Thursday, September 16, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lena Levchii

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Lena's painting "Pumpkin 4" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Lena's DPW Gallery Page:

Our world is wonderful. Every little thing, creature, has its own place and make sense. And it’s just impossible to not see it. Sometimes there are so many positive feelings that need to be expressed. Every person is looking for their own way to do this. My way is oil painting. (click to read more)

What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be a BIG FATHER. It's not easy to explain without the context... BIG FATHER is a collective term for a person's role in this world. This is somehow a prototype of my father and who he was in my children's eyes: a hero, strong, intelligent, always knowing what to do. Therefore, there was no specific profession that I dreamed of. My dream was to become a strong personality and achieve the impossible in any area.

When did your artistic journey begin?

My journey into art began with the contemplation of the beauty of nature and its interpretation. Also from the bookshelves in my house. There I could find books with reproductions of paintings by famous classical artists. And with the first Plein Air with my father, when he showed how you can depict a dandelion with a couple of precise strokes.

The Obligatory Apple
(click to view)

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

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

Yes, of course. I knew I had to earn money in this complicated world. To be an artist in my country, in my time was and still is not the best idea. I needed to receive a "real" Diploma of Higher Education to find a good job. And I did it twice! During this time and next with my jobs I had no time for creativity. Art was just a little part of my life. I came back to art when I had a year of no working break. I used that time to think about the really meaningful things in my life, to find new goals. Then I found out how much art can change in me. It's a huge emotional resource that I can use for anything else.

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

As usual I use oil. My favorite genres are still life and portraits. I also combine these two genres to create a scene of daily life. Like people eating or children playing with fruit.

Fish Mosaic
(click to view)

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

I was very inspired by Carol's book "Daily Painting". From it I drew some conclusions for myself. First, I allowed myself to make mistakes, to make unsuccessful pictures, but to try again and again. Secondly, I took a small format of paintings so that I would have a finished work every day. So I felt the movement towards the goal and my artworks improved every day. And last, but not least, I began to listen to myself and choose themes for the picture that ignited me. Every day, going out for a walk, I looked with my eyes for objects and situations that raised pleasant emotions in me. I realized that sunlight, the play of light and shadow, bright colors most of all correspond to my nature. So I started painting with all my heart. Each picture is a part of me transferred to the canvas. I give my best and get great pleasure when there are people who are able to share my joy, my outlook on life. 

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

It's Claude Monet. He really knew how to capture the impression of the moment on the canvas.

Strange Tangerine
(click to view)

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

Don't be scared of creating crap. It can't be crap if you do it with your heart.

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

First of all it's important to start. That's the most difficult part. And then I just do what I want first to be done on my painting. This action involves me in the process and inspiration comes!

Cup of Cherries
(click to view)

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

I do things that bring me pleasure. Long walks in nature always help me find myself and return joy in life.

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

My long term goal is to find my place in the art community. Be known and familiar with other contemporary artists.

My short term goal is to sell enough paintings to cover my costs for canvases, paints and everyday visits to the coffee shop. :)


Coffee Time
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

To be a person whose opinion matters. Be in demand.

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

The moment when I was able to surprise not only myself, but also people close to me with my success in painting. It was really an achievement, because I never knew about my potential.

Thanks, Lena!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 2, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nils Gleissenberger

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

From Nils' DPW Gallery Page: 

I've been an artist for a long time, but only picked up physical media about a year ago. Until then, all I knew were computers! I've spent much of my life in front of a screen, surrounded by electronics, making video games, films and commercials in computer graphics.

I picked up oil painting because I (like many people here, I assume) read Carol Marine's book and got hooked on daily painting. So I bought some paint. Bought a brush. Tried to figure out where the batteries go. Turns out you don't need any! How crazy is that!

What did you want to be growing up?

