Thursday, April 8, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Marian Stamos

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

From Marian's DPW Gallery Page:

I've been creating art for nearly twenty years. I paint because I must. I choose to paint quiet peace and beauty in praise of an awesome God. My painting subjects are widely varied. I see beauty everywhere. My work includes still life, landscapes, figurative, and portraits of people and pets.

I am often drawn to quiet and simple life themes of my youth growing up in rural West Central Illinois... and yet equally energized by the colorful excitement of the city.

While my painting style can best be described as painterly realism, I enjoy learning other approaches.  Oils are my chosen medium due to their flexibility, rich color and buttery texture and ability to magically convey depth and distance on the flat canvas surface.

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life." -- William Faulkner

I am a member of the Oil Painters of America and the Barrington Arts Cultural Center and regularly exhibit at BCAC galleries in Barrington IL.

What did you want to be growing up?

A school teacher mostly. I often “played teacher” when a child. I did teach English (language arts) for six years immediately after college. Then went on to the corporate world for a twenty-eight-plus year career.

When did your artistic journey begin?

Art was my favorite subject in elementary school and I would draw with crayons and chalk at home. I recall copying a picture of Mary and Joseph with the Christ Child fleeing Bethlehem. It was from a Christmas Ideals magazine. Unknown to me, my mother saved the drawing and many years later at Christmas presented it to me framed with my age, etc. noted on the back in her handwriting. I still have it.

Wee Bouquet
(click to view)

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

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

Oh yes… most of my adulthood was spent without creating art. Life happens. My career was demanding in every way. About twenty years ago the Chicago office where I worked closed and moved to DC. I did not want to move so I found myself looking for a job in my mid-fifties… not easy. We were given career counseling as part of our severance package which included testing to determine one’s optimal career choices. I scored high in the creative end so my counselor suggested I go to her sister’s art school. I started taking classes… was immediately hooked… and I have been painting off and on ever since.

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

I began with oils and have stayed since… cannot imagine painting with anything else. I love all subjects – I started with still life but now also create landscapes, figurative work and a few portraits. I become bored if I stay too long in one area. I lean toward realism with an impressionist approach. Paintings that convey pain, weirdness, evil etc. don’t appeal to me. Life is enough of a challenge. God gives us a beautiful planet full of breathtaking surprises as well as special moments with other human beings. I want to focus on those. I want my work to bring joy, hope, excitement to the viewer.

Hot Stuff!
(click to view)

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

I guess it just happened naturally. However, I am still feeling my way. I am drawn to art where I can recognize the subject and relate to it in some way. That would include some abstract work. 

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

Whew! There are so many out there today… unbelievable talent. We are blessed to have them all and their diverse styles. I like Christine Lafuente and her abstract approach but I also like Kathy Anderson’s flowers, Kim English’s figurative work. Carol Marine's clever simplification… and I could go on and on.

Simon
(click to view)

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

Spend more time drawing and looking more deeply at the world around you. I have learned that painting opens one’s eyes, mind and heart to what is around you daily… tremendous beauty all the time.

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

Not really… I am still battling that. It does not help to also have serious interests in interior decorating and design and gardening. I am retired but much of my distraction is from these areas – also creative.

Cuties
 (click to view)

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

I am a Christian. Christians approach life in this world as only temporary and strive on to the eternal kingdom. All here in the present is temporary. So when I am feeling inadequate as an artist or that I have failed in some way, I just accept it and recognize it… try to figure out a way to improve… and then put it all in perspective. And move on.

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

I am 78 years old… not too sure about those long-term goals. Short term, I want to learn how to paint more loosely, be braver about those color choices and work more on those values. I would love just once to win some award. That would be nice for sure.

Happiness Times Three
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

To create the best art that I can -- art that catches the viewer’s eye and makes the heart beat just a bit faster.

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

Anytime someone buys my art… that’s really something! I do recall one moment -- my first time painting in a plein air event and a couple bought my painting. I could not believe it. I  still remember the painting and their faces and excitement.

Thanks, Marian!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 1, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Tracy Hurley

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

From Tracy's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a daily painter with a habit of painting in the morning, before I do anything else. By the end of my morning session, I know I have been creative for the day, which is a little gift to myself. This habit contributes to my happiness, and I recommend it to anyone.

I have always loved art. I am drawn to looking at the natural world to see if a portion can be framed into a compelling composition. On walks in nature, I take my camera in the hope of finding birds. It feels like a treasure hunt. I try to get close-ups where I can see feather structure, subtle colors, and the flash of light in their eyes. I use many of these as reference photos for paintings. Birds were among the first subjects I wanted to paint.

