Thursday, June 14, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Beth Hunt

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

From Beth's DPW Gallery:

My name is Beth Hunt and I am a self-taught artist originally from California where I sold my work for a number of years during my late twenties. I took an extended hiatus from my art for the last fifteen years in which I got married, moved to Washington, and became a mother (whew!). Now that my two sons are beyond needing my constant attention, I am happily back in my art studio with a renewed passion! My favorite mediums are chalk pastel and oil paint, but I also enjoy using colored pencil and watercolor on occasion. While breathtaking landscapes do inspire me, I am also captivated by the little things... the quiet, easily overlooked beauty of the every day. It is my hope that you will enjoy these images as much as I love to paint them!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always loved to paint and draw and had an aptitude for it that my parents recognized and supported at an early age.  I definitely got more serious about art in high school and discovered pastels which I loved right away.  During college, I majored in Biology, but continued to draw when I had the time and even completed a booklet of scientific drawings for the Mammalogy department for my senior project.

Forest Sream
(click to view)

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

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

After graduation, I began to experiment with oil paint and quickly found my way into a reputable gallery where I showed my work until I had my first child.  At that point, I took an extended hiatus (fifteen years!) from painting and only in the past few years began to find my way back into my studio.  It's funny, but even though I didn't paint all that time, I was still keenly observing everything with "artist's eyes".  Each time I saw something that inspired me, I would think about how I would go about painting it.  I believe that this intense observation combined with the strong desire to create has served me well.  I am now back in my studio with fifteen years worth of pent-up creative energy!

Road to the Mountains
(click to view)

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

I began using chalk pastels in high school and I still enjoy them just as much as I did then.  Oil paints came later and I fell in love with the ability to mix my own colors as well as their wonderful buttery texture and also the durability of the finished work.  When you've dealt with nothing but pastels, having a finished piece that you aren't terrified to touch is really a relief... especially when you have kids and a snoopy cat around your studio!  I also enjoy colored pencils and have completed several highly realistic, detailed pieces with this medium, but each drawing takes a very long time.  I prefer a medium in which I can express myself more freely.

As far as genres are concerned, I have done portraiture, figurative work, and realistic animal portraits in pastel and colored pencil.  While showing in the aforementioned gallery, I concentrated on oils to paint pastoral scenes as well as animal portraits that showed my sense of humor.  I  still love pastoral imagery, but have definitely embraced the natural landscape and still life genres which I am enjoying immensely.  I do, however, look forward to including more of my sense of humor in upcoming pieces.  I love to laugh and nothing gives me more pleasure than to have one of my paintings make someone smile.

In the Flow
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Without a doubt, the two biggest inspirations for me are the natural world and the beauty of the simple, everyday things in life... the way the light catches your cup of tea or that "pesky" dandelion growing in your lawn.

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like a good book... or housecleaning... or making an extravagant meal... or going for a drive... or going for a hike... etc., etc., etc!  Procrastination?  What's that?


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

I make sure that when it is a "painting day"(at least four days per week), I treat it like a job.  I make myself a tea and get into my studio by 9 or 10AM, take a lunch break around 1PM, and continue to work until around 3:30 (this is when I pick up my kids from school).  Sometimes I will work later if I'm not to a good stopping point.  I also try not to answer the phone during these hours.  If I know that I am pressed for time and won't be able to complete an entire painting that day, I set a reasonable goal for myself and make sure that I reach it.  These smaller goals can be setting up a still life, taking a reference photo, completing a value study, mixing my paint for the next day, etc.

Shy Iced Tea
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

This is a tough question because I get them from anywhere and everywhere.  Sometimes I see something beautiful outside and I quickly snap a photo, sometimes I will think of a still life because I like the concept, colors, or subject matter in the idea, and other times it's just a surprise.  For example, my dog does something silly and I get a great photo or I am looking through my father-in-law's photographs (he is a wonderful photographer) and see one that I just have to paint (with his permission, of course).

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

I only paint what I truly WANT to paint.  I think that is the real key.  I believe that many times, artists get caught up in what they think will sell instead of what gets them excited.  That will kill inspiration every time because if you do this, you aren't really inspired to begin with.  I also make sure that if I have been in the studio a lot and need a day or two to recharge, I do it!

Canyon on the Palouse
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning right now as an artist?  What makes you happiest about your art?

Right now I am working on loosening up and letting things be.  I know that I am capable of doing realism, but I am thoroughly enjoying the Zen art of allowing my work to be a bit more rough and concentrating on value and color more than detail.  In the past, when doing very realistic, detailed work, I would actually catch myself holding my breath while I painted!  I feel so much more free and playful now that I am loosening up and I think it shows in my art.

Thanks, Beth!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 7, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Catherine Harley

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

From Catherine's DPW Gallery:

I'm a french artist, married to the best Scottish guy, and we have 3 grown up kids. We live in France, but we spend lots of time in the UK where most of our family and friends are. I get my inspiration from these two different cultures, don't ask me to make a choice, it's impossible!

