Thursday, September 12, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Larisa Nikonova

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



From Larisa's DPW Page:

I am a professional fashion designer. I had my own business for a few years and painting was always my dream. After moving from Russia to Canada I started painting. I tried different techniques and styles in various mediums, but I chose to work with oil and flowers, painting from life. I constantly study and participate in exhibitions, competitions and awards.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I always was painting from my early childhood.

I studied in art school, finished art college and Art Industrial Academy in Saint Petersburg in Russia for fashion design and my work was recognized by the most famous Russian designer Vicheslav Zaitsev and received many certificates.

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

I just started my painting career after I moved to Canada. Before, in Russia, I was in the fashion business for a few years, I had my own designer atelier.

Dahlia
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I worked with all mediums during my art life; each medium has its own language, expression and different strings and strategy. Acrylic allows one to make many texture variations. During my study for fashion design I worked with gouache a lot but this material didn’t become one of my favorites. Watercolor is so lovely and very delicate for work.

Bouquet with Lisianthus
(click to view)

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

Every medium is good in itself, it just takes time to adapt to a material. I prefer oil. It is the most flexible material for expression; it doesn’t dry too fast and it’s possible to work with layers.

How would you like to develop your career next? 

I wish to go France and Italy for landscape painting. Painting and traveling are the most wonderful things for an artist.

Flowers from Childhood
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature, especially flowers, are the most inspiring things. Just one flower can be a start point for a big floral composition.

What does procrastination look like for you?

After a weekend break, my setup time takes a while; to find all necessary things for work and have another a cup of tea.

Wedding Memories
(click to view)

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

It is just my sacred time with my myself and a good audiobook. Just ensuring my painting time is firmly in my schedule and whatever... I am painting!

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

Fresh view of my subject, to feel passion and hunger for painting. If you don’t feel it, take a break.

Spring Flowers
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Somebody’s work, anything beautiful is evocative for me.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The process of painting and appreciation by people makes me happy -- good words and especially when they want to have my painting.

Thanks, Larisa!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 5, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Brian Miller

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Brian's painting "1125: Two Tears" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.



From Brian's DPW Page:

Making flipbooks with the corners of all my notebooks. Art school. Degrees in animation and filmmaking. Professional graphic design career. Children's book illustration. Font design. Web design and development. Then a switch to programming and problem-solving. Discovering mixed media art journaling and the freedom to play with paints, ink sprays, stencils, monoprinting, collage, and mark-making. Teaching art classes online and through in-person workshops. It has all been good and fun. But I'm not sure that I really and truly FELT like an artist until I began a daily painting practice in March 2016. Committing to making a small painting each day has really allowed me to develop my personal expressive style with new freedom. (click to read more)

Instagram: @brianmillerart
Website: www.brianmillerart.com
Location: Orlando, FL USA

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been an artist all of my life. I went to art school in the 80s, and I have a degree in animation and filmmaking. But I didn’t really start painting seriously until a few years ago after my wife Debbie and I took an art workshop with Lisa Daria Kennedy. It was on abstract flowers -- but unknown to us it actually was a not-so-subtle sales pitch for daily painting. After the workshop we said let’s try creating a painting every day for a month -- then two months -- then three months… and now we have painted almost every day for the last 3 1/2 years. Over 1,250 paintings each.

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

Since my painting career didn’t really start until the last three or so years I haven’t really had any stops. Before this season, I would often want to paint and make art, but I never made the time for it. I was too busy with work and the other obligations of life.

1125: Two Tears
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I mostly paint in acrylics. When I travel, I do a little watercolor or gouache just because it is so portable.  Recently, I am dabbling in oils. I really want to paint in oils, but the lightbulb has not fully clicked yet. Right now, it doesn’t seem as comfortable as my acrylic work.

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

Acrylic has really stuck -- it is my go-to medium.

1166: Cool Drink
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m really excited about getting better with oil painting – I do want to master this medium.