I live in Southern California, having grown up in Indiana, where my parents and siblings still live. I met my husband here, and we started our family, which now includes 2 kids and a few cats. My cats are the most willing of models, so in addition to birds you may also see them, with a few other subjects along the way.

For more of my art, please see my Instagram page at @tmwhurley.

Thank you for visiting!

What did you want to be growing up?

I wish I knew! I was a late bloomer in figuring out what I want to be, and I’m not sure that I’ve figured it out yet, even at the tender age of fifty-six.

If I were to live my youth over, I would focus more on creating art, and I say that because I’m enjoying art so much now. Instead, I took a science path: I studied biology, got a PhD, and worked in research labs. Some people (other than me) are suited to this work, and I met many brilliant, creative, inquisitive scientists doing clever experiments. My own career satisfaction required a fork in the road. I enrolled in a science communication course, which pointed me along my current path. In my day-job (of twenty years!) we create animations about science. I write/draw storyboards, record voice-over, and do some animation work. It’s a lot of good variety, and I feel happy to have a product at the end of the day. Ever since I had kids, I have worked part time at this job, which also makes it easier to include art into my mornings.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I remember drawing as a child, but I wasn’t diligent or a constant doodler with pencil in hand. I took a few art classes in high school, college, and later in continuing ed classes. I loved looking at art and I had the idea that the artists that I admired simply had a huge amount of innate talent (and they probably did, in part), and so I felt discouraged that my own efforts were not impressive. I only recently cottoned on to the idea that practice makes perfect (who knew?), or at least makes a little better. I wish this lesson had sunk in earlier in my life, because I would have been much more systematic in my hobbies, not getting discouraged by a bad performance or drawing, just trying again and again if I knew there was a nugget of pleasure in there somewhere.

A Jewel of Nature
(click to view)

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

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

I made very little art while I was studying biology and working in research labs. My personal art-making was re-ignited several years ago, inspired in part by Carol Marine’s book on daily painting, as well as by looking at art, birds, and other beauty in the natural world. Also helpful is that I have a friend who acts as my art-accountability partner. We send texts to each other most days, showing our creative efforts, offering suggestions or a thumbs-up (or a ha ha). In this way, my art is not just for myself, but my friend sees it, too, and that helps.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to?

I am currently painting with acrylics. I have tried and liked oils in the past but worry about ventilation and toxicity issues. So acrylics it is! Before painting with acrylics, I was making bird drawings using colored pencils, and then I discovered the Procreate app to make digital paintings on my iPad, from the comfort of my lounge chair. I have spent a lot of time with Procreate. I love to look at representational art, and this is what I paint as well.

Do I Have Your Attention?
(click to view)

Which ones don't appeal?

Although I admire watercolor paintings, I believe that watercolor artists require a more devil-may-care attitude (or the opposite of that in the form of meticulous pre-planning), because there are stricter limitations on correcting mistakes and no delete button. I have yet to find that attitude in myself, but never say never!

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

I don’t know that I’ve pinpointed it yet. I would like to paint more expressively, but that style may not be in me. I look at my gallery of art and think that they all look like they were painted by the same person, so perhaps I have landed on a style, in spite of myself.

Sycamore with Black Phoebe
(click to view)

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

I follow a lot of amazing artists, going down rabbit holes to see as much of their work as is available online. This week’s rabbit hole is wallpapered with the paintings of Jennifer Anderson, a contemporary artist in the UK. Oh those luminous faces! I love her work.

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

Keep up a daily habit of art, and consider the habit itself to be your goal.

Just Resting My Eyes!
(click to view)

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

My daily habit is to go to my art space every day after I wake up. I’m the early riser of the family, so I have a small window of uninterrupted time. I was inspired to do this from hearing other artists describe their process. I don’t require myself to do much, which eliminates a feeling of burden. Usually I work for an hour, but sometimes just five minutes.

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

I try to frame the “failures” as part of the learning process. I’m also convinced that a steady, regular effort will bring me over most hurdles. Then, if nothing seems to be working regarding a painting, I see no problem with quitting it and starting a new one. I can't forget to mention here that my family is full of sweeties who encourage and promote me, and that helps keep me positive.

Scrub Jay in the Garden
(click to view)

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art? What does success mean to you personally?

These are hard questions to answer after saying that my goal is the habit itself. I would like to sell my paintings, for sure, but my main goal is to do the painting every day. If I can do that, I have won (that is what I tell myself!)