I studied art (restoration and conservation), then I became a copist in museums, and I started teaching 1997.

It took me lots of time to forget all the strict rules of classic painting, and I'm still working on gaining more freedom in my painting today. Painting is more than a passion, it' s a part of myself. It's vital. I discovered the daily painting recently, and I loved all the concept. Joining a big art community and sharing!

Catherine's Art Workshops in France

Tell us a bit how you first started painting.

I come from a family of musicians, so of course I learned music. Everyday going to school, I was passing by an art studio with art classes and the  students’ paintings were hanging in the window. I was admiring their paintings. One day, I found the strength to tell my parents that I wanted to stop music. They said, "you can not live without a passion! Find one," and I instantly shared my dream of joining an art class.

I remember the excitement of the discovery of infinite possibilities with art, and also falling in love with oil painting.

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

Oh yes! Lots of them! As we all know, life is full of surprises, good or bad, and you have to compose with it. I was less productive when my children where young, because they became my priority.

They are now older, becoming young adults, which allows me to concentrate more on my work. I find that these stops were really beneficial to my work. I was not painting, but I was thinking and preparing in my mind what would be my next work.

I now see these stop moments in a very positive way. Recently, I had to stop because of health issues and heavy treatments. When I held the brushes in my hand again, my motivation and ideas were really clear. So if the stops allow you to go straight where you want to when it’s time, you are not wasting your time, maybe even gaining some! Who knows?

Purple Flower Abstraction
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have been playing a bit with most mediums (egg tempera, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, pastel…) It's fun to go from one technique to the other, as it allows me to never be bored. Some of them were really challenging, and I learned a lot from it, like trying to work with soft pastels in superpositions without blurring or using egg tempera and work in layers. I also love to play with all the mediums in acrylics, the textures and effects are incredible. Painting is like a big playground with lots of toys, you want to try them all!

It is the same for the subjects, anything is potentially exciting. A portrait is a landscape in some ways, and a landscape is abstract in some other ways. Any genres will be interesting to paint, it just depends on how you look at it.

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

Oil painting is for sure my mother tongue, but I also love charcoal for its abilities to create textures and values by "adding" and "removing" almost like paint. Gouache is a favorite, I love the velvety  finish and matte aspect. You can dilute it, play with water or apply rich thick paint like I would do with oil. I usually use gouache for quick studies that will be painted next with oil or acrylics on a bigger format.

I don’t use much watercolor, I find that this medium needs a lot of practice, and I don’t have enough sensations compared to oil. But of course, this is really personal.

Floral Effacement
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I would like to explore some new techniques like collages and mixed medias. I have tried mosaics recently, and I loved it! I tried to adapt it to my work, and the result was interesting enough to make me want to pursue in that direction. The problem is that there are so many things to do! And if I don’t make choices, I will start to scatter.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Lots of great artists, like Sorolla, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassan, Freud, but also many contemporary artists like Alex Kanevsky, Fran├žois Bard, Laurent Dauptain, Niels Smits Van Burgst, Jeremy Mann, and many more. All these artists are amazing teachers and constantly inspire me. Being a figurative painter, my inspiration comes from the emotions connected to what I see. Mainly nature and people, because there is movement, and always something to catch your attention.

The fragility of things and life inspires me.

Three Sisters
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Choosing to do what I like first always, which makes me go through really stressful periods when I have to deal with all the things that have to be done all at once! And it seems that I am not learning from it. Painting and family comes first, and I have to admit I am a procrastination queen when it is anything to do with administration, papers and numbers. Anyone feeling the same way?

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

I am trying to make it part of my weekly schedule. Two days for painting, two days teaching, one day for all the rest (groceries, cleaning…) and weekend with my loved ones. It is of course not always as organized as I wished, but it kind of works for me. I try to keep two days painting to myself, with nothing interfering in the middle. The hardest part is to protect these two days completely in my agenda; no appointments, no meeting friends during the day, etc… We all know how precious time is!

Contrasted Floral Abstraction
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

During the creative process, I search for subjects, ideas and composition. I use my own photographs, but also the ones that you can find on the internet. They are an endless sources of inspiration. I can select some elements, and make my own composition. I spend lots of time on my computer, looking at photos, composing, reframing, searching, building. All this time is part of the construction of the painting.

I take a lot of pictures, and save thousands of them that will be used maybe one day on a painting. I am building my own bank of pictures, that I can use, or mix with pictures I find on the internet. I find this "research part" as exciting as the "painting part". With the years of practice, I have learned that it’s important to think about what you want to show, and not just do one more painting.

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

I usually do a series of paintings, but sometimes when I feel it’s just a production, and that I am not having fun anymore, I change technique or format.

After painting a big format that will take time and energy, I might paint some really small ones as it is a completely different approach. Changing technique works really well for me too, I draw when I don’t feel like painting, and usually the urge of color comes back quickly!

