Thursday, November 14, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Francesco Favazza

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Francesco's painting "Looking upriver in a Fjord on the way to Bergen, Norway" 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.

While painting Easter Eggs my wife, Karen (a designer), commented I had artistic talent. Up until then, my creative outlet had been cooking. I had very good results, but the weight we gained not so much. A couple of years ago, Karen gave me a "painting class" as a gift to further explore my creativity (and perhaps lose some weight. I was somewhat apprehensive since I had not had any formal art education (other than the nuns in kindergarten) but I really ended up enjoying it. There was no pressure (other than what I put on myself), and our instructor, Kat Corrigan, made the class instructional and fun. That’s when I started painting as my main hobby. 

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The Easter eggs were in watercolor, but that is the exception. The vast majority of what I do is in acrylics. At first it was because that was the medium taught by Kat. However, I found acrylics fun and easy to handle, as well as quick drying. I did play around with charcoal drawings, originally to work on value relationships, and later to practice rendering of accurate proportions. More recently I ventured into oils, jumping into a Plein Air workshop. Being used to quick drying acrylics I found oils frustrating at first but grew to appreciate their versatility and final results.

Looking upriver in a Fjord on the way to Bergen, Norway (click to view) Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Francesco's interview.

Looking upriver in a Fjord on the way to Bergen, Norway
(click to view)

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

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

Acrylics have definitely stuck, but I would like to continue learning to use oils and practicing with charcoal. 

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’d like to continue exploring oil, but also try watercolors (outside of Easter eggs).

Pippa Littleton
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Landscapes and light, the ocean, majestic buildings, historic sites, beautiful shapes such as Vespa scooters, my two dogs, and whatever Karen suggests would be a good composition (she has a very good eye).

What does procrastination look like for you?

Actually, painting is a way for me to procrastinate on other tasks I have to do at home.

Fiat 500 in its natural habitat
(click to view)

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

With a full-time job, I don’t have time to paint during weekday work hours. As a result, most of my painting is early morning or later in the evening, plus I try to paint on Saturdays. Taking a painting class on Saturdays ensures I paint at least on that day, but also during the week for homework.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Many of my paintings are inspired by photos I’ve taken on trips over the decades. Places and sights in Sicily imprinted in me from birth are one of my favorite subjects. More recently, whenever I see something that would make a great subject or composition for a painting, I stop to take a photo.

The end of the trail is near!
(click to view)

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

Since I’ve only started painting a few years ago burnout has not been an issue and keeping my work vibrant and engaging is still a work in progress.

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

To really pay attention to what I’m seeing, from the big picture to the small details, seeing the light, shadows, interpreting color and values.

Passeggiata in Erice
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Seeing the end result when it works.

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

No stops yet.

Thanks, Francesco!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 7, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judy Crowe

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

From Judy's DPW Gallery Page:

Judy loves the works of the Old Masters but the Impressionist painters are the painters her most admires for their vibrant use of color and individual brushwork. As it did for the impressionists, everyday subjects inspire her: flowers, landscapes, figures. Judy has been featured in several national artists publications and won many awards most recently being included in Fine Art Conniseur's floral feature 'Gather Ye Rosebuds'. Her goal is to add beauty and value to our world through her work. www.judycrowe.com.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting twenty-five years ago and have been a professional artist for probably at least fifteen to twenty. It happened gradually for me as I had young children at home. After a move to the Houston area, I began taking some lessons from a professional artist in downtown Houston, in the Heights, Lindy Daly. The company I worked for as an outside sales representative did not have an opening at the time of our move and then I became mom to John… and so decided to stay home with the kids. I am not entirely the “stay at home” type of mom though and decided to seek out art instruction after dabbling in painting T-shirts which was the ‘thing” at the time.

I loved to draw as a child and drew my paper dolls with long flowing dresses. I loved that but that’s as far as it went. I never knew a person could consider drawing or painting as a profession. Lindy, however, supported herself into her senior years with her art. She was funny, kind, a wonderful painter and I attribute her with giving me the passion for painting. I grew to love it and still do today.