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

Can I count that DPW asked to spotlight my art?

Dobie Love
(click to view)

Thanks, Tracy!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 25, 2021

DPW Spotlight Artist: Sheila Longerbeam

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

From Sheila's DPW Gallery Page:

Hi! I’m Sheila and I live in Northern CA, near San Francisco. I am sixty-three,  married with two grown children. I work full time as a psychotherapist, so painting is what I do most of the rest of the time! I usually paint four to five times a week and post my work to Instagram. I started painting seriously about six years ago. I began by attending a pastel workshop at Pt Reyes National Seashore--- a glorious spot on the northern CA coast! The work of the others, and the natural beauty reminded me of what I had always loved about art. I was inspired! 

Reading Carol Marine's book, Daily Painting, helped me to see how I could break down the art process into bite-sized pieces allowing me to gradually grow as an artist. At this point, I am focusing on strengthening my representational skills: drawing, value, composition, and color harmony. I also love it when those skills lead to a piece that is geometric and abstract-ish. I strive to create paintings with bold and inspiring colors. I realize that the spontaneity and freedom and delight I see in the paintings I love requires discipline and trust. Slowing down, deepening, trying again and again to catch the right color that makes a painting sing. As you look at my work, I hope that you see something that delights you.

What did you want to be growing up?

I didn’t know! It took me until about the age of twenty-six to know what I wanted to be when I grew up! At that point, I began training to be a psychotherapist, and have practiced in this field for thirty years, specializing in working with couples.

As I was sorting out what to do with my life, I often vacillated back and forth between something more socially impactful, such as therapy and something more spiritually growthful such as art and meditation. In the end, I thought my natural abilities and ambitions would be best fulfilled as a therapist. Also, I certainly didn't think I had much native talent for artwork and self-criticism made it more of a struggle.

When did your artistic journey begin?

From a young age, I have been very moved by paintings. I liked representational art as well as abstract art. I found favorite paintings in art museums and would return to visit the paintings that spoke to me. I felt that real art, as opposed to reproductions of art, had an energy from the artist that I was able to feel. 

My earliest art memories are of taking the bus on Saturday mornings to Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI to attend figure drawing classes, as a middle schooler. I felt nervous approaching the easel and drawing, so it was exciting and terrifying all at once.

I studied art as a second major in college and sporadically painted in my twenties.

Fresh Melon
(click to view)

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

Did you have any long periods without creative expression?

Yes. After college, I focused on finding and building my psychology career. I pursued psychological/spiritual growth, married and raised two kids. At about fifty-five years old I began to do art again more seriously.

How did you "get back on the horse?"

I attended a weekend pastel workshop with Bill Cone at Pt. Reyes National Seashore in Northern CA, in the US, one of my favorite places on earth. It opened something up in me and I gradually began to paint more and more, mostly focusing on plein air and landscapes.

In this time period, I noticed something else quite remarkable: I was painting without self-criticism. This was huge! I was able to enjoy my effort and my process. Without the hindrance of self-criticism, I was able to improve more rapidly.

When COVID hit, I started to think about death, and realized that I wanted to complete a body of work before I died. So I have particularly focused this year on painting very consistently— about 4-5 times per week. I have read books, watched YouTube, attended classes and been inspired by Instagram. This also coincides with my children entering adulthood and me thinking about "the rest of my life."

Round the Bend
(click to view)

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to?

I love oils and pastels. I am interested now in developing my representational skills. I want to be able to delight others with color and light. I can imagine in the future that I might want to do some abstract work, but for now, I am working on the basics.

Which ones don't appeal?

I am not particularly interested in acrylics or watercolors. I also want my paintings to be loose and expressive as opposed to tightly realistic.

Geometric Colors
(click to view)

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

I am continuously finding my artistic voice. I am following my internal instincts and noticing what is revealed on the canvas. I collect paintings that inspire me and try to pinpoint what it is I love about them. I think this reveals something about me. At this point, my skill lags behind my vision.

I also continue to inquire, "why do I paint?" I think it is because I want to create visual moments that might stop someone in their tracks and cause them to look a bit more deeply at something they find beautiful or intriguing.

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

I feel so much admiration for the everyday artists who continue to paint despite other significant obligations. I also feel admiration for the artists who have started painting later in life and paint with conviction.

White Vessels
(click to view)

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

I feel good about how my creative self has developed in my life, so I don’t know that I have any particular advice.

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

The best way for me to continue being productive is to set goals for myself. I have weekly and yearly goals. Since I continue to work as a therapist, the time I have off is precious to me, so I remind myself of that and make the most of it.