I was really into computers and video games as a kid. My brothers and I always dreamed of making our own video games. We would divide up the work and I’d always end up creating the art. My mom’s side of the family is very artistic - my mom was a painter herself - so anything artistic was well supported. In fact even though my mom was the more artistic of my parents, it was my dad who always reminded me to find something I enjoy doing with my life.

It is hard to really know what you want to be when you’re young. Apart from maybe a Lego-building astronaut who plays video games all day, I only had a vague idea of doing something creative involving computers. Looking back, I hit that goal pretty good.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I got interested in computer-generated art in school, and carried on doing it into my career. I spent about a decade as a digital artist working on video games and TV commercials. If you’ve ever seen a talking animal on TV trying to sell you frozen food or a mortgage - chances are that was me (and a lot of very talented people).

I got lucky in my first job and found a great mentor who taught me how to draw. Until then all I knew were computers. So I guess that’s where my traditional art journey began. I kept drawing for a few years but never made the jump to really enjoying it as a hobby.

The Obligatory Apple
(click to view)

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

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

After working in commercials I dropped art altogether for a long time. It’s an exhausting industry, and I guess it would be fair to say I got a bit burned out. I think I didn’t touch anything art-related for about 5 years.

My only contact with art at that time were some blogs I followed. Then one day I had one of those “wait a second…” moments when I realised Carol Marine had written a book about something called “daily painting”. I read the book, bought some oil paints the next day and I’ve been happily painting ever since. I built an easel out of a kitchen table with a smaller kids table balanced on top, with a shoebox sticky taped on top of that and a tiny wooden frame to hold my canvas stuck on top of that. Very stable, very safe (not). I haven’t bought a proper easel yet.

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

I’ve spent most of my time with oil paints - I love the brilliant colors they offer! I also love that every painting requires a strategy: Painting in the right order to preserve the most vulnerable colors, planning out values beforehand. Even mixing colors needs some planning since everything gets contaminated eventually. All that I really enjoy.

The fact that oil paints take forever to dry turned out to be a great plus as well. I can paint, walk away for a day, and then pick up where I left.

I’ve tried gouache too, but I tend to panic when my paint dries too fast. It felt a bit too hectic for me, and I have the greatest respect for everyone who can master it.

I also very rarely draw anymore - it’s something I know helps me with my underpaintings, but it’s not something I enjoy very much.

King Fisher
(click to view)

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

I follow a lot of talented painters so whenever I see something I like, I try to incorporate it. I very much like bold, simple, confident styles with great color.

It’s not something I feel I can really do yet. I don’t have enough confidence yet to be really bold, and I can’t stop fiddling with details so there goes the “simple” right out the window. But it’s great fun to have an idea of where I’d like to be a few years down the track. And who knows, by the time I get there I’ll have found some other styles I’d like to try!

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

Easy peasy - Carol Marine. Thanks again for writing that book, it made a big difference in my life!

I also admire a lot of classical painters, both for their incredible skill and the sheer ambition of their work. The idea that they worked hundreds of years ago, without the internet to do research - it’s beyond impressive. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of my favorite places in the world.

Deep Freeze
(click to view)

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

That’s an easy one: relax! I’ve always been pretty driven and focused on results as opposed to enjoying every day as it comes along. It’s only been over the last year that I’ve managed to slow down a bit so I could enjoy the journey. Painting has certainly helped me with that because the part I enjoy most about it isn’t the result - it’s the painting process itself. I don’t know what it is about it, but time just flies by.

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

Absolutely! Anything goes when it comes to beating procrastination. For me, procrastination is mostly about anxiety, so I try to manage that with a few tricks:

For example, I break up my painting sessions into underpaintings and final paintings. The idea is that you can’t really make unfixable mistakes at the early stage, so it can be done without pressure.

I’ll do 2-3 underpaintings (base color and sketch) at once in a session, and then let them dry before I do the final paintings in a session each. That gives me a window where I can look at the sketch while I’m going about my day, and I’ll sort of plan out the actual painting in my head. By the time I start the final painting I’m usually feeling pretty confident in my approach.

