Friday, August 17, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lisa Sotero

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


Creative expression has always been a part of my life but oil painting didn't take hold until my early 30's. About seven years in came kids and a blip in the radar...

Now, I paint because I need to, satisfying something inside. Iconic and ordinary subject draw me, whether it's a gadget, an animal or landscape. Sunlight and cast shadows, reflective and rusty surfaces, angles and curves. I'm passionate about all of these things. They make me want to paint.

I have studied at Scottsdale Art School under Susan Diehl and Henry Stinson as well as San Francisco Bay Area artists Timothy Horn, Barbara Bailey-Porter and Keith Wicks. In 2010, I began showing my work at Scottsdale Fine Art, AZ and Wright Gallery-Kona, Hawaii in 2014.
Raised in Southern California, I now make home in Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay where I'm fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty. Family, friends, volunteering, traveling and painting satisfy my soul... And great food!

Please follow me on my instagram account; lisasoterofineart.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

We always had art and crafts going on in our home. Woodworking in the garage with my Dad, sewing, drawing, screen printing.  But my great aunt, is the one who inspired my painting, she was a SF Bay Area artist active in the 60’s and 70’s. In college I took many art classes while studying design and architecture but it wasn’t until the late 80’s that oil painting entered my life.

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

I had no easel time when my kids came along but they were the perfect reason to bust out poster paints, watercolors, paper and glue etc., introducing them to the arts early on. Those valuable times filled a void and helped develop my children into incredibly talented artists. About 5 months ago I got the green light to pursue my painting passion more fully, that’s when I joined Daily PaintWorks.

Vanilla Creams
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I will try just about anything but primarily, oil, watercolor, acrylic. Screen printing, mono-printing, paper making, ceramics, photography, welding, woodworking, jewelry, even basket making. I love being a “maker”.

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

Oil is my favorite, I love the texture of the paint, how it blends. And even though it’s not a good thing, when the lid is cracked on my brush washer the smell of mineral spirits gives me a charge. Watercolor “fell away” but my niece recently treated me to a workshop in hand-mixing watercolors from raw pigment. It’s revitalized my interest and daily sketching is becoming a habit.

Vintage Dresses
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

Non-representational work has always interested me and to feel natural, comfortable working in this genre is a goal.

What or who inspires you most? 

The old axiom, “It’s not what you paint, it’s how you paint it”, makes just about anything worthy of painting. Artists who inspire me are my sister, Beth Lauterbach (my foremost critic and owner of Scottsdale Fine Art), my great-aunt, Sorolla, Bongart, Rothko, Diebenkorn, Hockney, the Society of Six, many of the Daily Painters and on and on.

Golden Gate
(click to view)
What does procrastination look like for you?

Watching YouTube videos of artists at work.

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

Even though painting can consume my thoughts, I‘ve marked specific days on my  calendar. Otherwise distractions draw me away.
1950's Triumph
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 


I’m visually stimulated by small, ordinary subjects to grand vistas. Whether it's an iconic gadget, an animal or landscape, color, patterns, sunlight, cast shadows, reflective and rusty surfaces, angles and curves. I'm passionate about all of these things, they make me want to paint.

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

Taking occasional workshops, online tutorials, and visiting other artists on DPW.

Charlie
(click to view)

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

In technique, I’m trying to loosen up. Sometimes I simply have to paint left handed to lose the edges. I’m also learning about the way the internet and social media is changing the art market.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Just doing it, creating!!! It’s definitely a bonus when others appreciate what I’ve done.