Cinderella Pumpkin
(click to view)

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

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


Yes, As many women do, I had a family and other responsibilities including caring for an ill parent. Thankfully I’ve been able to juggle these responsibilities fairly well but usually did not paint a lot during the summer months when my kids were out of school. Although, I decided that this was my job and never gave it up entirely; I just couldn’t paint as much as I would have wanted to. I always felt my family came first.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve painted with watercolor and pastel but not that much. I have painted a lot with acrylic and of late have been doing a lot of gouache plein air paintings. Gouache seems to be closer to oils in my mind because they reactivate when you wet them even after a time on the canvas - something that acrylics don't do… I’ve found they are great to take outdoors for the sake of convenience but I am first and foremost an oil painter and don’t ever see that changing. 

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

I think Gouache will stick but, as I said, I am and always will be primarily an oil painter. 

China and Primroses

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?


I’m really looking forward to exploring gouache more and seeing what I can do with it… I have some ideas that I want to pursue with that medium and love some of the gouache painters out there that are inspiring. This medium seems to be making a come back. It’s my understanding that there was an article on gouache in the last plein air magazine but I have not read it yet.

Who or what inspires you most?

Of course the standard answers to this question are also true for me: Sargent, Anders Zorn, Sorolla, Richard Schmid, Edgar Payne, Fechin. Daniel Gerhartz, there are so many. I have to say though that the very young, new artists out there that are exploring new and different ideas are so very inspiring… and thankfully we have social media so that we can see and experience some of those artists' work that are living masters, I think.

What does procrastination look like for you?

That is a very tricky question.  I think starting something new is always difficult, whether large or small; if I have an idea and a painting in my head, I am better at getting at it but if I cannot seem to grasp my vision for a painting that I thought about then I have a hard time ‘getting to it’…

Spring Gone Wild

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


I have a routine and try not to venture from it unless I simply have to. I get up and do the necessary things I need to do and then head to the studio. Thankfully, I have a place where I can work away from the house with all its distractions. I haven’t always had that and rented space for many years. Now my studio is next door to my home. I usually spend anywhere from four to seven hours daily in the studio including weekends unless I have another commitment. This is a job and a commitment for me. I want to do it to the best of my ability… so I found out a long time ago that in order to make that happen I have to do it. I’ve turned down lunch with friends and joining clubs to paint but I really believe this is worth it and a ‘calling’ by God that I have to pursue. So I guess you can say it’s an internal drive that keeps me going even when I feel down or don’t feel I’m making any progress. 

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I used to paint entirely still life (that worked for me having children at home) and so the one fun social thing that I did was visit antique shops to pick up 'stuff.' My studio is full of items for still life. Those items give me ideas... I also wanted to move to an area that has a lovely landscape. We don’t live in the Houston area anymore and so I can literally go out the back door to paint if I want to and I sometimes just drive around until I come across something that says it wants to be painted.

I have fallen in love with lots of different subject matter over the years. If I get really stuck and need to develop new ideas, I start looking online or at books that I have collected to get ideas. There’s a book out called "Steal Like an Artist." I also heard a quote from Picasso, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." David Bowie said, "The only art I will ever study is stuff I can steal from." Even Richard Schmid addresses this in his best selling book Alla Prima… He said all artists steal from each other. Not literally, of course, that is plagiarism, but all artists have borrowed ideas from their predecessors from day one. I found the above quote by listening to a YouTube segment from a fellow on Blender guru. Here are his favorite books “that every artist should read.” The name of the Youtube video is “The Habits of Effective Artists.”

In the Stillness
(click to view)

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

In some ways, I feel I have become stagnant and have lost freshness… Honesty here. So, I am becoming a student again. I’ve decided to "take off” this year. I’m still painting of course, daily, but I have decided in order to move forward, I need a break…  I’m an associate member of this organization and a signature member of that organization and even a master of another one. I’ve found myself painting for ’those’ instead of who I am so I am taking a sabbatical from all of it. I’m trying to refocus and paint what I love. Who said "paint what you love and love what you paint"? I think the down side to social media is thinking that we have to be those other people to get into shows… and to some degree I think that’s true but is it worth it? This year I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to just be me. I know we can’t all do that but I think no matter where you are, you can do it to some degree. I’m hoping to sell some of my little gouache paintings for less than my oils in order to do some self evaluation… and so far they seem to be popular with folks.