I’ve also found that it helps me to mix most of my colors first, before I start painting. So typically I’ll spend about an hour mixing colors, and I’ll try them out on a little canvas pad. This is another “safe” phase where I can’t really make a mistake, so it builds up my confidence.

In terms of habits, I do have one day a week when I always paint no matter what. It wasn’t an intentional thing - it sort of got established over time and now my family knows that on that day I’ll be painting. It helps to know that I’ll have time that day (unlike most other days), and it also sets an expectation for myself that I'll paint, which keeps me from procrastinating.

Chiaroscuro Watermelon
(click to view)

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

This is a hard one for me because I get discouraged easily and then tend to give up.

When painting, it’s helped me to stop worrying too much about my mistakes. This is where daily (well, twice-weekly) painting has really made a difference. Because the paintings are fast and small, it doesn’t matter so much if I mess one up. When I do fail at a painting I’ll usually do two things:

* I’ll put it away to dry, out of sight. This way I’m not constantly reminded of it.

* Every now and then, throughout the next few days, I’ll peek at it and try to figure out where I went wrong. If it’s something obvious, for example a bad value choice, I’ll figure it out sooner or later and then I’ll at least have learned something (which puts me back in a good mood).

It gets a bit harder when I mess up several paintings in a row. That usually happens when I try something new, for example the first landscapes I painted. They were pretty bad. In those cases I try to find something else to paint altogether, preferably something I know I’m pretty good at. It’s all about rebuilding my confidence at that point instead of trapping myself in a downward spiral.

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

I’ve only been painting (with traditional media) for about a year, so I’m very much enjoying the day-to-day improvements I can see.

Long term it would be great to build up my confidence so that I can try some different styles and media. I’m not there yet and for now I prefer to stick to safe ground with my oil paints.

Shire Of Ashburton
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

A year ago that would’ve been a very complicated question, with a complicated answer. The last year has been a lot about trying to find a happy place, and painting has really helped me with that. I guess at this point, success for me means being in a place where there is something to enjoy every day.

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

You mean apart from this interview?

I’d say it was when my wife and my son picked some of my paintings to frame for themselves (“You can’t sell it, it’s mine now!”). It’s awesome to feel that something you’ve made is making someone else happy.

Thanks, Nils!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 26, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Susan Paulsen

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

From Susan's DPW Gallery Page: 


Susan Paulsen is a North Carolina artist working in watercolors and oil. Her subjects range from still life to landscape to animal portraiture, with horses being a favorite subject.

Although an avid drawer and painter since a young age, Susan’s formal education has taken a few twists and turns. Finding few options for training in the representational painting style she loves, her natural flair for mathematics lead her to major in statistics at Princeton. There she was profoundly influenced by John Tukey and his highly creative and non-conventional approach to using numbers to describe the world.

Next, Susan pursued her PhD at Duke University where she studied the evolution of butterfly wing color pattern, combining her enthusiasm for data analysis with the beauty of nature.

Susan was inspired to take up her paint brush more seriously by a watercolor class at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Since then she has benefited from instruction by local artists such as Luna Lee Ray and Brian Kuebler. Next, Susan studied alla prima painting with Sarah Sedwick, an Oregon artist. Her recent landscape work is influenced by her current mentor, the Australian painter Colley Whisson.

What did you want to be growing up?

I was really torn between wanting to be a scientist and wanting to be an artist -- and tried to put off the choice for as long as possible.

When did your artistic journey begin?

In elementary school I drew every day. Mostly I drew horses, a lot of horses. I was horse-crazy. In high school I was lucky enough to go to the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts. It was an amazing program. Painting and drawing and exploring other visual media all day long with great teachers. In the evening there were performances by students in the performing arts. Some important artists, like the sculptor Toby Mendez came out of this program. Sadly, after 50 years it was cancelled due to dwindling financial support. But still, after all these years, the creative joy I felt there still sparks.

