Thursday, March 26, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Todd Derr

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

From Todd's DPW Gallery Page:

Born, 1968

Todd Derr is an artist who works primarly "en plein air" or paints directly from life. His oil paintings of his surroundings are an attempt to capture the sublime beauty of an ever changing world. Todd was born and grew up in rural Indiana and has always been an avid outdoorsman, exploring the woods and creeks around his home. His love of hiking, canoe/kayaking, cycling, and just being outside, led to a natural fit to become a plein air painter. He loves to travel and paint.

Todd is an Air Force veteran and spent many years as a technician in civilian life before deciding to dedicate the rest of his life to pursue his dream to become a full time artist.

Todd has recently moved to Cleveland, Tennessee and is looking forward to exploring and painting that beautiful part of the country.

AWARDS:

Apr. 2019 - Honorable Mention, First Brush of Spring Plein Air Competition, New Harmony, IN
Apr. 2019 - 1st Place, Henderson Society of Art, A Fresh Perspective Exhibition, Audubon Museum. Henderson, KY.
Nov. 2018 - Award of Merit, Indiana Plein Air Painters Association Members Exhibition, Carmel, IN.
Oct. 2018 - Award of Excellence, Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition, McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD. Judge, Kathy Anderson
Sep. 2108 - 3rd place, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art Buffalo Plein Air Paint Out, Owensboro, KY.
Sep. 2018 - 1st and 3rd Place, Village Paint Out, Brown County Art Guild, Nashville, IN.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I guess it started when I was a toddler and got into some paint in the garage and "custom" painted some of my toys and my dad's collection of slot cars (remember those in the '70's?). I must have always been compelled to put paint on something. My grandmother saw my potential and would always buy me art supplies and I would occupy myself for hours. Come to think of it, she had a pastoral landscape in her living room that I always was attempting to copy. It was in the vein of the Hudson River School.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Definitely! After high school, I attended a local college, but got bored and impatient, and dropped out to enlist in the Air Force. I spent four years serving, but continued to draw while I was there. After I was discharged (honorably) I came home and ultimately went to work for my uncle's HVAC business. During that time I picked up an airbrush and taught myself to use it and began painting motorcycle helmets, Harleys, race cars with crazy paint jobs, flames and skulls and all of that. I eventually quit my job and devoted my time to that for many years until the economy tanked around 2008. I had been dabbling with watercolor and landscape painting too, so my wife and I decided I should stay home and take care of our kids and work on that side of my art.

Since then, I have worked full time at my art and moved over to oils and plein air about six years ago.

Wipe Out Rock
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Everything from automotive urethanes, to watercolor, pastels, charcoal, and oils. I'm not much of a fan of acrylics for some reason. Genre wise, I'm mostly a plein air landscape painter, but pretty much anything painted from life. Rarely paint in the studio, although this virus thing has kept me indoors mostly.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Early on I thought I would only be a watercolorist, but I'm hopelessly in love with oils right now. I sold all of my pastels.

Mckayla
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Right now, I'm focused on seeing what all I can get out of oils. I think between the limitless exploring on foot I can do in my new backyard here in the mountains of East TN. Oils really work great for plein air.

Who or what inspires you most?

Gosh, so many. As I'm self taught, just the process of discovery has me getting introduced to so many amazing artists' work. But, the current list of contemporaries would be Joshua Been, Jim McVicker, Matt Smith, Scott Christensen... the list could go on. Historically, I'm on the J.S. Sargent train with Sorolla, Fechin, etc.

Peekaboo
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Spending way too much time on social media or watching YouTube videos... usually art related, but time better spent painting.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Keeping myself immersed and not distracted. Keeping the TV turned off and some great music playing while I'm in the studio or planning trips out to paint. Once I'm outside and thinking of painting, pretty much nothing distracts me.

Webb Bros, Reliance, Tennessee
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I don't usually have a firm idea, just some nebulous sense that I will find an interesting composition of light/dark and color while I'm out. I like to respond and interpret what's in front of me. My studio work is from my photos or plein air studies, so the idea has been established already in the field.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? 

The fact that I'm constantly finding out that I don't know what I don't know. I'm the kind that can read all the books and watch all the videos, but until I do my own work and make my own discoveries, it means little. So, knowing that there is always something to learn keeps me pushing onward.