So a little social media, good. Too much, bad. So answering the question, be out there in some way... look at social media, steal, but I need to discover my own work again and I am using videos, other peoples' ideas, and my own thinking time to figure out where I want to be right now and down the road… I’m resting my mind and as the fellow in the Youtube video I mentioned above, I am trying to really focus to not become stagnant.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
(click to view)

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

I am taking an online art course this year… it’s really helping me get back to basics. It focuses mostly on portraiture but this artist has touched on the basics a lot so I’m excited about revisiting those ideas and think it will help me in my own work.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I’m happiest when I come up with something from the blank canvas that I feel is worthwhile… and beautiful… I have no interest in making a political or social statement.

I’ve been told, “Your paintings make me happy”…and that makes me so happy to hear things like that. I recently received a card from a young lady from Austin who bought one of my still life paintings. She said in her note that she hasn’t hung it yet but it is sitting in her kitchen and when she passes by it and sees it, it makes her feel happy. What better joy could anyone ask for than to put a little joy in someone else’s life… through something that you created. With God’s help, I hope to continue to do that as long as I can.

Thanks, Judy!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 31, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mitch Egeberg

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

From Mitch's DPW Gallery Page:

I have always in one way or another been involved in art. In grade school, I was the go to person for posters. In high school, I was always drawing and sketching outside of art classes. In undergraduate school I earned a degree in art education while paying my way by hand lettering trucks, signs and billboards. My graduate degree focused on portrait drawing and for twenty of the thirty-nine years I taught art, I owned a custom framing business.

I feel the art I make today has developed and evolved from the many art experiences I have had. I especially enjoy working with composition, color and interlocking shapes of ground and object.

Four Zinnias
(click to view)

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

Tell us about how you started painting.

I have always had an interest in making art. Painting was my chosen medium, as a child, when in college and while teaching. When I retired, I enjoyed the challenge and complexity of working with oil paints.

Did you have any starts and stops in your career?

Yes, almost every week. I painted and drew while working on my master’s degree and teaching. In the mid-eighties, I plateaued out after having a solo show at a local gallery. In the mid-nineties, I started a custom picture frame shop and worked with that while teaching. After retiring from teaching, I sold the picture framing business and started painting.

Egg & Plant
(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? 

Having worked with the following: graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, pastels, watercolor, acrylic, serigraph, etching, lithograph, and ceramics, oil paint seems to feel most comfortable. Oil Painting is going to keep me busy for quite a while.

Who or what inspires you most?

Maggie Siner and David Shelvino are the top two contemporary artists I find most inspiring. Carol Marine has inspired me to take up daily painting. The what that inspires me would be expressive colorful brushwork in a still life, landscape or figurative piece.

Sweet and Sour
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I live in Nebraska so it looks like football, baseball, basketball and solitaire.

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

I always try to have a fairly regular schedule with a good balance of easel time and a fun bucket list.

Green Checks and Cherries
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I set up a still life and study it for two or three days, sketching it several times until I have a good composition. If the still life doesn’t inspire, it gets changed, especially after wiping out several efforts.

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

I attend life-drawing sessions at a local art center. Visiting and sharing work with the other artists makes me think and freshen up work.

Being retired and able to travel with my wife is a great way to prevent burnout. When we travel we visit art galleries, art museums and festivals. Some trips have even been planned just to visit a special show.

Attending workshops is also helpful in staying fresh. Through the years I have been able to attend workshops given by Maggie Siner, David Shelvino, Lisa Daria, Karen O’Neal, Mark Nelson, Sarah Sedwick, and Angus Wilson.

Plate of Fruit
(click to view)

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

I am working on what I feel is the hardest part of painting and that is to simplify the subject and use more direct brushstrokes. When I catch myself spending time trying to get things just right, it’s better to quit and start over. I want paintings that look fresh. More time on a painting doesn’t make it fresh.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When it’s not cute, pretty, sentimental or overworked. I want my art to be honest with a hint of whimsy.

Cherry Drink
(click to view)

Thanks, Mitch!


© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 24, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Olga Hegner

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

From Olga's DPW Gallery Page:

Olga's favorite painting medium is oil. She paints a variety of subjects - landscapes, still life, dogs and other animals, and occasionally people. She lives in Park City, UT.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting relatively recently, about six years ago. Of course, I liked drawing as a child - most children do. I remember that I was not allowed to draw on the walls of our apartment. That surprised me, and I was not about to obey. So, I would secretly take a pencil with me at bedtime and drew on the wall adjacent to my bed.
I probably had some good drawing ability growing up, because I was frequently assigned to do school art projects, like newspapers, banners, etc. I doodled a lot. But nobody in my family ever considered art as a serious career. Besides, I had an aunt, my mother’s sister, who almost became a professional artist. And comparing me to her - my family did not see any particular talent in me. So, I became a lawyer, and I loved my profession. I still believe that it is the best education and profession one can get - it is never the same, always developing, always throwing riddles at you.
By the way, I stopped doodling and drawing during the first year of law school. There was a very talented boy in my class, who could draw fantastic cartoons illustrating the subjects we were studying. He did it right there during a lecture with a pen, no pencil. I could not be seen doodling with such a talent nearby. I do not know what happened to that guy. Hope he was able to combine a legal career with art.

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

I started painting so recently - I have not had any stops yet. It still feels like a “start”. Sometime around 2012 I found myself with too much time on my hands, and legal work was not coming my way. I decided to explore my childhood attraction to drawing and took a drawing class, then a painting class, then a plein air workshop, then another workshop and another… And I discovered a whole new world of art and painting. More I learn, more I understand that I know nothing. It is fascinating!

A Mouse With An Attitude
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Pencil drawing probably will be forever my favorite. It is so immediate and versatile. I am not a good draftsman, but I can notice a certain progress as years go by.
I tried different mediums - watercolor, pastel, oil. Each of them have their own special beauty. But right now I am very attracted to oil. I enjoy a sensation of applying oil on a canvas, how smooth it spreads, and how a plain surface comes to life immediately and directly. I appreciate its forgiveness - mistakes can be reworked.
Genres - I am a realistic painter. Abstract has not opened its secrets for me so far.
Subjects - I love painting everything that comes my way. Plein air and landscape - it is exciting to be outside, listen to the sounds of nature or a town, smelling flowers or a bread toasted at a cafe. For me there is more in those landscape paintings than just shapes and color harmony.
Still life - painting a still life is an exercise in turning simple and humble subjects into interesting and fascinating stories.
Animals - I like animals, and I have a dog. Painting a dog always makes me happy. But I paint him from photographs, because he never sits still.
People - this is my next challenge. I would like to develop skills of portraying people, and not just their likeness, but to be able to show their characters and inner lives.

Lara - A Doll
(click to view)

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

Oil is my medium of choice now, but I am still experimenting with watercolor. When I travel I like sketching in watercolor. Sketches create the best memories, way better than any photo.
A set of pastels remains in my studio. And I know that I will come back to it. Maybe after watching a demo by Albert Handell, or by Richard McKinley, or another wizard of pastel painting.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

There is so much to explore! I just scratched the surface of art of painting. I would like to learn more about art history. I would like to experiment with composition and color harmonies. I would like to get a better understanding of color and a power of grays. I would like to explore different painting styles. Saying this, I admit that I believe that everyone has their own style, their vision, handwriting and brushstroke. But what I had learned from taking workshops and meeting artists - there is a difference in artistic esthetic between the Western and Eastern United States. I live in the West and I would like to explore what is happening out there in the East. Then there is Russia, the country where I was born. Classical art traditions are very much alive there, and I would like to explore that too.

Martini Cheries
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

The strongest inspiration for me is coming from seeing works of Art. We live in marvelous times - art works are coming to us through the Cloud, the Net, through Media. We can scan through a museum’s collection while having our morning coffee with a computer by the side. But nothing can compare to seeing real life art. I had an exceptional opportunity to see Sorolla’s exhibition at the National Gallery in London, UK. And right after that I visited Prado in Madrid, Spain. It was the first time I saw Velazquez’s Las Meninas in person. This frequently copied, multiplied  and discussed masterpiece affected me in unexpected way - I almost fainted seeing it in person. The master was looking at me from the painting, studying me, evaluating, taking notes. I was inspired, for sure, but at the same time I wanted to bury by paints and brushes in the back yard and never tell anybody that I was trying to paint.