Who or what inspires you most?

As far as inspiration, the pre-Impressionists, Impressionists, and post-Impressionists are like light and air to me.  A few years ago, Debbie and I were visiting the National Gallery in London.  We had been enjoying the Sainsbury wing and the works of the Old Masters (1200s – 1700s) and we crossed a walkway that took us into a room of work by Manet and Degas and Sargent – and I literally felt like I could breathe more deeply -- the light and life of the colors, the bold brushwork, the freedom to break the rules.  It was so beautiful that it made me want to cry.  These artists and others (Matisse, Van Gogh, and more contemporary artists like John Button, Kiata Mason, and Sarah Sedwick) also motivate my current fascination with painting the still life. I love being able to set up my own scene to paint from. It seems like there are endless possibilities there. I think I have become more of an observational painter lately. I like to look at something and then paint from that. I am not a literal painter, though. I will often take liberties with what I see. I feel I have the complete freedom to reinterpret the subject matter any way I want. As an artist, I am responsible for the painting, not the source material.

1251: Dots of Flowers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

For me procrastination is finding some non-essential busy work. I like to “re-organize” my studio, create an improvement on our website, setup an inventory system, or refile all the digital copies of my work as ways to divert from the anxiety of the blank canvas. All these things are needed, but I will often do one of the easy things when I should just be creating the art.

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

My wife and I wake up every morning at 5 AM, hit the coffee to brew, put on some music or a podcast, and get to our easels. We like to get our painting done first because this is what we consider the most important part of the day. The creativity feeds our souls for the day. If we waited till after work, we would have a harder time getting started. Also, I cannot underestimate the blessing it is having a spouse who is on the same journey. We are able to encourage each other.

1242: Feeling a Bit Blue
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I like to work in series. I usually gather a grouping of items to paint at the beginning of the week. I then try to paint variations on this during the week. If all else fails, I choose flowers. Not because I am a flower guy, but because they are full of variety and interesting shapes and colors. Also, let’s face it – they are beautiful to have around.

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

I try to take continuing education workshops at least twice each year.  These opportunities to immerse myself in a learning experience always invigorate my own art practice.  Also, we usually participate in several group art shows each year.  Sometimes these shows have themes that are established by the curator, other times, we get to set the themes.  Either way, working toward a show is a good exercise for me to explore new themes or techniques or push myself in some way artistically.

1182: Patterns and Shadows
(click to view)

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

Personally, for me the act of painting helps me to slow down. It is a quiet time in my day where I can observe and respond without a lot of external pressures. Until I started to paint seriously, I did not know this was missing from my life. Also, not directly about art-making, but related -- I love teaching art. We have been teaching a six-week course in daily painting at a local community art school for the last year and a half. We have had seasoned artist and beginners in our classes, and I really enjoy trying to find ways to encourage each artist with their art-making goals. Early next year Debbie and I are planning on offering a series of on-line classes.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The first thing that I need to mention is how excided I am about having a body of work. For a long part of my adult life I dreamed of having a large collection of art that I had created. But mostly it was a dream. Being able to look back and see the path of over 1,250 paintings makes me proud of what I have been able to accomplish.  On a technique specific level, I absolutely love painting the negative space around something – a tree, flower petals, or the area through a glass. I think this is so magical – how you can shape something by painting what is not there. It always makes me happy.

Thanks, Brian!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 29, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Staar Caswell

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



From Staar's DPW Page:

I am an artist living in the Okanagan and Shuswap area of BC, Canada. I enjoy a wide range of subjects from pet portraits, wildlife and landscapes. I strive to add mood and energy to each painting.

I enjoy teaching children and adult workshops. What I like best about teaching workshops is helping a student through a difficult passage in a painting and seeing the confidence gained while doing so. We can be so critical and harsh on ourselves and I consider it an honor to remind and guide others on their creative journey.