Bowl of Strawberries
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I feel like I've started climbing another trail up the mountain after having arrived at a certain plateau from a previous climb. Although, now I know that there is likely another plateau and more mountain to climb in the future that I could not see before.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Watching something develop from nothing. The "happy accidents" that I've learned to leave alone. Mostly, I love when people connect with my work, whether they purchase it or not.

Thanks, Todd!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 19, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lori Ellis

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

From Lori’s DPW Gallery Page:

My formal art education began in an intense fine art program at Cranbrook-Kingswood High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. At the University of Michigan I earned a BFA in Graphic Design. I worked in Boston and in Portland, Maine as a graphic designer and art director. I value the many things I learned in the business, but after ten years I was ready for new challenges in fine art.

The Maine landscape was the force that sent me back to painting. As much art as I had made to that point, I really hadn’t found a subject that spoke to me so deeply. I worked exclusively in pastels through the 80’s and taught my methods in adult-ed courses. After twelve years in Maine, job opportunities took us to the New Orleans area, and subsequently to Baton Rouge. I returned to school to earn my MFA from Louisiana State University. Grad school was a rich experience twenty years after undergrad. With nine painting professors to guide me, I gained a greater appreciation of contemporary art and art history. I also taught courses in drawing, color and design. 
In 2000 I joined the faculty at State University of New York, Cortland, where I taught painting, drawing, figure drawing, color, and BFA thesis courses. I also Chaired the Department of Art and Art History. I am now retired, as a Professor Emeritus, and reside in Southwest Florida.

Tell us a bit how you first started painting.

I started drawing at a young age. My grandfather loved to paint and I stayed for the weekends in his art studio/guestroom. I remember running my fingers gingerly across all of the gorgeous oil paint tubes, but he insisted I begin with drawing.

Lemons on Blue
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’d have to say all of them! I’ve never been able to resist trying something new. In 2D I’ve worked in oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, casein, pastel, charcoal, pencil, Chinese inks on rice paper... In 3D: clay, glass, metal, weaving, knitting, basketry, paper sculpture. One year I even tried to make garden sculpture out of climbing beans, but the deer defeated that effort.

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

I worked for a long time in soft pastels, but oils have been my favored medium for over twenty years. I have worked with abstraction and non-objective pattern, but I really do love working from observation. I enjoy the challenge of creating an abstract underpinning of arrangement or story-line within realism.

Locally Grown
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Color and light seem to be my continuing love and challenge. I’ve just begun to explore the unique light and shadow colors of the Florida sun.

Who or what inspires you most?

The natural world is always inspiring. Whether tending my garden or taking long walks, I always see something inspiring. Lately I am having quite a bit of fun setting up still life. It is like creating a small theater where you can make anything happen. For my beach still lifes, I have an x-large baking tray filled with sand and a shelf full of potential props that I can move outside in the sun.

Ducky Day at the Beach
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

The only procrastination in the studio seems to be a small pile of paintings that are about ¾ finished. I am in love with something in the paintings, but there are still major problems, that may take years to solve.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

My studio is a dedicated space in my home with a very comfy arm chair. Even if I am not painting, I am looking at paintings, thinking about paintings, or planning paintings. Even on days that are busy outside the studio I always take a few minutes to peek in and get a fresh look at what is on the easel, so I am clear about what to do when I start working.

Tomatos and Tervis
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

A lot of people keep sketchbooks, but I have visual files on my computer with way more ideas than I have time to paint. Currently I use (mac) Photos and make image files grouped for possible series.

How do you keep art “fresh”? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

As well as looking at nature I look at a lot of art. I have learned from the traditional and contemporary masters as well as my beginning students. I don’t ever look to copy, but to give myself permission to accept all my own crazy thoughts. I always knew when my advanced students were onto a great idea – they would approach me looking both excited and worried that their idea was too “crazy”.

Calm Cloud
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Whimsy. It has long been forbidden territory. I am trying to break my own personal myth that to be taken seriously you have to be a bit dour and “impressive”.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Happiness is certainly in eye of the beholder, but I am happiest when a painting makes me smile or opens my heart to the beauty of the world.