I am also inspired by the artists around me. There are  lot of exceptionally talented painters, but at closer look - it is their hard work and discipline that allows these artists to stand out.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Someone was saying that procrastination is actually a good thing. If you have a deadline to meet, and you procrastinated until the last day, you approach a project with a doubled energy. I do not know if it is true. If I have a project or a painting to finish at a certain time - I do not procrastinate, I dig in right away. And that maybe is a bad thing.

Russian Matryoshka Is Having A Tantrum
(click to view)

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

Good and sensible planning is the key. Having a studio or a painting space near your kitchen and a living space are not good for dedicating time to art, because distractions happen - dishes, dust, droopy house plants… They all need immediate attention. So, the brush goes down, watering can comes in. This may be the reason that I like to go out for a plein air, where I can totally submerge in painting.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am not sure, the ideas just happen. Right now I have more ideas for paintings than I physically will be able to accomplish.

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

Everything in art is so fresh for me. A burnt out feeling has not visited me so far. I do get tired, as I was this summer during the season of plein air competitions. Painting a lot of landscapes brought a desire to paint still life inside and in a controlled environment.
I do not take commissions, and that also keeps the feeling of pressure to “produce art” under wraps.
I hope that my paintings look vibrant and engaging - I am trying to achieve that for sure.

Old Lady
(click to view)

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

The first and the most - I started to feel as an artist. I have no fear, and I am learning. And I believe that there is a great adventure in being an artist.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am the happiest when I am painting. Results may not be that important. But with all honesty - when somebody buys my art, it is a big deal for me. When somebody likes my paintings enough to bring them into their home and into their life - it is an amazing happy feeling. I want to paint more and better, and share my works with the world.


Thanks, Olga!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 17, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rebecca Ives

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

From Rebecca's DPW Gallery Page:

Inspired by the wealth of diversity in nature and our relationships to other living creatures, my work is characterized by an exploration of styles and substance intending to invite the viewer to share in simple observations of these relationships.

I have worked as a graphic designer, a small business owner in retail music, and as a picture framer. I am now painting full time, mostly in oil, with the intention of growing technically and imaginatively while creating art that acknowledges the value of our interaction with nature. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

It was a museum trip in the first grade that introduced me to the world of art. I still remember standing with awe before a large oil painting of a pirate thinking to myself that I must learn to paint. I won a prize of private lessons through an art contest at school when I was nine, and later studied Painting/Drawing at The School of Art and Design, East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  I've been painting off and on ever since, taking a huge detour to work with my husband in our mom and pop record store for twenty years. Music and art!

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

After university I became painfully aware that making a living in art would require branching out into other related fields. I was lucky to work in the screen-printing business as a designer for Guess, Trocadero, and Panama Jack for a few years. That position taught me to become a speedy producer of art which is exactly why the concept of Daily Paintworks suits me.

Ginger Lily
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?


I worked for a number of years with watercolor and then with acrylics. While I enjoyed both, my first love was working with Oils and so now I have returned to working exclusively in Oil which seems to suit my style.

After exploring several genres I kept returning to animals and nontraditional florals in my straightforward representational style. I recognize that I am not a camera, so I embellish or modify based solely on my instincts. Like many, I still struggle for a more painterly style but I do see it in my future.

My husband and I maintain a cat sanctuary and I paint pet portraits to support this endeavor. We have a web page and an active Facebook page. This facility and need drives me to produce art every day.

I am an active member of a local painting group and we have numerous opportunities for exhibitions and Shows/Sales of our work. I am currently working on a thirty-six piece solo show for April 2020. My theme is "From the Center" and my focus is painting the literal center of a variety of flowers to highlight the structure and color, almost to the point where some of the works appear to be abstracts.

Cedar Waxwing
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I have studied art history extensively with an emphasis on contemporary art but what gets me most excited is to see the works of artists working today such as Jill Soukup, Jennifer Gennari, Deb Weiers, Alex Kelly and Perry Haddock.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't allow procrastination into my studio because there are so many furkids to feed and exhibits to work toward. There is strong motivation that comes with being a part of a painting group that encourages active participation to bring local art to our community, providing relationships that nurture and support each member. These two factors bring me into the studio every single day.

Simon
(click to view)

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

I am on a schedule which seldom wavers. Maintaining our sanctuary takes five hours each day so I start at dawn, work in the studio from late morning to late afternoon and then return to paint for an hour or more in the evening, always stopping at 8:30 for some family time. It helps that my studio is at home and that my husband also works at home. We share in all of the household chores which allows each of us to thrive in our chosen fields.