I have studied and taken workshops with Gaye Adams, Terry Isaac and Robert Bateman, and am a lifelong learner.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first memory of painting was copying a pattern out of an old wallpaper sample book which a family friend purchased, framed and hung in his home. I was pretty encouraged to continue. My high school grade 8 art teacher introduced me to acrylic paint and I was hooked.

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

I have always fit in time for painting or sketching since high school but it has only been the last seven or eight years that I have been consistently painting. I have taken workshops with Terry Isaac and Robert Bateman which has encouraged me to paint more consistently. The more consistent I am with painting everyday the more my skills grow, seems like you forget less of the nuisances of painting which makes for less "do overs" and quicker progression of the painting itself.

Above Rock Lake
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have pretty much run the gamut of mediums and have dipped my toes into most art materials. I have experimented with a looser more impressionist style, abstract, surreal and a genre that I call Intuitive painting. I often still have one on the go in studio to work on in between my realistic paintings. Realism is the genre that gives me the most sense of satisfaction and challenge.

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

Realism and intuitive painting have stuck, the rest have fallen away. Realism is the genre that gives me the most sense of satisfaction and challenge and this has been a constant in my artistic journey.

Intuitive painting can be very refreshing, I really enjoy the freedom it offers. The application of layers with no specific plan, just allowing the imagery to arise can be a nice break from the challenge of realism.

Chickadee
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to continuing my exploration of loosening up my realism with regards to landscapes and wildlife. I really love the energy that a well executed impressionistic painting can have. I am currently trying this with my 100 skyscape challenge but as the title indicates it has been a bit of a challenge to loosen up and not refine details.

Who or what inspires you most?

Robert Bateman and Terry Isaac have been a source of inspiration for me for a few decades, both of which I was able to take workshops with in 2017 and 2018. I am really enjoying following many artists on Instagram such as Chris Long and Nicki Ault.

Sky of Diamonds
(click to view)

What inspires me?

Light and form in the natural world. I will never get tired of seeing a beautiful sunset, cloud formation, forest or bird watching and catching glimpses of wildlife around me. I love seeing the natural world with dramatic lighting and trying to capture this in paint.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Painting tutorials on Youtube, researching reference materials or ways to stay motivated. Cleaning my studio and even making to do lists and schedules that I never keep.

Evening Watch, Great Horned Owl
(click to view)

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

I get up early, grab a coffee and go straight to the studio where I have a painting in progress on the easel.  I use a stay wet pallet so I just take the lid off and my paints are ready. I have learned it is easier to get started if you prepare the night before, so by making sure I have a painting started on the easel and everything readily available it is much easier.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am always on the look out for great painting ideas in my surroundings while I go about my day, looking at the art of other artists I admire, visiting galleries and reading books on composition and painting techniques are a few of the ways that spark my ideas. I also look at art work that I do not like and dissect the reason and make sure I stay away from those compositions or techniques.

Coastal Wolf
(click to view)

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

I think for me being able to switch from my realistic work to an intuitive painting when I start to feel stagnant helps. I also think trying a different style of painting or spending time just playing in my sketch book with no expected outcomes also helps to hit the reset button for me.

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

I am always learning more about composition, colour and values and how to use them in my paintings for certain effects. One of the things I have learned lately through painting consistently is a more methodical plan of attack for each painting, which is also helping reduce the amount of paintings I have to start over or paint major corrections.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I have really enjoyed looking back at my progress over the past decade which has lead to more determination to keep striving and improving. I am also enjoying teaching art and look forward to continuing and growing in this area as well.

Thanks, Staar!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 22, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Cheryl Wilson

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



From Cheryl's DPW Page:

Cheryl paints at her home in Nevada City, California. She prefers oil on canvas, and her favorite subjects are people and animals. She spent many years in public education teaching a variety of subjects and grade levels. After a long time in the classroom teaching others, she began to study and teach herself art. Now she spends her days in her studio and is very grateful for the gift of being able to spend so much of her time painting.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I loved drawing and always believed I was good at it. When I began working as a young adult, art played no part, but I always considered myself artistic. Later, when I got the opportunity to spend my days learning to paint, I never looked back. I still study and always want to get better.