Lemons and Pink
(click to view)

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

When I feel self-doubt, it often helps to go for a walk, look at art that inspires me, set a small goal for myself and start painting. It is especially helpful not to compare myself to others.

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

I want to continue to become more skilled as an artist. In the short term, I want to paint small to develop my skills. Soon, I would also like to return to painting larger pieces. I would like to exhibit my art locally and to connect with other artists for plein air outings.

Lilies and Cake
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success means completing a body of work I feel proud of. I feel proud of my work if I see it improving and changing over time. Success also means being in community with other artists.

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

The proudest moments for me at this point are when I create paintings where the visual language catches up with what I want to say. I feel these paintings are an expression of an essential part of me. It is hard to define, but a thrilling moment that many painters would recognize.

Thanks, Sheila!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 18, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Anna Shikany

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

From Anna's DPW Gallery Page:

Hello. I'm Anna. I live in Minnesota with my husband and two kids (and soon a chameleon I plan on naming Georgie). If it weren't for my kids, I'm not sure I would be a painter. One day I bought my daughter a set of watercolors and it was love at first brush stroke. In 2019 I started taking my learning seriously. I told myself I wouldn't pick up a paint brush again until I taught myself to draw. So for one year, all I did was draw. I also put myself through a DIY art school. I studied the greats, went to museums, and I even wrote my own art history reports. Lots of plagiarism but who cares when I'm the only one reading them. :) I opened my first set of oil paints in January 2020 and the rest is history.

What did you want to be growing up?

This is a tough one because I honesty can’t remember. I was so behind in grade school that I spent all my time trying to catch up let alone grow up. I do know that I deeply wanted to be the Olsen twins' long lost triplet, but that didn’t pan out. I also wanted to be a Spice Girl. If only there was an Arty Spice to look up to, maybe I would have found my artistic path sooner.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I believe that everyone is on an artistic journey. The real question is ‘when do we realize that we’re on an artistic journey?’ When do we find that special something that makes us feel a little more alive and life is a little more clear? That awareness came to me when I applied to Perpich Center for Arts Education. It’s an arts high school in Golden Valley, Minnesota for Juniors and Seniors. Basically Hogwarts, but for artists. We lived and breathed art. Every single teacher was an artistic mentor. It was an incredible experience and it taught me that art is in everything, even math.

Pink Flower
(click to view)

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

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

Sometimes fear can prevent us from starting something new or picking up where we left off. One trick I have for conquering that fear is creating something abstract. Paint for the sake of mixing colors and making brush strokes. Tell yourself that this isn’t for anyone else but you. Don’t post it, don’t sell it. Use it to break the fear and get back on that horse.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

Oils have my heart. The texture, the vibrant color, the smell. When I first started painting four years ago, it was with a cheap watercolor set I bought for my four year-old-daughter. It was crappy paint, but it was love at first brush stroke. Eventually I ventured into acrylic territory and I fell deeper in love. Oils were next on my radar, but I was afraid of the toxic fumes and smells (chronic migraine sufferer here). I gave water-soluble oils a chance, but they didn’t feel right. I wanted the real thing. So, I did some research and found non-toxic alternatives for oil painting. By Christmas 2019 I had my first set of oils and the rest is history.

As far as genres go, they say artists often admire the opposite style of art that they create, and that’s true for me. When I’m at art museums, you’ll find me in the Expressionists section. When I’m at my easel, you’ll find me painting realism.

Paper Bag No. 6
(click to view)

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

Up until recently, I was so jealous of artists that had perfected their personal style. That beautiful relationship they built with their art that allows people to recognize their works just by looking at it. Personal style isn’t something you can force out of yourself. There isn’t a book that you can buy that will teach you your personal style. I can remember feeling frustrated, like my artistic goals were out of my control. I knew I had it in me, but I didn’t know where to look. 

I believe that we all have a built-in unique artistic style that just needs to be nurtured. It takes a desire to unleash it and patience to build it. Like any relationship, it’s important not to rush it, to give your bad work a lot of slack and most importantly, paint true to yourself.  
 
One thing I did to help build my relationship with art was to create my own DIY art school. A little over a year ago I decided to start from scratch. I dedicated eight months to strictly drawing. I didn’t touch a paint brush until I could sketch a decent picture. I studied art history, wrote my own research papers and visited the art museum whenever I could. Not to brag, but I was a straight A student. :)

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

My great grandmother, Mary James Stark. She was an amazing oil painter. I never got to meet her but she left behind a plethora of her paintings that hang in my home.