Hummingbird
(click to view)

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

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

Freshman year of college I was so excited to take a painting class. But I discovered only non-representational work was permitted. If your work even accidentally suggested something representational, it was banished to the hallway. And it was not just this one class; I saw this sentiment everywhere in the art world at that time. While I can appreciate non-representational work, it was not what I wanted to do. So I decided to focus on my other love -- science -- and told myself that I could pursue art later.

“Later” arrived seven years ago, but it was hard to start again. What really helped was enrolling in a class at a local art center. Next, I found two great mentors, Sarah Sedwick and Colley Whisson. With their instruction and feedback I found I could more consistently produce successful work.

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

I really enjoy playing with watercolor. It’s just so luminous, and I love watching the happy accidents occur. I have a thing for granulating pigments too. But lately I’ve spent much more time painting with oils. Compared to watercolor, it’s just such a joy to paint the light (rather than carefully reserving it). And you can work as slowly as you want. Something doesn’t look right? Just wipe the paint away, and try again.

Every once in a while I try gouache. Carol Marine’s recent work in this medium was very inspiring. Yet every time I use gouache, I just about want to cry. The lighter colors dry so much darker than I expect them to. I don’t have the hang of how to control edges or blending. As for genre - I love loose realism. There’s nothing like a few strokes describing the essence of a subject. On the other hand, with something like photorealism, I’m distracted by my thoughts of how much very hard work went into the painting.

Plate O' Pears
(click to view)

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

I used to worry about not having a personal style, and I’ve been all over the place subject-wise. But one (of many) good things about posting my work at DPW is that I can look back at my paintings and see that a style has in fact emerged without my having to consciously focus on it.

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

I absolutely adore Ronald Jesty, a British watercolorist. The man could really paint water, rocks, glass, metal -- really just about anything in a beautiful way. There’s a certain tidy crispness to his work that makes me happy.

As for oil painters, I really admire both Sarah Sedwick and Colley Whisson. I like to channel Sarah for still lifes and Colley for landscapes. Both have loose, expressive brush strokes and a great eye for composition.

Untitled
(click to view)

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

Pay more attention to composition! My younger self was pretty good at rendering subjects, and everybody (including myself) seemed pretty happy with just that, but if my composition worked, that was purely by accident. I’d give myself a copy of “The Simple Secret to Better Painting” by Greg Albert.

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

I wish I was a daily painter, but in all honesty, I’m a weekly painter, so I’m constantly fighting this battle. If my creativity has gone cold, I’ll break up the process into small steps and tell myself I only have to do one step that day: for example, set up the still life or find a reference picture. If that doesn’t take too long, and I’m starting to get excited, I’ll move onto the next step. Sometimes I can get a painting done in one day from start to finish, but it’s a huge mental block if I think I have to do it.

Seashell #6
(click to view)

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

This is when I try to remember how I worked when I was a scientist. I worked on a lot of experiments and statistical analyses that took weeks -- if not months -- of labor with no guarantee of success. I put in the time because that’s just what was required. Compared to spending several months collecting seeds from morning glory plants (which had to be untangled every day!), how bad can it be to spend three hours on a painting that doesn’t succeed? Still, I will say it hurts when a painting doesn’t work out. You are making yourself vulnerable. I just fall back on thinking it’s “just work.”

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

I would really like to be able to paint looser, and the key to looser, more confident brushstrokes is putting in more painting miles (per Carol’s advice!). I’d also like to paint subjects in a related series more often.

Chicken Coop at Twin Creeks
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

I try not to think about success writ large too much because it tends to lead me to self-doubt. Instead, I feel like I’ve succeeded when someone likes my work enough to comment on it or purchase it. The latter may sound awfully prosaic, but it’s a concrete way of knowing I’ve created something that’s going to bring joy into someone’s life.

