Thursday, April 24, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amanda Bilson

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

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

From Amanda's DPW Gallery page:

I am a British artist living in Murcia, Spain. I love to draw and paint. I work mainly in oils and pastel. I enjoy painting various genre but my main focus is animals, whether it be a pet portrait or wildlife, I endeavor to capture the likeness and character of each subject. I am very grateful to be able to devote myself on a full-time basis to my passion. Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. I hope you enjoy my art and continue to follow me on my artistic journey.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always enjoyed drawing since my teenage years, but only started painting in 2010 when my husband bought me my first ever watercolour set. We had finished renovating our house in Spain and I then had more free time to pursue my art.

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

Since starting painting in 2010, I have never looked back. I have been painting now for just over four years and never wanted to stop. This is me.

Resting on the Rocks
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Like most artists, in the beginning, I experimented with watercolour, acrylic, oils, pastels and various genre from still life, landscapes, figurative, pet portraits and wildlife.

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

Painting domestic animals and wildlife are the subjects that I feel most passionate about and really enjoy painting. I never tire of doing these. These subjects, using pastels and oils, are now my main focus. In the early days, I painted still life and other genre, but none of them interest me or inspire me as much as the animals.

White Bengal Tiger
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to using pan pastels which I have just recently ordered from the UK. I enjoy using pastel pencils as I can achieve great detail. I also enjoy using oils and will be doing larger paintings in this medium to try to achieve the same level of detail as I do with the pastels.

Who or what inspires you most?

I have always loved animals. Painting domestic pets and wildlife is what inspires me. I remember a few years ago, I saw a painting of a tiger by Martin Aveling, who is a wonderful wildlife artist. I thought how amazing his work is and his attention to detail is excellent. This inspired me. There are other artists that inspire me, like David Shepherd, David Stribbling and Pip McGarry, all of whom are outstanding artists.

(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me is when I am unsure of what to paint which can result in me putting painting off altogether. This can be very frustrating and can waste time but thankfully this does not happen often.

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

I prefer to get my housekeeping tasks out of the way every morning before going in to my studio. It doesn’t always work out that way, as my eagerness to complete a painting can at times overrule my routine. Either way, I am usually in my studio by early afternoon working through into the evening.

(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I would like to say that for all my paintings I use my own reference photos, but that is not always possible, particularly when painting wildlife. Our own dogs and cats are a great inspiration, but I am so grateful for sites such as Wetcanvas and Morguefile where very generous photographers allow us artists to use their photos. It is great to have such inspiration at hand.

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

I try to keep my art fresh by looking for interesting images that I can build on by interpreting in my own style. I have learned that if a painting is not working out, trying to re-work it just does not work for me. I can waste many hours trying to improve it and through experience I now know it is best to scrap it and start afresh. For me this avoids burn out.

Cooling Off
(click to see original image)

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

I am learning all the time. I think there is always room for improvement and with every painting I try to improve my techniques. The most important thing for me is to push myself to achieve better results, but it is equally as important that whilst I am striving to improve I am still enjoying the journey.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am so fortunate to be doing what I love. To start with a blank piece of paper or canvas and to create a painting that connects and gives joy to the viewer makes me happiest. It is so rewarding to receive positive comments from people who enjoy my work.

Thanks, Amanda!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

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