I love her work the same way I love Van Gogh and Cezanne. I wish there were history books written about her to study. I wish her inspirational quotes were written down. To me, she’s the most famous artist in my life. As a kid I would spend hours starring at her paintings. I would tell my friends that if they stand close it just looks like a blur, but if they take a few steps back it looks like a landscape. Little did I know, I was discovering impressionism.

Artichoke
(click to view)

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

I wouldn’t! I wouldn’t tell tiny Anna anything. We’ve all seen what happens in Back to the Future. Stay away from the past and instead share that advice with your current self. So, what would I tell my current self? Just keep painting. Just keep painting.

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

My painting practice is quite simple. I paint when I want to and I take breaks when I’m burnt out. Distraction and procrastination luckily haven’t found their way into my practice. However, I’m terrified that a day will come when I wake up and have no more interest in painting. What if I never want to paint again? Just the thought makes me anxious. I have to remind myself that that fear is coming from a place of love. So, I refocus my thoughts on my love for painting instead of my fear of losing it.

Five Paint Brushes
(click to view)

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

My self-doubt shows itself when I have low energy. It took me a while to realize this correlation, but if I physically don’t feel like doing something, I tell myself I can’t do it. The truth is that I can do it, just not right now. Timing is everything. I don’t force myself to push forward, I allow myself the time I need to build up energy and eventually the motivation always comes back. 

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

1. Get into the Minnesota Uptown Art Fair
2. Get into the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit
3. Learn how to paint en plein air and paint in every Minnesota State Park
4. Come up with an amazing inspirational quote that everyone knows

Pink Passion Bouquet in a Ball Jar
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Let’s be real. That quick fix successful feeling you get when a painting sells is an amazing high. Sales and money equals happiness and happiness equals success right? But you can be an award-winning, wealthy, famous artist and still be very unhappy right? The key is finding and nurturing our inner peace.  If I can remain grounded when bad things happen and setbacks occur, then I feel victory is made.

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

I used to look at paintings and say, “I wish I could do that.” Somehow, I had it in my head that if you weren’t born with talent, you were just out of luck. But the more I continued to learn, the more I practiced, the better I got. It’s always nice to be called talented, but the truth is that for so many of us, it’s not natural talent. It’s desire + dedication + determination. I’ve never been prouder of myself for making my own talent. Now I look at my own paintings and I say, “I did that!”

Thanks, Anna!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 11, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Iryna Khort

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

From Iryna's DPW Gallery Page:

I have been painting for more than four years. I discovered a craving for art accidentally and I am happy herewith. Now I develop my art business and paint bright oil and acrylic paintings.

I find inspiration in birds, nature in general, and people. The bird is a symbol of the flow of thought and freedom. Freedom to think and move around - this idea is the heart of the desire itself and at the same time is an implementation of reality.

My goal is to give joy to my clients and friends through my art, to share impressions and inspire.

What did you want to be growing up?

In primary school, my teacher asked my classmates and me who we want to be when growing up. That was funny because most of the class replied that they wanted to be a teacher and I did too. Every next year my desires change, and I never thought that I would be an artist.

When did your artistic journey begin?

Several years ago, I accidentally got into the studio of an artist. In those days I earned a living in a completely different field, not related to art, and honestly, I didn't like my job. The studio was placed in the basement, however, there was a lot of space and light. Beautiful women looked at me from large paintings; stretchers, frames, canvases were everywhere, all had turned into a sense of discovery: bright images, color, and depth, the smell of paints. I had felt right at home. Since then, I have had a desire to paint.

Amazing Colors of Nature
(click to view)

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

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

There are definitely times when I don't want to paint at all. At this time, I feel an emptiness inside. In this case, I let it go and just try to relax and do something else. And then the desire to paint comes again.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

I like to paint birds, animals, seascapes, and the sky. I love soft mediums: oil, acrylic, charcoal. I'm not comfortable with solid materials which need focusing and tension as well as all the genre with straight lines and control, e.g. cityscapes, architecture, or transportation.

Duckling
(click to view)

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

I'm not sure that I've already got my personal style. I think I will be on this lifelong way to search for myself and try to understand who I am. The process of the searching itself is the goal.

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

Admiration for someone is not my cup of tea. Art is so subjective. There are amazing artworks that I like, and some I can't enjoy. But I love any manifestation of creativity, whether it be cave drawings of ancient people or a make-up of a teenager going to a party. I am open to the world.

