Thursday, December 12, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Catherine Temple

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

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

From Catherine's DPW Gallery page:

Paint what you know, paint what you love...

Seems I’ve heard this somewhere before and for me what I know and love are first and foremost, wild creatures, with wild places and canine companions vying for second place.

Spending time with nature is a great passion for me, one that fills me with joy and amazement at all the variety of colors, textures and patterns. I am fortunate to live in an area of diverse habitat from rugged canyons, to beautiful rivers, to forested mountains as well as local parks and habitat areas. My daily walks and weekend outings are a constant source of painting ideas as well as providing me with interesting adventures. Every one of my paintings has a story behind it which you can read about on my blog.

Creating my art brings me great joy and allows me to use the gift that God gave me to create something beautiful and meaningful for others. It is my hope that my art may stir an emotion, spark a memory or cause someone to slow down and take a moment to consider how incredibly blessed we are to live in a world of such beauty and diversity. If my art can do that, then I have done my job well.

Visit my blog/website:

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been creating art for as long as I could hold a crayon! Family members tell stories about how they kept me quiet by challenging me to draw an object or animal and I would happily sit for hours concentrating on copying what I saw to the best of my abilities. When I got a little older I would wander off to the fields and pastures around our house with my sketchbook and draw bugs, birds, dogs, animals...whatever nature offered up was fair game. I was fascinated by everything and I guess I felt compelled to record what I saw.

I took courses through high school, but really have no formal training. I have taken some workshops, but have largely taught myself to paint by studying books or other works of art and by a lot of trial and error.
Rocky Bluff Chipmunk
(click to see original image)

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

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

No, not really. No matter what else was going on in my life creating art has always been a part of it, even if it wasn't the main part. I have not always pursued it as a profession, sometimes it was just for me. I have changed directions with it several times, but I've never stopped. It keeps evolving and sometimes slides more into the background, but it never stops.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with oils, colored pencils, graphite pencil, watercolor and acrylic. I have painted wildlife and people and dabbled in landscapes.

Sunrise Sentinel
(click to see original image)

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

Really the only one that I have given up is oils. I never cared for the smell or that they took so long to dry, but the ability to blend the colors more was nice. Since my style is very detailed and realistic I enjoy working with mediums that I have a certain degree of control over. Each one has certain characteristics that are useful to achieve certain effects. I love the good old pencil for it's classic simplicity and it's a good packable tool for field studies. I work now mainly in water media. I use watercolor and gouache for field studies and some finished work, but have been experimenting more with acrylic the last few years and have really come to enjoy that medium.

My subject matter is almost always some sort of bird or animal now. I started with that when I was young then went into doing portraits of people for awhile, but never enjoyed it as much. I've done a lot of pet portraits in the past and that is still the source of many of my commissions, but going back to wildlife is the direction I'm heading now. It just makes more sense. I'm an avid outdoor enthusiast so wildlife painting is like second nature to me.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'd like to explore mixed media and learn to paint in a looser style just for fun. I've been painting in such detail for so long I'm not sure I could totally embrace a more "painterly" style, but it would be fun to step out of the norm for a bit.

Whitetail Fawn
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm am totally inspired by all of God's creation! He is an incredible artist! When I look at the design of our natural! Take for instance how a birds feathers are created, how the barbs hook together, how they overlap like shingles to shed water, retain heat, provide lift for them to fly.....just amazing. Everything has a purpose. When I see those things and study those things it makes me want to create something to share with others, to maybe make God visible to a world that doesn't see him, yet we are surrounded by him every day. All we have to do is look outside!

What does procrastination look like for you?

Because I love the outdoors so much sometimes I can get distracted just exploring the beauty of it all. I can be sitting at my drawing table which faces a window into the garden and some interesting bird might fly into the feeder, or a hummingbird is zipping from zinnia to zinnia and the next thing I know I HAVE to be outside, watching, listening, learning, taking photos or making sketches and the project at hand waits.

One Snowy Day
(click to see original image)

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

Usually having a deadline of some sort or a commission keeps me at my drawing table.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I look out my window. I go for walks. A lot of time I have unusual or memorable encounters with the birds or wildlife and there's always a good story to tell. That's when I create a painting and write about the story behind it on my blog. Writing about it personalizes it and many folks really enjoy the story behind the art. It helps them connect with the piece because maybe they can say "Yes! I've seen that, too!" or "That's happened to me, too!"

Rufous and Trumpetvine
(click to see original image)

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

I study a lot. Every bird or creature I paint I want to know more about. I could have easily become a wildlife biologist. I guess I would describe myself as a naturalist now. I have a huge curiosity about everything. I study a lot of other painters, too, and if I see a technique I like I try to find out how to do that, adapt it into my own work if possible. There's always something new to learn so I never get bored!

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

The biggest hurdle I have to learn is how to market myself better and how to believe in myself more and trust that God gave me these gifts for a reason. I'm learning all the time how best to use those gifts.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Sharing it with others especially if I can share the story behind it, too. If I can use my art to bring joy, spark a memory, stir an emotion or give someone an intimate look at something they may not have an opportunity to see then I'm thrilled.

Thanks, Catherine!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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