Thursday, February 14, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol Nelson

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

To enter to win Carol Nelson's painting, "Gemstone 11," go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Carol's DPW Gallery page:
I have been painting for about 12 years. My formal art education was in the form of workshops taken from nationally known artists. Now I teach other artists my mixed media techniques in Colorado and around the country.
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was an art major many years ago, but my degree is in a scientific field – I wanted a career where I knew I could support myself. Art was on the back burner for years, until one day, a chance encounter in Hobby Lobby lead me to pick up a copy of Maxine Masterfield’s book, Painting the Spirit of Nature. Looking through the book I was enthralled. I bought all the supplies suggested in the book, and that began my painting career.

Gemstone 11
(click here to see original image)

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

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

No, once I started painting in 1998, it has been full steam ahead. As a matter of fact, the pace of my art career, which is now a full time (plus) job, has only quickened with each passing year.

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 first started out with pouring inks and watercolor. Then, because I hated matting and framing under glass, I switched to oils and acrylics. Acrylics naturally lead to mixed media because of all the mediums and other materials that can be incorporated into an acrylic painting.

Batik Poppies
(click here to see original image)

Encaustics is something I’ve always wanted to try – it’s a natural progression for a mixed media painter I think.

I love the rich, jewel-tones of both your abstracts and still lifes. What can you tell us about how you are either pulled to create representational art or something more nebulous?

I love both representational and abstract art. I find the most satisfaction for my creative drive, however, in abstract work. I find it much more challenging to create a work of art that, in the beginning of the creative process, I have no idea how it is “supposed” to look.

The rich jewel tones of my work are the result of painting with layers of Golden fluid acrylics, which are very transparent, yet with high pigment content.

Frosty Morning
(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 is Pinterest (lol). Reading volumes of email, Facebook, Youtube, and other computer activity can suck up a whole day. It seems like I’m always working under a deadline – an upcoming show, class, workshop, or other reason to have work available, and that’s a great motivator.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Lots of things inspire me to be creative. Seeing the work of other artists is one, discovering a new technique or material is another. I love experimenting and trying new things – acrylics are MADE for that kind of thing.

Watchful Eyes
(click here to see original image)

My greatest ideas come in the early morning when I’m in bed halfway awake, although sometimes they’re not so great after I’ve had my coffee.

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

I teach classes in the fall, and workshops all year round. I’m always searching for new things, new techniques, new materials to share with my students.

Often times, a walk through Home Depot will reveal some new thing I can use in a painting. Or, as referenced earlier, browsing on Pinterest is a world of discovery. I just discovered the art of nkisi, from the African Congo tribes using rusty nails – can’t wait to try that on one of my assemblages.

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

I am investigating pouring acrylics – creating art without a brush. I would like to try being less controlled in some of my abstract work.

My Painting on the Cover of the Blick Catalog
(click here to see original image)
What makes you happiest about your art?

Art makes my life filled with purpose. I am always busy. It’s very gratifying to hear wonderful comments from people all over the world about my work. Knowing that my work inspires other artists to expand their artistic vision is the best.

Thanks, Carol!

© 2013 Jennifer Newcomb Marine

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