When none of this works, I will call an artist friend who will find the words to put me back on track by giving a constructive critique on my work. Actually, I do that really often! It’s so helpful when you are stuck, and it’s really interesting to hear someone’s (you trust) point of view. Sometimes I disagree, and it helps me assume my choices, and sometimes the solutions they are offering are excellent, and it helps me evolve in a more open minded way.

Fuchsia Floral Abstraction
(click to view)

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

Painting has been a way of living for so many years, and I am so grateful to have been able to do this. I have been learning so many things through that, especially humility! I feel that the more I learn, the less I know.

At this moment, I am learning to simplify and deconstruct. Trying to go out of my comfort zone without going in a foreign zone. All these new problems make the research even more exciting. Taking more time to think about what do I want to paint, and why, and what is the story I want to tell. Like any other artist, we are telling stories.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Lots of things! Reaching (sometimes) what I had in mind on my painting. Exploring with colors and textures is such an exciting thing to do whatever the result is!

Meeting people through my art is magical, and always interesting to understand their vision.

Sharing my knowledge with students is a real source of joy and satisfaction.

Traveling to exhibit my work or do workshops is always exciting.

Thanks, Catherine!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 31, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Frankie Gollub

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

From Frankie's DPW Gallery:

Frankie Gollub was born in Landstuhl, Germany. Inspired by Civil War history, he began to draw and paint constantly at the age of 12. Frankie's appreciation of military service and his own father's service in the U.S. Army encouraged him to join the Army National Guard in 2000. He served 6 years with Headquarters Battery, 2/111th Field Artillery at Petersburg, VA. Frankie studied at Richard Bland College where he decided to pursue a career in painting. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I began painting when I was 12 years old. I started painting with acrylics, mostly Bob Ross landscapes and Civil War battle scenes. I few years later I started oil painting and I was hooked. I continued to paint landscapes and Civil War soldiers.

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

During my last two years in art school I decided I wanted to pursue a career in classical archaeology, focusing on Ancient Rome. During my post back studies of Greek and Latin at University of Washington I decided to pursue a career in Fine Art again. It was a slow start from 2013 through 2014 as I returned to painting. The real momentum began in 2015 as I picked up three commissions.

March Afternoon, Seattle
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have painted in egg tempera, casein, gouache, acrylics, watercolors, and oil colors. During art school I was painting large multi-figure paintings set in contemporary interior spaces, exploring the dynamics between men and women in a relationship and cohabitation. In recent years I have painted animal portraits inspired by 17th Century Dutch painting, still lifes, and landscapes. The landscape paintings are either Hudson River school style or tonalist.

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

Landscape painting has really captured my interest, especially since I live in the Pacific Northwest where many wonderful vistas are close by Seattle where I live. I practice plein air painting to better understand landscape painting, hone my landscape painting skills, and gather studies to turn into larger studio paintings. I also really love painting still lifes and I have a number of replicas which are used for 17th Century Dutch style still life painting. I also have little props like an anole lizard and beetles that I add to still lifes of donuts and cupcakes. In addition I have crayfish and a crab in my freezer which I use as props.

(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I haven't painted the human figure for years but I do want to get back into that. Recently I have started painting portraits again, focusing on self-portraits. In landscape painting I enjoy the tonalist style and it's an area I plan to continue exploring.

Who or what inspires you most?

I find inspiration in art from the 15th Century through the 19th Century. I am particularly fond of 17th Century Dutch painting but I also love 19th Painters such as JMW Turner, the Hudson River School painters, and the American tonalists. Living in the Pacific Northwest inspires me everyday, viewing the various mountain ranges and evergreens.

Mt. Rainier
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

For me procrastination involves drinking coffee while looking at paintings on the internet. Often I'm reading artist's blogs or reading about painting technique. I have an obsession with painting materials such as pigments and mediums and I do a lot of research online. My library of art books can also be distracting. But I feel that all of my research does contribute to my practice as a painter. I also like to make music through Logic on my Macbook, inspired by 80's new wave, funk, and R & B. That in itself can be time consuming and take away from painting.

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

I try to keep my research limited to the time I'm eating breakfast. Then when I'm done I go paint. I do try to maintain a daily routine in which I make time for painting.

Song Dynasty Coins and Vermillion Pigment
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The art books in my library are a huge source of inspiration. Galleries and museums are another source. With still life I find inspiration through my props. That often takes 30 minutes to an an hour to set up the still life getting the composition and lighting right. For landscape painting I use my plein air studies as part of my creative process. That is combined with lighting and skies I have seen, especially late in the afternoon before sunset.

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

I paint a variety of genres like still lifes, animal portraits, and landscapes. I often rotate through these and I usually have several projects going at once. In addition to my larger studio paintings I like painting smaller works ranging from 5 x 7 through 11 x 14. I consider these my studies and experiments. I also like to experiment with different oil mediums that have been used since the 16th Century. I especially like the 19th Century Copal resin mediums.

