Thursday, April 11, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sharman Owings

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

To enter to win Sharman's painting, "The Float" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Sharman's DPW Gallery page:

I am a self taught artist (well! unless you count high school which was a very long time ago). I reside in a small, green (color) dairy town in western Washington with my uber talented sculptor husband. I love to create with anything that involves color. Oil paint is my drug of choice. It is messy, smells and makes a mess. Fits me too perfectly.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I am VERY competitive. I was about 10 years old and a friend’s older sister was getting lots of attention for her drawing skills. I just figured (in my 10 year old brain) that I could do it to. Turns out I was right. Math, art, athletics…just made sense to me.

The Float
(click here to see original image)

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

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

Oh, heck yes! I have no formal training unless you count high school. I got married at 18 and pretty much gave up all art except sewing for the next 12 years. After I got divorced I started to dabble but still very erraticly. In 1987, I met my current husband. He’s a sculptor. That changed EVERYTHING. He can’t live without art. Being in an environment with someone so talented is very inspiring.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Graphite, pen and ink, ANY thing with color except encaustic (there’s still time…) I even consider cake frosting as part of MY art. Fabric is an obsession, ceramics a mystery, and bronze work, torture.

(click here to see original image)

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

I love oil paint! To the point that my colored pencils, pastels, oil pastels and watercolors think they are orphans. However, I quit my “day job” last September so with more time available I will most likely start to dabble again. I have 30 lbs. of clay, 3 sewing machines and very busy hands. My studio houses the tools for all of the above so it would be criminal not to put them to use.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I think ceramics and glazes. We have a kiln. Vessels fascinate me, but I’m sure I’ll tackle some figure work too. Oh! And then there’s bronze patinas! Yum.

(click here to see original image)

How does your daily life inspire your paintings?

That’s an awkward one for me. I never really think of it that way. Color drives my work. When I’m scrubbing toilets in my “daily life” paint seems like a mirage on a distant horizon. That said, being in our garden (we have 5 acres and garden 2.5) inspires in a way I can’t put words to.

What does procrastination look like for you?

A dirty house, weeds running amuck, daily responsibilities. Oh! And the days I don’t exercise. Life rule: no exercise, no art! Period.

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

Everyone pokes fun at me because of my lists. Not having the structure of going to an office anymore meant I needed a way to ensure I didn’t get lost. Hence a daily “schedule”. It looks rigid from the outside but it really isn’t. I could have more studio time if I gave up some of the other things I commit to.

(click here to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Wow! Have you looked at my blog? Not much consistency. I never go anywhere without a camera. I even shoot through the windshield if necessary. Once we were behind a dark green truck with fishing rods out the back. One had the classic red and white bobber dangling along behind it. I couldn’t wait to paint that. I love portrait work; human and animal.

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

There are so many marvelous artists participating online these days. Look a little, read a little, play a little. Some of what you take in stays, some doesn’t enhance what you’re about. If it becomes dull, there is no one to blame but the person in the mirror.

Face of Fancy
(click here to see original image)

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

How important experimentation is. If you take yourself too serious you miss the opportunity to fail. NO ONE does a good painting every time. No one. Realizing that at the first stroke allows me to paint away.

What makes you happiest about your art?

There’s a special magic about facing a blank surface, lump of clay or batch of frosting. Terror. Someone once said “it’s not hard to DO the work, it’s hard to start”. That is so true! Once it begins to fall together the “happy” begins. Going from nothing to a full blown painting is pretty exhilarating. Also, having so much at my disposal. We have our own art foundry. I can paint, cook, sew, do ceramics, cast in bronze or plant flowers. Most days, the hardest challenge I face is deciding.

Thanks, Sharman!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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