Thanks, Lisa!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 9, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kristina Sellers

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

From Kristina's DPW Gallery:

Growing up in a modest home, in what some would call a nondescript suburb, was really a good thing for me. Turns out when you have to look a little harder to find beauty, you appreciate it. This has shaped my relationship with art. I have been called a "slice of life" painter and I love it! Helping people to see beauty in ordinary things is a wonderful privilege. In my college years I pursued art as a career, quickly realizing becoming an art teacher or a graphic designer seemed to be what I was being funneled towards. Both are worthy fields, but not what I wanted to do. I took a break from school, during which time I met and married my husband, joining him in his real estate business. Some years later I took a plein air class on a whim. I had never tried oil paints before and didn't know anything about plein air painting. So this was a double "Aha!" moment. I loved the tactile quality of oil paint and the adventure of being outdoors. I was hooked. (click to continue reading)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was an obvious artist from a very young age. But surprisingly, I never tried oil painting. While visiting a local gallery, I noticed they offered workshops. I signed up for a plein air class with artist Eric Jacobsen. The experience of delving into the feel of oil paint and the adventure of plein air combined was almost too much! I was totally hooked.

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

I was a real estate agent alongside my husband for many years. Ever since that first plein air workshop, my husband and I made it a goal for me to do art full time. I went full time a few years ago and haven't looked back!

Red Roof
(click to view)

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

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

Although I started with plein air, I enjoy working in my studio, or from live model sessions. I have self imposed painting seasons. When the weather in Oregon is great, I'm outside painting and socializing with fellow artists. By the time fall weather rolls around, I'm ready to take some time to myself and hunker down in my studio for a few months, exploring ideas and working from photos I've take along the way.

I've experimented quite a bit with palette knife painting. I find it interesting that most artists discount it as a tool. It's difficult to do an entire painting that way and you have to be ok with giving up control of your drawing within the painting, but it can have such a vibrant outcome.

Spring Bouquet
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Currently, I'm working on trying to marry my brushwork and palette knife work. For the most part, I don't like it when I see a painting that's been done with brushes and has a couple swipes with the palette knife. To me, it's a bit jarring. So I'm trying to figure out how I can harmonize that in my own work.

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm endlessly inspired by color and light. I know it's a simplistic answer but it's so true! I would call myself a colorist for sure. And when I am out plein air painting I care far more about catching a fleeting light effect than painting every tree in the landscape before me. I love mystery, so I guess following what makes me curious is very exciting to me.

Summer Mixer
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I definitely go through times when I experience a sort of stage fright. I'll do anything else but paint. I'll gesso panels, watch videos about painting, go through endless amounts of photos trying to decide which one to paint. But paint... oh no! Usually I beg my husband to give me an assignment. I don't like the assignments he gives, but it spurs me on to make a decision to work on something.

I have tremendous support and kinship with fellow artists in my community. That has been a wonderful surprise for me. I figured before I got started that being an artist would be a bit isolating. My fellow artists keep me inspired and help me keep my perspective in check.

Pomelo
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I try to bring something fresh to the table every time I paint. For me, growth and following that bit of mystery is the reason I'm doing this. I want to stay engaged and hopefully that translates to engaging work for everyone to enjoy. I still actively pursue knowledge and training and take workshops. I never really turn off the "artist switch". By that I mean that even if I'm watching a show or going for a drive, I'm noticing things. Making mental notes of why things work together, or what would make them work better together.

Rowena Sunset
(click to view)

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

Sometimes it seems like I'm one of those performers that is spinning dozens of dishes at one time. I'm learning complicated heady stuff, but if I don't keep up with drawing, some plates are gonna come crashing down in my work. Or if I'm thinking only about color and value, my composition plate is going to get wobbly. It seems like learning about painting requires you to constantly get back to the basics and nail those skills down better each time.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm very happy when people key in on what I am trying to communicate in a painting. When they really connect and have an emotional response, I've done something worthy.

Thanks, Kristina!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 2, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sue Sneeringer

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

From Sue's DPW Gallery:

I have been an artist since I can remember. I love to paint as much as I can. I adore mid-century modern kitsch! (click to view Sue's gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been drawing and painting since I can remember. For fun, my brother and sister and I would spend hours drawing away. We loved Mad magazine and would copy all the characters from the magazine. Both my brother and sister are incredible artists as well. This activity was strongly encouraged by our parents probably because it kept us quiet, ha ha. I have always considered myself an artist and studied art in both high school and college.

