Thursday, March 6, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patti Vincent

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

To enter to win Patti's painting, "Fresh Picked" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Patti's DPW Gallery page:

Hi! Thank you for visiting my gallery. About ten years ago, I started taking oil painting classes and workshops in and around Washington, DC because I wanted oil paintings for my home. Problem solved!

I live in Dayton, OH with my Air Force husband and two cats. They are a constant source of life drawings and paintings. In the Fall of 2013, I began a Bachelors of Fine Art program at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. I am loving it!

My profile photograph was taken in Salida, CO. Two and a half more years with the Air Force and Salida will be home. Studio already purchased!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting while living near Washington, DC because I wanted more oil paintings in my house. A good friend of mine encouraged me to sign up for lessons. A decade later, mission accomplished. The DC area is filled with great artists and art schools. Not to mention all the inspiration to be found at the National Gallery of Art. I could drive from my house to the NGA in fifteen minutes.

Fresh Picked
(click to see original image)

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

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

I have been taking lessons or workshops for years but really ramped up my painting in 2011 when I learned about daily painting. My favorite art quote is, "the best teacher is the very act of painting," by Joaquin Sorolla. I firmly believe that the only way to get better is to practice. Whether you are talking about painting or tennis. Then, in the Fall of 2013, I enrolled in a Bachelors of Fine Art program. I am currently a full time student taking eighteen credit hours.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I am still learning how to oil paint, my only medium to date. I've traveled all the way to New Zealand to plein air paint but I am still most comfortable painting in my studio from a still life set up or a reference photo of an animal. My cats and the sunlight are constant sources of inspiration.

Swimming Lessons
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I painted a lot of plein air prior to taking up daily painting and working towards my BFA. I look forward to getting out of my studio and seeing how plein air goes after all this inside practice over the past couple years and when my BFA program is complete. It will be interesting to see what has changed in my comfort level and ability to simplify the landscape.

Who or what inspires you most?

Seeing Albrecht Durer's painting, Young Hare, 1502 watercolor, in my art history class as being described as "a masterpiece of observational art" was my most recent inspiration. My cats, dogs I meet on the street, bunny rabbits in the yard, all inspire me. So it was very inspiring to see an old master paint a rabbit. Carol Marine, Joshua Been, Lisa Daria, and Dan Schultz are my current day inspirations. Just name a few.

House Guest
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination hits me when I don't have any good ideas for a still life or my reference photos for a pet portrait commission aren't quite as good as I would like them. I stall for fear of failure. I am not a big procrastinator because I feel much more confident if I give myself as much time as possible to complete a project. It always ends up better if I know I have time to start over as many times as needed.

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

To make sure that I have time for my art, I get up in the morning and get going. Even if it is a Saturday and my husband is still in bed. I keep my studio well stocked with paint and panels. My studio is right off of the kitchen so I can't miss it. Mostly, I just do it (thanks Niki).

That Cat
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

My ideas for paintings usually come from things that I see. My cats are always laying in the sunshine and that light always gets my attention. There is a bird feeder right outside the window by our kitchen table. The cats sit on the window sill and watch the birds, creating another inspirational moment. We have a tabby and a tuxedo. I think I want a white cat next.

Recently, I've taken a lot of reference photos of the early morning light hitting the snow covered yards and the old growth trees in our neighborhood. That orange/pink glow is just amazing. I've also taken ones at dusk when the old street lights are on and the the snow covered yards along the street are glowing. So basically, my surroundings are constantly sparking my imagination. Photos that my friends post of their pets are also great sources of ideas.

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

I've been trying to keep my painting strokes to a minimum by trying to get the value and color correct from the start. I think that makes for very fresh painting.

Sweet Cheeks
(click to see original image)

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

I am currently learning so much as an artist. I took fifteen credit hours last semester (photography, 3D foundations, drawing, art history, and themes in visual cultures) when I started my Bachelors of Fine Arts program at Wright State University. This semester I am taking eighteen credit hours (2D foundations, art history, Michelangelo, drawing, figure sculpture, and painting).

So, I am taking that daily practice idea into drawing, art history and painting plus all those other classes several times per week. It is all tied together and I think my overall understanding of art is multiplying daily. I am having so much fun and learning so much.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get truly positive feedback from a pet portrait client. That melts my heart. When my husband walks into my studio and says, "wow!" When a painting comes together because I took the time to think it out and get it right the first time. When I look at my finished painting and feel that it is indeed finished, especially if it was done with as few strokes as possible. Those are some of my favorites. All of those events make me truly happy about my art.

Thanks, Patti!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

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