Friday, June 13, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Joy Olney

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

To enter to win Joy's painting, "First Spring Iris" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Joy's DPW Gallery page:

Joy was born in Bordeaux, France. She began her formal training in earnest in 1966 when she attended Tyler College of Art while still a high school student. Immediately upon graduation from high school, she enrolled as a full time student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. There she studied under such notables as Will Barnett and Robert Beverly Hale. She has created a sensitive style truly her own.

As a master of the nearly lost art of fine drawing, she captures the essence of her subjects with a deft hand. Joy is accomplished in all media and all types of subject matter. In addition to creating individual pieces, Joy designed and executed theater stage sets in the New York Metropolitan area for eight years.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first painting lessons were a thirteenth birthday present. It was an adult class and the instructor just sat there and puffed on a pipe. A few months later I was enrolled in a drawing class with an excellent instructor who taught the Kimon Nicolaide's method, "The Natural Way to Draw." With a strong drawing foundation, I received a scholarship to a teen painting class at the Philadelphia's College of Art with a great teacher using the Cape School method. I then went on to college class of drawing at Tyler School of Art when I was sixteen. Then after high school, I went on to 5 years at the Pennsylvanian Academy of Fine Arts where I painted every day.

First Spring Iris
(click to see original image)

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

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

After art school, for a year I became the director of an art center where the demand of the job left me little time to paint. Later, I married and we moved to a new place; it took me a few months to find a place in time and space to paint and draw. After my second son was born and we moved across country, I took time off to be a full time mother of two. After about two years, my husband encouraged me to go back to my art.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Soon after art school, I started teaching ceramics and selling ceramics in galleries around Philadelphia and in New Jersey. The pots I made had figures and faces on them. I also designed and painted scenery sets for almost nine years. Painting large and loose was a great exercise for me. When my children were small, I tried watercolor, gouache, pastels, and colored pencils. Anything that was fast to set out and easy to clean up. I hadn't painted many landscapes until we moved to the Northwest. I went out on my own to paint until I found groups that did that also.

Sailing Lessons
(click to see original image)

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

My sons were in highschool before I went back to oils full time. I don't want to paint with any other medium. I love painting in oils. But, once in a while someone will ask me to give a watercolor class, so I pull them out and start to use them again. A wise decision was to not spread myself too thin. So I haven't touched ceramics in years, and I will never will go back to scenery painting.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

A love a challenge. I find painting outside with oils a challenge. How fast I can paint the changing light, the sea colors, the cloud formations. How fast I can paint this man mending his fishing net. So I have to say, I have plenty of exploration still to do with just painting with oils.

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm inspired when I see fine paintings by artist in books and museums like John Singer Sargent, or paintings by the impressionist and others. I am inspired by looking a local art as well. Tapes and books by contemporary artists like Richard Schmid are inspiring. Driving around our local farm area, the sea, and the mountain inspires me. Sometimes a walk through my garden inspires me. I find beautiful music inspiring. When I see a person that I know will make a fantastic subject to paint, I bravely approach them to see if they will model for me.

(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

From experience I find it easier to do something that I may think is hard, then to think and fret about doing it. Getting it done and freeing myself allows me to go on to the next thing that needs to be done.

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

When the boys were in school, I went out to groups where we would hire models to draw and paint on a set day and time each week. I still go out to paint and draw models in a group setting. I took over our breakfast room by the kitchen where I could paint until the boys walked in the door. Now I have a studio/carriage house on our lot where I go every afternoon to paint. Putting on my painting clothes and classical music transitions me into painting time.

Rocks Along Larrabee Coast
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I arrive at ideas for paintings by looking over photos that I've taken over the years. A composition or subject will pop out at me. If there is a Gallery Show with a theme, I work on that theme for a while. Sometimes looking through art books will give me an idea. It could also be a flower from my garden or a neighbor's cat or car. I am also part of a critique group where we suggest constructive criticism and share ideas.

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

I recently read on Daily Paintworks that someone had challenged themselves to do thirty-five brush stokes to a painting. I thought that was a great idea and a way to not overwork a painting or put unnecessary brush strokes on a painting. I haven't tried it yet but I will. I think to keep art fresh you have to know when to stop. Finding balance in my life keeps me from burnout. For me, I need family and friends time, fresh air and exercise. I also find time to do volunteer work. It's good for me to think about what others may need and help out. The area where I live has a strong, supportive art community as well.

Winter Flowers
(click to see original image)

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

Right now, I'm studying color. It is easier for me to look at my older art work and see what I have learned since that piece was made, than to look at my art work today and say this is what I'm learning right now.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I see someone look at my art and fall in love with it, or see how happy someone is about the work I've made. I'm happy to see my art bring joy into someone's life. I am also happy when my painting or drawing flows out of me with ease and just seems right and complete.

Thanks, Joy!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

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