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

Too many to count. Since I discovered Daily Paintworks, I know I will never stop creating art in some fashion from here on. DPW was the right thing at the right time to get me inspired to start painting regularly again. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Twilight on First Avenue
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have a lot of experience with photography, having worked in custom photo labs for years. This lead me to my love of realism in painting. I want to get back to painting with oils as soon as I get a proper studio with good ventilation.

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

Acrylics are my go to paints, especially when painting on a daily basis. I have attempted pastels but could never conquer them, I am so in awe of Susan Bjerke and her pastel works.

Flowers
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I love what people are doing with collaging and silk screening. Some day I will be the Banksy of Southern California.

Who or what inspires you most?

Other artists seem to inspire me most. My go to favorites are Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Kahlo, David Hockney, Alice Neel, Kenton Nelson, Andy Warhol, Lee Krasner, Claire Basler, Barbara Kruger, Shag, El Gato Gomez, Donna Mibus, I could go on and on. I try to go to all the museum exhibits and art shows that I can. I recently went to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, where real people become works of art. It has been going for 85 years and is incredible. I look at all the paintings on DPW everyday and see what everyone is up to. I follow artists on Instagram and love when they post their processes.

Arrow Motel
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Me being lazy. I try to work through it every day.

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

I schedule my day so that I have a few hours every afternoon to paint. Since painting is so enjoyable, it’s something to look forward to.

Vintage L.A. Scene
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Most of my paintings come from pictures I have taken or from old Kodachrome slides I collect off of eBay. I am obsessed with mid-century America. I love the architecture, advertising, cars, you name it. Most of my paintings seem to be about old signs, places or scenes.

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

I like to experiment with different painting surfaces and sizes. I am very fortunate to live 2 blocks from an art supply store and go there a lot to see what they have that is new. I usually come home with new colors, brushes and markers to use on my work.  I love to see what other artists are buying there and see what they are working on.

Cadillac Fence Hardware
(click to view)

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

By being a member of the DPW community, I am learning something new every day. By painting every day, I learn what works and what doesn’t in my artwork. I am trying new things and ways of painting that I never thought of before. It is also interesting to see what sells and what doesn’t. I don’t create a painting with the idea that it will sell, I am painting really just to please myself.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I cannot lie, I love when people like my paintings and when they buy them. I love when I finish a painting and I can get started on the next one.

Thanks, Sue!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 26, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Edward Sprafkin

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


From Edward's DPW Gallery:

Edward Sprafkin is a landscape painter whose favorite subjects are the changing terrain and dramatic light of the Southwestern landscape. He strives to create a great sense of depth and atmosphere in his paintings regardless of the painting's scale.

Edward's artistic interest sparked at a very young age. He was the child with a crayon in hand, copying drawings out of the Sunday Funny Pages and later creating characters of his own. After graduating high school Ed went on to study cartooning and comic book art.

Cartooning fell by the wayside shortly after being introduced to plein air painting in 2009. Edward began participating in plein air events and became a sought-after instructor at nearby art museums and visual art centers while residing in his home state of New Jersey.

Edward is just as passionate about teaching as he is for painting. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and finds inspiration in seeing students progress onward to new skill levels.

Edward relocated to Arizona in 2014 and quickly found new inspiration in the pursuit of landscape painting.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting?

I'm asked this question often and It's hard to put an exact date on when I started because I've been drawing since I can remember and it seemed to be a natural progression as a creative kid moving on from crayons to watercolor then pastel and acrylics and later oil. Whether I was fully aware of it or not, I was always an artist.

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

Yes, all the time! Stops and starts seem to be built into the artist's lifestyle by default. There are always varying degrees of successes and crashes, lucrative times and slow but the one constant is the drive to create.

Mission Roses
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Just about all of them including the big four: watercolor, pastel, acrylic, and oil. I enjoy painting and drawing from live models as well as being out in nature. I can't forget to mention still-life painting. Still-life is a great way to learn about light and form and all of the fundamentals of painting.

