Thursday, July 23, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karen Murphy

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

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

From Karen's DPW Gallery Page: 

After working in a corporate environment for the past 20 years I am finally doing something I love, painting. I am an avid outdoors woman and (mostly) self-taught painter. I grew up in Massachusetts and as a child I would fill sketchbooks with graphite drawings of my horses and other pets. I began to explore painting as a teen and for the last 30 years (or so) I have continued to explore my creative process and have enjoyed translating my experiences into artistic creations. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting when I was around thirteen. My dad is an artist and I would watch him work and learn from it. I already loved to draw and spent a lot of my free time filling sketch books. But once I started painting I knew it was meant to do it. In high school I started to develop my own creative process and experimented with a lot of different mediums.

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

I have had a studio for most of my adult life and have painted pretty consistently. There have been stretches when I haven’t been able to paint because I haven’t had the time. The longest I have gone without painting was for about a year while I was renovating my house, working full time, and commuting.

Small and Sweet Five
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I can’t think of many mediums that I haven’t experimented with; I love to try new things. For a long time my go to genres were animals and nature. I grew up on a farm in a rural town and they were my greatest inspiration. At some point the nature lover in me also fell in love with landscape painting. Now I live near the water in a more urban setting, I find myself working on more seascapes and even some figurative.

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

Oil painting has always been my favorite and has permanently stuck. I also enjoy pastels and will break them out once in a while, especially for a quick plein air sketch. Sculpture has completely fallen away, at least for now.

Happy Dog
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have recently left my corporate career to become a full time artist and I don’t think I’ll be exploring any new mediums in the near future; I have made a choice to focus on oils for now. I do hope to experiment with new genres, especially abstract. Painting small is allowing me to explore new things.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am most inspired by nature and my surroundings, I always have been. Nature is where I go to reenergize and rejuvenate and it’s where my creativity always flows.

Flower Heads
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m not a big procrastinator but I do get distracted easily which can get me off task. There are days when I try to do too many things and it seems like I get nothing accomplished. I feel like I always have a battle with time.

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

I am currently working as a full time artist so I have plenty of time for my art. I am still learning how to structure my time so it’s most efficient. I have decided to try set work hours for studio time. It’s been tough for me to balance painting/administrative tasks but I’m working on it.

At the Market
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

When I get an idea I write it down and keep a running list. Lately I find that I’ll see something in daily life that I’ll want to paint and I haven’t had to refer to my list for a while.

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

I love taking classes and workshops for keeping my art “fresh.” I haven’t experienced burnout yet and I’m not sure how I’ll deal with it if it ever happens. Knowing myself I’ll probably just need to take some time off or visit a location that will inspire me.

Follow Me
(click to view)

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

I have been taking plein air workshops and classes all spring and summer. Plein air has been a new challenge for me and I feel I have grown tremendously as an artist in the past few months because of it.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The thing that makes me happiest is when I see my art make others happy. When I deliver a painting to a customer and watch their face light up with joy. I know they resonate with that painting and it will make them smile every time they look at it. I love it when I can personally deliver a painting and see the reaction.

Thanks, Karen!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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