While I love working with our animals, I am happiest in the studio, listening to a variety of music while I paint and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of both.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

With my focus on the subjects of animals and florals, there is a wealth of subject matter close at hand. Long ago I studied photography as part of my art education and I'm able to use that skill to mostly photograph my own subjects. I work from the photographs of pet owners for their portraits and I take advantage of reference photos on Pixabay.com when needed.

If I ever get stuck for ideas, I return to my recurring themes such as Cats in Hats, Birds and Pottery, Flower Structural Pieces and animal portraits. Sometimes by returning to a comfortable place, I am able to let my imagination or thoughts take me somewhere else for the next piece.

From the Center: Sunflower
(click to view)

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

I am always excited by my subject matter and have a strong desire to do the best I can with each portrait or each work that I know will be exhibited. I am well aware that others will see my work for the first time at a show and it could be my only opportunity to engage with them and hopefully find a patron.

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

At this point, I am learning to trust my skills and go more boldly into compositions, whether simple or complex, with confidence. I am less uncertain, more self-assured, more willing to explore ideas. I feed off the energy that my mentors project. Their successes motivate and drive me to enjoy my painting journey. It is after all, a swift ride to the other side so I'd like to go out with my brushes on fire, lol.

Studio Cat Rosie
(click to view)

Thanks, Rebecca!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 10, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nina Brodsky

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Nina's painting "Rooster" 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.  

My great aunt was my first inspiration. When I was really young, she and I would play the squiggle game. We would draw random lines and curves all over the paper and then try to find drawings in the squiggles. I was fascinated by it. She was an art lover and her house was filled with wonderful art and the paintings called to me. I wanted to create beautiful art too.

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

I have painted on and off my entire life. Graduate school, work and raising twin boys took most of my free time and it was a struggle to find the time and energy for my art. However, for the past twelve years I have been painting and drawing on an almost daily basis.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?  

When I was in college, I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker and tell my stories that way. I made a number of short films but soon changed my major to studio art. I liked having the entire artistic process in my hands. Not a collaborative effort. I experimented with various print making techniques, oil, acrylics, watercolor, gouache, pastel and collage.

Rooster
(click to view)

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

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


I still occasionally do collages, and watercolors. However, I mostly stick to oil.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I am going to stick with oil for now.

For Jewel, A Fallen Flower
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

I am a representational painter and when I see something that moves me I want to paint it. Painting it allows me to spend time with the subject, to indulge in the joy it brings to me.

What does procrastination look like for you?  

Social media and crossword puzzles.

JL
(click to view)

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

Having dedicated studio space. I can leave things in process and come back to it easily.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Sometimes ideas just come to me. Sometimes I search through my photographs for an idea. Sometimes I look on the web for reference material.

Iden and Bobby's Place
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?"

I keep it fresh by only painting that which inspires me. I jump around a lot between still-life, portraiture and landscape.

What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Looking at other people's art, especially art that is different in style, medium, technique and subject matter. I find it incredibly inspiring and it fires my mind -- generating new ideas for me to try and incorporate into my art.

Overland Truck 2
(click to view)

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

I am always trying to get better at my art. I am currently studying anatomy and working on my brushwork.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

Feeling in the zone and watching as my painting takes on a life of its own. I am always astonished when it is done and I love it.

Thanks, Nina!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 3, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Greg Bombeck

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



From Greg's DPW Gallery Page:

After a stint as a secondary school art teacher, I attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which lead to work as a storyboard / layout artist at Hanna-Barbara Studios in Hollywood. After numerous Scooby Doos, Godzillas and Superfriends, I started drawing storyboards for ad agencies. This lead to my owning and operating an advertising agency (for numerous years). While writing ads, I painted landscapes as time would allow. Now, I spend my time painting primarily landscapes near my home in Eagle River, Alaska and residence in Ennis, Montana.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

Both my mother and father had an interest in art. My mother painted when she was a young woman and was quite good. Unfortunately, growing up during The Great Depression, she did not pursue art as a career. My father was more of a draftsman. Like most parents, when I was a child, they encouraged me with lavish, unwarranted praise for my rudimentary drawings. It must have stuck, I have continued to draw and paint throughout my adulthood.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I favor oils, love the expediency of watercolors, and having done a few stone lithos as a student – wish I had a stone and litho press.