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

I spent many years using pastel and I still love the medium. However, I backed off of using pastel full time because one of the galleries that I was showing with decided not to accept pastel anymore due to the framing involved. I picked up oil in its place and haven't revisited pastel in awhile. Oil was great for many years too but I never liked the chemistry with all of the different mediums, solvents, and fat over lean rules. Not to mention the horrible smell. I know some artists love the smell of oils but it always bothered me. I did give the water-mixable oils a try but didn't find them to be much of an advantage. Maybe they have improved since I last tried but then again, I'm not really looking for another medium at this time.

For me, acrylic has always been the most intuitive and liberating out of all of the mediums. There are no rules, no limit to substrates, no limit to layering, no limit of application techniques, no solvents, no smell and they clean up easily, and you don't have to wait very long for them to dry. Even though many artists tirelessly try to compare them to oil or expect them to be a replacement for oil, they are not. Acrylic is its own entity. Acrylic can mimic the look of an oil or watercolor but acrylic is best thought of as acrylic. There will be fewer hang-ups if an artist goes in with that mindset when first using the medium.

Campfire & Petroglyphs
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Acrylic is my primary medium and because of its versatility, there are so many techniques and approaches I've yet to explore. Oil paint is a very close second. There are still many great reasons to use oil. One being, plein air painting in the dry Arizona heat. I do use acrylic often when plein air painting but during the really hot or breezy days, oil is less fussy about the weather conditions.

Who or what inspires you most?

Human interaction and mother nature are my biggest inspirations. There's an energy and creative exchange when working with a live model. That model's character and uniqueness, features, attire/style, and personality are all intriguing and inspiring. When outdoors nature is awe-inspiring and quite often presents a humbling, learnable experience.

Saguaro Lake
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is more of an issue in the studio. It's such an easy trap to get stuck into but in the end, it takes far less energy to just start on the project at hand rather than find ways to dance around the inevitable. Funny how procrastination is never an issue when working in plein air or with a live model.

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

A clean studio helps but that is a never-ending battle. Now I just aim to keep my studio workspace functional so I can jump in at any time. There's always a painting in progress on the easel and thumbnail sketches planned for the next one in line. Plein air days are the most productive. Not always the most successful but the most productive because then I'm totally detached and disconnected from the little time-suckers of a homebound studio; internet, emails, etc.

Fleeting Moments
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas can spark from just about anywhere, but mostly it comes from an experience or interaction of some sort. When outdoors, it could be a specific location, a light or weather effect, or a mood. I will then determine the story of the painting and begin designing a composition and value plan that best tells that story. When working with a model an idea can spark from the lighting, a costume, perhaps a suggested narrative with supporting props.

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

I think burnout is built-in with the previously mentioned stops and starts. If you're a full-time artist I'm sure you have experienced burnout at one time or another. Outside of a commission deadline, giving yourself permission to take a day or two off once in a while is totally allowed and completely okay. I don't recommend taking off much longer than that because the longer you're away the tougher it is to get back into the swing of things. I enjoy working from both figure and landscape. I think painting or drawing from a variety of subject matter helps to keep things fresh. Traveling and exploring new locations can certainly jumpstart a creative funk.

Light Catchers
(click to view)

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

That the carrot might be right in front of your nose but it will always be just shy of reach. Meaning the level we aspire to will always exceed our skills. The great masters were never content as they were always striving to one-up their last painting. More than ever I feel the need to dig deep and keep on pushing.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I thoroughly enjoy the creation process. The subject selection, the planning, building upon the composition and telling the story. I'm completely over the moon when a viewer deeply connects with a piece.

Thanks, Edward!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 19, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Susan Bjerke

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


From Susan's DPW Gallery:

I've been an artist since someone gave me crayons in the early years and told me not to write on the walls. I've done mixed media, watercolors, ceramics, mosaic art, sketching and encaustics. It wasn't until I was forced into retirement by the sale of my company where I worked to support my art supply habit that I found Pastels. I began researching pastels by looking at Youtube for artists good at what they do and willing to share how they do it. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting years and years ago... before I could even walk, but truly began in earnest when my company, for whom I was a business analyst, sold themselves to a bigger company. I was casting around to fill my days in my forced retirement, putzing with my art supplies randomly until on December 22, 2017 I bought Carol Marine’s book, Daily Painting. I’ve been painting non-stop ever since. Carol saved me from trying to find another job or doing silly stuff for retirement.