Drinking Fawn
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love watercolor, pen & ink (I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher), pastel, and beautiful pencil, but oil is my favorite.



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

I feel obligated to turn up with oil paintings for the two shows I do each year, so most of my work is in oil, but I refuse to give up the others that I love.


Peach with Leaf
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Inktober is coming and I will make some contributions to that. I use a dip pen.



Who or what inspires you most?

People and animals are my favorite subjects, but I also love small scenes of nature, like an apple still on the branch. Wayne Thiebaud encourages me to take chances.



Deer Nibbles
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination makes me feel bad. I try to always avoid it because I know I will be sorry. My problems come from responsibilities of life making such demands that painting time is usurped. I don’t like that, but I can’t help it. It is not so much procrastination as interference.

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

I must learn to say no to others’ demands. (I can’t always do it.) I love Mary Engelbreit’s illustration: “No. It is a complete sentence.”



Marlene
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have tried my hand at many subjects and over time I have narrowed my focus down to a few that always delight me. I search for the faces of movie stars of the 30’s and 40’s. So glamorous. I observe and photograph the wildlife in our county, and I look for the beauty in everyday objects. I have tried to paint landscapes because they are wonderful, but I have not yet found the secret to that success.



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

Sometimes I experience burnout and nothing I do looks good to me. Then I must decide if I will power through it or take a break in order to see with new eyes. Both approaches work but I can’t say in advance which one will do the trick.



Teapot
(click to view)

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

When I first began showing my work, I felt shy about it. A fellow artist said, “Just be the best artist you are.” I did not find that very helpful then, but now I do. I am learning to trust the art I make and appreciate it even though I greatly admire artists more talented than I. I can see better now not to compare.



What makes you happiest about your art?

When people tell me they feel peace when they look at my work, I am amazed and grateful. There are people in the world I connect with in this way and I consider it a gift.

Thanks, Cheryl!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 15, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amy Whitehouse

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

From Amy's DPW Page:

Art has always been my passion, and experimenting with all kinds of media is my favorite way to spend the day. Painting, collage, mixed media, art journaling, you name it, I'll try it. Raising my four children I've tried to instill in them a love for the visual arts and music. I'm so proud of their artistic abilities and contributions. Teaching painting classes to all ages provides me the privilege of helping others create their own original artwork. Joy! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I loved drawing as a young child and would take my drawings around to neighbors asking if they’d like to buy one. The price was five cents each. Fortunately, I had kind neighbors and usually made enough to buy a gingerbread man at the bakery.

May Flowers
(click to view)

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

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

I had the good fortune to attend painting classes at age 12 where I learned the basics of working with oil paint. I painted only a little in high school and college, and even less as a young adult. Raising four children seemed to take all my resources. I began again in earnest in my late forties, taking classes and workshops at the Scottsdale Artists School.

City Lights
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

Oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media. Presently I’m painting primarily in oil or pastel. Someday I hope to investigate encasutics.

Arizona Spring
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

Vincent Van Gogh, Odilon Redon, and Wolf Kahn are a few of the artists who inspire me. Attending art exhibits and museums motivate and give new vision, as does spending time at the beach. Recently I took a workshop with Tony Allain which reignited my love for soft pastel. Tony’s work and teaching are highly inspirational.

Fantasy Garden
(click to view)

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

Making art is my priority. Life does “get in the way,” but I manage to get in my studio 5-6 days a week simply because it makes me happy to paint.

Fabulous Floral
(click to view)

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

I naturally love to experiment with materials and subjects. Currently I’m exploring more abstract themes. Sometimes I just start with patches of color on a large canvas and see where the painting wants to go.

Dreamland
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

This is easy. When I hear a buyer say to me, “I look at your painting every day and it makes me so happy,” or a variation of that idea, my heart swells.

