Thursday, August 30, 2012

DPW Spotlight Interview: David Forks

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

To enter to win David Forks' painting, "Sundown in the Valley," go to Daily Paintworks and click on the Spotlight Giveaway button in the top-left corner of the website.

From David's DPW Gallery page:
I have gotten a late start at it, but it has been my life long dream to paint for a living. I started painting daily in late 2008. Now that my children have grown and I have become a grandfather, the time to make that dream a reality is here. I am mainly a landscape painter and love the Texas Hill Country and the Trans Pecos, but will paint just about anything.
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have wanted to be a painter my entire life and was confident that one day I would make it happen. After 30 years, I was still saying one day I will become a painter. The loss of my oldest brother to cancer was a wake up call and provided the impetus for me do things I always wanted. I began in 2007 mainly as a weekend warrior, then in October 2008 I started my blog, started painting everyday and haven't stopped since.

Sundown in the Valley
(click here to see original image)

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

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

Yes, I had always painted a little. Sometimes a few paintings in a year and sometimes a painting every few years. Before I started painting in 2007, I had gone through nearly a decade of almost no painting at all.

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 started with watercolor when I was very young, then switched to acrylic for years while I rarely painted. When I became dedicated to painting in 2007, I again switched to oil. I still enjoy painting in acrylic on occasion and may experiment with mixed media acrylic/oil and possibly watercolor and pastel.

Early April
(click here to see original image)

You capture such beautiful, sun-drenched, wide open Southwestern vistas in your work. First, how do you find your settings? And secondly, how do you go about framing your compositions when you have so much "there" to choose from?

Thank you! I have spent years making trips through the Texas Hill country and the trans Pecos, including the Big Bend region; staring at the scenery, becoming immersed in it, taking photographs, sketching, making thumbnails and painting.

Finding my scenes is just a matter of getting out there and opening my eyes to what is there... I usually just focus on what caught my attention in the first place to determine how to frame it.

Bluebonnets(click here to see original image)

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

Procrastination for me looks like unfinished or ugly paintings that need more work, but sit untouched 'til I become inspired or get an idea of how to complete them.

I am good at prioritizing but I can never get enough time to paint. I try to get on the easel as early as I can and paint for a couple hours every day, before I have to leave for work. My creative energy is high in the mornings. Sometimes I will attempt to start and finish a painting in that time or I may work on several in one morning. On weekends, I try to paint for at least 3 or 4 hours each day.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I browse through my sketches, thumbnails and photographs to come up with ideas. I also get ideas when driving; just seeing the landscape in front of me inspires me.

Cactus and Rock
(click here to see original image)

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

I keep my art fresh by painting fast and loose with a big brush. I often paint out detail if I think a piece is getting an overworked look.

I don't get to paint near enough as it is, so I have not had to contend with burnout yet. The thought of my next painting experience is always exciting and greatly anticipated.

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

Wow... more like what am I NOT learning about right now? I am so new to this that I am still learning everything. It's been said before that artists need two lives, one to learn their craft -- in my case how to paint -- and the next to apply what they learned in the first.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The process itself makes me happiest. Pure and simple there is nothing I would rather do than paint. When a painting is working, it is such an energy and endorphin rush that it feels like lightning coming off the end of your brush. It can be quite intuitive when you are in a zone and a very peaceful and harmonious experience.

On the River
(click here to see original image)

Secondly, seeing my progress so far is exciting to me. I know I have far to go and I have lofty expectations for myself, but feel confident that good things will happen for me if I remain patient and persistent.

Thanks, David!

© 2012 Jennifer Newcomb Marine

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