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

Of course I did, I painted for a while when my kids were toddlers; entered shows and had some success, but not enough financially so, I did what a lot of us do, went to work. At least I could support my art supply habit (not to mention feeding children). I’ve kept my hand in at sketching and some painting, but never focused on art as a habit again until last year.

Cruise Sunset
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oh my gosh, what haven’t I played with? Ceramics, encaustics, oil pastels, watercolors, mosaics, printmaking, collage, mixed media, colored pencils, alcohol inks, and jewelry making. I have a love affair with all mediums especially with wild colors.

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

Right now, Pastel’s are my medium of choice. I love the way they are so immediate and so intimate. At the end of a painting session I feel as though my hands have been through Holi or the Hindu festival of color. The other thing that is cool about pastels is that you can re-do something you find wrong... days, weeks, years later. Nothing like watercolors where if you make a large mistake, it’s best to start over. Lots of these mediums have fallen away because of the need for studio space which is limited for me.

Off Ramp
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’ve just purchased oils, canvases and brushes and they are sitting in my space staring at me... Daring me to start. I am intimidated by them since I haven’t painted in oils since High School. I’ll get it though, I figure it only takes a few hundred failures to master a medium.

Who or what inspires you most?

Well, I have to say Carol Marine is high on the list since I started painting non-stop after reading her book. I read or heard that a person must paint 500 paintings in order to be accomplished... so I have miles to go before reaching that goal. Finally other artists inspire me. I love John Singer Sargent (who doesn’t?) Wolf Kahn, Terri Ford, Marla Baggetta, Chuck Close, Degas... and on and on. I love taking another artist’s color palette and trying it on one of my paintings.

Monsoon Season
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Not putting on my artist’s apron and digging in.

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

I just do it. No excuses.

Near Yellowstone
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Having traveled the US for both work and pleasure I have thousands of photographs which spark the ideas. I also roam the house for still life objects that I may want to attempt to make 3D on the 2D paper... I like a challenge of water, metal... distance, color so I often use that to drive a painting. Sometimes I’m looking to invoke a feeling of calm or an eerie mood and it’s all dependent on my mood.

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

I think as long as you find the work entertaining, it will stay fresh. I love a constant challenge be it changing the native color to a more vibrant one, using black and white, trying to render shiny or waves. Most of us are so happy to have the ability, opportunity and desire to create and when you have that, I believe the work reflects that thrill.

Night Lights
(click to view)

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

Wow, everything! I am learning to blog (omg), use social media (I’m looking at you Instagram!) and marketing. Not to mention, just painting. I’ve got so much to learn... and the minute you stop learning, aren’t you dead?

What makes you happiest about your art?

Another everything answer! Isn’t it amazing that when you do watercolors, you work at keeping the whites the white of the paper and progress to darks. And isn’t it amazing that when you do pastels, you lay in the darks and layer to try to preserve the dark values you put in for shadows, dark trees and more. Art is the best head game in the world... a puzzle a day and I love the challenge. When you meet the challenge, you have another something you want to share with everyone.

Thanks, Susan!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Friday, July 13, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Heather Bennett

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

From Heather's DPW Gallery:

Hello! I'm Heather Hingst Bennett...

Thank you for your interest in my work.

I am an artist with a background in web/graphic design. Most days you will find me at my easel in my home studio located in Omaha, Nebraska.

I consider myself to be a self-taught painter. I painted my first still life on August 27, 2009 (it's really bad). But I kept painting and painting and sold an apple painting for $1 on Ebay and that made me really happy, so I kept painting.

I use spontaneous brushwork and splashes of paint to create my still life paintings.

