Thursday, May 23, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Phyllis McAdams

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

From Phyllis's DPW Gallery Page:

Born and raised in England, I dabbled in art while growing up but it wasn't until I emigrated to the United States that I began my formal art education. After settling in California, I went back to school and earned a B.F.A in Painting and Drawing from San Jose State University. I showed my work for a number of years in galleries on the West Coast before relocating with my family to Southeast Georgia. There, I exhibited extensively in galleries on the East coast as well as in numerous Juried and Invitational shows across the country. I have painted professionally for over thirty years, my preferred medium is oil and my subjects are primarily still life, portrait and the figure. Also, because we have now returned to California and live in close proximity to Yosemite National Park, I have begun to enjoy the outdoors and the challenges of plein air painting.

When did you first start drawing and painting?

As a child growing up in England, I spent many rainy days cooped up indoors. On those days I entertained myself by drawing. Even on nice days I drew outside on the pavement with a piece of chalk or limestone. I always drew fashion figures, skaters and ballerinas; my mother taught me to draw teacups and saucers which I still like to do. I didn’t begin to paint until years later after immigrating to the United States. I first took an Adult Education painting class and from there was encouraged to continue studying art.

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

No. Once I started showing in galleries and selling my work I didn’t take any long breaks.

Old Tin Cup and Coffee Pot
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Most of my experimentation was done in college art classes. I’ve used oils, watercolors, charcoal, pastels, pen and ink, gouache, acrylics using an airbrush and sculpture. I also experimented with silkscreen, etching, scratch board and photography. The various genres I’ve enjoyed are portrait, the figure, still life, landscape, seascapes, street scenes and interiors.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

The printmaking media completely fell away. Now I work mostly with oils and once in a while with some of the other mediums. My main subjects are still life, portrait and the figure. I do some plein air painting once a month with a group of artists but my forte is setting up a still life in my studio and painting it from life.

Teapot Reflections with Grapes
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

At the moment there’s nothing more I am interested in trying.

Who or what inspires you most?

As a still life painter, I’m often inspired by the ordinary objects I see around the house or while rummaging through thrift shops, garage sales and antique stores. I’ve collected boxes of props that have inspired me to paint them at one time or another. Even the produce section of the grocery store with its colorful fruits and veggies can be inspirational. During my art career, I’ve worked mostly on life size trompe l’oeil paintings that often take days or even weeks to complete. But now, thanks to Daily Paintworks, I’m also inspired to paint smaller, faster, more spontaneously and more often.

Sweet Peppers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I procrastinate by doing other things when I can’t decide on something interesting to paint.

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

Making sure necessary obligations are taken care of so I can go into the studio and concentrate just on my art.

A Window in Time
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your painting?

Sometimes my ideas are unexpected such as a fleeting view of coffee mugs or cowboy hats hanging on a wall in the background of a television show, or seeing an arrangement of colors while thumbing through a home d├ęcor magazine, or just a random everyday object casting its shadow in the sunlight. When looking for still life ideas, I’m usually attracted to bright colors, abstract shapes, a variety of textures and by the way each element reacts when affected by light.   

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

I frequently alternate my painting styles from loose and expressive to tight realism or trompe l’oeil. I change my support sizes from large to medium or small and a genre change sometimes helps. I also belong to a portrait group; we meet once a week to paint from the live model.

Girl with the New Pearl Earring
(click to view)

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

I’m learning to paint much smaller and looser and with less detail than my usual work. I’m also learning to use the computer more for marketing purposes.

 What makes you happiest about your work?

When I’m working on something I’m really excited about and when it’s finished I actually love it without having to wipe out or redo areas to make it work. I’m also very happy when someone purchases my artwork and then lets me know how much they enjoy it – that makes my day.

Thanks, Phyllis!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 16, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Robert Anke

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

From Robert's DPW Gallery Page:

Dad, husband, artist, teacher, mountain biker, and singer of songs in the shower.