Sunday Lunch in Malta
(click to view)

Thanks, Lori!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 12, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol Benally

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

From Carol's DPW Gallery Page:

Carol Benally Paint landscapes plein air and in the studio to create a peaceful view of the earth and sea.. She lived on the Navajo Reservation for thirty years where she painted the mesas and landforms of the Colorado Plateau. While still maintaining her heritage from the North Shore of Boston. She paints the Great Marsh of Massachusetts. Both have a quietness, solitude and open vistas that make painting them an easy transition.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I've been painting since Jr. High School. I went to Mass college of Art and Montserrat in Beverly and have a BFA.

Reflection
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I always painted and have enjoyed painting landscapes my whole life. I taught public school art in Massachusetts and Arizona. But while I was teaching, I painted nights and weekends.

Evening Walk
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I went on many trips and painted outdoors on location About twenty years ago I used pastel for about ten years and sold in many galleries, and when I switched back to oils it was a challenge mixing colors and seeing all the variations that paint could give me.

At Dusk
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

What inspires me the most is painting plein air, for a week at a time. Going to remote places and first absorbing the landscape, watching the colors while the sun rises and sets. I also like to look at other artists work for inspiration. My inspiration comes from Maynard Dixon, Georgia, O'keefe, Ray Robersts, a contemporary painter, all who inspire me to try harder.

As Shadows Become Night
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I never feel like I procrastinate; when I feel like my studio work is in a slump, I immediately go outside and find something beautiful and try to paint. A small painting gets me back on track and looking forward to my next painting.

Evening Stillness
(click to view)

Thanks, Carol!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, March 5, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alona Morozova

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

From Alona's DPW Gallery Page:

I’m artist from Latvia.

I was really inspired by idea of making small format paintings on a daily basis.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting and took it seriously quite recently, around a year ago. It had been more like splashes before that. Something emotional and inconsistent. One small book has turned unexpectedly my vision upside down… thank you, Carol Marine… :)

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I didn’t have any stops because I didn’t have any move. I’m at the beginning of my way.

Puppy
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I have been in love with oils since the beginning.

It wasn’t easy to start with. That’s why I used to work with acrylics. But I always had a feeling that something is missing.

I like to experiment with a palette knife.

I am currently not interested in any other mediums. Who knows, I might study watercolours or pastels sometime. I sincerely admire the skilled painters who work with this.

Regarding the genres, I have started with animals, and it seems that's where I will get stuck. I adore them and love to paint them.

Bambi
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Oh, I wish I could paint like Tibor Nagy… where reality and abstraction merge into unbelievable harmony. That is something what I would like to explore.

Who or what inspires you most? 

An opportunity to make paintings inspires me a lot. Also, when someone likes and needs my work. Private commissions of pets are very inspiring as well. There’s always something that grabs my attention when browsing photos of animals. There are always some details to put on canvas like face expression or funny action. Those ones that make me laugh or smile are my favourite.

Video workshops especially when I feel disappointed.

Set of new oils or palette knives can do a job. There is an instant passion to try it straight away.

Me and My Friend
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?  

It's ironic that I hate when something or someone takes my time away from painting... but... as soon as I get it... I drink tea with a chocolate bar! And it's horrible!

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

A technique called "When no one's at home," and the second one is "I’ve got a commission."

Smile!
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Sometimes I get an idea when I browse huge number of photos. Sometimes a canvas size or shape gives me a hint. Also, when I work and realise that something goes completely wrong, I remove what I have done and straight after that I get a clue to what I should do.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Probably the fact that I don’t deal with art full time and have a lot of family responsibilities saves me from burnout. Therefore, I’m hungry for painting most of the time.

Parrot Portrait
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I feel like a person who has just learned the alphabet and is starting to write.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get a result and I want to kiss it or caress it. Or when I work and notice that I’m periodically smiling.

Thanks, Alona!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 27, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kerry Hastings Hogan

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

From Kerry's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio, currently living in Cypress, Texas just outside of Houston. I earned my bachelor degree in Fashion Design from The University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning). After graduating, I worked for ten years as a designer, eight of which were with Ralph Lauren in NYC. I left my dream job to raise my three children. We have moved five times with my husband's job, our latest in 2012 to Houston. Finally settled, and the kids more independent, I got back to creating. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Creating has always been a part of who I am. I grew up sewing, baking, designing garden bed layouts with my mom, and sketching. I went to the University of Cincinnati and earned my Bachelor in Fashion Design through their incredible D.A.A.P program (Design, Architecture, Art, and Urban Planning). In my first year foundation courses, one of my illustration instructors was a colored pencil artist. She showed our class slides of her work one day and when I saw the rich color that could be achieved with colored pencil, I dove right in. It was the next natural step, for me, to add color to my sketches and I started sketching the world around me, not just fashion and figures. I also had friends in the architecture department, and when I would visit them, I would have to walk past the painting studios. The paint looked so fun to mix and put on canvas in bold strokes of color.  It looked expressive and exciting. I was growing weary of the time it would take me to complete a small colored pencil drawing, so I was determined to learn how to paint.