The Pennsylvania Farm
(click to view)

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

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

I painted watercolors when starting out, later, I tackled oils. I have always believed watercolors to be more forgiving than oils. To answer what has fallen away, I’d like to do stone lithography.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I like to mix it up, paint in oils one day, watercolors the next. Regardless of where one is in their artistic development, I think artists are adventurers and exploration is what happens when you have brush in hand.  It’s the old adage, “…the more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”

Woodlands, Nancy Lake, Alaska
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

It is amazing what the internet has brought us. Look at all the accomplished artists whose work is now visible through the internet, such as the artists from Europe and the former eastern block nations who post on DPW. What a great venue the internet is for bringing talented, once obscure artists to our attention. I am continually inspired by the variety and depth of talent out there.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

 My couch.

View from Fire Creek
(click to view)

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

Finding time to paint was difficult while working on a career and raising a large family. Fortunately, when I was starting out, I was paid to draw 40 hours a week doing storyboards and scene layouts for animation. Then, I reached a point fairly early in my advertising career, where I was able to work part time from home and enjoy more brush time.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

A landscape painter is surrounded by subject matter. Parsing it down seems to be the challenge.

Eagle River Vallet View#2

How do you keep art “fresh?"

Artists often talk about being “in the zone.” I am still working on that. I tend to over think what I am doing, and subsequently, over work a painting. I do stumble into the zone occasionally. For me, I think “fresh” happens there.

What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I do not finish a painting every day. I struggle with small formats. I do however, try to paint some everyday, and it seems to be working for me. Some days I paint for hours, some days for minutes. “Miles of canvas” as they say, is the road to success.

South Meadow Creek View, McAllister, Montana
(click to view)

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

You are never too old.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It’s a window.

Thanks, Greg!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 26, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Hong Yang

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




From Hong's DPW Page:

I started my art education at the Art Students League in New York in 2017. I always seek to advance my knowledge by taking numerous workshops across the country. The flower painter Michael Klein has been a significant influence on me. I have also taken workshops with Robert Liberace, Dan Thompson, Katie Whipple, Sean Cheetham, Zoey Frank and Tony Ryder.

My current obsession with flower paintings dates back to my childhood love for gardening. I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband and two tuxedo cats. You can find me on Instagram @hyangpainter. Member of California Art Club.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting and how you taught yourself to paint. 

In 2016, I signed up for a Robert Liberace painting workshop when I had next to no knowledge of oil painting. I was hooked immediately. My picture was horrible then, but I was fascinated by Liberace's teaching, the Latin names of bones and muscles, and the old masters he introduced us to.

In 2017, I went to graduate school (not an art school), and I spent every summer and winter break at the Art Students League in New York. I had read about this place in numerous art history books, so you can imagine how excited I was. I enjoyed the freedom bouncing from studio to studio, and the congenial spirit among students. The most important thing I learned is that you are responsible for choosing your own art education. No one can take the burden off you.

Since then, I have taken many workshops to advance my art education. In other words, I design my own curriculum. Some workshops focus on specific techniques and processes, which are always intriguing. Some don't teach techniques per se but expose me to more possibilities and higher aims of art. The latter include Zoey Frank and Martin Campos.

Peonies
(click to view)

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

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

I still consider myself a student of classical traditions.

Now I want to learn to use color, rather than chiaroscuro, to describe form, space, and atmosphere. I am also exploring different ways to organize pictorial space. The ideas growing on me don't immediately find their way into my paintings. It takes time to simulate.

Garden Roses 1
(click to view)

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

I don't think I have started my painting career as I am still in the student mindset. I signed up for DPW hoping to sell some works to fund my future workshop tuition. I have to handle many administrative issues selling my works while juggling a full-time job. I am still learning the ropes.

What mediums have you experimented with? 

Oil, watercolor, charcoal, graphite, silverpoint, woodblock printing, and clay sculpture.

Sweat Peas and Roses
(click to view)

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

I love them all, but oil painting suits my temperament better. I hope to return to watercolor someday. Richard Schmidt said watercolor is a master's medium and I totally agree.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I want to explore collage as a means to design, compose, and to abstract.