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

It was a very small moment, just between me and the canvas. I was painting a large scene of a tractor pull (I do like to paint “local”), with a friend of mine on the tractor. I managed to capture her face and characteristic posture with just a few brush strokes. There are no real details, but anyone that looks at it knows it’s her. That’s when painting’s really fun.

Honeymoon Beach, Mosquito Island
(click to view)

Thanks, Susan!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 19, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Galina Podgorbunskikh

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

From Galina's DPW Gallery Page:

I like to draw, travel, and play sports. I put all my impressions and love of life into my paintings. I hope you feel it. The world around is beautiful and it can be conveyed in colors. Art helps me overcome the challenges that can be encountered.

What did you want to be growing up?

I drew well as a child, I wanted to become an artist. But I didn't study painting anywhere.

When did your artistic journey begin?

The Internet has opened up many opportunities for online learning and somehow my husband gave me drawing courses, knowing that I like to draw. During these courses, I realized that I lacked a basic academic education. I found academic drawing and painting courses in my city and started studying at them. Teachers from the university and the art school taught there. Then I continued to study online with teachers, I chose the courses that I needed myself.

Red Apple
(click to view)

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

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

There was a period during the Covid-19 pandemic, when my relatives began to get sick. I was depressed. But painting helped me here, starting to paint small works, I was distracted while working and this helped me a lot.

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

I like to draw landscapes and still lifes. I am less interested in historical genres and battle genres.

Goldfish
(click to view)

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

I'm still looking for my own style, but there are artists whose works I really like.

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

Konstantin Korovin, Nikolai Feshin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet. I admire the color of the paintings, the color combinations, how the emotions of the artist are conveyed by color. 

River
(click to view)

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

They are not afraid to express themselves, follow their intuition.

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

I watch paintings by my favorite artists and listen to music. I also like to travel and get inspiration for new works there.

Apple Slices
(click to view)

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

I'm just trying to get through this period, I tell myself that all this will pass and there will be a good streak in my life.

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

I want to continue studying academic drawing. I want to paint portraits. I do not set long-term goals yet, I am still an amateur in painting.

Sunny Pears
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success for me is painting professionally.

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

I am proud that I can draw, that my paintings bring joy to people. Each work is filled with my emotions. I hope people see this.

Kettle with Grapefruit
(click to view)

Thanks, Galina!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 12, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Fernando Pena

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

From Fernando's DPW Gallery Page:

Fernando Pena is a watercolorist born in Uruguay (South America) and has been painting watercolor professionally since 2002.

His works have been exhibited worldwide.

The main topic we can find are urban landscapes, although you can also find marinas and interiors among his works.

During the period 2011-2013, he was the President of the Uruguayan Association of Watercolor Painters (ACUA). He has taught workshops in the UK, Brazil and Uruguay. He also provides personal online workshops through the Internet.

You can follow his work both on Facebook and on his website at http://fernando-pena.com

Demonstrations and Tutorials free on

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/penagaray/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fernando_pena_acuarelas

Email – fernandopenagaray@gmail.com

What did you want to be growing up?

From an early age I liked to draw and paint. However I graduated from computer engineering at the University in Uruguay. I worked in that profession for many years. But in the year 2000 I decided to return to my passion which was and is watercolor. 

When did your artistic journey begin?

In 2000, I decided to devote myself entirely to watercolor painting, returning to my initial vocation.

Still life II
(click to view)

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

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

I don't actually have periods when I quit painting. I paint almost every day, it can be a sketch or a painting, but always even a few brushstrokes I have to paint. From those sketches and studies arise watercolors, it is my way of expression and what I try to convey.

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

My main subject is urban and marine scenes. Anyway, I dabble in other subjects such as still lifes and portraiture.