Snapdragons
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I had many stops and starts with painting, but I was always creating in some form. I worked as a fashion designer for ten years, eight of which were with Ralph Lauren in NYC. I have three children that are very close in age, and we moved to different states five times with my husband’s job. Each of the moves involved the time consuming tasks of setting up a new home, enrolling the kids in new schools, finding new doctors for everyone, and making new friends (the best part). There wasn’t much time or energy left for making art, but I did manage to take watercolor classes in two of those cities. We have been in Texas for about eight years now, so about four years ago we were settled, the kids were older, and I started painting regularly.

Total Riot (Figs No. 3)
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have used charcoal, design markers, colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and oils. Once I tried oils, I never returned to other mediums. I love how the color stays true, and how forgiving they are. I’m not intimidated to put brush to canvas since I know I can scrape it back and start again if I need to. I would like to try charcoal again. It is messy, but I love the interesting marks it makes.

For genres, I did loads of fashion illustration, life/figure drawing, and clothing illustration in college and for work. Ralph Lauren didn’t like sketches that were computer generated. Everything was hand drawn which was great for keeping up my drawing skills. I now paint mostly flowers and still life with the occasional animal thrown in. I definitely want to paint more animals and explore landscape further.

Rainier Cherries No. 1
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Contrast is probably the single design element that inspires me most. I’m most drawn to light, shadow, bold color combinations, graphic patterns, and varied texture. In still life, I love the combination of organic, soft, natural shapes mixed with man-made hard lined shapes. The ideas for my paintings usually stem from a contrast that I have observed and want to capture.

I am inspired by (to name a few) Frederic Remington, Kerry James Marshall, Walter Hunt Everett, Van Gogh, Mark Daniel Nelson, and Malcolm Liepke - all for their handling of light and brave use of color. 

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination, for me, is usually a result of lack of confidence in something new, like a new subject that I’ve never painted. I’ll get a million other chores done before I attempt it.

Big Love
(click to view)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

In order to make time for my art, I went back to the work schedule I kept as a designer (minus the sixty hour work weeks!). I paint during the day. At 3:00 my day ends when the kids come home.  I do dinner and chores in the evening.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I try to only paint things that I am excited about. I feel like it comes across in the painting if I’m not that excited about the subject matter. The challenge of new subjects and genres keeps me from burnout. I also like to vary the size of my paintings. I really enjoy painting large. Sometimes it can be refreshing to return to a painting the next day instead of starting new every day.

Morning Cuppa
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I’ve been experimenting recently with using color to convey mood. I’m appreciating just how colorful a painting can be even with the use of muted tones.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I’m just getting started, so it seems like there are endless amounts of subject matter to pursue. I will never be done learning and that challenge will keep it fun. However, the biggest thrill is when someone else connects with my work.

Thanks, Kerry!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Friday, February 21, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Steve Ellison

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

From Steve's DPW Gallery Page:

Steve has been involved in the visual arts for most of his professional life. His attraction to painting grew from watching his mother paint landscapes as he was growing up and from his studies of the great portrait painters.

As the owner and photographic portrait artist at LSN Studios - a leading portrait studio in Reno, Nevada, Steve created artistic wall portraiture of families, children and high school seniors for more than twenty years. Every day was a new exercise in composition, lighting, color values and personality management! He earned the Master of Photography Degree from the Professional Photographers of America in 2003. During these years he also created a vast library of landscape photographs, many of which were imaged using film on large and medium format camera gear and printed in his studio darkroom. He later became an expert user of Adobe Photoshop. Steve leverages these experiences and knowledge in the creation of his paintings. (click to read more)

Genoa Road
(click to view)

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My mom was a talented landscape painter - first in oils then in watercolors, but I was never the kid that was always drawing and doodling. Only after I was fully immersed in a professional photography career did my curiosity start to awaken - especially after studying the works of the great portrait painters. "What would it be like to paint?", I often thought. The one day my insurance salesman brother in law announced that he was now oil painting - I had to start after that! 

