Thursday, March 19, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dorothy Fagan

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, "Cliffside Dwelling, France" 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 paint in oil and mixed media. I work en plein air and in my studio near the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. In 2013, I was fortunate to have a six week residency in France, painting en plein air in Provence, Brittany, Normandy, along the Emerald Coast, Giverny and Paris. I became fascinated with the juxtapositon of ancient structures, vibrant people and the landscape.
You can find info on Dorothy's current art show (happening March 20-22) here -

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been painting since I was a little girl. My bedroom was always an art studio. I won my first award at fourteen, a five-county regional in New Jersey.

Cliffside Dwelling, France
(click to see original image)

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

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

As a young mother, I suffered a series of traumas. The PTSD and depression caused me much difficulty. Ultimately, my art became the healing force which enabled me to move past them. This helped me learn the connection between energy medicine and painting. As a result of this, I lead classes in healing color for people from all walks of life.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have a BFA in Printmaking and Painting. After college, I worked in pastel exclusively for twenty-five years. I also work in oil. During my residency at Musee de la Grande Vigne in Brittany, I experimented with turpentine wash fused with willow charcoal. Returning to the States, this led me to my mixed media fusion paintings, using alkyd paint with willow charcoal and pastel.

(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Landscape has always been my inspiration. However, since my French residency in 2013, I find much inspiration in my interactions with people. My blog has become a Virtual Artists' Residency where I am exchanging creative ideas with readers. I have begun teaching again and find it very stimulating.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't procrastinate. I have some projects which are in the incubation period. Others which are in action. I don't confuse the two.

Blonde Wax Beans
(click to see original image)

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

I am painting all the time. Even if I don't have a brush in my hand, I am painting in my mind's eye. Generally, I write in the mornings and paint in the afternoons. I take a day off to have lunch with a girlfriend.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am still working on ideas from my French residency. One painting usually begets others. I follow them and they lead me through self exploration. Writing about them on my blog opens new ideas as well.

High Tide, St Jaces de la Mer
(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?

Some time ago, I came to the realization that even if my painting is inspired by something I have seen in the landscape - what I am really painting is a self portrait - an inner landscape. This realization made me a better painter and keeps me engaged in exploring new territory every day. I am always eager to go into the studio to see what I painted yesterday - it always surprises me!

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

This year, I am planning a residency in Tuscany. From August through October, I will paint and blog from Tuscany. My project is called, "Muses of Tuscany," as three 'muses' will visit me to inspire my paintings. When I return home in November, I will exhibit the paintings at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, MA. People can register to follow this project on my blog.

Lavande Magic
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when I connect with someone through my paintings. Watching someone see themselves in a painting is a humbling experience. I am so fortunate to be able to paint and share my art. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. I even paint with my grandchildren!

Thanks, Dorothy!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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