Sunrise over Rattlesnake Ledge
(click to view)

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

As an artist I am always learning whether it be about landscape painting, still lifes, or portraits. I teach art from preschoolers through adults at an art studio in Bellevue, WA. I've always felt that most of my learning as an artist has happened while teaching others. In terms of landscape painting, it is through studying my favorite painters and practicing plein air, combined with studio painting that has helped me tremendously.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Being able to share my vision with the world and seeing the joy it brings people has made painting rewarding. My painter friends have been inspired by my landscape paintings and they have started plein air painting, often joining me in the field to paint. I am always happy to share my knowledge with others and I enjoy the conversations we have about painting. I have started many friendships in recent years through painting alone and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks, Frankie!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mario Parga

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

From Mario's DPW Gallery:

Painting in the contemporary and classical realism styles, English artist Mario Parga has painted professionally for over thirty years.

Throughout his painting career, Mario has painted numerous high profile portraits for private collections around the world, painted murals (including all the murals at Chingle Hall, England, built in 1260AD, as featured on a BBC documentary), exhibited with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters at the Pall Mall Galleries of London and had one of his Old Master copies auctioned by internationally renowned fine-art auctioneers Bonhams of London. His paintings have also been featured on the American television network PBS. Mario's fantastical/surrealism genre paintings are represented by Morpheus Fine Art in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mario's studio is located in the Emerald Coast, Florida, where he resides with his wife and daughter. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting:

I started painting at the age of four and began painting with oils when I was nine. I was always drawing as a child, I never stopped, and felt the need to move to oil paint after a few years of water based paint.

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

Yes, over the years I've had a few, but the stops were very short lived as I've been a professional artist for thirty-one years and rely on painting sales. I'm sometimes lazy, as I think we all can be, and sometimes it's just nice to take a rest from the easel. I always feel the need to paint though, even if it's something for myself. I think I've painted fairly consistently for the last ten years or so.

At Last Light
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The two mediums I've always used are oil paint (my main medium) and watercolor (mostly for preparatory sketches). I've always been a realist painter, painting in either the classical or contemporary realism genres. I paint pretty much everything from the fantastical to more traditional landscape/seascape/figurative works, and I enjoy painting birds and some wildlife. I'm primarily a portrait painter, painting portraits in the traditional way with layered paint and some glazing, and I've also painted numerous Old Master copies for clients over the years too.

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

I would say the above have stuck with me for most of my life to date, there was a phase when I enjoyed painting still lifes and trompe l'oeils, but these have become fewer over the years.

Lullaby for Skye
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

As well as enjoying painting fantastical pieces, I've currently got two very detailed larger pirate themed paintings on the go. I've always loved painting the ocean, so combining large sail ships with figurative/historical work is very interesting to me and enjoyable to paint.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature. There's nothing more beautiful than nature, and if I had to pick a specific subject I'd probably choose the ocean. I spend a lot of time with my camera photographing the ocean and collecting reference pictures, from dawn to dusk shots and from calm to stormy waters. The way light reflects off water is beautiful, and sunlight on a stormy day over the ocean is simply awesome. Living on the Emerald Coast here in Florida, I'm lucky to get to see it all.

Captain Fraser's Folly
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Ah... procrastination... Yes, I'm very guilty of it, sometimes for days on end. Sometimes I suffer from what I call 'The Dilemma of What to Paint', and can sit around for days procrastinating and dismissing every idea that comes to me. I think all artists procrastinate to some degree, though some more than others...

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

That's a good question, and the way I make time for my art is to treat it like a job and discipline myself to start painting at a certain time each day (usually 10am works best for me) and put in as many hours as possible depending on what I'm working on and how finished/unfinished it is. I usually have three paintings on the go on three different easels so I can allow for drying times between paint layers or paint whichever one I'm in the mood for at any particular time. Although I paint Monday to Friday, I often paint at the weekends also and give myself a day off during the week.

Anna's Hummingbird
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It depends really, sometimes an idea will pop into my head, or I'll see something outside or on TV that inspires me or triggers an idea. I also take a lot of photographs and always have a DSLR with me (as well as the camera on my cell phone) as I like to refer to them at later dates.

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

I don't think I have a particular technique that helps me with this, I just tend to paint things that I myself like and enjoy painting. I think the moment artists start painting subject matter for the sake of it or because we think it may be more commercial is when our work becomes stagnant and tired. I would always advise to paint what you truly want to paint as it will definitely show in your work.

Sea of Green
(click to view)

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

I don't think I'm learning any new techniques, I've been painting for too long, but I think I've got more patience now and perhaps plan ahead with a larger painting more than I did before.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That's easy; when a client truly loves the painting. It's very touching to see reactions when portraits are revealed for the first time, or when someone is so taken with a painting they tell me how much they enjoy looking at it. I'm lucky enough to have a few collectors who own several of my works, I always like painting for them because I know they really appreciate my art.