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Several! When I first started I had the proverbial collection of lots of tubes of paint. Too many choices resulted in discouragement and taking a break. Then I discovered the sweet science of the limited pallet. Three primaries and white, and that's it - been that way ever since! Maybe it's due to my photographic background, but I have no problem mixing colors, even to match existing colors.

Fall in Lamoille Canyon
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started and have always stuck with oils - for no other reason than that's what all the great masters that I admire used. I paint on primed Masonite. I created a great many landscape photographs over the years - even getting to the point of investing in large format photography gear (think Ansel Adams under a dark cloth kind of stuff). I really only have an interest for landscape images probably due to that reason.

Who or what inspires you most?

For inspiration I look for paintings that have a mood. Artists that are able to create a comfortable living either being a dedicated full time or part time artist are always an inspiration!

Spring in Nevada
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Talking myself out of a subject. "That's too hard to try", or "that subject is too busy". I need to get over that! Maybe next week...

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I'm always searching for new subject matter throughout the day, and always have a camera ready for reference. While I would like one day to have the time to just drop everything and go paint outdoors, till then having a stream of possible source images at my disposal sure helps.

Grand Canyon Storm
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I look for the composition first. How will the eye be directed through the scene? I learned long ago to sketch out the scene first in a sketchbook. Here I can solve composition problems before they rear their ugly head midway through a painting session.

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Right now I'm all about values. Get the values and the composition and the shapes right, and color will almost take care of itself.

Carson Valley Color
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I like to step back and take a good solid look at a finished work. If I can think, "Wow - I did that!" then it's mission accomplished!

Thanks, Steve!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Friday, February 14, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Artemi Glazkov

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Artemi's painting "#127 Tonal Study" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I painted my first paintings about ten or twelve years ago. We had just moved into a new house and its bare walls were in need of some decoration. I bought a set of acrylics, brushes and several cheap canvases and painted some still life. Surprisingly, almost all of them from life. The paintings turned out to be okay-ish, but I put brushes aside and dedicated my free time to other hobbies.

Just over a year ago I returned to painting again and seriously this time. The initial push came from my dear wife who threatened me with buying a cheap painting on Amazon to cover an empty wall. I could not stand that. At around that time I came across the “Daily Paintings” book by Carol Marine and the whole idea of painting small and frequently. Well, there are now so may paintings in our house that we do not have enough walls.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Not really. It is far too short to have any serious gaps and I am too old to allow them to happen. There are so many things to learn and try! But of course the real life may interfere at some point.

#127 Tonal Study
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? 

Drawing with pencil was the first medium I tried. I always knew I could draw reasonably well. On rare occasions I drew something people commented on positively, but it did not become a hobby. I have an engineering degree, thus, due to my training, I have also never experienced any problems with understanding things like perspective, physics of light and reflection, etc. However, I have never formally learned any art beyond ordinary lessons at school.

I have also tried watercolour and gouache. I have found pure watercolour to be too complicated and difficult for me. I prefer a combination of watercolour and gouache or just pure gouache. I think gouache gives me more flexibility without overcomplicating the process of painting itself. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to really dedicate myself to that medium at the moment

I have also tried oils. Definitely they have not “stuck”. I love the medium, but the technical side of the process makes it too difficult for me to manage in my current circumstances. I do not have a dedicated studio or even a permanent place in the house to deal with such “oily” medium.

So, the medium of my choice is acrylics. This is the one I am trying to excel at this stage. I have learned a lot about what is possible to do with acrylics, which is to put it simply, a lot. However, now I know some of the medium’s limitations as well.

I have always been drawn to art capturing light in nature. So, I am not surprised I find landscapes to be the most appealing genre. But again, I must add, “at the moment”. I have painted several still life paintings and found that I enjoy it very much.

#148 Getting Old
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really want to return to oils at some stage for a more serious study of the medium. Everything I know about it suggests an interesting journey. It is so to speak “a big idea”. Perhaps in a few years I may be able to overcome the lack of proper studio and all other problems I had with oils previously.

My plan for the more immediate future is to start getting out for not necessarily frequent but regular plein air sessions. Painting is a hobby for me and between other things I have to do it is difficult to find time for regular outings. My plan is to start on that path this year.