Gentle Wind
(click to view)

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

I would advise myself to ponder less and paint more and never give up.

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

I start with the little things. I have my own ritual. I turn off the Internet on my cellphone, put the canvas panel on the easel, squeeze the paints out of the tubes onto the palette and turn on pleasant music. All these little things bring me into working condition.

Tiny Friend
(click to view)

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

I try to keep myself busy. Most often, I do only what brings me joy. Thereby I try to avoid plunging into the uncertainty, which only takes away the strength.

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

I am going to develop my small art business, my skills, not only in painting but in taking a photo, video, keeping social media, etc. In the long term I want to have a bigger studio or own an art gallery where I would be able to paint, teach, have different exhibitions or other art projects.

Colorful Toucan
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success is being yourself, doing what you love, whatever it is.

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

It is the moment when I overcame my fears and started just painting.

Thanks, Iryna!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 4, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Yuliia Meniailova

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

From Yuliia's DPW Gallery Page:

Hello! I'm a professional artist. I work mainly with oils and pastels. I'm a member of the Red Rock Pastel Society of Nevada, and the National Pastel Society of Russia.

In my work, I focus on color relations, intuitively following the inner harmony of color. At the same time, I study the relationship of different textures to each other. The impasto technique helps me to express my character and my passion for life. The philosophy of my work is love. I love life comprehensively, like brushstrokes in my paintings. I urge you to see that the life around here is made of tasty bits. I work in the Impressionist and Abstract style. As plots, I am attracted to plant forms, birds, people. I try to preserve the simplicity of the subject without detailing or complicating.

Exhibitions:
2020 - "Cross pastel", Gallery "Exposed," Moscow
2020 - "Red Rock Pastel Society exhibition," online exhibition 2020
"3rd exhibition of the NSP", National Union of Pastelists, online exhibition 2020
"Young Artists," Exhibition Hall, Orenburg 2020
"PASTELIUM" Exhibition Center of St.Petersburg Union of Artists, St. Petersburg 2019
"Between the line and color", Gallery "Exposed," Moscow 2019
"Thirty-Fifth Juried Exhibition," IAPS Web show, online exhibition 2019
"Wet Paint," Colors of Humanity Art Gallery, online exhibition 2019
"Botanicals," Colors of Humanity Art Gallery, online exhibition 2019
"1st NSP Exhibition," National Union of Pastelists, online exhibition

What did you want to be growing up?

Growing up, I was an active child. I loved to do decorative and applied art. I wanted to paint, sing, and bake cakes. As I grew older, I realized that I liked painting the most. I felt that I displayed a talent for painting because I’d heard compliments from my friends. But I didn't understand how an artist makes money in the modern world. Who will buy their paintings? And so I went to study for a modern profession. I became a designer.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I studied design and art teaching. Then I started working as an interior designer. I also worked as a photographer. Over time, I wanted to paint. So I started accepting commissions on paintings and wall paintings. Then I decided to quit because there were so many orders. And I became a full-time artist. As of 2016, I work every day in my artist's studio.

Floral drawing
(click to view)

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

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

Yes, when I first started working as a designer, I didn't paint for a while. We paint so much at the university that I needed to take a break. And the pause was good for me. I realized that I was missing something important in my life. So I started painting again.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

I like impressionism, abstraction and fauvism. I like to look at watercolors, but I don't paint with watercolors, because this technique is not part of my character. But the pasty techniques reflect my character. So I paint with oil paints, acrylics, pastels.

Bee
(click to view)

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

I didn't purposefully search for my own style. It all happened by itself. I've noticed that the more you paint, the more clearly the style comes out. I believe that personal style changes over time, as does the artist themself. Now I paint and my paintings have a certain personal style. Tomorrow everything can change because I also change every day.

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

I like a lot of artists. Some artists were able to work with the composition. Other artists perfectly simplify the form of the subject. I learn a little from everyone. If we talk about classical artists, I would single out Paul Cezanne. I admire the way the artist worked with color. Of the contemporary artists, I like Milt Kobayashi. He paints so easily and expressively that it is impossible not to note his work.

Somewhere it was a warm rain
(click to view)

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

I would say to myself, don't listen to anyone. I believe that we are all unique. And if we don't use our uniqueness, it will be very boring. My motto - follow your heart, it always tells the truth. In my creative work, I listen to my heart and paint what I feel.

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

I go to my artist's studio and start doing something. For example, I start to sort out the paint or clean the studio. And gradually I begin to paint, without even noticing it.