Thanks, Mario!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Friday, May 18, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patti Tapper

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

From Patti's DPW Gallery:

Somebody once told me, "Your hands are never still." It's true. I began painting at seven, initially with pastel and then oil. I continued through college, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Since then I spend my time appreciating the beauty in the world and translating my sense of awe into my artwork. I enjoy working with a variety of materials and my studio is a kaleidoscope of color and pattern with inspiration everywhere you look!
(click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I started painting in kindergarten, the same time I began my life of crime. It was 1957 in Toledo Ohio and I was splatter painting and all of a sudden I found myself in the principal’s office with my mother there! Apparently, the teacher had hung her sweater on the door knob behind my easel and my innovative technique resulted in her sweater being painted as well! That is a true story…

Anyway, my love of painting started when I was a young child and my mother took me to the Toledo Museum of Art to take classes. After that, she found a wonderful teacher for me by the name of Daniel Passino. Every Monday night from 6:30 to 8:30 she would take me to his studio and I learned to paint with pastels and then with oils. The rest of the class were adults, but I don’t remember feeling shy or awkward because we all were sharing the joy of learning to paint. I studied with Dan until I graduated high school and left for college to study painting and art history at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

My Mother's Pastry Cutter
(click to view)

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

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

There was an interval in my life when I stopped painting. After I graduated from college, I put down my brushes and began my career with Jacobson’s Stores in fine jewelry. I began in sales, then management and then buying, which turned out to be a wonderful career. I moved from Toledo, Ohio to Dearborn, Michigan where I trained as an assistant buyer and then lead buyer for their seventeen fine jewelry salons in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. It was on one of my buying trips to New York that I met my future husband and love of my life, Steven Tapper. Following my marriage, I reluctantly ended my career with Jacobson’s due to the distance factor between my home and their corporate offices. We were blessed with three wonderful children and while raising them, I went back to my artwork, spending time painting as well as teaching art privately. I enjoyed my high school students but my most rewarding classes were those that I offered to adults who had never previously made art. Once they relaxed in the non judgmental atmosphere of my studio they fell in love with their own creativity. Guiding them through the process, I learned as much from them as they did from me.

Spring
(click to view)

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

I have always been a lover of “creating” so naturally that has led me on many adventures with various mediums. The colors and patterns of fabrics thrills my sensibility. I make quilts, clothing and handbags and spend hours drooling over my collection of fabrics. I have studied mosaics and jewelry making. I am a certified precious metal clay instructor and love the process of making a material that is so malleable into shiny polished metal. I love to knit and spent some time knitting fine silver wire and pearls into bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I love creating with whatever medium suits me at the time and I am fortunate to have a large studio, so I keep all of my supplies and materials from all my different pursuits close at hand in case that muse calls to me. Although I have painted in acrylics for the past thirty years, several months ago I had a longing for the terrible smell of turpentine and decided to paint in oils as well. I told you that I have a big studio, right? Thankfully there is a doorway that allows ventilation as well as a view of my little perennial garden just outside the door.

Through the Glass
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

The internet has changed my sources of inspiration three fold. I used to be inspired either by artists that I had studied in my art history books or in the exhibits that I would see here in Michigan or in New York. Now on a daily basis, I find oodles of inspiration from paintings that I would’ve been unlikely to come across before. Once a painting catches my eye, I look up the artist and find more inspiration often in their blogs or sometimes, if available, in their workshops. I have been so lucky to study pastel with Wolf Kahn in Connecticut, cold wax technique with James Scherbarth in Minnesota, abstract painting with Steven Aimone in Maine last July and this summer flower painting with Dawn Stafford, a painter that I have admired at Ox Bow in Michigan. I have traveled and painted in France several times in my life, marveling at the fields of lavender and experiencing the gardens in full bloom at Giverny. These are just a few of the places and people that have kept my juices going!

Pomegranate with Muffin Tin
(click to view)

Curiosity has always been key for me in generating my creativity on a daily basis. I work as a visual merchandiser three days a week. That means I make displays for our jewelry stores. Generating new ideas and putting the materials together is very energizing. Most of the time I am working in shadow boxes and store windows so it is a lot like a three dimensional canvas. I love to pursue new techniques and am constantly trying new materials. This spring I have created an actual magical forest in each window, with jeweled insects and little creatures, sharing the space with beautiful necklaces, bracelets and rings.

When discussing my inspiration I must mention my actual studio because it is bursting with all of the things that I love. Drawers of colorful beads, jars of tiles in every hue, objects that I have collected or been given, colorful glass vases and printed bowls as well as different painted papers, maps and old letters for collage. I also have a lot of old photos of loved ones, as a reminder of the richness of the journey. My shelves are overflowing with books about every facet of making art and the creative process. There’s a worn very comfortable arm chair to relax in as well as music to listen to and generally I am joined by my beloved companion, Luna, our golden shepherd. Once I head down the stairs to my studio, and pass the sign “No Worries Allowed” I have entered a different world, mine.