I hope my paintings look happy and carefree and make you smile.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I loved art classes in middle/high school and my art teacher at that time had a huge influence on me. After high school, I found myself studying graphic design and worked as a graphic designer/web designer and illustrator for many, many years.

I had always wanted to paint still life and I even had a box of treasures that I carried from one home to the next labeled "Still Life Props." I just had no idea how to get started. Then I started noticing the daily painters. They painted simple objects in a small format, sold the paintings on eBay... and I thought maybe I could do that!

I painted my first still life since high school on August 27, 2009. It was rough, but there was something about the process and the possibility of becoming a daily painter that made me keep going.

In January 2010, I had acquired a set of oil paints and I actually felt confident enough about what I was painting to sell the pieces on eBay. I didn't get very much but enough to keep buying the supplies to paint.

Verdant and Sunshiny
(click to view)

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

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

I have had many stops and starts. As of right now, I have painted 493 paintings in the 8 years I have been painting. I so regret not having the focus to just stick to painting. Even just for one year!

Earlier this year I read "The One Thing" by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papason and I'm on a 66 day habit building routine. I simply want to paint every day for 66 days. I'm on day 15 and my first day was with the painting "Weary, Cheeky, and Wise." Things got a little lax on the 4th of July and I didn't actually finish a painting that day, but I did paint.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

The mediums I have experimented with are oil, watercolor, acrylic, encaustic, textile, colored pencil and torn paper collage.

I have experimented creating non-representational art in oil, acrylic, and textiles.

Mirthful
(click to view)

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


For the moment, the oils, watercolor, acrylic, and textiles have stuck.

Along with my painting I create non-representational art quilts. Somehow my non-representational work in oils and acrylic never seem to look finished but they are fun to create.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I'm looking forward to exploring plein air painting. I took a class a few years ago, but I'm still really intimidated by the process.

Flowers for Hattie
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm currently combing my two loves, painting florals and reading. My floral paintings are named after passages I find in books I read. I'm calling the series "Posy and Prose." Many times the phrases I collect from the books I read inspire the flowers I paint and how I pose them, or what colors I use, etc.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

On particularly busy days I find it hard to start a painting because I'm afraid I won't have enough time to get "in the zone" to paint.

Frou Frou
(click to view)

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

I need to start painting by 8 am or earlier. The sooner in the morning the better, because I know I'm going to get interrupted. This is really important in the summer when my son is out of school and wants me to drive him places. Next summer he'll be sixteen so it won't be as much of a problem.

Lately I have been keeping track of how long each painting takes. So I can prove to myself, this really won't take you that long -- get painting!

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have been on a flower painting binge for the past few years. What draws me to flowers is the wide variety of subject matter and colors. My goal is to paint them as simply as I can.

I also love to paint clothes. This stems from my high school days when I wanted to be a fashion illustrator and my first job out college as a garment flats illustrator for Cabela's. So, that's why you see an occasional garment in with the flowers.

Swimwear
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 what has kept my art fresh has been trying new mediums. Currently I feel like my time spent with watercolors has helped me develop my current style in acrylics.

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

For years I tried to emulate the artists I admire. Now I'm learning what works for me and coming up with my own process.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest about my art is sharing it.

Thanks, Heather!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Friday, July 6, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Belinda Bell

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Belinda's painting, "#11 Abstract Flowers" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.


Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I took a tole painting class in the late 80s. I wasn't very good at it because I couldn't stay in the lines or use the assigned color for each shape. My pieces were always a bit out of control with wild colors and additional marks in the "traced" design. It was a learning curve for sure... I learned that tole painting was not for me. I have kept a tole painting piece from that period in my life so that when I need a bit of a chuckle and sweet reminder of how far I have come, I bring it out, and love on it.

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

I start and stop painting all the time. Life happens to be one of those things that throws curve balls your way when it feels the urge. In between the starts and stops of my artwork I gather experience and ideas that sometimes end up in my paintings. Even when I have a stop, and before I start, I still don't seem to get my dishes done.

