as possible living in harmony with others and especially the environment.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

I don’t know about the proudest one, but I felt really proud after I recently finished building my website. I don’t know how to code, but I decided not to use a template because I had a vision for how I wanted it to look (very 2010s), and I was super happy with how it turned out, even though it still looks weird on different phone screens. I also felt proud of the animal moon series I created last year (2020) amidst quite a bit of chaos. They started out as little paintings I made on ceramic cups with underglaze in 2014, and I loved seeing them hold such a large flat space as paintings. I really hope they make it out into the world!

Crescent Moon Deer
(click to view)

Thanks, Jen!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 27, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Max Panks

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Max's painting "Fishing in Costa Maya, Mexico" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Max's DPW Gallery Page:

Max Panks is a London based actor who started his career as a watercolour landscape artist in January 2017. He had always nurtured a passion for drawing and portraiture from an early age but stepped away from his love of visual art to train as an actor in 2010. Now, Max creates beautiful watercolour landscape art as a compliment to the destinations that life takes him. Having worked as a performer on cruise ships, European tours, London theatre and more, he is able to keep adding to the wonderful diary of expressive landscapes with each new adventure.

What did you want to be growing up?

I excelled in art classes as a child, but I always saw myself onstage as a performer and I would dream of being a pop star. Then, in school I discovered a love for the shows that my music teacher would direct. I would take part in all of them. My first, when I was 11 was Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Mikado’ and my last, when I was 18, I played Danny Zuko in Grease. I then went to London to train in Musical Theatre and have been an actor here ever since. Of course there was always something in me that knew I should be painting too.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I always loved to draw, especially portraits. But I never gave it any serious thought until I was 23 in 2017, when I spontaneously decided I would do a painting every day for a year. After a while, people started to notice and even buy my work. 4 years later and I’m still nurturing a strong painting habit (though not quite daily anymore).

Fishing in Costa Maya, Mexico
(click to view)

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

Did you have long periods without creative expression? When did you get back on the horse?

When I was in University and for a few years after, I didn’t really pick up a pencil much at all. I studied Musical Theatre in London and my days were very full. I would occasionally experience a longing to draw and would sit and sketch for a day or two. However between auditions and working my side job in a bar, I did lose touch with my roots as an artist. I suppose this might be what led to my decision to paint every day. I felt that I had a responsibility to nurture and care for a talent that not everybody possesses.

What mediums and genre do you gravitate towards? Which ones don’t appeal?

I only paint with watercolours at the moment. I’d love to do some oils and I will when I have a bigger studio space. I like watercolours because they’re easy to travel with and don’t make too much of a mess. I also do a lot of pencil sketching, usually portraits.

The Gielgud Theatre, London
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I suspect I’m still at the start of what promises to be a very long journey when it comes to finding my personal style. I know what works and what won’t work, and I know what to look for when choosing a subject (most of the time). I try and paint out and about as much as possible and I have a habit of setting up my easel in some quite uncomfortable and busy spots, all because I’ve seen a shadow that I like on a building somewhere. I’m learning not to be worried what passers-by think but instead, use the frantic energy of my location to feed the work. I suppose the only secret is consistency.

Name an artist (or artists), well known or not who you admire. Why?

Herman Pekel, Alvaro Castagnet, Joseph Zbukvic.

They have such assertiveness within the style of their art. I’m trying to achieve a certain attitude in my own work that reflects that of the great’s.

House on the Hill - Corsica, France
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self – What would that be?

I don’t think it would be useful to have done anything differently other than pay attention in business studies. 

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

Well, usually if I’m distracted it means that I’m not interested in what I’m doing. When this happens it’s time to get out and walk through nature or take my paints through the city to try and kindle some inspiration. I look for long shadows and dramatic contrast. I go into galleries and observe my reactions to other people’s work. Sometimes I forget that a healthy diet along with a solid sleep routine is the foundation to everything – I can’t blame my mind for being distracted if I’m not feeding it with the correct fuel.  

Farmlands in Balcombe, West Sussex
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

Self-doubt is a big part of growth and we need it to improve – So I don’t force those feelings away. 

I’m also learning the importance of breaks, although I haven’t gone longer than a week without painting since I started about 4 years ago. I find myself thinking about all the artists in the world who are thriving and living the life they love and I think – ‘that could be me one day if I keep doing what I’m doing’. I hope I’m right!