Still Life with Red Cup
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

My happiness with my art comes from the way that I see the world with an “artist’s eyes”. My mantra has always been “live a colorful life”. I am very grateful for the beauty that I see often in the ordinary things in my daily world. The way that the light falls across the winter landscape creating more lavenders and grays than you could imagine. Or how a few oranges on my kitchen counter become worthy just by the way the sunlight makes them glow.

My most recent still life paintings are created from a different perspective or viewpoint in order to accentuate the forms and the patterns of light and shadows. I create very elaborate drawings which allow me to become familiar with my subject before I pick up my brushes. Lately I have taken up the challenge of adding patterned fabric and colored glass objects to my set ups. I love figuring out the best way to approach the painting, often thinking backwards to solve the challenge. It gives me great pleasure to receive a complement on one of my paintings. I love selling my work and thinking about the joy that it will bring to another person’s world.

Thanks, Patti!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 10, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Bobbie Cook

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

Artwork is a form of expression that I am comfortable with sharing. It has served me well as a student, a biologist, a teacher, and a parent. Now that I am in what most people would call retirement age I wanted to become more serious about oil painting specifically. Because I knew very little about how to get started I became a weekly participant at a local open studio. The owner/artist of the studio provides everything a person needs in almost any medium you want to try. This was my informal introduction to oil painting.

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

I have really only been painting for about seven years. The first four years I would only paint in preparation for a class. Painting sporadically like that was not conducive to learning. Then I discovered Daily Paintworks when I bought a painting on eBay from a DPW member. Soon after that I bought Carol Marine’s book and decided to join DPW myself. The almost daily practice is how I have really been learning to paint.

Cups Challenge
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love working with oils and will continue learning as much as I can with this medium. As for genres, I seem willing to try just about anything. However, my favorites are outside scenes and wild animals.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Everyday life experiences inspire me. Most of what I paint is connected to my past or present experiences or experiences of those I am closely connected to like family or friends. I often think when I look at my collection of paintings that it is like a journal.

The Magic of Fireweed
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Procrastination is when my mind is so busy that I can no longer prioritize what I need to do. This happens when I slack off on my daily chores like housework, yard work, grocery shopping, etcetera. When this happens I just need to take time off from painting and declutter my life.

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

Routines work well for me when it comes to working around my family. Weekdays are easy because I spring into action once everyone has left the house. I like to get my blood flowing by first exercising. Then I head up to my studio which is a loft in the peak of our A-frame house. I give myself myself two hours to paint a panel that I have previously under painted. I set a timer in my kitchen so that I am forced to walk away from my painting for a quick break and to reset the timer. The timer really helps me set parameters and to maintain focus. Weekends are another story. Sometimes I will paint if there is a quiet time, otherwise I will do several under paintings, or not paint at all.

Leaving Girdwood
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

In general I like to paint what I am surrounded by outside whether it be at home, or traveling. I have trained myself to take reference pictures on a regular basis. If I have the time I will sit and draw in a journal. I am always surprised how much a drawing enhances a future painting.

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

I find it hard to burn out when I have so much to learn and so many new things to try. However, I do get discouraged at times and feel like I am not making any progress. This is when I go to galleries and museums to view other peoples work. I also like to check out what is going on in current art magazines. Somehow viewing the artwork of others inspires me to get back into my studio with great energy.

Thinking of Spring
(click to view)

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

Color is something I am experimenting with right now. One method I have been enjoying is to start a painting with only translucent paints and then finish it with opaque paints. The other thing that I am working on is muting color to better define landscapes.

What makes you happiest about your art?

People always ask how is it that I can sell or give away my paintings. Then I think about what a mess it would be if I kept them all. I find a greater joy in the process of painting than in the product of painting. Besides, it is wonderful when someone makes a special connection to a painting that they feel they must have as part of their life story.

Foil Crane
(click to view)

Thanks, Bobbie!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 3, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Juli Rodgers

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

From Juli's DPW Gallery:

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a gorgeous place to be an artist. When I was a child growing up in the Midwest, my siblings and I were always immersed in a love and appreciation of nature. That has formed the basis for my artistic endeavors, and some of my favorite subjects to paint are birds, animals (especially horses), and insects. I work mostly in oil and colored pencil.

While I have been involved in some way with art for many years, I have only recently started painting regularly. I was inspired by Carol Marine's book, "Daily Painting", and find the process has given me a remarkable structure for getting my creativity out into the world.

I would like those who view my work to experience an emotional and sensory connection to the incredible beauty of the natural world.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I was very interested in making art.  My mother was an artist and was always encouraging my siblings and me in creative projects.  After becoming an adult, I lost my connection to art until the late 1990’s when I contracted a life-threatening illness.  During my recovery, I rediscovered my love of art, and began painting landscapes in pastel and watercolor.