Robert's website - robertanke.com
Robert's Instagram - instagram.com/robertthomasanke/

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I always took art classes in college in addition to my regular load just to stay sane. I started painting then.



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

For sure. I’m always in the process of creating something, but the mediums I immerse myself in vary over the years. Painting is one of the things I always come back to though.



Dawn Over Diablo
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The ones that stick out as having really captured my interest for long enough to feel like I got past the novice stage would be painting, drawing, ceramics, video game map design, comic strips, mountain bike trail design, scratchboard, and ink block printing. I also really like the creative processes in cooking, and composing music.


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

Painting, drawing and ceramics always stick. Anything related to computers falls away. As much as I love designing and composing with tech, it just taxes my body too much, the older I get.

Carquinez Strait
(click to view)


Who or what inspires you most?

I find artistic inspiration in a lot of places, but lately I find it in representational painters who use an economy of strokes. Asian ink brush work is the epitome of this style, but Western examples of that approach are where I currently draw inspiration. Hester Berry’s work and Mike Hernandez’ gouache stuff are two examples.


What does procrastination look like for you?

Screens. Love them and hate them. I try not to sit down in any comfortable chair with a screen until I’ve mtn biked or gone to the gym, cooked dinner, painted, and finished any chores for that day.

Water and Sky
(click to view)



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

Finish dinner and go straight to painting. Do not sit down, do not pass go, do not collect $200.



How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?


I’m an avid mtn biker and the scenery lends itself to the landscapes I often paint. I take a lot of photos while riding.

Black Oak Valley
(click to view)

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

Like most people, I would imagine, I only work in media I’m enjoying. But sometimes I have an additional, specific goal to improve in a particular medium, which can make it feel like work. In those cases, giving myself breaks by creating other things really helps.


What makes you happiest about your art?

The creative process: finishing a piece, starting all over, coming up with ideas, getting lost in the work and coming up for air sometime later. Love it.

Rothko Conversation
(click to view)

Thanks, Robert!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 9, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judith Elder

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Judith's painting "Paris No. 115" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Judith's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a self-taught acrylic artist. Eleven years ago I figured out what I wanted to do. As a child I liked to make things -- from "clay pots" in the mud in our woodsy backyard to "perfume" from rose petals. Then there were the floor plans I'd sketch, often using the letters of the alphabet for the shape of the house. I have always liked arts and crafts, architecture, colors, and texture. It was worth the wait to find myself as an artist, and the journey was a good one.​

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting in 2008. I started by copying a few paintings of Monet and Van Gogh and then painting from photos I had taken. Around the same time, an artists' co-op was opening in the town where I lived at the time, so I envisioned having paintings for sale in that gallery. That vision became reality and I am still a member of Two Rivers Gallery.

My interest in doing something creative began early... my mother always took my sisters and me to cultural events -- ballets, art museums, symphony concerts, etc. -- because she loved them and wanted us to benefit from them, also. She was always sewing, painting, doing needlework, etc., so we were always surrounded with creativity and would dabble in arts and crafts. Even as a ten-year-old I liked architecture. On family drives I would gaze upon grand old houses, and I would draw floor plans just for fun.

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

I have not stopped painting since 2008.

Paris No. 115
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried watercolors a bit and want to try oils someday. I tried a number of different genres at first… landscapes, cityscapes, people, still lifes, and interiors.

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

The one that has “stuck” is anything to do with architecture -- old buildings and cityscapes, interiors, and architecture details. While visiting Paris and London a couple times in the past several years, I took tons of photos (over 2,000 on my last trip) of mostly buildings to paint from.

I have a Paris Series that I constantly add to, and I’m also adding to my London Series.

London No. 13
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to explore figurative painting. I’m going to stay with acrylics for now; oils someday, though.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by the artwork of many artists, such as Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, and Utrillo. A current artist I admire is Edward B. Gordon of Germany. I often spend time online looking at styles, colors, brushwork, etc., of artists. (I’m addicted to Pinterest.)

The other thing that I’m inspired by is the architecture of London and Paris.