Another aspect I would like to explore more this year is still life. Due to the already mentioned lack of a studio I do not have a good way to setup for still life, but this problem seams to be less difficult to overcome. Time will tell.

Who or what inspires you most?

Oh! There are so many great artists I get inspired by. Both past and present. The list would be long.  Perhaps James Gurney and Kevin D. Macpherson are at the top of the list though. It is not only because the art they create, but also because of the way they explain what they do and how.

#105 Waiting
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I am a wrong person to ask this question. My painting career is too short. I have just one time slot during a day, between 9 pm and midnight, I can use for painting. I only have three hours to do something I really want to do much more often. Do I need more motivation? I think not.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

No pointless internet browsing; no forum reading or something like that; no TV; no facebooks and twitters. I do spend some time checking Instagram, but my links are limited entirely to painting and it is more like an educational tool, rather than a social media for me.

#141 Going to Be Hot
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

There is no any predetermined way. Sometimes I really think hard about a painting for a long time. In most cases though, I do not spend that much time procrastinating about what to do next.  I consider every painting I do as an exercise focusing on a particular technical aspect, I need to learn for my skills “tool box”.  The list is very long and it is just a matter of picking one item, any item really, from that list.

I usually set myself a sort of a target for the next two… three paintings. For example, last week was dedicated to still life. I had several small boards I really wanted to use, but they were too small for any landscapes. Why not to use them for still life?  So, I painted several small paintings setting a task of using only a limited palette of yellow ochre, red and black, Zorn palette.

Another time I might get interested in a particular brushstroke or a combination of colours or whatever, and that would be the theme of my next exercise.   

How do you keep art “fresh?” What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I am not sure how engaging my art is. I do not have any yardstick to measure it. Some people buy my paintings from time to time and my family thinks I am doing ok. So, perhaps the art is engaging.

As for the freshness of it, whatever I paint it is something I am interested in one way or another. It is not a problem to find something exciting for the next step. I hope that a bit of that interest and positive feeling I get from learning transpose into my paintings.

#78 Bright Autumn Day
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Right now, and it has been the main theme for some time, I am learning how to use greys in my palette more efficiently. I feel that sometimes my colours get over-saturated and sometimes quite the opposite. I know what I am doing wrong, and I can correct myself alright, but often it takes too many steps to arrive to the right results.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I feel that other people do really enjoy my art. It somehow resonates with their feelings. I am very excited that I can use my paintings to share my view of the world.

Thanks, Artemi!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 6, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Erin Martinelli

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

From Erin's DPW Gallery Page:

Erin J. Martinelli, is a Northern California artist who finds her inspiration in animals, nature, abstract, and architecture genres to create brilliant acrylics, etching prints, and watercolors. Erin J. Martinelli trained at the very early age of seven years old at The Casements in Ormond Beach, FL, the former winter home of John D. Rockefeller. She then later studied at Seabreeze High School, AP Art, under Nina Masters, and continued onto the University of Cincinnati, College of Fine Arts, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

At the tender age of seven years old I took an art class at The Casements in Ormond Beach, FL, the former winter home of John D. Rockefeller. I fell in love.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Yes, in 2010, my husband and I had a beautiful baby, which took a lot of time away from my art.  Again, in 2014, I was suddenly diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system.

After several years of recovering from GBS, I have finally re-entered the art world once again! Last year I joined as a member artist the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center, in Elk Grove, CA. I entered ten art shows, was juried in to five of them. I painted thirty pieces of new art in 2019. So far, in 2020, I am keeping up that pace! I have put together an art class and then show called Faces of Mary, at the local Catholic School. I have also painted eight new larger pieces of work in January alone.



Wine Time
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?


Mediums I absolutely love are acrylics, and etchings. I find my inspiration in animals, nature, abstract, and architecture genres to create brilliant acrylics, and etching prints.


Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Watercolor has always been interesting to me, and I enjoy it very much. However, the medium is slower and more controlling.

I prefer acrylic due to the medium's ability to work fast, and I do work very fast. Scratchboard is something I can do anywhere, anytime. Traveling for work, or after school extracurricular activities - scratchboard art gives me an opportunity to do art anywhere.

Ocean Rain
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am really diving deep right now into my acrylic work and more abstract painting. I am very excited about some of the pieces I have done.

Who or what inspires you most?

