Thursday, November 14, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Brandi Bowman

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

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

From Brandi's DPW Gallery page:

Brandi's paintings and prints reflect what she loves, simple beauty. With a BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design, she continues her artistic study everyday through painting, print, drawing and technology. Inspired by nature, children and fellow artists, Brandi is always experimenting, learning and creating works to share her vision with anyone who is willing to stop and appreciate the simple things.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Painting used to intimidate me. In college, I fell in love with printmaking, primarily black and white, and didn't really care for my painting courses. It wasn't until after college that I really started to explore painting on my own.

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

Many. I used to go months between painting which always made it hard to start up again. I would get really frustrated, but then I started following Carol Marine and her daily paintings which inspired me to try painting on a more regular basis. It was hard at first, but after a while it just became part of my day, and the practice continues to make me a better painter.

(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Charcoal, pen and ink, a wide variety of printmaking techniques, watercolor, acrylic, oil, mixed media, photography and some graphic design. I love to play around and combine things. I love still life and figure studies, and lately, portrait painting. Floral and landscape are always in there too. I have touched on abstract elements in my work, but haven't fully explored them.

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

Oil painting is the main one that has stuck. I don't use acrylic unless I am working with kids. I only use photography for reference right now and I love printmaking, but it is tough to do at home without a press.

Boat Drinks
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would love to try some pottery and jewelry making. Abstract painting has always intrigued me, so I would love to explore that further and see how I could incorporate it into my work.

Who or what inspires you most?

Children inspire me the most I think. I have a 6 year old daughter and watching her explore and play with art energizes me and helps me take things less seriously. And kids are so open, when you ask them to make a silly face it is instant, there is no thought behind it just pure joy and silliness. I love to have kids play dress up with hats and masks to see what they transform into. I get my best reference photos for portraits that way. I also get a lot from nature and other artists. I love to go to the bookstore and get all the new art mags, a coffee and sit and look at what is currently happening in the art world.

The Girls
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I have a home studio, which is good and bad. Good, because I can work at any hour and don't have to leave the house. Bad, because I have many distractions with family, house, yard, dog, etc. I really have to make painting a priority and think of it more like a regular job, but that is hard for me sometimes.

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

I have set a goal of ten paintings a week. I work small, so I can usually get two done per day. It is working so far.

The Artist
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It is always different but seems to reflect the time of year. If I see flowers at the farmers market, I grab some and do a series of florals. After apple picking this year I did apple studies. I always have wine around, so wine paintings frequently happen. Recently, I did a series of portraits based on the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico around Halloween time.

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

I try to change things up when I can. I am always looking for new color combinations or new subject matter. I will even listen to different music while I paint. It is amazing how that can affect your paintings.

(click to see original image)

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

I recently started writing short tutorials about how I paint. This is really teaching me a great deal about how to communicate my thought process to others.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the almost meditative state you enter into while producing a work of art. To lose yourself in the process of creating something is wonderful. And when someone else connects with one of my paintings and it makes them feel something or reminds them of a certain person or time in their life, that makes me happy.

Thanks, Brandi!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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