Paris No. 59
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I am distracted by my computer.

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

My “studio” is on one-half of my dining room table (my sewing machine is on the other side) and has a clear view to the living room where my reading husband usually sits. I paint; he reads; we chat.

Paris No. 90
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

With my huge stash of photos, I never run out of ideas.

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

Once in awhile I will try a Van Gogh or Matisse style of painting, or any number of artists' styles. Also, since I paint mostly small sizes, I will sometimes paint a larger size for variety.

A Good Place for Breakfast, Osaka
(click to view)

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

I am always trying to learn to be a better artist, whether it is working on shadows and light, or improving on perspective.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Two things… first, I just enjoy the process of painting and seeing how it turns out. Second, I’m happy when I sell a painting because that means that someone wants to have that painting around because it makes them happy!

Thanks, Judith!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 2, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol Myer

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

From Carol's DPW Gallery Page:

I use luscious oil paints, with deep, saturated color to interpret on canvas the nuances of color and light that I have trained my eye to 'see' in the world that surrounds us. Color changes according to the source of light, the surfaces and surroundings that reflect it, the atmosphere, the time of day and the season. I find it challenging, fascinating and rewarding to engage this study every day, and I will never tire of it. In fact, even when not painting, I see colors bloom all around me with enhanced hues. I feel excitement and anticipation as I take my brush and/or palette knife and watch the painting as it comes to life.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I loved the smell of Vano starch and tempera, used in finger painting in Kindergarten. As a very young girl, I would always use any money I earned or received on a ‘Paint by Number’ set.

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

After taking a number of drawing and painting courses in college, I took a long break to work in interior design, while my husband and I were raising young daughters. Then my mother died as I was turning forty. I’ve been painting steadily ever since.

Untitled
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Watercolor, acrylic, gouache, until landing on oil, it’s so versatile. 

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

When I discovered the Hensche colorist movement, I was swooning. At first I took classes with Susan Sarback, and then Camille Przewodek, who has been the major influence in my work, specifically color theory. Now I only dabble in other mediums.

Sunbathing
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Just got back from the Plein Air Conference in San Francisco, thanks to two professional artists there, I am intrigued with gouache's possibilities for travel.

Who or what inspires you most?

Seeing luminous color in the light and shadow falling on people, flowers, and the landscape, then interpreting that in my own way.

Untitled

What does procrastination look like for you?

I easily make time for painting, I can’t not do it. Procrastination is blowing off a workout so I can paint.

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

Not an issue. I have a studio in my large living room by the bay window. I live in a beautiful area with Mediterranean weather, flowers in my garden, and figure sessions in my area. My husband is supportive and is happy to help in any capacity.  He draws well too. I like to be balanced and spend time with family and friends, but since this is my only job, I spend hours and hours standing blissfully at my easel.

Pacheco Pond
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I only have to open my eyes and look. I think I should probably take a little more time and consideration in my composition, but I feel anxious to get going and just dive in.

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

I take workshops with master artists that I admire. That is a sure fire burnout cure for me. I learn something new every day, and infuse some insight or experimentation into the next big thing.

Curtis
(click to view)

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

Today, inspired by Aimee Erickson’s demo last weekend, I was playing with backlit figures, and the way the light dances and glows around them. That was fun.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The passion to make something new and beautiful.  I also like the community of artists and art admirers. Wherever I go, there are others speaking this same language. Passion to make something new and beautiful.

Thanks, Carol!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 25, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alina Adamczyk

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

From Alina's DPW Gallery Page:

I was born in Kracow, a magical city considered to be the centre of Polish academic, cultural and artistic life.

Strongly influenced by its rich history, medieval landmarks, abundance of museums and art galleries, I decided to study conservation of art, focusing on architecture. I developed an interest in drawing and painting after finding a stash of old sketches and watercolour paintings by my grandfather. At that time however painting was more of a hobby for me, and I decided to change my career to social work.