Light. Light and color inspire me most. In fact, this year I am working on a special series of about ten to twenty paintings called, “Light of the World Series,” to showcase light and color.

Salt of the Earth
(click to view)


What does procrastination look like for you?

Being a busy mom, full time employee, wife, and artist, there really is not any time for procrastination. Time is very important to me and I use every bit of spare time I get wisely. Having also been very sick with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), I realize how precious your time is, and that is something I do not take for granted.



What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I recently moved a very large armoire into the kitchen dinette area. This large piece of furniture houses all my supplies, and art canvases (although it is outgrowing this space rapidly!). Having that piece sitting right there where I see it every day reminds me to take time and paint. Someday soon we will complete a renovation on our home that will incorporate space that is already earmarked as my studio.

Faces of Mary
(click to view)


How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?


Generally, I see something that catches my eye. A beautiful sunset, or light rays from early morning.  Commuting 1.25 hours each way to work, I look at nature all the time.


How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

This past summer I took a scratch art class at the gallery I am a member artist of, and I enjoyed it very much! In fact, I find that when I am getting tight in my acrylic paintings, it helps to do a scratch art to loosen up. Going from loose abstract bright colors and vibrant painting time to very detailed black and white art is very helpful to me. It creates a shifting of gears for me, and it is very helpful.



Octopus
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Right now, I am learning what I love about the art I am creating and what I don’t like. I have spent a lot of time thinking about my art, what inspires me, and have chosen to focus and embrace the joy it brings me.



What makes you happiest about your art?

I love colors and light, and I enjoy looking at beautiful colors and images. It gives me a sense of great accomplishment to sell a piece, or create something special for someone.

Thanks, Erin!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 30, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Suzanne Hallerman

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

From Suzanne's DPW Gallery Page:

I've always been drawn to color. And I see it everywhere, in high definition. I want to put it all on a canvas, and then on another, and another. Through trial and error, I've discovered that I prefer to paint organic shapes, and I have a penchant for painting people's pets, dogs in particular. Mixing oil paint and putting it on a canvas brings me a tremendous amount of joy. And it's satisfying to know that my work has brought color, and hopefully a bit of cheer, to the walls of people beyond folks I'm related to.

It's never too late to do the things that call you. Listen to the nudges and the urges that linger. You never know what you might discover. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting about five years ago, in my early forties. I’ve always felt drawn to it, but never made the time. About ten years ago, I took a class called ‘Large Paintings’ from the local community college here in Portland. I was SO excited. Six weeks later, I carted home a hideous painting which promptly found its place facing the wall, propped up against a pile of junk, in the dark unfinished basement, and I thought ‘not that’. But it still called, way in the background. My kids were little and I didn’t have a lot of time. Then, I saw a painting that a friend had done. It was her third ever painting and it was wonderful - so colorful and full of personality! She had taken a class with local artist Julia Peltz. I decided to give it one more go and I enrolled. I painted a landscape and then another. I was hooked. I took the class four more times before I decided I would have enough motivation to paint minus the obligation of the class.

I'm Good Fat!
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Even though my ‘career’ has been short, I’ve still had plenty of stops and starts. I’d love to make a full time living as an artist and I’m actively working towards that. In the meantime, life calls and the bills still need to be paid which can make it hard to be consistent. Starting in the late fall of 2019, I’ve doubled back on my efforts to make a living with art. Daily Paintworks has been a huge motivator in that. Carol Marine’s book, Daily Painting, was recommended to me by a fellow artist friend a couple of years ago. It resonated SO much. She makes it all feel so approachable and doable. The ‘daily’ aspect, which I generally change to ‘often’, is a game changer.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Not too many really. Oil painting is my number one. I have always been drawn to creativity and art, but I’m afflicted with the need to do things well right out of the gate. It’s a bit of a curse, and I’m working to give myself permission to experiment more. It’s a process for sure. I did have a letterpress business for a decade and I spent fifteen years as a graphic designer and illustrator. Creating things is just plain fun and you can do it in so many ways. I’m an avid, and amateur, photographer. I’m also a do-it-yourselfer and a homeowner, so I’ve focused a lot on my living spaces lately.

