Thursday, June 19, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dorothy Jenson

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

To enter to win Dorothy's painting, "I Can See My House From Here" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Dorothy's DPW Gallery page:

I just love using color to describe this beautiful and interesting world! Art has been part of my life forever. Every where I go I see the landscape as a "painting" and analyze how I would interpret the scene. I have worked in colored pencil, watercolor, pastel, and I'm currently enjoying acrylics on canvas, specializing in landscapes and animals. My view of the world is somewhat whimsical, and I hope it brings a smile. :)

You can follow me on Facebook by looking for Dorothy Jenson Art.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started by drawing! I scribbled and doodled on everything as a child. One of my grade school teachers actually wrote “Dorothy spends too much time drawing” on a report card home to my parents. I may have been a tiny bit of a distraction when I was drawing cartoonish caricatures of the kids in my class in 4th grade and they often gathered around my desk to see the latest creations.

My family often went to the Oregon coast to play, and my favorite thing to do was drag a stick through the wet sand to draw very large imaginative creatures that all who passed by would stop and admire. It really wasn’t until high school that I experimented with a paintbrush, much to my mother’s dismay. My medium then was acrylic and somehow there were always little spots of it ending up on my clothing. For good, of course! (My Mom is now one of my best fans!)

I Can See My House From Here
(click to see original image)

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

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

The story of my life! Even though I have always loved art, it has often taken a backseat to the important career of raising my five children and adventuring with my husband. We love road trips, camping, hiking, and canoeing and our summers are full! Now my own five kids have grown and married, but there are 13 grandchildren to spend time with. On top of that we are very active in our Church community.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I’ve been all over the place with my artistic expression! Through it all I have been largely self taught. I took a few community classes, but mostly explored each medium by reading everything printed about the subject that I could find, and then experimenting on my own when I could.

For years I enjoyed watercolor, then moved on to colored pencil. When rock painting was popular, I scoured river banks for perfectly shaped “canvases” and created wonderful curled up animals in acrylic that I sold in local bazaars. It was a lot of fun, but the weight of the rocks began bothering my wrists, so it was time to move on.

River View
(click to see original image)

My next obsession was with pastels. So many beautiful colors, and it’s a very satisfying “hands on” kind of creativity, but having to frame everything for protection has sent me in another direction to do works of acrylic that can be hung, as is, on the wall without framing. I’m also playing around a bit with ink and watercolor again. We have lots of camping coming up this summer and I just purchased a tiny little watercolor kit that is going to come along on my adventures.

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

I don’t know the answer to that one yet! Everything I have done has been a pleasure, and I know I will still be bouncing back and forth between new mediums and old favorites in the years to come.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I haven’t tried oils yet, and I wonder if it might be nice to have paint on my palette that doesn’t dry out so quickly. On the other hand, I might get impatient waiting for my work to dry!

(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Studying the work of other artists! Seeing the interesting and beautiful works of other artists really fires up my desire to be creative myself.

What does procrastination look like for you?

The computer, thinking about art, household work and errands, thinking about art, spending time with family in person or chatting on the phone, thinking about art, crocheting thread snowflakes, reading, all the while thinking about the art I ought to be working on!

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

I will admit, I haven’t mastered that discipline yet. My best times to create are in the middle of the day, when there are fewer distractions. I try to paint every day, but it doesn’t always happen. Still working on this!

Happy Camp
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Everywhere I go, I see potential paintings in the community and landscape. I carry around a small point and shoot camera to gather references, plus I look through references on the Paint My Photo website. During my procrastination time, when I’m thinking about art, generally one or two references will stand out in my mind and I know that’s what I’ll be working on next.

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

Being willing to change my mind and bounce around between mediums and techniques! I’ve had many people comment on how much they enjoy my “style”, but inwardly I know that it is subject to change!

For instance, lately my work is sprinkled with lots of little dots, and I can’t explain why other than it just keeps happening. For now... in a few months, maybe not. I am enjoying painting funny little animals, but sometimes I feel like a landscape or two. In the last week I’ve also played with ink lines and watercolor.

On Guard
(click to see original image)

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

It took me a long time to feel like my art was marketable. I was a DPW lurker for a couple of years, admiring and learning from the amazing artists that posted every day, until one day I realized that I could do the same thing, and I signed up! That was a turning point for me, and still is.

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, posting regularly on a blog and Facebook page, as well as doing some outdoor art shows. With each painting I do, the medium itself teaches me what works and what doesn’t, while at the same time I see a little more of my own true nature in the finished pieces. I’m a work in progress, but now I’m not so afraid to let others share the ride with me as I continue to learn and grow as an artist.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I enjoy painting things that are beautiful and uplifting. It could be a landscape, or an amusing critter, but I always try to bring in a feeling of light-heartedness and joy about the world we live in. I’m happiest when people tell me that my work makes them smile, and then I feel like I’ve made a small difference for good in the life of that person. Knowing that my artwork has the capacity to lighten the heart of my viewers is the best feeling of all.

Thanks, Dorothy!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

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