I moved to New Zealand in 2012, where I live in Richmond in sunny Tasman region. Overwhelmed by the beauty of New Zealand as well as the lifestyle it offers, I joined a local art group when I re-discovered my true passion – painting. I've been painting mainly in oils for few years now and am a member of local art gallery Wall to Wall Art. My works have been displayed at local exhibitions and in local cafe's and businesses and number of my works have found new homes in New Zealand and international private collections.

I love to paint New Zealand landscapes, birds and flowers. My paintings are richly coloured and full of light and I am drawn towards realism.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I remember when I was a child there was a very special person who inspired me. It was my grandfather. The funny thing is that I never met him. He died in a car crash a few years before I was even born. But to me he was like some amazing mythical creature, everybody around me knew him and admired him. He was talked about with a lot of respect and love. I knew that he used to work designing roads and bridges, but one night I discovered that he was also an artist.

I sometimes stayed at my grandmas and I loved going through her things (she had those amazing dresses with sequins and ostrich feathers). One night when I was going through her cupboards and wardrobes I came across a massive stash of beautiful charcoal sketches and watercolors painted by my granddad. I couldn't take my eyes off them, they were beautiful: churches, cathedrals and castles. When I asked my grandma about it she told me about granddad's love for painting and she gave me his old set of watercolors and pastels. That is how I first started painting.

Puponga
(click to view)

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

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

Even though I loved drawing and painting since I was a little girl, I didn't take it seriously until around three years ago. I think I haven't done any art since I finished high school.

I went to a very specialized high school where I did qualification in conservation of art. Drawing, painting and sculpting was our everyday bread back at school, but it all went a bit out the window when I chose to study social work. After doing my degree I went to Ireland where I worked as a preschool teacher and the closest I got to art was doing potato stamping.

Then I moved to New Zealand and this is when I really got inspired to start painting again. I picked up my paintbrush around three years ago and I haven't stopped since. Initially, it was just a leisure activity, once or twice a week just for fun, but with time it become much more than that.

Kingfisher
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I tried painting in watercolors, acrylics and oils, I also had some fun using airbrush. The only subject I paint is nature. I manly paint landscapes, flowers and birds.

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

Definitely oils, I really like painting with fast drying oils: alkyds. I am a bit impatient, so conventional oils were taking a bit too long for me to dry. Acrylics on the other hand are sometimes drying too fast for me to achieve some of the blurry background effects that I really like using for my flowers.

Pelorus River
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

One medium that I haven't really explored and I think could fit my style really well are pastels and pastel pencils and I plan to try them one day. 

Who or what inspires you most? 

My main inspiration is nature. I am absolutely in love with New Zealand and its beauty. It's incredible how you can travel fifty km and come across so many different type of landscapes, it's very unique. Whenever I go for a ride and look around all I want to do is stop and take reference photos for my paintings every few meters... I like big wide panoramic scenes and I also love little things like reflection of light on a winter berry or a flower on bloom.

As to who inspires me... well there are too many artists that I admire to talk about, but all of them are realist artists.

As to old masters, my favorite must be Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin; also Albert Bierstadt and others form Hudson River School. Talking about contemporary artists, well, I am mainly aware of ones that are a bit more active on social media. My favorite artist of all must be Andrew Tishler, he is originally form Australia but lives in New Zealand, not only he is an amazing artist but he also likes to share his talent through You Tube videos and tutorials. I also love landscapes by another NZ artist: Ivan Clarke, as well as flowers by Lyn Diefenbach and Amber Emm.

Fresh as Freesias
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I consider myself to be at the beginning of my artistic journey and I read somewhere that it takes around 10,000 hours to become a master at something. To me the main issue here is that I often tell myself I am not ready for something, that I should leave it for later when I get better at things... when I become a master... well it may take another seven years, right? So I realize that it doesn't make much sense, putting the things away, because as an artist I may never be fully satisfied with everything I do and there will always be room to improve or stretch so I try to fight that feeling and just get on with things.

Kereru
(click to view)

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

Time, hahahaha... I never have time... I am a wife, mum to two beautiful little girls (seven and three) and I work as a social worker supporting refugee families four days a week.