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

I did have stops and starts.  In 2003 I began a series of mandalas (circular repeating images) in colored pencil using elements of nature, such as birds, insects and flowers.  There was an intense and spiritual aspect to this process and when the series was finished, it was difficult for me to move on to another project.  In 2009 I moved from Houston, TX to Santa Fe, NM.   I was so inspired by the landscape, I started painting again in pastel.  After several years came another blocked period.  This seemed to be related to some feelings of overwhelm about how to produce and then market the complex paintings that were in my imagination.  In 2016 I found Carol Marine’s book on daily painting and the idea of small, quick paintings resonated strongly with me as a way to go forward again with my art.

Giant Lemon
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in watercolor, gouache, pastel, graphite colored pencil, and now in oil.  Besides landscapes I have painted still life, figures studies, portraits and botanical studies. I am fascinated with “nature journaling” but haven’t been able so far to go beyond the concern about ruining a beautiful journal with pages that are not “perfect”.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

I am currently working mainly in colored pencil and oil.  I love pastel painting and hope to get back to that.  I also love the process and effects of watercolor, but now I use it mostly as underpainting for colored pencil.

Mandarin Orange
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to continuing to improve and expand my oil painting skills.  My newest subjects are animals, especially horses.  I live in a somewhat rural area with lots of wildlife – coyotes, bobcats, elk, deer and so many birds.  I want to paint them all!  I am particularly excited about painting horses.  Several years ago I bought one of my own, and in addition to art, he is one of the great joys of my life.   I am also planning to paint landscapes in oil.  The skies, the light and high desert landscape are incredibly beautiful here in New Mexico.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Nature in all its myriad expressions is what inspires me the most.  There are also several artists who I find inspiring - Duane Keiser, who founded the daily painting movement is one.  I admire the incredible horse paintings of Jill Soukup, a Colorado artist.  Albert Handell, is also an inspiration.  He paints beautiful landscapes in pastel and oil.  He is in his eighties and still goes out to paint plein air.

Lemons and Grapes
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Wow – that’s a difficult topic for me.  It’s too easy for me to give into distractions and also allow others to intrude upon my painting schedule.  There’s also the voice in my head whispering “Painting is too hard”, or “You’ll never be good enough”, and other discouraging comments.

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

I’ve designated certain hours in the afternoon as “painting time”.  Recently I’ve started turning off my phone during this time.  Also, I try to make sure I take care of tasks such as cleaning brushes and palettes outside of these hours.  Finally, I try to remember how much I love painting, and to turn down the volume on my critical voice.

Blue Jay
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Ideas for paintings seem to frequently flood my brain.  I try to write them down so that they’re not lost, but it’s sometimes frustrating that many may go unpainted.

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

I try to avoid getting stuck painting only what I know over and over.  I want to move out of my comfort zone and into uncharted territory once I feel some mastery over an idea or technique.  I can’t say this is easy, as it’s always more comfortable to stay with what is familiar, but it’s also exciting to explore the unknown. 

Palomino
(click to view)

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

I’m finally learning to listen less to my “Inner Critic”, and recognize that producing good art comes with much practice, and producing many “bad” paintings.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

When I’m painting or drawing, I feel I’m in the present moment and really connected to my subject. I’m very happy when I can convey an emotion that captures this feeling of connection.

Thanks, Juli!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 26, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gail G. Slockett

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

From Gail's DPW Gallery:

My interest in art was sparked over forty years ago when I was a theater production major in college and an aspiring scene painter. But life had other plans for me and more than twenty-five years passed before my passion was reignited. I worked first with pencil, then charcoal and pastels, and finally oils, while also trying my hand at portraits, figures, still life and landscapes.

I find that what inspires me the most is not so much the subject, as it is the drama that lies within. Whether it is a compelling story, an intriguing expression, or a beautiful play of light and shadow, I am always looking for that emotional response. My works have won numerous awards and have been exhibited throughout New York City and North Jersey. Many are in private collections. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first picked up a paintbrush in 1973.  I was at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Theater Production and was assigned to a scene painting crew.  I loved it and I was convinced I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.  That lasted about six years before I changed paths again.  However, during that time, I had to take a test to join the Scenic Artists Union and one of the requirements was to paint a landscape.  I was good at painting faux wood and marble and stenciling wall paper and making a flat piece of scenery look three dimensional, but I knew nothing about fine art.  I even attended classes at the Art Students’ League in New York for a month or two.  But life got in the way and it wasn’t until the 1990’s, when my children were in school, that I thought about taking art lessons again.  I started drawing with pencil, moved on to charcoal and pastel and then finally to oils.  As soon as I picked up a brush, I was hooked all over again.

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

I didn’t have any stops and starts since I started drawing classes twenty years ago, but I didn’t really get serious about my painting until rather recently.  When my children were grown and out of the house, I set up a studio, spent more time in classes, and traveled to workshops.  In the past, painting was just something I did when I had the time.  Now it is something I want to do all the time!