Thanks, Amy!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 8, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Yana Golikova

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

From Yana's DPW Page:

[Painting] was the best feeling and from that time it remains this way. Moving to America brought me many opportunities to express myself as an artist and show my work. I am specializing in representational oil painting. My primary subject is Still Life, but my work also includes figure, portraiture and landscapes. I paint mostly from life and the live models. I regularly participate in exhibitions and competitions, where my work has garnered awards. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was born in Siberia, Russia. Growing up there surrounded by magnificent nature encouraged me to really appreciate it, feel it and truly love it. I could never get used to this beauty. As a young kid, every time I would see something inspiring, I was looking for a way to keep it in my memory. That is when a spark for art lit up in my heart. Painting and drawing was the best way to capture the moment and share it with others.



Mandarin
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career? What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Even though I always loved drawing and painting, it stayed as a hobby for many years. After finishing college (Business Management), I relocated to the United states which brought me the opportunity to come back to art. I started to explore different materials (graphite, colored pencils, pastel) and subjects (people, animals, landscapes). Even though I taught myself a lot I felt that it was not enough and I decided to go to art school (The Art Students' League of New York), which really helped me to grow as an artist. I had an amazing teacher who taught me representational oil painting. I also learnt a lot from my fellow students who had years of experience. My primary subject was still life but I also painted people since we always had life models.


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

While I was at school I didn’t have much time to use any other mediums but oil. Right now I mostly use oil and pastel. I like colored pencils as well but they are very time consuming which is why I don’t use them as often.

Clouds on a Sunny Day
(click to view gallery)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I tried and have almost all. The only one I might give a better try one day is Watercolor (which I also have. I’m addicted to art material haha).



Who or what inspires you most?

I cannot pick one. I always look around and find beauty everywhere. I love animals, I love to observe people’s faces, I love nature, even a fruit from the grocery store or some old vase or a jar I spotted somewhere makes me want to paint it. Also other artists’ work.

Olivia
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Social media can be very great if you can concentrate on the important content and keep track of time. I’m still working on mastering it. Also when you have several commissions at the same time but not the best photos.

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

Having a deadline or traveling plans. Not turning on the TV. Staying positive. When you are happy it’s much easier to be inspired and stay focused.

Lilacs
(click to view gallery)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I just listen to my inner self - whatever desire I have in my heart at the moment. I often paint commissions too where the decision is already made. I also save pictures that I love from the Internet and follow artists whose work I admire.


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

I often switch mediums and subject matters - it helps me to keep a “fresh view” as well as to not get burnout. Sometimes I work on few paintings at the same time. Taking workshops or watching instructional DVDs is also helpful.

Bella
(click to view)


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

There is so much more to learn and it’s ok to make mistakes in the process.


What makes you happiest about your art?

The process of creating something that was not there before is magical. Also seeing the reaction of the people who are viewing my work especially when I create custom portraits is priceless. To be able to make somebody happy with your art is a true blessing.

Thanks, Yana!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 1, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gabriele Kolb

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

From Gabriele's DPW Page:

I am a Brooklyn, New York based painter and water-colorist and have been painting since childhood. I found great satisfaction creating custom pet portraits and have been doing that for over 15 years.

After sampling colored pencils in 2017 I fell in love with the medium, and has been my medium of choice since. Working with colored pencils allows me to create highly detailed photo realistic paintings.

Tell us about how you first started painting.

Started drawing as a child, I am primarily self-taught. I attended the Fashion Institute of Design, majoring in textile design. A good deal of my work in school included floral patterns and I developed a strong interest in botanical watercolor. My passion for dog portraits started with my beautiful Golden Retriever Midas. He was getting older and I wanted to capture him on canvas before he was gone.

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

As a career, my painting started in New Mexico with my sister-in-law producing fabulous hand painted pet feeders that sold in boutiques throughout the country. After moving back to our SoHo loft, I gave up the feeders to join the artists in the neighborhood selling my pet portraits - voilĂ  SOHOPets. Now that I am retired I can devote my entire day to doing what I love.