Although I have painted oil and acrylic, watercolor is the medium that gives me the greatest satisfaction. Watercolor requires planning and very quick execution, every brushstroke is important and keeping the light a challenge. Another aspect that attracts me is the ease that watercolor offers to paint plain air. Keeping moisture in the paper is essential to achieve an excellent result.

Bucolic
(click to view)

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

The style cannot be forced, it is acquired with the continuity of the painting. Of course there is the influence of painters that you like. But the style is like calligraphy, each of us has our own identity, and this cannot and should not be copied. Your own style comes naturally

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

There are many references, but to name a few: Winslow Homer, Charles Reid, John Yardley, Chien Chung Wei, Joseph Zbukvick. All of them with different styles but with a total mastery of the technique.

Woman
(click to view)

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

Paint, create, dream. Receive criticism to grow but never to stop.

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

There is no procrastination if you do what you love.

Two Boats
(click to view)

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

What we do is not always recognized. The important thing is to be convinced that what we do has value. Always trust yourself.

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

Right now my goals are short and medium term. Walk a path of continuous improvement and have greater participation in international exhibitions.

Cafe
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success for me is to make my painting transmit sensations, feelings. For me and the viewer.

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

The first prize won and my first international exhibition in Shanghai.

Minas
(click to view)

Thanks, Fernando!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 5, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dmitry Vyazmin

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

From Dmitry's DPW Gallery Page:

Having worked for many years in one place on one day, I decided to change everything. I just picked up brushes and paints and started painting. I had no knowledge of color, shape or composition. I just followed my intuition, my inner vision. I was inspired by the works of artists of the past and my contemporaries. I looked at their pictures tried to understand and see through their eyes. I felt the dried paint on the canvas. I devoted all my time to this. 24 hours a day I either painted or looked at pictures of other artists, sometimes I could not sleep for several days. When I went to bed and closed my eyes, a multi-colored mosaic of brush strokes appeared in front of my eyes. (click to read more)

What did you want to be growing up?

As a child, I had many different interests. My ideas about future activities changed very often. When I graduated from school, the active development of computer systems and the Internet began. I graduated from the university and earned the specialty of a programmer, but I worked very little in this specialty.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I never painted until I was thirty. Friends gave me a certificate for classes in the Betty Edwards Method. Since then, for six years now, I have been drawing almost every day.


Sunflowers
(click to view)

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

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

I don't usually have a lot of breaks in drawing. I'm not waiting for inspiration, I just sit and paint and inspiration comes to me in the process.

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

I paint in oils and watercolors. In watercolor I like its randomness, and in oil "solidity". I want to try pastels. I like color painting, so pencil and other monochrome materials don't appeal to me.

Texas Bluebonnet
(click to view)

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

I'm still in the process of finding my own style. I want to make my paintings recognizable, but I don't want to make them monotonous.

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

I love the texture and color painting. I like many modern impressionist: Bateau Dugarzhapov, Vyacheslav Korolenko, Nata Shray. I love innuendo and ambiguity in painting.

Chickadee
(click to view)

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

I would advise not to wait for the perfect moment. An imperfect picture painted today is better than a perfect picture painted tomorrow.

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

The best way to deal with procrastination is to be honest with yourself. If we don't want to do something, we come up with excuses and begin to do other things pretending that we have no time. In fact, we just need to answer the question whether this case is so important to us or we're just trying to convince ourselves of this. To beat procrastination, you can only learn to distinguish between your own desires and goals from those imposed upon us by someone.

Blue Mountains Oregon
(click to view)

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

At such moments, I remember biographies of famous artists and understand that even they had challenges before. This realization helps me to remember that this is just a thought that I can simply change.

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

Now I want to learn a more abstract technique of painting. I don't like to make plans, because life is always more interesting as the sum of our ideas.

Poppies
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success for me is to do what you love, while fully ensuring one's financial needs.

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

I was very inspired by the first sale of my paintings. For me it is very important to understand that my art is in demand.