Cinder
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to explore more, but for now, I have no plans to do much besides paint. In October, I
bought a giant canvas. My dream is to just step up to it with no plan and start. I still haven’t started -
like, I can’t even take the wrapping off of the canvas. If you ask me to paint something in particular,
it’s no problem. When it has very few parameters, I really struggle. Allowing myself some freedom,
forgiveness, and grace is next on the agenda.

Who or what inspires you most?

I’m inspired by so much. I find travel and people to be super inspirational. I love seeing what other
artists are creating. Social media makes all of that so much more accessible too. Obviously it has its
downsides, but I love the feeling of being connected to a broader ‘thing’ as long as I remind myself to
not compare. Currently I’m participating in a challenge called ‘Art Dare’ that a fellow artist that I admire and found on DPW, Teddi Parker, has started with some of her artist buddies. It’s way more motivating to get out there and be creative when you feel like you’re part of a larger movement.

Roscoe T Mcgillicutty
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

What doesn’t it look like? I’m an excellent procrastinator! For me, it looks like doing anything besides what I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing - cooking, laundry, cleaning, social media, lunch dates, walks, watching Love It or List It, playing solitaire on my phone... Ironically, I find that being commissioned to do a painting is a double edge sword. It’s wonderful to be paid up front, but sometimes the source I’m given to paint from is not inspiring - fortunately, it often is. I find that to be the hardest. And then, I feel like everything bottlenecks behind that one thing that I feel stuck in. Or, that time in a painting when you just wonder why you’re bothering - before it all comes together... just me? That’s sometimes when I find it hardest to stay at the easel. The more I paint, the easier it gets. I’ve also discovered that it’s better for me to paint alla prima and try to finish in one go, two max.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I’ve recently started, or resumed, a dedicated space for my art on Instagram - @Suzannehallerman, and renewed my DPW membership. I find that things like this help me to create often. There’s some implied accountability. Of course no one is asking me to, but if I want to have a base of followers and make a living making art, I feel like I’m obligated to offer fresh and consistent content. I need to act like it’s my job, because I want it to be! It’s always my goal that I’m going to paint first thing on any given day, but life doesn’t always, or even generally, work out that way, so it often ends up being the last thing I do. Ironically of course, some of my best work has been started at 9:30pm.

Happy Feet
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Lately it’s been dogs, dogs, and more dogs. #Artdare and challenges like that can be fun and help get me out of a rut and into painting things I would otherwise never attempt. Participating in those kinds of things also helps me feel like I have permission in an unexpected and helpful way. Besides that, life... I’ve found that I’ve started looking at things in terms of light. I’d like to move into painting more portraits. I notice that I’ve begun to see more through a ‘painting lens’ in my everyday life - like, the different planes on people’s faces and I notice that I try to discern what specific color different elements would be as we engage. Other times it’s just that feeling that something would make a great painting. My memory is not fantastic, so I take loads of pictures. Sometimes I take a pic, or see one and just ‘know’ that it has to be a painting! I have yet to tackle painting from life, but I’m intrigued and feel like I could learn so much from it.

How do you keep art “fresh?” What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I think just engaging with life. Inspiration is everywhere. I’m not afraid to try new things - workshops, restaurants, different parts of town, traveling, what accounts I follow on Instagram, movies. This modality is still so new for me. I’m definitely still finding my way. Noticing everything. And observing what I do well and where I still have so much room for improvement.

Let's Be Fronds
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Right now, I feel like I’m focused on intention. I find that I can get very caught and overwhelmed with the details. I see ALL of the colors, and I want to put them ALL on the canvas. It’s a constant conversation of ‘big picture’. There are various ways to combat that. I’m heavy handed. Painting with a larger brush has helped me stay out of the minutiae. And taking my glasses off! That, and reminding myself to see the bigger picture and have a plan. I can get off track easily. The other thing that I’m acutely aware of currently is how many parallels there are between painting and life.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I think what makes me happiest lately is when I’ve done a portrait for someone and they reflect that I’ve captured more than just the likeness of their pet. It’s very satisfying to capture the essence or spirit of a loved living being. That and when a piece just really comes together beyond what you could have expected and you feel it in your body - or when I wake up early because I’m anxious to have another look at what I finished the night before. I love when I surprise myself. Ironically, the more I want a painting to be great, the more stuck I usually feel in it. When I have a more relaxed approach, I’m able to be looser in my style, which is something I’m always working towards. I did mention the life lesson parallels, right?

Thanks, Suzanne!

© 2020 Sophie Marine