Thursday, December 26, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Darlene Mowatt

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

To enter to win Darlene's painting, "Apples 2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Darlene's DPW Gallery page:

Creating art has been a lifelong odyssey requiring discipline and adventure. Over fifteen years ago, my focus turned to oil painting as a permanent medium. It’s so versatile and well-suited for my vision and working process. These small paintings bring me so much joy and a sense of ongoing accomplishment.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

In high school, my drawings were comparable to paintings: the whole thing would be shaded edge to edge. They were always large; my art teacher would give me paper cut from the 36” wide rolls that they used in school. I didn’t have art supplies but #2 pencils were pretty easy to come by. For some reason, seeing value in black and white was easy, transferring those values to color has been a challenge.

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

No, this has always been my passion.

Apples 2
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I owned and operated an art supply store and custom framing shop. In this industry, manufacturers offered training and support on products and techniques. Thanks to them my knowledge was substantial. Finding the right medium that suits your personality and working process is very important, so you need to try many things. Still life and landscape have been my most consistent subjects done in pencil and watercolor. Oil is my favorite medium. My recent dabbles have been in cold wax oil and it may be very suited for some of my landscape visions.

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

Oils have stuck for me personally and they are so versatile that it doesn’t seem possible to run out of new ideas or applications for this medium. Nothing ever falls away for me there are so many great ways to make art and so many great products. I don’t want to forget how to help others on their art journey.

(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In January, my travels will take me to Nashville, TN to attend a work shop with Maggie Siner. I love her paintings and how she breaks up color fields with her brush strokes. I want to learn her thoughts and process. At some point, people or portraits are in my sights as subjects.

Who or what inspires you most?

David E. Weaver lived in West Virginia. We were traveling through the state and by accident stumbled upon his studio. In his studio were the most beautiful oil paintings I had ever laid my eyes on. We were destined to meet: three months later he was in Ann Arbor Michigan teaching a workshop. That was the beginning of my journey into oils and a mentorship that lasted until his untimely death.

(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

My motto use to be “if it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” Does this make me a procrastinator? I am always busy; being idle is not part of my being.  Sometimes too many idea’s float around in my head and that can feel like procrastination, but I like to call it thinking.

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

Just this year I have became a full time painter. I work Monday – Friday in my studio. Creating the small paintings fills my idle time between the larger paintings and gives me a sense of accomplishment that did not exist before. I feel like a real artist now that I treat it like a job.

(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My daily paintings come mostly from my kitchen and garden. My larger works represent my passion for the outdoors. Still lives in the Flemish style David Weaver taught me are a constant subject in my studio. Plein air is another style of painting that I practice. Sometimes, it’s just color or the drama you can create in values and not necessarily about a subject.

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

At any given time, my studio has two to four paintings in progress and I jump around from one to the other. No two are painted in the same style; that is challenging and keeps me engaged.

Bowl with an Egg
(click to see original image)

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

Maggie’s workshop is coming up in January and I love how she handles her color fields. Hopefully, this will be something that suits my style of painting and will be useful. This excites me right now. Carol Marine’s workshop taught me so much and continues to make me think in new ways; that is the greatest gift one artist can give another. Seeking new skills, thoughts and techniques is ongoing.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It is my life passion to study and create art and that makes me happy. The bonus is when someone appreciates your hard work and wants to own one.

Thanks, Darlene!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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