Another Sunflower Painting
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

When I was in college, I did some watercolor copies of my favorite Andrew Wyeth paintings.  When I returned to art in the 90’s I started drawing portraits in pencil and charcoal, and then soft and oil pastels.  Working from photographs, I did a series of drawings called Portraits in Courage. I was inspired by those who had experienced hardship and loss yet had endured and grown stronger.  I wanted to show the wisdom that was written in their faces.  Feeling confident enough in my drawing skills I started painting figures in oils, but only in blacks, whites, and grays.  I did a series of 30” X 40” paintings, entitled The Park Bench, depicting people from all walks of life as they took a break from their busy lives.  Eventually I moved on to color and worked from live models.  Now I am concentrating mostly on still life and trying my hand at landscape and plein air.  I have taken a few pastel classes too, but I always go back to oils.

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

I am deathly afraid of watercolors now.  I love that oils can be reworked at any time long after they are signed and considered finished.  I have paintings framed and hanging on my walls that I revisit years later.  Watercolors are much less forgiving.  I tried acrylics for about six months and hated it.  I didn’t like the feel and flow of the paint and I couldn’t get used to how fast they dry.  It just frustrated me.

When I started drawing I only did portraits.  But I worked primarily from photographs and now I don’t find that satisfying.  Although I still enjoy painting from live models, I like the control of the shapes and composition, and the play of light and shadow that I have when painting still life. 

Baby Bok Choy
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Landscapes, seascapes, and snowscapes are my current challenge and I want to spend more time painting plein air, rather than from photo references.  I would also like to try abstracting the landscape and I am interested in learning how to use a palette knife for more than just detail at the end.  I love the look of pastels and am often tempted to try them again.  Color mixing with pastels is so different from oils that it’s almost like learning a new language. 

Who inspires you most?

The work of Patty Nebbeling, my teacher at the Ridgewood Art Institute in NJ, inspires me to loosen up and simplify.  Peter Fiore, a landscape painter whose workshops I have taken, inspires me with his brilliant use of color.  John MacDonald, another landscape artist and teacher, inspires me with his beautifully atmospheric paintings.  I find inspiration from many contemporary still life and plein air painters, such as Qiang Huang, Neil Carroll, Kathie Odom, Nancy Tankersley and Roger Dale Brown.  I love the masters.  I am particularly drawn to the drama of light and shadow of Rembrandt and the freedom and color of Cezanne and Van Gogh.  And just about everything in Sargent’s paintings. 

Bouquet of Roses
(click to view)

What inspires you most?

I am always intrigued by the play and drama of light and shadow on a still life or landscape.  But sometimes it is the lack of contrast and the more tonal, monochromatic setting that inspires me.  Other times it’s the colors or the strong shapes and values that attract me.

What is your mental preparation for painting?

I don’t have any preparation protocol, but I listen to books on my ipod while I paint.  I always make sure I have something riveting to listen to.  Right now it’s “The Alice Network”, about women spies in WWI and WWII.  It’s very good!

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I think I do more daily procrastinating than I do daily painting.  I am getting better however.  I find it most difficult if I am starting something new and don’t have a plan.  Once I am working on something I find it much easier to get going.

Persimmons
(click to view)

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

For me it is like going to the gym; once I have my gym clothes on and I walk out to the car I will go and work out.  I just have to get myself into the studio.  Once I am there the hours fly by and the next thing I know it is evening, I am exhausted, and it’s time for dinner.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Every Wednesday I am in a class where the teacher generally assembles half a dozen setups to choose from.  I might tweak them a little.  Sometimes a piece of fruit or flower she has brought in will inspire me and I will do my own composition.  At home I work from photos.  Lately I am concentrating on landscapes and seascapes from photos I have taken during my sailing trips.  Many times I will see another artist’s work and it will remind me of a photo reference I have but didn’t think could be a good painting.  That will inspire me to find that photo and give it a shot.  This past summer I started painting plein air from the back of our sailboat, painting whatever scene is in front of me at the time.  It’s always paint worthy!

Roses in Silver Vase
(click to view)

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

I haven’t experienced burnout yet, possibly because I am always learning and trying new things.  Painting landscapes is new for me, and I am just starting to paint en plein air.  Recently I started using a palette knife whenever possible and I am experimenting with making my style looser and more painterly.  If I feel like a particular painting is bringing me down I will put it aside and paint something else. 

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

I am striving to learn how to simplify and loosen up and know what to leave in and what to leave out.  I think that is the essence of a successful painting.  I am also learning that photo references can only take you so far.  You need the experience of painting from life to be able to interpret and extrapolate the information in a photo and turn it into a work of art.  That seems especially true of landscapes.   

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when I am learning or trying something new.  I love exploring.  I also must admit that I am most happy when my efforts culminate in a successful painting.  And I am ecstatic when someone else is moved by my work and loves it enough to put it in their personal collection! 

Thanks, Gail!

© 2018 Sophie Marine