What are some of your long or short term goals for yourself or your art?

To me, the most important thing is that I keep painting. It’s interesting how I can look back at an old painting of mine and be instantly transported to who I was and what I was feeling back then. If I was pleased with it at the time, I can even remember the song I was listening to at the time I was creating that piece. My overall long term goal is to make a nice living selling art while acting on stage or on TV as often as someone will have me.

Apartments in San Juan, Puerto Rico
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

A compliment on my work, a painting that sells, a great meal that I made, a good investment, a funny joke, a great day out. Success will come many times, but growth lies in failure; they’re both sides of the same coin.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

My first professional acting job in London’s West End. I played ‘Tootles’ in a Peter Pan story set during the First World War. The show was called Lost Boy and I loved every second of it from the rehearsals right till the end of the 4 month run in Charing Cross Theatre.

Thanks, Max!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Friday, May 21, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Heather Shoal

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

From Heather's DPW Gallery Page:

I worked in education for nearly 20 years until my life took an abrupt turn and grief prompted me to explore art. I began painting in 2016 but it wasn't until 2020 that I adopted the daily painting philosophy. While the pandemic actually made it easier for me to stick to this new schedule, the darkness of the year made me determined to bring some light to it.  My bright, happy paintings are my own form of peaceful protest. (I see your darkness and I raise you a painting of a polka dotted tea cup! LOL). (click to read more)

What did you want to be growing up?

I don’t recall being too set on any career when I was young, although at one point I remember wanting to go to the Art Institute of Seattle for Fashion or Interior Design. My initial major in college was journalism, but I ended up switching to the more practical field of elementary education, knowing I would be moving back to my small home town in Montana with my husband after college.

Pink Gooseberry
(click to view)

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

When did your artistic journey begin?

Growing up the daughter of a career artist, art shows/galleries/museums were a part of our family life, but I never really considered art for myself. It wasn’t until 5 years ago, that I took Tamara Laporte’s yearlong online Lifebook class as a sort of art therapy while going through a rough time in my life. It was such a fun, positive experience which strengthened my confidence and skills and led to more and more online classes. I was the queen of taking online classes for the next few years but wasn’t yet at the point where I could create art that was “mine.”

In 2020 I read Carol Marine’s book “Daily Painting” and was very intrigued by the idea of painting small on a daily basis. I took Flora Bowley’s Fresh Paint course which encouraged painting 100 9x9” paintings on watercolor paper, ensuring that no one painting becomes too “precious”- that got me churning out some work. Finally, it was Debbie Miller’s “Cups and Mugs” class that sealed the deal. Not only is she a daily painter but those teacups just did it for me! I learned how to set up still life scenarios of my own and off I went! Devoting myself to daily painting, along with finding the subjects that brought me joy to paint led to my own style starting to form without me even realizing it. I guess I can also thank a year of Covid lockdown to really give me the time to buckle down, experiment, and grow. I reached my goal of creating a body of work by January 1, 2021 to join the Daily Paintworks website and it has been amazing!

#23 Terrace View
(click to view)

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

I’m new to the art game, but years of both teaching and parenting gave me many opportunities to be creative (i.e. “crafty”). Those college years were probably the least creative of my life.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

I use primarily acrylics, but enjoy mixed media as well. I love collage. I would like to try oils, but at this point I have neither the patience nor the space to let them dry!

Eye of the Beholder
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

It’s frustrating as a beginner artist trying to find your style. I read somewhere that style comes naturally out of the joy of painting- and not forcing it. I feel like this is true, but it’s still not easy. There were a few techniques I knew I liked, but it wasn’t until I found a subject matter that I loved painting enough to lose myself in, and then put in the time, that a style of my own emerged. The first time someone commented that they could always recognize my work, I was like, “Really? Wow!”

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

I admire my dad, Michael Westergard, for really taking a chance and becoming a full time artist when he had a young family. That’s a gutsy move! He has continued to stay true to his own vision for his art (and how he chooses to market it) throughout his career and showed me that a successful artist doesn’t have to bow down to what the “art world” tells you you should be doing. Plus, his work is amazing! Thanks, Dad, for any artistic genes you sent my way. :)

Orange Slice of Heaven
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Your work doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact it’s more interesting if it’s not! It’s been said that there are 1,000 bad paintings inside every artist so if you screw one up - who cares! - just subtract it from your 1,000 and move on. If you loosen up and have fun, the joy you are feeling will shine through in your paintings and others will see it.

