Friday, November 8, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ande Hall

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

To enter to win Ande' painting, "Chilly Crabapple Chickadees" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Ande's DPW Gallery page:

I am a (mostly) retired veterinarian now exploring the world of art. I love experimenting with new media and techniques. Not surprisingly, I end up painting animals a lot! I donate 5% of my art income to IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the world's oldest and largest wildlife conservation organization. Prints of my art are available through my Etsy shop: AndeHallFineArt Please visit my facebook page: Ande Hall Fine Art.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

In 2008, I sold my house and veterinary clinic in Santa Fe and moved to rural Kansas to marry a wonderful man. Exploring art was a big part of my new life. For three years, I did ceramics at the small college where my husband worked. Surface design was my favorite part of the process, and most of my pots were elaborately decorated. When we moved to a bigger town with a bigger college in the fall of 2011, I decided to take a painting course. I had always wanted to try painting. After two decades of wandering through galleries in Santa Fe, muttering to myself, "I want to do that!!" it was time to take action.

Chilly Crabapple Chickadees
(click to see original image)

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

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

Yes! I first started painting in September of 2011, then five months later my husband came home and announced that he had been offered yet another job, at yet a bigger college in an even bigger town. We had only just moved eight months earlier! So, painting walls and ceilings replaced painting canvases for a while. We have moved twice in two years, and we have renovated three old houses. I began painting pictures again in January 2013.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have done mostly acrylic, acrylic collage and oil pastels. I have tried oils only a few times. I would like to do more with oils, but I paint in the basement, and the ventilation is poor.

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

See above.

Cloudy California Quail
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to try watercolors, and inks. Also encaustic. When I did ceramics, I really loved wet clay sgrafitto, and I have been trying to figure out ways to do something similar with painting. I did buy some clayboards, but I haven't used them yet (fear of wasting expensive art supplies).

Who or what inspires you most?

Early twentieth century artists fascinate me the most. I discovered that the little college where I did ceramics had an unlimited interlibrary loan system. I ordered truckloads of art books and devoured them. Before that time I really was totally ignorant about art history. My favorite painters are Klee and Kandinsky (and I like Klimt, too). But inspiration comes from basically everything I see and think about. I jokingly refer to myself as suffering from "Obsessive Creative Disorder". But it's only half joking!

Floral Reef Angelfish
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like a computer. Seriously, I think being an artist does require a huge amount of discipline. That was one thing I did like about veterinary medicine. Procrastination was simply not an option. Your patients show up, you treat them.

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

As I said, I have really only been doing this for less than a year, and I am really struggling with self discipline. My biggest time waster is internet surfing.

White Ibis
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas for paintings generally bombard my consciousness throughout the day. Particularly, when I am riding my bike or walking. Also when I am trying to go to sleep. I have spiral notebooks all over the place where I sketch out ideas.

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

I don't think I am qualified to answer this question yet.

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

EVERYTHING! I really don't know where to begin, because I am still so new to art! I spend a lot of time looking at art, my own and others, and trying to analyze why I like it, or don't like it. I think a lot about how art interacts with people.

Sumatran Rhino
(click to see original image)

Have you had any surprises or unforeseen events in your art career?

I had a big surprise a couple of months ago when a buyer contacted me asking if I would ship to Hong Kong. He said he wanted five of my original oil pastels to use them for "packaging designs". I had no idea what he meant, but I figured that if he purchased the paintings he could do what he wished with them. I now know that this is not true; that purchasing an original does NOT automatically confer reproduction rights.

So, I said yes and he emailed me images of oil pastel packages with my paintings on them (as well as a tiny image of me!) Then I understood, it was an art supplies manufacturer. It is definitely NOT a fine art supplier; their website is clearly targeting kids and hobby arts and crafts. At first, I couldn't decide if I should feel honored or embarrassed. I quickly decided that it was totally awesome that my paintings would be on oil pastel packages all over China.

As soon as I let my friends know, I was bombarded with chastisements for failing to ask for royalties, etc. I spent a day feeling like an idiot, then decided that I didn't care. It was still cool to see my art on boxes of pastels. And he did promise to send me some pastels.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When people tell me that they are moved or touched by something I have created, it is very rewarding.

Also, there is something truly thrilling about having an idea, then developing it into a finished product. For me, there is a huge difference between seeing something "in my mind's eye", and seeing it in real life.

Thanks, Ande!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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