No, but seriously, when I first started painting it was only once per week at adult education evening classes on Mondays from 6-9pm. But I got hooked and I started thinking about when can I find time to paint. Initially, I started stealing some time on Saturdays and Sundays when my little one was having a midday nap (and I put a movie on for the older one - bad mother!). But soon it was't enough and I came to the conclusion that I don't really need to sit in front of a movie in the evenings as painting is my own way to relax.

Now I try to paint every day in the evenings after I put my kids to bed, it's often between 9pm and midnight, and I also paint on Tuesdays during the day when I don't do my main job (although since I joined local collective gallery, I also need to do shifts there two Tuesdays per month). I also now love wet, cold weekends as they are a good excuse to stay at home and paint. :)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

I see things and places that inspire me.

Wharariki Beach Stream
(click to view)

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

I haven't been painting long enough to experience burnout, ask me in ten years.

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

Marketing! Seriously, I had no idea how many skills an artist needs to acquire to become successful. It's not only about being good at painting... which I constantly work on. It's about making people notice you among so many thousands of other talented people, it's graphic design, social media, web design, marketing, accounting, interpersonal skills (especially if, like me, you work at a gallery trying to literally sell art to people), it's huge and it's necessary to get where I want to be.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Just creating art, the process itself. To me art is like yoga or meditation for some people, it takes me to a different place. When I paint I don't think about what happened at work or what I need to buy for dinner tomorrow, I lose track of time and it's only me and the painting in front of me and the colors.

Thanks, Alina!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 18, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sara Gray

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

From Sara's DPW Gallery Page:

I am both a painter and professional photographer living in Maine. My painting is strongly influenced by my 20+ years working as a photographer. The natural landscape has always been my source of inspiration and painting has given me the ability to capture the landscape in a more tactile way. I love texture, color and expressive brushwork.

I work both on location and from photographs, they both have their benefits and I don't always have the luxury of time to spend the necessary time to paint on location. Luckily I love photographing and have a plethora of material!!

Recently I have been splitting my time between Maine and Vermont. These are two amazingly beautiful states and two areas that have played a huge role in my artistic life. What brings me joy is sharing the beauty that I witness everyday with others.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting abut ten years ago I had been a professional photographer for over twenty years at that point and I had always said I wanted to learn how to paint. My grandmother was an amazing portrait artist and my father was a watercolorist in addition to being a doctor and having a Morgan Horse Farm. I was always intimidated by painting and drawing, I joked that I couldn't draw and that's why I was a photographer, joking aside there was some truth to that! My husband bought me paints and brushes for Christmas and he had arranged for an artist friend of ours to give me lessons and that's how it began.

I live in Falmouth, Maine and we have the Maine College of Art in Portland. I took many Continuing Studies classes in drawing, still life painting, figure, portrait and Plein Air. I met some wonderful people in those classes and we decided to start painting at a friends studio once a week. We had models during the winter and in the summer we would paint outside. Over the years, I took several Plein Air Workshops with some very talented Plein Air painters, the most recent being with Tim Horn, Mark Boedges, Jon Redmond and Lori Putnam. I recently completed a 6 month mentorship with Lori Putnam. I don't have a formal art degree but I do feel like I have received amazing art instruction over the years and I am very grateful to all of the artists who have helped me along the way.

Portland Headlight - Cape Elizabeth, ME
(click to view)

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

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

Once I began painting, I never really stopped. It became more about the time and consistency I put into it. Three years ago, I ben to split my time between Maine and Vermont. My father had passed away six years prior and my mother was living on her own in Vermont and was at the point where she needed live in help to remain in her home. My daughter was in college and my husband was currently living in Georgie on a new business venture so I felt I had the time to spend with her. I feel like it has been during this time that I have been much more consistent win my painting. I stopped working as professional photographer to enable me to spend the time with her and painting became my creative outlet. My mother and I would go on drives, I would photograph with my phone and then I would paint from those photos while she napped in the afternoon. It was during this time I signed up with Daily Paintworks so that I had an outlet to sell all of the paintings I was accumulating!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began painting with acrylics but quickly moved into oils whenI began taking classes at The Maine College of Art. I have a travel sketchbook where I use pen and ink and watercolors, but I love painting with oils and haven't had a desire to switch. I feel as thought I still have so much yet to learn with the medium.