Thanks, Dmitry!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 29, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Susan Tubens

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Susan's painting "April 12th" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Susan's DPW Gallery Page:

I am an oil landscape painter whose appreciation for big sky began in Florida and deepened during time in the midwest. Living in Vermont and West Virginia provided inspiration in the lushness of trees, fields and surrounding mountains.

I work both in plein air and in my studio using reference photos that I have taken over the years. My favorite time of day to depict is sunrise and sunset however the blue sky and clarity of midday light can be enchanting.

One consistent feature in my work is a sense of calm, even in the stormscapes. In the end, I paint scenes of places that I would like to stay a while.

What did you want to be growing up?

I don’t remember having a specific career goal but was very fortunate in that I had parents who nurtured their children’s individual gifts. I went on to college, completing a degree in Anthropology then a degree in Health Science and have been working in health care since then.

When did your artistic journey begin?

Drawing was a passion during childhood but was abandoned during the adult years until just recently.

April 12th
(click to view)

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

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

Yes - many years went by raising a family and working without time to create art. In 2016 I was lucky enough to meet an artist in Omaha, Paula Wallace, who was an exceptional teacher and since then, painting has been nothing short of a passion.

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

I have used acrylic and water color but love the versatility of oil paint as well as its properties that allow application of multiple layers for a translucent effect. Landscapes are my preferred subject although I depict land masses as the support for expansive skies and clouds. DaVinci said “Once you have tasted the taste of the sky, you will forever look up”. He was right.

Suspend
(click to view)

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

I am still early in this process but am realizing that my voice has been there from the beginning, I just needed to see it. It is important to learn technique, value, composition and color and in doing so experiment with style however, never lose sight of the things that sing to you.

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

I am still inspired by Paula Wallace, my first teacher, who has an uncanny way of depicting color and form in the landscape and sky. I also keep returning the works of John Constable and spent most of my last trip to the Smithsonian in front of his work “Wivenhoe Park, Essex”.

Coastal Lights
(click to view)

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

Patience and persistence are key. 

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

Fortunately I love painting so much that if anything, I neglect other necessary duties in order to paint. I have had to learn balance in order to maintain relationships (and the laundry).

Where Clouds Gather
(click to view)

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

I often take a step back and try to see the bigger picture (no pun intended). A painting that just doesn’t work is often a result of poor composition or technique. Paula would say “Let’s put this one away for awhile” and she was right- a fresh look later would often clearly show the path forward. Recently I underwent a critique by an accomplished artist who spent quite a bit of time discussing how a selection of my paintings could be improved. I felt a bit defeated but he was right about everything and I am lucky to have had that input. Accepting criticism is difficult but learning from it is necessary to make steps forward.

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

My constant goals are to continue improving my skills through practice and education by other artists. The learning never really stops. A short term goal involves painting as a full time occupation and a long term goal is to be knowledgeable enough to teach other artists.

Higher Still
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Professional success means waking up every day excited about creating art. It means supporting yourself in your chosen occupation. It means making the world a little bit better though the results of your actions.

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

My proudest moments are when I take that next step forward and am able to produce a better painting.

Thanks, Susan!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 22, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: David Gibson

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

From David's DPW Gallery Page:
Dave Gibson was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area. As a result of the American steel industry collapse during the 1980’s Dave moved to Lancaster, PA in 1987 and has lived here ever since.

A self-taught artist blessed by God with the innate ability to replicate with paint and brush the experiences of life. Until 2016 painting had been an on again off again hobby for Dave. He retired from the Kellogg Company June 2016 and committed to a renewed focus on the further development of his artwork.

Water Mixable Oil paints are Dave’s preferred medium. His style is representational impressionism. Dave finds the subjects for his paintings through his daily interaction with the world. “I’m always on the lookout for dramatic lighting and compelling compositions in everyday life.”