Spring apricot
(click to view)

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

In moments of self-doubt, I look at my old work, analyze it. I see the result, and it inspires me to move on. I also watch movies where people talk about their careers. This is very inspiring because everyone has such different cases. And when there are creative crises, I try to spend even more time in nature. Being in the woods helps me regain my peace of mind and reboot.

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

Short-term goals are to finish a series of works for exhibition. I want to organize my own personal exhibition, and I hope it will be possible soon. I wanted to do an exhibition last year, but because of the quarantine, everything had to be canceled.

Long-term goals - I would like to participate in an art residency. I would be happy to communicate with other artists. To do this, I continue to study English and improve my painting skills.

Spring
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

For me, success is doing what I love, which is recognized by other people and among the community of artists. It's important to me that I like what I do. When I hear words of gratitude, I am happy. I understand that I do everything for a reason.

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

I'm proud of myself. There are periods in your work when your paintings are not so popular when your friends do not understand you. But I still trust my intuition and go ahead. I'm proud of my paintings. Every painting I paint with love.

Thanks, Yuliia!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 25, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jerry Salinas

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

From Jerry's DPW Gallery Page:

Hello! I live in sunny Phoenix, Arizona for the last fifteen years. I paint people, cityscapes and still lifes. I studied at the great American Academy of Art and at the Palette and Chisel Academy, both in Chicago. I have been mentored by Romel de la Torre for quite sometime. The last twenty-some years I have been an illustrator with a studio in Chicago working remotely. I teach the full-time oil painting program at the prestigious Scottsdale Artist School. If you're ever in town look me up! I like to paint and dance, eat and paint.

What did you want to be growing up?

I always wanted to be an artist. When I was going to graduate high school my parents (Thanks Mom and Dad) asked what art school I was looking into and I haven’t looked back.

I remember my sister sneaking out with my dad’s car and driving all the siblings for a joy ride to Chicago’s downtown area. She pointed to a window on an office building with a man working at a drawing table. She said one day that will be you. I ended up working with an illustration studio in that same building. So, my family was always behind me and I appreciated the confidence they had in me. It helps to grow up with that support.

When did your artistic journey begin?

It truly started when I entered art school. I had some bumps in the road between school and my illustration career.

I always painted but did not decide to do fine art full time until I became fifty years old. My wife said start now, I don’t want you being a bitter old man.

Thanks for all the support, my wife.

Roma
(click to view)

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

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

After art school I didn’t do any art for three years. I owned a restaurant with my brother. Once I was out I told myself nothing will stop me from being creative. That was a great kick in the pants.

I also have had periods where I can’t finish a painting. My solution to “getting back on the horse” is to pull away and take a break. So, I put the painting aside and do drawing exercises or search out new references for future paintings. I also don’t look at it for a couple of weeks. When I do I come back with a fresh eye.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

I use mostly oil paint. I also like to draw digitally or with a pen. I love subjects with people in cafes, at farmers markets or on a city street. I love that I can go to a café, take a seat, enjoy a coffee and sweet. I can pull out my sketchbook and draw people with the site and sounds that will hopefully inspire my paintings.

There is nothing I don’t like to paint. I feel my paintings may be figurative but I always add landscapes or still lives as a part of the story. I do love abstract backgrounds done with knives and brushes or whatever I can find to apply the paint. I will use whatever medium, genre or technique to get a painting done.

Street in Italy
(click to view)

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

I think my style came from my influences and the subject matter I paint. I paint more figures so I look at more figurative artist. That feeds into my style.

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

Wow! I don’t know if I can pick just one. I am inspired by many from all genres of painting. Richard Schmid and all the students who have directly or indirectly been taught or inspired by him would be my choice.

I have been around long enough that I have seen he has influenced many artists and illustrators.

Add Diego Velasquez the great Spanish painter.

Sweets Time
(click to view)

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

Always be fearless and don't worry about what other people say or like. Creativity comes from being an individual.

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

I was an illustrator for many years and have worked with deadlines. Give me a deadline and I will get it done.

If I do procrastinate I make sure I am learning or improving my art during that time.

Vespa Florence Italy
(click to view)

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

I teach oil painting at the prestigious Scottsdale Artists School. When facing any doubt or adversity I always think about my students and see how they keep working to get better and be creative.

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

Long term goals are to keep painting and hopefully offer wonderful paintings to my collectors.

Short term I hope add more paint and get a touch more abstract.

Kitchen Staff
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

My success is knowing I have done a painting that a collector would love to purchase because I touched them in some way. Making a living of this crazy business helps.