I have painted landscapes, still life and figure. Painting the landscape is what has really resonated with me. I was a landscape photographer for years so the hunt for beautiful areas and light are familiar to me and has been a part of the process that I love. light is often so fleeting. It is possible to capture many photographs during a sunset or sunrise but painting one complete painting is often not possible. This has led to many frustrating outings for me, but I am learning, I am challenged and just being outside and bearing witness to so many beautiful moments is really what makes me happy. A successful painting is a bonus, and those successes create a feeling that is so satisfying that it keeps bringing me out time and time again.

Little River - Freeport, ME
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I find my greatest sources of inspiration are being outside in nature and viewing work of other artists. We are so fortunate to have access to the internet because there is a wealth of information at our fingertips and access to thousands of artists both contemporary and deceased. Not only can you see their work but you can learn about them as an artist and their process as well. Living in Maine, I have access to some wonderful galleries and Museums. One of my favorites is the Farnsworth in Rockland. In addition to a collection that includes George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Alex Katz... It is home to the Wyeth center which has a permanent collection of three generations of Wyeth paintings. And then I can walk across the street to a local gallery where I can see some of my favorite contemporary artists, Bo Bartlett, Connie Hayes and Colin Page. The internet is wonderful but nothing compares to seeing paintings in person. Maine has such a rich history of attracting painters and I feel incredibly fortunate to have access to so many venues throughout the state where I can view amazing artwork in person.

However, my biggest source of inspiration is being outside in nature. It is so challenging to paint Plain Air, often it's too cold or too hot, buggy, windy, wet... it can be so frustrating, but it is so fun and what you see and experience becomes part of the painting. Unlike a photograph, I am painting a period of time not a fraction of a second. I have more time to put myself into the painting. I feel the painting becomes a mixture of the emotions of the session whether they are of joy, frustration, awe... it becomes apparent in the brushwork, in the colors used, in the thickness of the paint, the detail or lack of... The painting becomes so much about my personal experience with the subject, the place, that a piece of art is created that only I could've created and I think that is an incredibly special aspect of painting.

Rocks & Surf - Two Lights State Park - Maine
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

As wonderful as the internet is at being one of my sources of inspiration, it is also my greatest, by far, sources of procrastination. What I intend to be a few minutes of checking emails and social media can easily turn into an hour of procrastination! Also when I start madly cleaning the house I know I am procrastinating!

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

I partook in three, thirty day painting challenges over the past six months and they helped me immensely in creating a discipline and a habit of painting everyday. Whether or not I was going to paint wasn't a question, the question was what am I going to paint? I had made a commitment so I couldn't paint because of travel, etc. but in my everyday life, it just became part of my daily routine. I tend to work much better and efficiently when I make this type of commitment. I have to do more work in making those commitments to myself and not having to be a part of an online community to follow through, but having a community that is right alongside me is really and inspiration and morale booster. Painting can be such a solitary endeavor and being part of a community is really valuable to me. Also having a reason to paint, whether it is a commission, painting for a show, etc... that makes me more able to make the time for myself to paint.

Mckown Point - Boothbay Harbor, ME
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

This is one of my biggest challenges. I became more creative during the thirty day challenges. Wether didn't always permit me to paint outside and I had challenged myself to paint from life everyday so I started painting still lifes. My daughter had taken a ceramics class and we had a lot of her beautiful pottery around the house that I started pairing with fruit in my paintings. After doing this just a couple of time and having to paint everyday a theme emerged that I probably would never have thought of had I not been painting everyday. I was forced to come up with new ideas. I have often found that I am not always inspired to paint but just by the act of painting, something is learned or experienced that will often lead to an exploration of a place, subject or idea.