Labradoodle
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried watercolor and acrylic, and have now found my true passion - colored pencil. I love the ability to get the fine detail to produce a photorealistic result.

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

I have, for the moment, committed completely to colored pencils, so watercolor and acrylic are on hold for the time being.

Jack Russell... lets play ball!
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have always been intrigued by pastels and looking forward to giving pastel pencils a try, as much as I love doing pet portraits I am curious to try my hand at a still life and landscapes, also pastel looks like a good medium for wild animals. I want to challenge myself to do a large painting of one of the big cats.

Who or what inspires you most?

My husband inspires me to paint everyday and he is my biggest fan and gentle critic but always encouraging. Some of the artists that have inspired me are Chuck Close for his amazing large photo realistic portraits. Bonny Snowdon's wonderful colored pencil tutorials have been an inspiration and my work has improved immeasurably with her guidance. Gemma Gilling introduced me to suede mat board, one of my favorite surfaces to work on for animals. I also learned a great deal from Cynthia Knox and Karen Hull who are all fabulous colored pencil artists.

English Bulldog
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?


Too much social media in the morning – just a few hundred more Instagram posts to review while I finish my morning cappuccino. It can steal a lot of valuable painting time. Another block comes if I have a commission to paint but have terrible photos of the subject. I find myself doing everything else but starting the work.

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

It takes discipline to paint every day, which I try to do. I am always exploring new techniques and working to expand my skills and that adventure drives me to put in the time.

Marcel
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I do many commission portraits. I get my inspiration from the photos they provide. I also spend time surfing the net for great reference photos and following the work of accomplished color pencil artists.

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

By taking on-line video classes, finding new papers, new pencils, discovering new skills, techniques and hard work.

Tee-Too
(click to view)

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

That there is so much more to learn about my new medium of colored pencils. The most important thing for me right now is working on improving my technique, so I need to paint every day to get better and better. The complexity of color layers and mixing values to achieve precise effects is daunting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The moment the eyes are done and the subject is looking back at me, I can feel the animal's spirit, that’s magic! Great reviews from clients and fans on-line are a joy as well. I feel extremely grateful to be doing what I love to do!

Thanks, Gabriele!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 25, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jennifer Krentz

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

From Jennifer's DPW Page:

Having grown up in an artistic household, art has always been a part of my life. I've studied, taught, sold, bought, etc, etc. Not a day goes by that I don't think about painting or making something.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up in an artistic family so was always around it and had access to materials. It has just been a part of life for as long as I’ve known. I don’t ever recall a decision to paint… artistic urges were always present.

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

Oh, gosh, yes. Other things in life would take the forefront. Other life paths called to me, but I always came back to art in one way or another, whether selling my own, or selling others, or teaching, or just making things for myself. Creativity was often the loyal friend I probably took for granted and didn’t always appreciate as much as I should have.

Starlight
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love anything that comes in colors. Watercolor, gouache, oil, colored pencil, ink, crayons, ceramic paint, paper, fabric, clay… I’ve experimented with a lot. Back when I was in college some 30+ years ago, I started painting on cookies with food coloring. I still do them to this day. If something could be painted, I’ve probably tried it… even if it was using the wrong paint on the wrong surface. I suppose I would say I love to do both “serious” and fun. I love a good still life, but I also love drawing/painting characters.

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

The main mediums that have stuck are oil and gouache. I rediscovered gouache a few years ago when I was invited to participate in the Giant Robot Post-It Show. I hadn’t really used it much since college but rediscovered something special about it. It works with how I work.


Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I inherited my mother’s kiln and am hoping to get it hooked up one day. I have fond memories of working with clay.

Who or what inspires you most?

Everything. Everything can be looked at from a different angle and seen a different way. Everything talks to us in some way.

The Aftermath
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?