Garden Roses
(click to view)

What inspires you most?

Roses are my current obsession. After I moved to LA, I discovered a place that sells freshly cut fragrant garden roses. I feel such a deep connection with these roses, gazing at them all day. They talk back to me with perfumes and scents, sometimes loud and sometimes subdued.

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I have free time but can't get myself to paint, I often read art history books or books written by painters. I even take days to write book reviews on them, as an excuse not to paint. Sooner or later, I get sick of such futile philosophical musing, I can't wait to go back to the physical act of painting.

Last Peaches of the Summer
(click to view)

Thanks, Hong!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 19, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Yangzi Xu

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



From Yangzi's DPW Page:

While juggling hats as a marketer, a mother, and a wife, she squeezed every single moment to practice her art. She started with watercolor, but eventually migrated to acrylic and oil. Her subject drifted in many directions, but again and again, she came back to painting cityscapes. She discovered something magical about city streets. The reflection of car lights on a rainy day, the blurry silhouette of buildings in the snow, the endless play of light and weather on the streets, all dominated her art.

Yangzi is mostly self-taught, but was greatly benefited by studying under masters such as Bill Bartlet, Alvaro Castagnet, and recently with Xiangbin Shi.

Her works are collected by private collectors from many parts of the world. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

While growing up, my favorite activity was drawing, but in the middle of my teenage years, other interests carried me away.  It was not until about seven years ago when I was dragged by a friend to accompany her to a watercolor class and the passion for art suddenly came back to me in full force. I have been painting almost every day since then.

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

Since my passion for painting was rekindled seven years ago, there were only some short spans that I paused, mostly due to family reasons such as giving birth to my daughter and moving. Other than that I've been pretty consistent with it.

Rainy Night
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I painted in watercolors for a few years. During this period I didn't try other mediums, mostly because we lived in a small apartment. Two years ago we moved to a larger house and I started painting in acrylics and very soon migrated to oil and settled there.

In my watercolor days, I explored a variety of subject matters, but since I moved to oil my focus has shifted to cityscapes, especially city streets in inclement weather -- rain, fog, snow, you name it.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

Perhaps charcoal and graphite -- I've dabbed in figure and head drawing in the past and I am interested in exploring that again.

Lost in the Rain
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

My previous watercolor teacher Bill Bartelt and his paintings are huge inspirations for me and motivate me to capture the moods of Chicago and other urban milieu.  I have been living in Chicago most of my adult life, but it wasn’t until I saw Bill's paintings that I started to paint them.

Since I started painting in oil, I got a lot of inspiration from Jeremy Mann for his lush cityscapes.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I need to clean the desk; I need to re-arrange the easel, I need to place an online order for a few crucial paintbrushes… okay, now I only have 10 minutes to paint…maybe I should just skip it today.

I am getting better at observing myself; if I suddenly become very active with trivial things, it is usually a sign of procrastination.

State Street at Dusk
(click to view)

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

Telling myself all I need to do is to simply show up - it's okay if I make a lousy painting or even destroy a work-in-progress one, as long as I show up and do something.

If you have a day job, you know you simply must show up no matter what. To me, this mindset is very helpful to allocate time for painting.

On some days if I don't feel like painting, as long as I get started, I usually get absorbed and make some progress. If I am really not in the mood, I still spend time in the studio to sketch out ideas or select reference pictures.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

I keep a queue of ideas and reference photos. I constantly look at my queue, tweak the order, and add things to it. This way, I almost always know what the next one, or next ten things that I want to paint.

I use iPhoto folders to save and organize reference photos, inspirations, painting ideas and so on, and I found it tremendously helpful. I use an iPad at home, and can access and edit the folders and materials on my phone whenever and wherever I need to.

Snowy Day
(click to view)

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

I always allow myself to experiment and fail. I constantly try to extend myself, but just a little bit every time.

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

Being patient! Due to personal reasons I stopped selling art for a while and restarted recently, and things are pretty slow for now. I hope with time more opportunities will emerge.

Rainy Day in Chicago
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Inspiring people, connecting with people and bringing people together.

Seeing the world through a new lens and finding beauty in everyday life.

Thanks, Yangzi!

© 2019 Sophie Marine