Thursday, January 29, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elena Nayman

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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I am a self taught artist. I started painting ten years ago and instantly fell in love with it. During one year, I took classes with a local artist. She helped me to find confidence in myself. In general, I learn well on my own and this skill helped me move forward with painting as well.

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

I have painted non stop for the last twelve months. Prior to that, I would paint for a year or two and if I saw no progress in my work I would stop for six months or so and wait for inspiration to come back.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started painting with acrylics and it was a great experience. I was interested in learning to paint with oils but didn't like using turpentine. About two years ago I have discovered water mixable oil and I love it.

(click to see original image)

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

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

I am in love with oils and I think I'll continue to paint with them.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am still not settled with my style. I love impressionism as well as modern art. Cityscape is my favorite genre, but I am learning to paint flowers/still life and enjoying that very much as well.

Rainy Day
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Light and shadows fascinate me. I love taking walks alone and observing everything around me. This is a very happy time for me. Some ideas come to me before I go to sleep and once or twice I've had a dream about a subject matter. Going to museums is another favorite inspiration. People who inspire me: Korovin, Fechin, Rembrandt, Renoir, Jeremy Mann and many others.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Self doubt is a huge cause of procrastination for me.

Childhood Memories, St. Petersburg, Russia
(click to see original image)

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

I am so happy when I paint that I make sure to paint almost daily. It doesn't mean that I am happy with all results but it doesn't stop me from coming back to my studio.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It is difficult to say. I look through my photos time and again and eventually get a feeling that this is the one I'd like to paint today or tomorrow.

City Tram
(click to see original image)

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

I enjoy painting. I am never upset, angry or frustrated if I cannot get a satisfactory result. I see no problem with getting a palette knife and scraping paint off of a canvas if I see that this project is not going to work. As with life itself, I see painting as a learning process and always look forward to something new. I am amazed to see how a brush or palette knife can place paint onto a white canvas to create color, light, and shadows. The features join together and something new emerges before my eyes.

Light and Shadows in a Morning City
(click to see original image)

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

There is so much beauty in nature and simple everyday things that I can capture on canvas. I can say that it is never too late to learn anything if you set your mind on it. One should not strive for perfection but to learn to enjoy whatever is here and right now.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The process of painting is the most important part of my art. When I paint, nothing exists anymore and the whole world vanishes.  In that moment only the canvas, oils, brush or palette knife and myself represent all of it.

Thanks, Elena!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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