#11 Abstract Flowers
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have played with pastels, oil, acrylic, encaustic material, plaster, colored pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, and water soluble pencils.

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

I have stayed with oils and acrylics with charcoal and pencils for drawing.

#18 Abstract Flowers
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Exploration takes place on a daily basis for me with the materials at hand. Sometimes I free myself with finger and hand painting using acrylics.

Who or what inspires you most?

Inspiration comes from my BB Flower Farm, travel, and people. I get so darn excited about painting that I have to actually tell myself to breathe.

Looking North
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me are the dirty dishes in the sink on a regular basis... I can't be doing household duties in place of painting... my clients don't want my clean dishes to grace their walls.

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

I paint nearly everyday... I have to... it is something that is in my soul.

Farmer's Lament - Thistle
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas for a painting are non-stop for me. They come to me at light speed which creates a struggle at times on which idea to choose. I will ask myself when I paint "what if?".

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

I keep my work fresh if I keep my sense of humor running through the brush. I often paint with my non-dominant hand so that my work is organic and quirky. I change subjects to paint so that it keeps me on my toes.

Dear John
(click to view)

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

I am learning to paint for the sake of creative expression. I often look for humor, quirkiness, and energy when I am painting so that my audience will have something to talk about while viewing my work. Whether the audience likes the work or not, if they are having a conversation either way regarding the work, then it has evoked emotion .... mission accomplished.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest about my art when I can intertwine quirky, color, and meaningfulness in a body of work.

Thanks, Belinda!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 28, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Marian Parsons

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started doing decorative painting and murals as a business about 10 years ago, but my business quickly evolved into refinishing furniture, selling antiques, writing, and photography.  It was only recently that I decided to pursue fine art painting and I am hooked!  I still have so much to learn and so many areas where I need to grow.  I don’t claim to be a great artist, but I do claim to love it and commit to becoming the best I can be.

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

I just started selling my artwork in the fall of 2017, so I would say I’m just getting started!  My blog audience has been very encouraging and supportive and I have received a warm welcome from the art community as well.

Untitled
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with watercolor, but I fell in love with oils last fall.  I’m currently working on graphite sketches, watercolors, and oils.

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

I have not found a love to pastels as of yet!  Oil is definitely my favorite at this point.

No. 46 of #100oilstills
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am very excited about exploring watercolor more.  I love and hate how hard it can be to control!  I hope to get a handle on it through lots of practice.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m a go-getter, so I don’t procrastinate very often!  When I do, I usually just pick something else to work on that is more exciting to me. 

No. 33 of #100oilstills Series
(click to view)

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

I have let my family know it’s important to me, so they are good about giving me the time I need in my studio.  I also fit it in whenever and wherever I can.  If all I can do is paint for 15 minutes, then I’ll set up an apple to paint (which is why I’ve painted so many apples!)  It is a commitment and I know I need to take it seriously or it will keep getting pushed to the back burner. 

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I’m inspired by nature, as I think many artists are, and I also love faces.  I find portraits very compelling, especially bringing old black and white photos to life.  I am definitely still passively searching for my style, though.  I can see my work evolving, but I don’t know where it’s going, yet. 

No 23 of the #100oilstills Series
(click to view)

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

When I feel like I’m stuck, I try painting or drawing something to me that I’ve avoided, because I think it’s beyond my skill.  Some of my favorite paintings and sketches are ones that were difficult for me.  It gives me confidence to keep pushing forward. 

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

I am focusing on the fundamentals of color, values, perspective, etc.  It’s easy for me to get frustrated with myself when a piece doesn’t turn out at all the way I envision and I know having a good grip on the fundamentals will really help to correct those mistakes in future paintings. 

No. 24 of the #100oilstills series
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love that it’s changed the way I look at the world.  My eye is constantly searching for shape, values, and colors and I find myself pondering those things as I study everyday objects or look out the window on a road trip.  And, I will admit, I love art supplies!  I enjoy shopping for and trying out new supplies almost as much as I like creating something!

Thanks, Marian!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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