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

Selling my first painting on Daily Paintworks. If I can do it, you can do it!

Casual Day
(click to view)

Thanks, Jerry!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 18, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amy Braswell

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

From Amy's DPW Gallery Page:

Art makes me happy. I am excited each morning to get to my easel to paint or draw. I feel as though I have found the perfect combination of art mediums. My colored pencils and pastels allow me to have precise control with a lot of details. Painting with oils lets me be loose and bold and expressive with my brushstrokes. I paint to feed my own desire to create. My hope is that my artwork will bring joy for others as it does for me when I am creating it.

What did you want to be growing up?

A veterinarian. I have always loved animals, but it ended up that I did not like science classes. I was really good at math and ended up getting an accounting degree.

When did your artistic journey begin?

My entire life, I have loved to create. I taught myself to sew and had a line of children’s clothing when my kids were young. I also taught myself photography and still do a bit of that when approached. But I did not start with art until early 2018. I discovered colored pencils and pastels and decided to try them out and realized I was pretty good at it. I followed some artists on Patreon and learned different things from different artists and improved with each piece I completed. My colored pencil and pastel work are very detailed, and I wanted to try something where I could be looser. A year ago, I ordered some tubes of oil paint and some canvases, picked up a paintbrush and I’ve never looked back!

Yellow Bug
(click to view)

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

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

There was a lot of time between my sewing/clothing line days and when I picked up a camera and started learning photography. I was raising kids and that was my focus. There was nothing that sparked my interest in photography other than enjoying taking photos and wanting to get better at it. I found myself with a lot of time because my kids were both in college. I am very lucky and have a very supportive husband who lets me try just about anything I want to.  

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

I enjoy oils, colored pencils, and pastels. I tried watercolor early on and my hat is off to all of the watercolor artists out there! I could not handle the lack of control! I am hoping to take an online class with a watercolor artist and try them again. I did not like acrylics because of the quick drying time. I have recently started doing a little needle felting and find that a lot of fun, so we will see where that goes!

Barnyard Piglet
(click to view)

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

Honestly, I’m not sure I have found my personal style yet. I mentioned earlier that my attraction to oils was to be able to paint loose and I don’t feel like I am there yet. Since I haven’t been able to attend any in person oil workshops, I have watched a lot of classes online. I try to take a little bit of what I learn from each artist and apply it to my own work.

As far as finding my voice goes, I feel like I am getting close. I like to tell a story through my paintings and leave it to the viewer to make up their own story when they look at my work. There are many social issues that are important to me such as homelessness, sex-trafficking, and empowering young girls.  Starting this year, I am donating a portion of each sale to one of several organizations I have researched and chosen (the buyer chooses one) that supports these issues.



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

That would have to be Bonny Snowdon. Not only is she an incredible colored pencil artist, but she is the kindest, most giving person I have ever met. Her desire to help other artists learn and improve their work shines through in her teaching. Another artist and I were able to spend a week with her in 2019 and I feel so fortunate be able to call her my friend after that week. Everyone should go look at her work because it is spectacular.

Ginger Kitty
(click to view)

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

If there is something you want to try, then go for it! Don’t ever underestimate what you can do.



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

I look forward to getting into my studio space every morning. I have so many things that I want to paint, draw, felt, make etc. If I ever do get distracted, all I have to do is think about all of those things! This year, I have started using a planner and that has helped me focus on what my goals are for the week and what I need to try and get accomplished each day to reach that goal. My first grandbaby was born late December and I will admit that she is a distraction, but I don’t mind that!

Willie
(click to view)



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

I look at how far I have come and remember how much I love what I do. I have little sticky notes on my easel that say things like, “what if?,” “slow down,” “actually, I can,” “be bold,” etc. They all remind me that it’s my art and there really is no right or wrong way. One of my favorite quotes is “to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

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

Short term my goal is to continue to work on being looser and more expressive with my brushwork. I am currently taking one of Dreama Tolle Perry’s courses and having a lot of fun. She has a beautiful loose and colorful style and I have picked up a lot of useful tips from her. Long term, I would love to have a body of work that would enable me to have a solo exhibit in a gallery.

Sly
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

To be a good person by helping others, being kind and gracious, choosing happy, staying positive and living the best life you possibly can.



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

I would say when I finished the portrait of my corgi, Moses. It was the first colored pencil portrait I had done where I wasn’t following a tutorial. I gained so much confidence with that piece and never looked back.

Moses
(click to view)

Thanks, Amy!

© 2021 Sophie Marine