Friday, May 15, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Stefan Peters

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

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

From Stefan's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a professional artist from The Netherlands, now living abroad. I started as an abstract and colored pencil artist. After a while of experimenting with new mediums and painting many different subjects, I realized that I prefer a more realistic approach to my art. I especially like painting landscapes, wildlife and still life, which is also reflected in my daily painting series. Favorite mediums include oils, colored pencils and watercolors. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting and drawing in high school and even though I had an interest in it back then, I did not see it as a future carrier path.  A few years back, I met my wife who is also a full time artist and that sparked my interest for art again. For our first Christmas together, I received a small box of Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils and a block of artist drawing paper from her. The days after Christmas, I immediately started using the pencils to sketch some basic shapes. In the upcoming months, I started making more elaborate drawings using reference photos of birds and still life. At the end of January, I held my first paint brush again since high school and started experimenting with acrylic and oil paint. With my wife as a guide, I began by creating some abstract paintings. This was the start of my full time artist career.

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

Since I started painting full time five years ago, I have not stopped. I was very lucky that my wife had been doing art full time since 2006 and from the moment I started drawing and painting she taught me everything she knew. We both worked together to promote my works online and are always looking for opportunities to gain more exposure. 

Autumn Forest
(click to see original image)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with acrylics, oils, colored pencils and watercolor (including watercolor pencils). I started with impressionist drawings of birds and still life. Not long after that I moved on to painting abstracts in acrylics and oils. I continued working with these mediums for about a year before trying out impressionist oil and watercolor paintings.  Then I began creating realistic coloured pencil drawings and have continued to work in these genres since. 

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

Over the years acrylics have fallen away as they did not really suite my style of painting. Oils, watercolors and colored pencils stuck as they allow me to work in the ways that I prefer. Colored pencils give me to ability to draw in great details as where oils and watercolors allow me to let the paint flow over my canvas or paper to achieve  impressionist works.

Wild Piglets
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In the future, I want to explore pastels and charcoal as they both seem very interesting mediums and I have seen some beautiful works done with both of them.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by scenery, landscapes, colors and the beauty of nature that surrounds us. Being born and raised in Holland, I have seen many different landscapes, beautiful and colorful tulip fields, charming narrow cobblestone streets, old architecture, farm fields and coastal landscapes. All of this still inspires my work. 

A major inspiration in this field of work is my wife as she has shown me that it is possible to have a full time art career if you are determined enough. 

Blue Bird
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I usually focus on my tasks and I prioritize them in such a way that I can accomplish them all timely. If there are any deadlines that need to be kept then I do these first and then continue on my other projects.

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

I am fortunate enough to be able to work on art full time and therefore have plenty of time. I usually work on several pieces in a day and if there is a day where other duties take me away from art for a short while, that is not really a problem. 

Jelly Beans
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have folders with hundreds of photos taken over time during travels, places I lived, etc. and when I want to start a new painting I browse through my image folders until I find something that catches my eye.

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

I keep my art “fresh” by switching between mediums. If I do not feel like painting in oils then I start a colored pencil drawing or a watercolor. It is usually an impulse decision. Sometimes I start a project and drop it for a few days, work on something else if I feel inspired to do so and then pick up the old project and finish it. I think this helps me avoid burnout and keeps me interested in always having an ongoing project. 

Rain Forest
(click to see original image)

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

A lot about marketing my work and selling it online. I think that the marketing part is directly connected to the artistic one and helps me succeed as an artist. For me it is not only about creating but also learning how to get myself known and to reach an audience that appreciates my style of work. 

What makes you happiest about your art?

Seeing progress in every new work that I make. Especially mediums that I am not very specialised in yet, like watercolors. The fact that I can do art full time and make a living of it. Waking up and not having to go to a job that is not satisfying is what makes me the happiest. 

Thanks, Stefan!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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