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

This is a hard one, but I try to remind myself that you can’t draw from a well that’s dry. It’s ok to take a break - although when you are committed to daily painting it’s easy to be critical of yourself for taking time off. I clean, catch up on computer work, watch some Netflix, do a little thrift shopping for new still life props and try to have faith that my mojo will return. Sometimes creating a collage out of magazine pictures or taking one of those many online classes I haven’t yet completed helps jump start creativity.

Stacked
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

Honor those ebbs and flows and remember that everything is temporary. If it feels like you are pushing a rock up a hill, you are on the wrong path. Go WITH the flow. And visualization works wonders too.

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

Paint looser!!!

It's All Complimentary
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success means finding joy as I paint and transferring that joy to others who buy my paintings. Creating uplifting work and sharing happiness is my goal. I always wonder who that person is that I’m painting for as I’m working on a project. It’s exciting when it sells and I find out!

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

Launching my website has been my proudest moment so far, but every time I sell a painting is momentous!

Pink Shakers
(click to view)

Thanks, Heather!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 13, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Valorie Sams

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

From Valorie's DPW Gallery Page:

Valorie Sams resides in the beautiful state of New Mexico, pursuing her dream to draw and paint full time.

Flower on Fire
(click to view)

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

What did you want to be growing up?

I always wanted to be an artist. I doodled on everything! My notebooks were always full of doodles and sketches.

Unfortunately the high school I attended did not offer art. I think I would have probably gone to art school if I had been motivated by an instructor. I feel it’s so important for young children to be exposed to art in every way possible.

When did your artistic journey begin?

Mostly in high school. I was encouraged to join the school newspaper where I did the cartoon “The Peepo People” for the paper. I really enjoyed that. It’s where I learned all about design, layout and printing. It gave me the beginning skills to become a graphic artist which is what I became later on.

Past Their Prime
(click to view)

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

Yes, like most artists we all have dry periods. I stuck with art for many years through the 80’s and 90’s but stopped for awhile after that. I picked art back up about ten years ago when I came down with a chronic illness. It served as therapy for me and helped me cope with my illness.

What mediums and genre do you gravitate towards? Which ones don’t appeal?

My chosen medium to start was color pencil. I took an illustration class in college and fell in love with them. I then tried my skills at pastels and later watercolor. I tried oils and acrylics but did not care for either of those.

Southwest Springtime
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I am not really sure I have a style. I just paint or draw what moves me at the time.

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

Georgia O’Keefe. She was a free spirit who forged her way despite the restrictions of being a female artist of her time. Her work is beautiful and free spirited. You can feel her appreciation for the beauty of the various objects that she paints.

Margaret's Stash
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Take the risk and go to SCAD instead of the other path I chose.

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

I have never had much problem in that department. I don’t do art on demand; it has to come as inspiration. That kind of pressure does not produce good art.

Road Runner
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I try to remember that art is an expression of one’s self and it should be fun.

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

I don’t really have any goals when it comes to art. I think it should be fun and spontaneous and if someone likes it all the better!

Colorful Peppers
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success is being happy to be in a good place with my art and enjoying the process.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

When I won “Best of Show” with my color pencil drawing “Silver Chaos” in the Explore this! Colored Pencil Society of America’s Exhibition.

Silver Chaos
(click to view)

Thanks, Valorie!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 6, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mary Beth Harrison

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

From Mary Beth's DPW Gallery Page:

Some of the best times from my childhood were spent around the kitchen table drawing cartoons with my brothers. I loved to copy the characters from Dr. Seuss books and my brothers liked to draw super heroes. As I grew older, I continued to draw, but also learned to paint. I was blessed with an excellent high school art teacher who encouraged me in all my pursuits and exposed me to diverse media and styles. I remember running into her at a restaurant a few years after high school graduation. She was a little disappointed to hear my career plan of becoming a biology teacher, but I reassured her that I would draw the best amoeba the students had ever seen! (click to read more)

What did you want to be growing up?