Argh… procrastination for me comes when I think there is only one way forward and someone is waiting at the end to bust my chops for not getting it right. It stops me cold… and then I need to remind myself that this is fun, and that there are many roads that take you to the end, and all roads are valid, just as all ends are valid.

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

It used to be scheduling time and sticking to it, but that’s not a problem anymore now that I don’t have school-age kids. Now, it’s just telling the art demons to be quiet when they’re being particularly loud and want me to stop. Sometimes I encourage them to paint with me.

Spring Ahead
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I see something that is intriguing and feel I need to paint it. I like riddles, so sometimes I’ll see something that looks challenging and I have to figure out how to do it. I’m always painting in my mind. A lot of the time, the ideas are just dropped into my head. I’m very appreciative of that.

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

Taking a break helps, long and short. If one painting isn’t working, work on another. Using different mediums helps, as well as changing up the genres. I just keep doing stuff and the ideas and excitement will generally come.

Lychees
(click to view)

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

I’d say the biggest thing I’ve realized in my later years was that what I viewed as my mistakes were really my style. I’ve also realized I’m nowhere near finished, thank goodness.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest is that I still love doing it, and I’m still improving every day. There are still wonderful surprises around the corner. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self a lot of this, but I’m glad I’ve realized now. Better late than never!

Thanks, Jennifer!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 18, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jeff Strzelczyk

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

From Jeff's DPW Page:

Hello Car Lovers. I am an amateur automotive artist using 100% acrylics on canvas. I love car design and found my calling with my Car Portraits and other Automotive art designs. I started out when I bought a Mustang early in 2018 and decided to paint it. From there it just took off and within 8 months have created over 100 individual paintings of all sizes. Most working off pictures from online but I do commission work for personal automobiles. I also have dabbling with movie cars and car chases to expand my portfolio. Thank you for viewing my works.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I'm a little different than a lot of artists on the site as I had only been painting for about six or seven years when I met my girlfriend who is also an artist. Before that I mainly did craft projects with paper and decorating old coffee tables using spray paint and stencils. I didn't realize that I could paint because I was never one to enjoy drawing. I started painting cars about a year and a half ago when I did my own car, then I just kept going.

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

For me painting is strictly a hobby. I'm a physical therapist by trade and still work full time, painting in the evenings and on weekends. There hasn't been any major stops along the way unless I need to step away for a few days. As long as people enjoy the cars I will keep painting.

Green Bug
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

As far as mediums I have only used acrylics. Oils are too messy and water colors don't allow me to get the straight lines I need for the cars. I started with just painting "car portraits" but have branched into painting race scenes, movie car chases, movie cars, etc. All my paintings with the exception of a few have some sort of automobile in them.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I do want to experiment with pours at some point and incorporate them into the car portraits. I think that would be fun.

Dream Road Trip
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Mustangs, Corvettes, GTOs, Challengers, VWs, etc. My girlfriend is my best inspiration and my best critic. Without her I wouldn't be painting.

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

Like I mentioned this is a hobby for me so when I feel like painting I paint. When I don't feel like it I do some of the other things I like to do like cycling, reading, puzzles. Of course there's the whole day job thing that keeps me busy as well.

Vintage Speed
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint the cars I would love to drive someday. I'm also a huge movie buff so anything car related in the movies is fair game. Lately I have been finding ways to incorporate a car into whatever "Call to Artist" events come around in my area such as a Hippy Bus for a Woodstock theme or cars named after animals for a zoo animal event. I'm always up for a challenge and for the most part have no fear when I paint.

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

The nice thing about cars is that there are plenty of gearheads out there that love their four wheeled babies. I don't think that will ever change.

Let's Keep Going
(click to view)

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

Windshield wipers, headlights and tire treads are hard.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Seeing a classic car come to life on the canvas. Seeing people enjoy what I do. Enjoying that I have this ability.

Winter Sting
(click to view)

Thanks, Jeff!

© 2019 Sophie Marine