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

Watching videos, taking a workshop, using new tools, painting in new locations, trying a new genre, painting on different surfaces or different size boards, creating exercises for myself where I focus on one thing when I paint, whether it is values, painting with different color palettes, or one exercise I learned from Lori Putnam that really helped me to loosen up was to do an eight brushstroke painting before beginning my actual painting. This allows you to just concentrate e on shapes and values and not getting caught up in the details. These are all tools that have helped me in the past.

Zinnias
(click to view)

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

I am really trying to concentrate on painting from life now. The majority of my landscape paintings had previously been from photographs but within the last six months I have really made a shift to Plein Air. I will still use photos but I feel as though there is an emotional element when painting outside that is present that isn't as prevalent when painting from a photo I am really trying to work on compositions and using Notans to help me determine lights and shadow and to help me with creating stronger compositions. I always thought composition was a strength I had coming into painting with a photography background. It definitely helped but I still have to get over the obstacle of realizing I don't have to be so literal in what I paint. I can move things around and leave things out to make a stronger painting. It will take me time to become comfortable with this concept!

What makes you happiest about your art?

Before I began painting, I always thought how of you start at a blank canvas and begin? Now that I have been painting, I find the beginning phase to be the most exciting time of a painting. I love how I can take nothing and create something that is completely unique to me. The choice in subject matter, composition, color choice, brushstrokes, what to include and what to leave out, these are all choices and artists decisions that are unique to me. The process of painting makes me happy, meeting people who are passionate about painting makes me happy, but when I complete a painting that I am happy with and it resonates with someone else emotionally, that makes me really happy!

Thanks, Sara!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 11, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jeri Ireland

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

From Jeri's DPW Gallery Page:

Like so many painters, I spent years in the fields of advertising, illustration and corporate design. What a wonderful way to make a living!

Now I am concentrating on my fine art. It is different - rather than being given a task I am on my own, trying to conceive and produce. My goal is to show my love of the medium in each image. I love the feel of pushing paint around.

JeriIreland.com

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I started drawing as a child. Both parents attended Art Center in Pasadena, but didn’t pursue careers in art. They always made sure we had pens, pencils and paper as kids. When it came time for me to go to college they wouldn’t let me go to Pasadena, so I attended Sonoma State and California College of Arts and Crafts.

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

I painted some in college, where I was an illustration/graphic design major, but then stopped painting. As a graphic designer in the old days I could pump out comps in magic markers – they called me the Comp Queen at the agency I worked for. I also did a lot of fashion illustration. So my drawing continued to progress and I could produce anything in black and white, but I didn’t paint. I had a successful design studio for many years but all my art was commercial. And of course, once Photoshop and Illustrator came into play I used those.

Looking back, I might have painted more earlier with some traditional instruction. When I was in college the emphasis was on “feeling”. All art was supposed to be an inner expression of yourself and just spring out on its own accord. No help with traditional tried and true methods, which I have since studied on my own. No emulating the masters. Learning color mean cutting up Josef Albers squares and combining them. Just an expensive art free-for-all. Luckily I had some other instructors for anatomy and life drawing who stressed basics. We studied Gray’s anatomy and had to learn every bone and muscle. That was truly helpful and served me well in my career in graphics.

The Little Sentinel
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In college, I preferred pen and ink. Most of my later illustrations were graphite or charcoal. My first forays back into painting a few years ago were in watercolors. But I love oils and the way they feel on a canvas. They are also quite forgiving (at least they are now that I am able to handle them a little better!).

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

I tried pastels a while back – loved them but hated the feel of the dust on my hands so I had to give them up!

Girl with Pail
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

At this point I’m going to stick with oils. As long as I can feel myself improving they are challenging and fun.

Who or what inspires you most? 

I love the impressionists. And of course I am influenced by Sarolla, Fechin, Sargent. Franz Klein appeals to my graphic nature. Dixon and Payne. Bill Cramer, Quang Ho, Liepke are some favs as well.

