Thursday, July 10, 2014

DPW Spotlight: Annette Balesteri

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

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

From Annette's DPW Gallery page:

I am thrilled to be part of Daily Paint Works and around others who have the same passion to be creative daily! As an editorial cartoonist since 1986, mostly dealing in black and white print, I love that I have time now to go back to oils for the first time in years!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I am mostly self-taught. It started, I believe, in grade school. There, I first realized that many of my schoolmates had no interest in or couldn't draw. At the start of the school year, my class had to set up our classroom in the school basement with no windows, pipes overhead, and artificial lights. There was this big long blank stone wall on the side of this dreary room.

Our teacher, one morning, taped up some local butcher wrap paper all over it and asked if anyone would like to help draw and color a scene of Columbus discovering America. I quickly jerked up my hand while bouncing up out of my seat hoping to be one of the chosen. Everyone laughed. I was only one with my hand up, so the whole wall became mine to do. I drew on this wall everyday for an hour during class.

This, I truly believe, is why I am weak in math and got an A in history that year. So I learned young that drawing did not come naturally to everyone.

Watchful Max
(click to see original image)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career? What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I don't paint all of the time. My daily routine and current job is editorial cartoonist for my local area newspaper. Political cartoons, caricatures; I've been doing freelance work for over 30 years now. My children are all grown and out of the house and I am now trying to impress my grandchildren.

(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

To many to mention who has been inspirational to me over all the years. I am so grateful to all of them, the list is long but not forgotten. The artwork of Carol Marine inspired me to go back to oils. I own most of her instructional videos and demonstrations. I was completely frustrated with oil paints before, but not now.

I love the DPW website, the artists, challenges, the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and frustrations that all the talented members have come to know because of the passion to paint daily. It truly is a passion for me too!

Calico Cat Face
(click to see original image)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I get inspired to paint daily very easily. One technique I use is keeping my brushes clean and ready to use in a set up area that never gets put away. An inviting area in my home ready to create is all I need to get me going. I love the learning process and making something come alive with just a pencil sketch.

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

I avoid burn out by changing my painting medium or subject from dogs to cats or birds after couple of days outdoors.

Little Guy
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I cannot remember a time I was without a pet to hug! I have a deep love for animals. Painting them now is such an addictive joy.

Thanks, Annette!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine Cruse

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