Thursday, August 16, 2012

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karen Margulis

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

To enter to win Karen Margulis' painting, "Maine Landscape with Lupines," go to Daily Paintworks and click on the Spotlight Giveaway button in the top-left corner of the website.

From Karen Margulis' DPW gallery page:
I've been creating a daily painting since 2005. My work is represented by fine art galleries in the Georgia, North Carolina and Oregon. I'm a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and a Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society.
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I took art classes in high school, but didn't start painting until my own children were in high school and I found myself with extra time. I started doing a small daily painting and posted it to my blog so that I could improve my painting skills. I have been doing a daily painting for 7 years now!

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

Once I started painting, I haven't stopped. I recently retired from my day job to paint and teach full time. I can't imagine ever stopping now that I've rediscovered art.

Maine Landscape with Lupines
(click here to see original image)

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

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, but quickly discovered that pastel was my passion. I love the vibrancy and the immediacy of pastels. I have recently started exploring oils and I really do enjoy the texture I can get with paint. I look forward to working to improve my skills with the brush....

Wildflower Pastel
(click here to see original image)

There's such an ethereal, dreamy quality to some of your work, especially your landscapes. Is that a quality you already see when you settle upon a composition, or do you pick a setting and then attempt to gently "steer" a painting in that direction?

Great question! I am drawn to the ethereal quality in the landscapes, so often I do see these things before I start painting. But a lot of the dream-like quality of my work comes from the underpainting techniques I use. I often begin a painting with a loose and drippy underpainting. By starting out with soft edges, I am able to retain the soft quality and only sharpen edges in my focal areas.

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

I am fairly good about getting things done without too much procrastination. Having the daily blog and being a part of Daily Paintworks helps me stay focused on painting. I usually take care of business in the morning and paint after lunch. Keeping a routine makes it easier for me.

Meteor Shower
(click here to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have thousands of reference photos that I have taken and when I need a painting idea, I will skim through them until something jumps out at me. Often one painting will inspire ideas for more paintings and a series is born! Other times my paintings are done to illustrate a topic for one of my classes or workshops. I learn much from painting these 'demos'!

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

I like to give myself small painting challenges to keep things interesting. I also give myself permission to experiment with different techniques and mediums. By trying new approaches and new subjects, I keep things fun for me and I also often discover ways to make my usual work even better.

Siamese Cat
(click here to see original image)

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

Since I am exploring the world of oil painting right now, I would say I am learning a lot about color and how to mix the colors I need. With pastels we just have to have the right color stick. I had always heard how learning another medium helps you with your primary medium and I can see now how that is true. This is an exciting time for me!

What makes you happiest about your art?

Easy. I love that I can make someone else happy with my work.

A Sunny Day
(click here to see original image)

One of the great things about Daily Paintworks is that I know who my collectors are and I get to hear their stories. It is so satisfying to have a dialog with my collectors and know that my work has moved them and why. I love sharing both my work as well as teaching; sharing my artwork and my art knowledge is so gratifying...

Thanks, Karen!

© 2012 Jennifer Newcomb Marine

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