Recent accomplishments

"Oil and Garlic" 1st Place Non-Professional Category 2019 LCAA Winter Exhibition
"Sweet Peppers and Glass Bowl" 1st Place Non-Professional Category 2019 LCAA Garden Exhibition
"Dilly Beans" 1st Place Non-Professional Category 2019 LCAA Spring Member Exhibition
"Bourbon Street Bucket Drummer" Honorable Mention Oil & Acrylic Painting Category 2019 LCAA Open Exhibition
“Peppermint And Cinnamon” Honorable Mention Non-Professional Category 2019 LCAA
“Keeping It Cool” Exhibition.
"Hangin' At The Barbershop" Honorable Mention 2019 LCAA Fall Membership Exhibition
"Walking Towards The Light", Honorable Mention 2019 LCAA Seniors Exhibition
“Sliced Pickles” 1st place in the Lancaster County Art Association 2020 Garden Exhibit Professional Category
“Leaf On The Snow” 1st place in the Lancaster County Art Association 2020 Let It Snow Holiday Exhibit

What did you want to be growing up?

During elementary school I wanted to be a doctor. At some point I realized the amount of schooling  required to become a doctor and changed my mind. During high school I was planning on going to college for art. After watching my high school art teacher manage students in his classes that were there simply because they didn’t want to take algebra or chemistry, I changed my mind again. I ended up spending my career in the technical arena, as an electronic technician, automated manufacturing process programmer and a process manager. 

When did your artistic journey begin?

For as long as I can remember I loved to draw and create things. My art teacher in the 4th grade recognized my artistic abilities and registered me in a Saturday art class at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. This class was attended by hundreds of grade school students in the Pittsburgh area. I’d say that this experience was the beginning of my artistic journey.

Sweet and Sour
(click to view)

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

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

In my opinion, when you’ve been blessed as a creative, you can’t avoid creative expression. There have been extended periods of time during my life when I didn’t paint or draw. However, during these times, I expressed my creative spirit through guitar, carpentry, landscaping and numerous other outlets.

June of 2016, I retired from my professional career. My dream was to focus my time and energies on my artwork after I retired. For the past five years I have done just that.

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

Water Mixable Oils is the only medium I work with. As for genres, I am particularly fond of impressionistic still lives. Still life subjects allow me to have total control of the environment. No changing light. The subject stays as I set it up, for days if needed. However, I do enjoy painting a variety of subject types. Figurative, animals and landscapes. I have never been drawn to abstract art. Not as an artist or as an admirer.

Coffee Break Discussion
(click to view)

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

With painting as well as being a guitarist, it took quite some time for me to realize that my style of painting and playing guitar is unique to me. Be comfortable with that and enjoy it, allow it to happen naturally. Be yourself!

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

Dennis Perrin. I love Dennis’ work. After I retired, I enrolled in a couple of Dennis’ online training courses and my approach to painting changed forever. Dennis teaches that the mental approach to painting is equally as important as the physical. Meditate on the painting before you pick up a brush, perhaps for days. Paint the piece in your mind before painting it on canvas. Another Dennis Perrin philosophy that I found extremely helpful is that you aren’t painting things, or objects. You are painting abstract shapes of varying color and value.

Oh My Darling
(click to view)

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

Pursue being an artist!! Follow the artistic abilities that God has blessed me with!

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

In the infamous words of Nike, Just Do It!

Cold Bridges
(click to view)

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

I rely on my faith in God and pray!

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

Now that I am a 67-year-old retired individual, my goals are more focused on the short term, daily goals. 

Improve as an artist everyday

Have my artwork seen by the public

Sunflowers
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success to me means that I’m living my life following God’s plan, bringing joy to others. Hopefully my artwork brings joy to others and touches them in some way.

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

Shortly after I retired, I entered one of my paintings in a local art association exhibit and was awarded honorable mention. My first award as an artist. That was a proud moment for me.

Susquehannock Road
(click to view)

Thanks, David!

© 2021 Sophie Marine