My first memory of a possible career goal was to play for the San Francisco Giants! My parents were huge fans and my older brother and I collected baseball cards and listened to the games on the radio. I even got to see Willie Mays play.

When did your artistic journey begin?

Creating art was important to me as far back as I can remember. I have clear memories of projects created in Kindergarten, even. When there was an art project at school, in Sunday School, in an after-school program, or at home, I was excited and absorbed by it. I received a lot of praise for my efforts which encouraged me to keep going. In high school I had a wonderful teacher all four years who I praise to this day for all she did for her students.

Three Friends
(click to view)

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

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

In my twenties the chances for creative expression dwindled as I gave all my energies to college, work, career building as a Biology teacher, and then marriage, home-building, and child raising. Photography became my creative outlet, but I often spoke about how much I wanted to get back into painting and drawing and that it would be my retirement activity one day. On my 50th birthday my husband presented me with a full painting kit – easel, paints, canvas, brushes, etc. and said, “You don’t need to wait for retirement.” Best gift ever!

What mediums and genre do you gravitate towards? Which ones don’t appeal?

Oil painting is my bliss! I tried acrylics and watercolor, and both have some appeal, but the feel of oil paint and the colors and glow I can create with it feed my soul and cause intense joy.

Harvest Light
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

At first, I painted from tutorials in books and on YouTube. I read about the processes other painters used, listened to podcasts, and watched DVDs from the library. I bought way too many colors of paint and had no idea how important it was to learn color theory. Gradually I picked up the information I needed to begin painting from my own photos without copying them exactly. I never wanted to paint so realistically that a painting could be mistaken for a photo. I wanted to paint what a scene felt like. I especially admired the work of California impressionists such as Edgar Payne. Gradually I realized that the place I live and love, the small town of North Fork near Yosemite National Park, and its surrounding area, contains all the scenery I could ever want to paint. It is not all that I paint, but it does provide the amazing California colors that fill me with joy. Today, I have work in three local galleries and two restaurants, and it is very evident to me that people who see my work share my love of the area and the impressionistic style I use to capture it.

My desire in painting is to share the joy I feel when I experience beautiful surroundings and situations. Sunrise on my gravel driveway, people talking on a corner, steam rising from hot tea, an excited dog with eyes full of love, even a cement truck on a country road have all been painting subjects that I see my audience respond to with the same joy I felt when painting them. My first attempts to paint these common moments were not too successful, yet the joy of painting and trying caused me to keep going. As an older adult I have found that my ability to allow for failure, appreciate it even, is a great gift. Every painting does not have to be “sellable.” Some are just lessons.

Pink Boots
(click to view)

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

The three artists I have learned the most from are my high school art teacher, Barbara Ogarrio, a local oil painter, Linda McCoy, and the well-known artist of today, Dreama Tolle Perry. Barbara Ogarrio gave me encouragement, knowledge, and confidence in my vulnerable teen years. Linda McCoy gave me skills, techniques, and the opportunity to dive deep into oil painting in a rich community of artists. Dreama Tolle Perry taught me the alla-prima technique I mainly use now and still gives me constant reminders to embrace the joy and love available every day to those who look for it. I admire all of these women for sharing their joy and skills with so many.

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

I would tell my younger self to silence the inner critic, don’t be afraid to share your gift with others or worry about what they will say or think; just create.

Summer's Delight
(click to view)

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

I clean my palette at the end of a painting session and lay out fresh paint for the next day; just knowing it’s ready to go will get me painting.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I listen to the Plein Air podcast and Savvy Painter podcast to get inspiration from other artists. Hearing about their own struggles lets me know I am not alone, and that success can come when you least expect it if you just keep creating.

A Walk in the Poppies
(click to view)

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

In the short term, I want to improve my plein-air work. I am painting with a local group once per month at various locations and it is a lot of fun, but so challenging to get the same quality of work I get in the studio. I think I need to stop expecting that. In the long term, I am working on a series of twelve paintings based on old photos of local history. I have four completed. A local history group and I are coordinating to bring awareness to the rich heritage of the central California foothills. I hope to have a solo show of this work in 2022.

What does success mean to you personally?

A teacher once told me that the dictionary is the only place ‘success’ comes before ‘work.’ I have always taken this to heart and believe that when I put in the work to gain the skills I seek, my success will be evident on the canvas. When I introduce myself as an artist and show my paintings to those who feel the joy in them, I am successful.