Pa'u Rider 3
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Now that I have time to paint and not worry about making a living – I really don’t procrastinate. I guess that is the result of being a commercial artist for so long. Deadlines don’t wait. I never had the luxury of “waiting for the muse” when a client was waiting. 

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

My old design studio is now my painting studio. It is separate from the main house so I can head up there and go to work with no interruptions. It is my own little domain. I’ll put on some music and time flies by.

Untitled
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have a huge collection of reference photos I’ve taken over the years. I am mostly driven by the effects of light, so I’ll usually choose something based on that criteria.

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

I try to work fast and am finally getting familiar enough with my paints that I can draw with them instead of paint with them. I am still experimenting with different techniques and “looks”, trying to decide which is the best direction for me. In looking at work I’ve done, I really prefer the ones where I can see that the process was immediate rather than labored. I’ve killed many a painting by working it to death.

Paniolo
(click to view)

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

My biggest revelation has come directly from daily painting. I don’t wait or spend time trying to figure out what to paint. I just paint. Anything. Everything. Every time I put paint on my brush I learn something more.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the feel of paint. I like how it slips and slides and I love brushstrokes. My favorite part is the execution. If I get a good painting out of it that is a bonus!

Thanks, Jeri!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 4, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Monique Morin Matson

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

I have always expressed myself through art. Creativity was encouraged through my childhood upbringing. My mother was an artist and inspired everyone around her to express themselves through art. So, while I do not have any formal training outside of my high school art class, art has been a part of my life since birth. It was in 2010, that I decided to develop my art into a profession.

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

Yes, of course. I am an artist, horse breeder, mother, and a wife. While I've always expressed myself through art, it wasn't until 2010 that I was able to produce my art with some consistency. Since then, I have been able to explore various mediums. In 2014, I was introduced to scratchboard by my son. Scratchboard immediately captivated my interest and I have spent the last five years developing my skills. Scratchboard is now my primary focus.

Caracal
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I have always been inspired by animals (and sometimes people). In the most traditional sense, the mediums I have explored are pen and ink, acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils, photography, and scratchboard. However, I have been able to use my creativity through a variety of untraditional mediums such as hand-decorated sugar cubes, custom children's table sets and horse jumps, and through the breeding of sport horses.

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

As I have explored and developed as an artist, I've found scratchboard and breeding horses is my niche in the art world. 


Tiger
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I have yet to explore oils and pastels, but really look forward to having the opportunity to try them out at some point.


Who or what inspires you most? 

Color, nature and emotions are my primary inspiration.  I enjoy manipulating images and colors to convey or elicit a feeling for the viewer.

Dik-dik
(click to view)


What does procrastination look like for you?

Like most people, I find my daily chores have the tendency to distract me from my work.  My greatest challenge is learning how to balance my time between my art and my daily routine.

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

I work very hard throughout the day to make sure that I get my daily chores done, so that when inspiration strikes, I have the freedom to create art.

Tender Moment
(click to view)


How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am constantly looking for subjects that emote. Typically, I use animal and people as my subjects. When I want to try new genres, I participate in monthly themed challenges put on by my social media groups. These groups have really pushed me to grow as an artist and try new things.

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

Inspiration is never far away. When I feel suck, I take a walk outside, play with my animals, and take photos of the surrounding nature. There is always something that will catch my eye, whether it be the local squirrel terrorizing my garden or the serene hummingbirds resting to drink from the feeder.
Other times, I just take a break for a day.

Patience
(click to view)


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

As an artist, I am constantly learning and developing my technique. However, my current focus is on devoting more time to my art so I can produce higher quality scratchboards with more depth and expression. Additionally, I am learning how to promote and develop my social media and online presence.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when I learn that my art has positively impacted one of my collectors. Through the years, collectors have periodically messaged me about a piece that I created and how it has touched them or came into their life at the right time.

Harpy Eagle
(click to view)

Thanks, Monique!

© 2019 Sophie Marine