Thursday, February 23, 2012

Daily Paintworks Interviews: Carol Marine

From Carol Marine’s DPW Gallery page
Carol began daily painting in 2006 and has thoroughly enjoyed the freedom gained by painting small and often. She feels strongly that if there is a secret to improving, it's painting every day. She teaches daily painting workshops around the country and currently shows her work in Arizona, Texas, and San Miguel, Mexico. Carol’s work has been featured in local and national magazines, including Southwest Art, and several online magazines.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I’ve been doing art since I was a little kid. Whenever we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up everyone in my class would answer for me: “Oh Carol? She wants to be an artist.”

I started painting in earnest in college. I landed on oils my second year and fell completely in love. They have a lovely, buttery texture, and a forgiveness that is… forgiving. I love that I can wipe off and redo a section of a painting that isn’t working, or sometimes the whole thing and start over. The thing I love best about oil is the variety of edges I can make. I spend a lot of time playing around with edges.

(See larger image here.)

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

I was lucky enough to meet and marry the man of my dreams during my last year of college. He had enough faith in me to insist I stay home and paint while he earned a living for us. Sounds great, I know, but the 5 years that followed were pretty tough. My art education up to that point was paltry  so most of what I painted was just bad. I was also doing really large work, and stretching all my own canvas, and so each painting was a huge investment. When they failed I would get really depressed and either stay in bed or clean my house.

After a while I decided to give up painting and become a web designer. That lasted a couple of years before I realized for several reasons it wasn’t for me. I did some pretty major soul searching at that point and finally gave myself the goal of doing 10 paintings in 6 months (which is really funny now since I do one a day) and take them to my favorite gallery in town. I decided ahead of time that if the gallery wasn’t interested I would go to beauty school and learn how to cut hair.

(See original image here.)

Fortunately, the gallery took some paintings and they started selling. It was a few years later that I first heard about daily painting and got started with that. With daily painting my career really took off. I’ve been doing it ever since – just over 5 years.

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

I haven’t tried them all, but probably most. Pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, pastel, oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic, oil, several kinds of printmaking, ceramics, batik, welding, building with foam core, wood, wire, mixed media … I know I’ll think of more as soon as I turn this in. Oil is pretty much the only one that has stuck, though I occasionally play around with others. For some reason I’ve been wanting to experiment with acrylic lately. A few of my students have brought it to class and the consistency of some of the new stuff is intriguing to me.

(See larger image here.)

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

I used to be really bad about procrastinating. I would spend hours on my computer piddling around instead of painting. I think it takes being really excited about what I’m doing next to stay on track. That and I don’t allow myself to answer emails in the morning. I can only check and make sure the world didn’t end overnight, flag the emails I need to answer, and then it’s time to get to work.

How do you keep art "fresh" for yourself as a daily painter? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

People ask me often if I ever get bored of still life, and I have to admit, I occasionally feel like I’ve painted apples every which way they could ever be painted! So I take a little break and do something else – maybe art related, maybe not. When I go back in my studio and I ask myself what I want to paint … it’s still life I am most excited about. Inevitably I think of a new angle on apples and I realize again there are endless possibilities!

(See larger image here.)

I have learned that regular breaks are essential to avoiding burnout. If I can allow myself to get thoroughly bored – that’s when the ideas start flowing. It’s tough to give myself time to get bored, especially when there are expectations on me, but otherwise I risk burnout. I’ve been there and it’s not a good place.

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

I have to admit lately I’ve been very focused on teaching and refining my lessons. I’m learning a lot about how to get an idea across without being overwhelming; how to motivate rather than discourage. Teaching is tough but also wonderfully rewarding.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love still life because I am in full control of my setup. This as opposed to plein air where you drive around until half the day is gone and then settle on something not quite right and have to move a few trees and a hill to make it work. 

(See larger image here.)
I can move the cups around in my shadowbox until they work and choose from a giant pile of apples to find just the right one. I love playing around with all these building blocks and coming up with all kinds of fun compositions and color combinations.

I love the challenge of taking a stick with hairs on the end, rubbing it around in a colored, gooey mess, then spreading that on a flat surface and making it look like something real. Like an apple through glass. Or a ceramic pig. For me painting is endlessly fascinating!

Thanks, Carol!

© 2012 Jennifer Newcomb Marine

Jennifer Newcomb Marine is the new Marketing and Community Manager of Daily Paintworks. She's an author and blogging and marketing coach.


  1. great interview! it made me smile when you said you would give it up and go to "beauty school"....
    I can just imagine what kind of hair you would have cut with those creative hands of yours.....

  2. A great story. love hearing all the ways we end up living the life's we love.

  3. Carol is the sweetest artist you could ever meet! I will never forget her and her superior workshops on daily painting--I am a graduate of two of them! I learned so much from her teaching!

  4. Loved learning more about Carol. New to DPW and have admired her work. Now, i admire her wisdom too.

    Also clicked on "author" link and admire the interviewer/interviewee relationship! Kudos, you, two!

  5. Great interview! For those that are waiting to get into a workshop with's worth it, and any dime you can save to pay for it is worth it. I attended a workshop with Carol where she wasn't paid a dime, yet she taught with the same energy and passion as one that was paid a million dollars. priceless.

  6. Wow - I can really relate. It's good to hear that many of us struggle with the same thoughts of just throwing in the towel. But, then I think, what would I do instead? Nothing comes to mind that would be as satisfying!

  7. Even though I've probably heard all those stories and thoughts, I loved reading them again! May you always find something exciting to paint!

  8. Loved reading this and gleaning little hints of what not to do....piddle away on the computer.....oops Gotta run...
    BTW your apple paintings never get old!!!