Thursday, September 17, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Anna Starkova

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

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

From Anna's DPW Gallery Page:

There is no bigger passion in life for me than art. The greatest satisfaction for me is taking an image click to read more)
from my head and making it come to life. I'm constantly observing the things around me and when something sticks in my head; I want to go home and drop everything and paint. I love working in various techniques like oils, acrylics, watercolors, graphite and switching between them gives my brain extra exercise. I do not limit myself when it comes to different subject matters and mediums. (

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

It all started when I was a child. I liked painting with watercolors and gouache. I would paint landscapes and floral still life. My sister and I were both obsessed with horses; which also became one of my favorite subjects to paint. We had a book about horses with beautiful pictures of them which I tried to recreate in watercolors.

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

Oh yes. After high school, when I was on a crossroad between choosing a university and degree program; I was advised by my parents to go for a degree in business management. I wanted to become an artist but in Russia where I'm from, it's extremely hard to become a successful artist. So I pursued business education and rarely painted.

Several years after I finished business school and work for a big advertising company, I decided to continue my business education. I pursued a Master Degree in Project Management in Boston, MA. My experience of relocating from Moscow to Boston was revolutionary for my brain and soul; because of it I started painting again as a stress relief. The more I painted the more I felt my passion for art. So I decided to be a part-time artist painting in my leisure time which changed when my husband and I had a baby and now I'm a stay-home mother who has a couple of hours a day for herself which I devote to painting.

Dreams of Rose
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

Watercolors and gouache were my first. In Boston I started painting with oils and acrylics as well as graphite drawing.

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

I still paint with watercolors occasionally. I really like working with oil and acrylic paints. After having a baby, I had to shift to acrylic painting and graphite drawing because of the smell that oil paints have. Hopefully, one day I will have a studio with a good ventilation system and I will be able to do oil painting again.

Melting Light
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I'm really focused on acrylic painting at the present moment and I want to explore the full potential of the paints. I have a lot of ideas in my head that I want to paint with acrylics, from realistic landscapes and still lives to abstract expressionism.

Who or what inspires you most? 

My biggest inspiration comes from nature. I can watch beautiful views infinitely trying to capture details, lighting, and mood.

Shades of Rose
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

With the baby I became more organized and whenever I have free time I do not waste it and go directly to painting; but sometimes it still happens that I submit an application for a show last minute.

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

Getting more organized and doing housework quicker. I only have time when my son is sleeping, so I paint during his naps and do everything else another time.

Spring is in the Air
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Ideas usually come when I'm outside observing, or sorting my old or friends' photographs. As for abstract painting, I choose colors and start playing with brush until something strikes in my head and I "see" the painting.

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

I have so many subjects that I want to paint and explore and switching the various themes around keeps me engaged with the process and keeps works looking vibrant. Though, sometimes I feel like I'm hopping from one subject to another instead of painting in a series; but I feel like I'm far away from burnout yet.

Tea Rose II
(click to view)

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

As a self-taught artist, my art career is a continuous learning process. At this moment I feel that composition has become a focus of my learning. I have been exploring with my mother's silver serving set by creating many different compositions for the September "30 paintings in 30 days" Challenge that I have signed up for. I took about a hundred pictures and now I'm looking back at them and I see how some of them work really well and some don't.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

The best thing about my art is that through my art I can transfer my emotions about the subject and I can show a piece of me and open a door to my world. I feel so happy when the spectator can feel the emotion and mood on the canvas coming from my work. I choose subjects that have had an impact and connection with me; when an outside observer shares that same connection with my work as I do; there is no greater compliment and that is when I'm most happy!

Thanks, Anna!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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