A Wedding to Remember
(click to view)

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

In the spring of 2020 I retired from thirty-five years of classroom teaching. I planned my retirement party in conjunction with my first solo art show. I called the show, “Joy Remembered” in honor of finding my joy after many years of neglecting my creative side. A local gallery, The Yosemite Gateway Art Center, agreed to host me and I had about two hundred people on my invitation list, a food truck, and live music all booked. COVID derailed the plans for May and we rescheduled for July. By July we were still unable to gather, so I did the whole show as a Facebook Live event! I am shy by nature and being on camera was not something I looked forward to. Many problems with technology also crept in, but with a couple of good friends, lots of laughing, and plenty of patience, we pulled it off! I sold sixteen of my thirty paintings!

Thanks, Mary Beth!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 29, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judie Mulkey

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

From Judie's DPW Gallery Page:

Welcome to my Daily Paintworks' shop. I have pursued my passion for painting and design my entire life. In the 1980s, I studied interior design at The Atlanta School of Interior Design. I then began painting under the direction of Coe Steinwart, a published and multi-award-winning watercolor artist. I also studied under Christian Bradford, a professional and highly collected artist. Several of my watercolors and oils have received awards as entries in juried shows. My favorite subjects are landscapes, cityscapes and figurative painting. My works are available online at Etsy.com, Fineartamerica.com and local galleries. I am a Georgia native and currently reside in Marietta, GA.

What did you want to be growing up?

I grew up in a wonderful small town outside of Atlanta. I vividly remember my dream was to be a secretary and live in Atlanta with friends.

Something About You
(click to view)

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

When did your artistic journey begin?

As a child in grammar school, I absolutely loved coloring and collage making. I have such fond memories of those simple times... I can still smell the paste and thick crayons in my mind. I was also fascinated with fabrics and design. In the 1980s, I began Interior Design coursework and focused on interior design for many years. My first painting class was a watercolor workshop that I enjoyed with friends. I followed that with oil painting workshops with several different artists. I was fortunate to have several pieces selected for juried shows and received awards for some of my work.

Did you have long periods without creative expression?

No, I am ALWAYS doing something creative. If there is a day I choose not to paint, you will find me reading about art, watching instructional videos and even teaching painting classes out of my home. I also enjoy cooking, gardening and interior design work.

Mid-Century Revisited
(click to view)

What mediums and genre do you gravitate towards?

I enjoy painting with oils, acrylics (liquid acrylics in particular are my favorite), watercolors and collage. I gravitate towards abstract in most of my paintings.

Which ones don’t appeal?

All mediums are appealing to me and I have tried most. However, I have not attempted pastels, but I am sure at some point I will!

French Market Shopping Day
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

My painting process has evolved over time. I am now focused on intuitive painting. When I sit down to begin a painting, I don't typically know what I am going to paint. I start by toning the canvas and mixing some colors. Then, I place some of the colors on the canvas and at that point I decide what to paint.

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

I admire many artists both past and present, but the one who stands out for me is Coe Steinwart, an accomplished watercolorist and illustrator of the book, Elf on the Shelf. Coe was my first painting instructor and taught me more than just how to paint. She inspired me and stressed the importance of negative spaces in paintings. One of her most memorable lines was, "Just draw a good shape and paint it!" Simple advice, but so very true.

Tuscan Hillside
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Just keep at it... don't give up. If you are not in the mood to paint... read, watch, educate yourself!

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

Not really, I just stick with my painting and creating. I am and have always been very creative. If I am not painting, I am meandering around the art supply store, watching a video or trying a new recipe.

Do You Wanna Dance
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I remind myself that this too shall pass. I have always continued to move forward, never giving up.

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

My artistic goals are to continue to paint, to continue to sell my art both locally and online as well as teaching painting in my home.

The French Blue Chest
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Artistic success for me is summed up this way - I enjoy when someone admires my work enough to purchase it or inquires with me about my art classes.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

I experience my most proud moments as an artist in front of my canvas. When I can sit down and have the paints flow - as you know, a painting has a mind of its own - and I am able to enjoy that process and create something beautiful. That is complete artistic and creative satisfaction.

Thanks, Judie!

© 2021 Sophie Marine