Thursday, March 21, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol Carmichael

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

To enter to win Carol's painting, "White Face" 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 always loved to draw but have translated that into a love of oil painting after working with some excellent teachers. I strive to capture the viewers interest through color, brushwork and light. I paint what makes me happy and some of those things are animals, people, and still life. I am definitely a work in progress and thank God every day that I get the opportunity to paint. 
I received a BA in art education and taught art at the high school level for four years before retiring to raise three sons. My sons are officially raised now so I paint most every day. I live in Vestavia Hills, Alabama with my husband Dan. 
My work is represented in Loretta Goodwin gallery in Birmingham, AL, DK gallery in Marietta, GA and Heidi's Interiors in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always loved to draw, but did not start painting until about twelve years ago. I found a local oil painter that I admired and took classes from her. Margie Phelps was the artist. I liked how loose and colorful her work was. When I first began painting, I really tried to draw with the paint. It took a while for me to evolve from drawing a painting to painting a painting. I was one of those students, like so many, who want to learn everything in a day. I wanted to paint like my teacher in a week. I learned it is a long and wonderful process that develops over time, with lots of hard work. It makes me happy to think that I am nowhere close to where I may end up as a painter. No ceiling!

White Face
(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?

When I first began painting, I tried to paint pretty often because I had so much that I wanted to learn. But I had times in the first seven or so years of my painting journey that I took long periods off. I am one of those who has been inspired by daily painters. I guess my art trinity would be Jurick, Marine and Huang. Their work influenced and inspired me to paint more often and, as a result, my style and confidence improved. It makes sense that the more you do something, the better you become.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I was an art education major in college so we had to minor in either sculpture, print making or painting. I went to a small liberal arts school and there was only one painting instructor and he was into geometric abstraction. I was not, so I became a printmaking minor. I have experimented with metal etching, lithograph and linoleum prints. It was a pretty good fit for me because of my love of drawing. I have not done any print making since teaching my high school students which was many moons ago.

(click here to see original image)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I started out primarily painting still life from live set ups. I think that is an excellent way to learn basic skills. I moved into doing figures and animals from there. The one genre I have not studied much is landscape. I include landscape in with a lot of my figures and animals, but I do not really know what I am doing. I only know a few basics about landscape. I just moved on to some new property that has a beautiful creek running in front of it so I have a great, new prop.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to learn more about clay works. I have some experience with the potter's wheel and think I would be more interested in slab work and design. I think it would be interesting to learn about glazes and firing methods.

(click here to see original image)

Did you always want and know you were going to be an artist?

No. Ain't life grand? I always got some attention for my drawing skills, but never really fathomed myself selling artwork. Before learning to paint, I did sketches of people for family and some friends. This has been such a pleasant surprise and I am grateful to have a talent that I can share with others that brings them and ME pleasure.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I have always worked in an area of my home so house work and the like are always an easy distraction. I am also easily distracted by the computer. Squirrels too!

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I am at my best late morning to early afternoon. I work my schedule around this period. I have huge admiration for folks who manage to fit painting in before or after another job. I have taken advantage of this period in my life; I do not have a lot of obstacles in the way. I know that could change any day.

(click here to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I keep a camera close by on trips or sometimes go out specifically to take photos. I am inspired by how light hits objects, people, animals, land, etc. I am pretty obnoxious to be with at the beach because I do not relax at all. I get quietly angry when people get in my camera angle. Many times the way I decide what I want to paint is what shapes or light jump out at me from looking at my thumbnail photos on the computer. I love still life too and always paint those from a live set up. I am usually inspired my what is in season.

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

I have a bit of attention deficit disorder when it comes to painting and I think that is one reason I don't get burned out. I paint whatever catches my attention that day unless I have to work on a commission. Some might say that I should narrow down my field of subject matter, but I am a believer in doing whatever brings you happiness. I have been fortunate in painting what many want to buy, for the most part. I love to take workshops from artists that I admire. That definitely keeps things fresh and increases my knowledge and skill.

Birds of a Feather
(click here to see original image)

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

I have recently built a studio and would like to begin teaching. I plan to get out all my notes from various workshops and think about what was the most beneficial to me. I do not want to waste anyone's time so I have lots of studying up and organizing to do.

What makes you happiest?

A lot of my work makes others feel pleasure. It feels so great when your work evokes emotion from onlookers. Especially happiness, because you can never have too much of that!

Thanks, Carol!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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