Thursday, June 28, 2012

DPW Spotlight Interview: Angela Moulton

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. 

To enter to win Angela Moulton's painting "Chickadee with Blossoms, No. 2," go to and click on the Spotlight Giveaway button in the top-left corner of the website.

From Angela Moulton's DPW gallery:
Angela Moulton has been a professional artist for nine years.  She specializes in oil painting and is inspired and paints still lifes, nature, animals, children, interiors and landscapes. Angela splits her time between Illinois and Idaho. 
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I’ve always been extremely creative. I was raised in a home where creativity was encouraged. My father is an engineer and physiologist and my mother a designer. We always had a lot of stuff at our house - stuff for building forts, making art, decorating cakes, sewing, wood projects, science experiments, etc. I was the oldest of five and would involve my siblings and the neighborhood children in my creative endeavors.

Chickadee with Blossoms, No. 2

(click here to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking the "Artist Spotlight and Giveaway" button!

I had worked in the world of banking and finance throughout my adult life. In 2004, my sister told me about a lady selling her turtle’s paintings on eBay. I thought to myself, “If a turtle can sell paintings, then I certainly should be able to!”

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

Like many things in childhood, the paints got put away after high school. But I’ve been painting almost daily since 2004.

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’ve experimented with acrylics, pastel, and oil paints. Also with graphite, charcoal, and ink. Oil painting is my specialty. I occasionally work with acrylics and still use graphite and ink for sketching.

I enjoy pastel immensely. I don’t see myself tiring of oils. But if I did, pastel would probably be my second choice medium. I prefer sketching in ink. I like the boldness, contrast, and permanence.

As far as genres, I paint mostly alla prima (wet on wet) and prefer still life, birds, and the figure. I sometimes paint landscapes. I’ve dabbled in abstract art and am inspired by many artists in this genre. I sometimes blur the lines between abstraction and real images in painting.

Geraniums on the Porch
(click here to see original image)

There’s such joy and whimsy in your strokes, which manage to be both strong, yet light-handed. What can you tell us about how you developed your particular style?

If you asked my husband, he would say my style completely fits my personality. I am not a fussy person and I move with confidence and sometimes boldness through life. On a more technical note, I plan a lot. I sometimes spend 90% of the painting process in the planning and prepping phase - sketching, mixing paints, and experimenting.

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

First, procrastination looks like too much time spent online. It’s really a big time waster. Having an online business, I have to be online. I have a timer I keep on my shelf.  It’s one of those $3 ones you just turn. I use my timer whenever I need to set a time limit.


Second, I have to set aside blocks of time for art. I can’t stop and start every 15 minutes. I use gloves, and painting clothes, smocks, painting pants, etc… I cannot switch back and forth between my paint time and the rest of my life without wasting a ton of time. I don’t answer the phone during this time unless it’s one of my family or a major business contact.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My paintings are inspired by something I see or do, by feelings, memories, and photos from magazines, books, and art. I love going to art galleries and museums.

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

I try to mix things up often. If I get stuck in a rut, I just break out. I paint something entirely different. I aim to have my paintings not look alike. Personally, I can’t imagine ever getting tired of oil paints. But I am not above abandoning it for something else entirely – say collage or sculpture or even music – rather than burn out or get stuck in a rut. I would even go as far to say I would give up art entirely, at least for a while, rather than stay in a rut.

Strawberries from the Fridge
(click here to see original image)

I think my attitude keeps me away from burnout. Knowing I can and would quit, if I felt I should, actually prevents me from burnout – in an ironic sort of way.

On a less dramatic note, a new color tube of paint would probably do the trick.

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

The daily painting format is so important. I study a lot. But without practice, nothing gets better! Right now, my practice includes color experimentation, drafting skills – animals and birds, the figure, the portrait, architecture, and improving compositions.

Bluebird No. 14
(click here to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest is the freedom and individuality I access via my art. I used to work the financial markets hours, which aren’t bad. But with three children and two homes at opposite ends of the country (a ranch and city house), I have intentionally become an artist.

One day I asked myself what career would make me happy. I realized that art fit my life, and that I had life to give to the practice of art.

Thanks, Angela!

© Jennifer Newcomb Marine

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