Thursday, October 29, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Robyn Wellman

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

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

From Robyn's DPW Gallery Page:

I have always sketched for as long as I can remember. Seeing an original RC Gorman piece was like a spiritual experience for me as a kid and from then on I wanted to paint. Mostly through a self-guided art education, I'm growing as an artist, slowly changing from just a "painter" to an artist. I enjoy playing with and exaggerating color and perspective. I paint what makes my heart sing; mostly New Mexican landscapes and cultural icons as well as flowers. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I remember drawing and having an interest in art since I was very, very young.  I think I really wanted to become an oil painter when I saw the art works of RC Gorman as a young teen.  I can recall looking at his colors and having an almost religious experience.  At the time I mostly worked in colored pencils and did a lot of sketching.  When I got to college I took some painting classes but they were not very structured or thorough unfortunately and I was too young to really understand that I should have been looking into well established art programs.  But I bought some paints and brushes and basically started trying to teach myself.

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

Well yes, especially since I had so little formal instruction until just recently.  Even just understanding the materials and mediums was a puzzle to me.  I'd often stop painting for months at a time because I'd be so frustrated at my inability to grow further.  After taking some art workshops from Krysteen Waszack in Albuquerque, NM, I finally started to have some significant growth as an artist.  I'm now producing something almost every day.  And considering I have 4 children and run a business, that's an accomplishment that makes me pretty proud.

(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started out with pencil, colored pencil and pastels, and worked in water color for a little while, but currently I stick closely to oil paints.  I have painted in acrylics as well but I really prefer the oils.  I love the rich color of oils.

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

I'm committed to oil paints for now.  I would like to try oil pastels and perhaps some inks, but for now, I have to feel like I'm confident with oils before moving on to another medium.

Luminarias at Talpas
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'd like to try the oil pastels and ink for a more "drawn" look.

Who or what inspires you most?

Oh my.. so many to name.  I am a huge fan of the artists of New Mexico.  The clear and bright air inspires the artists here to paint in very vibrant colors.  I absolutely love the art work of Ed Sandoval, Georgia O'Keefe, RC Gorman, & Miguel Martinez.  Recently, I've become a huge fan of Shonto Begay, Elizabeth Porter, Sally Bartos, Jennifer Cavan, Leigh Gusterson and of course my teacher, Krysteen Waszack who has helped me tremendously.  I've also been very interested in the illustrations I see in comic books.  I'd like to learn more about those artists.

Geraniums on a Porch
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Frustration or fear.  I have struggled to fend off my own self-criticism and self-doubt.  When I get frustrated with myself, I have to put the brushes down and find somewhere else to put my creative energy for awhile.  I'm not a person who can put things off or sit still easily so I usually find something else to do until I can come back to the art with a more positive head space.  Now, if I find that I really don't like a painting I've done, I simply take it to the garage, sand it down and start over.  I also tend to paint the same subject repeatedly, experimenting and trying to learn from that.

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

I simply tell myself that life is very short and time slips by faster the older I get.  The chores will get done, but first.... I must paint!

A Valley in Taos, New Mexico
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint what I love. I think a painting is like a love letter.  I want to shout out to the world about how much I love the things I see around me.  My way of doing that is to paint this subject to show an audience how I feel about the land I love or how wonderful flowers are.

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

I have never felt burnt out with regard to art, only frustrated with myself regarding my skill level.  For me, art is life.  Nothing really matters much compared to the human ability to be creative.  I hope that my never ending interest in the things I see around me will continue to feed my art and hopefully keep it fresh and interesting.

The Entrance
(click to view)

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

Light.  Light and shadows.  I'm not yet where I want to be with regard to those, but I know I'm getting better all the time.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The act of painting puts me in a zone and I forget the rest of the world.  If I can paint, my other problems seem to fade into the background.  But more specifically, I enjoy playing with color and perspective.  I enjoy exaggerated colors and perspective.  I want the color to grab the viewers attention and lure them in and then I want the perspective to draw the viewer closer, step inside the painting and look around at my world.

Thanks, Robyn!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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