Thursday, December 10, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: John Pierre DeBernay

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

To enter to win Jean Pierre's painting, "Pink Rose in Water Glass" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Jean Pierre's DPW Gallery Page:

Jean Pierre DeBernay is an award winning artist who has achieved success and recognition in a variety of media. A native of Normandy, France, he moved to Colorado in 1974, after beginning his career at Hallmark Cards, designing social expression products for seven years. In Colorado, he became Art Director of Current Inc., the largest direct mail social expression product company in the Country. All the while, he entered juried exhibitions nation wide and was rewarded with inclusion in prestigious museums and art centers throughout the US. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As eighth graders in France, we were tested on recitation of famous works of literature. We were also graded on our penmanship by writing these works in a notebook and could get extra credit by illustrating them. Our teacher was not particular about the provenance of the artwork; so I ended up with a following of friends who wanted me to illustrate their notebooks in trade for marbles - our favorite activity at recess being marble shooting contests. Anyway, this kept me busy with my colored pencils and started my budding “career” as an artist.

Pink Rose in Water Glass
(click to view)

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

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

When I came to the United States, I was thrown into ninth grade to “sink or swim”. My art teacher took a special interest in me and encouraged me to paint in watercolor.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?
In college, I experimented with oil paints, pastels, printmaking and sculpture. I went through my abstract period but settled on realism and turned out what I consider now some very ugly works.

Northwest Coast
(click to view)

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

Watercolor has been my favorite medium throughout my artistic career, not only because of its spontaneity but also because of necessity.

Eagle Over the Rio Grande Gorge
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

During my years as an illustrator for Hallmark Cards and Current Inc. which required more realistic interpretations, I developed my own style of more impressionistic work for galleries.

Who or what inspires you most?

My favorite artists are Monet, Sorolla, Sargent, Matisse and Dufy. Nothing excites me more to paint than to visit museums and attend other artists’ showings.

Coffee Pot Range, Sedona
(click to view)

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

These days, I’m rediscovering my love also for oil paints. I’m working on loosening my brushstrokes even more. I get my inspiration from my travels and, closer to home, I have my own little wild habitat and “Monet” ponds with perfunctory waterlilies and Chinese Irises that attract my favorite subjects. My flower garden also gives me plenty of painting material.

Blue Vase Floral
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I have an art ministry which encourages children and adults to paint with me in acrylics and I thank God every day for having given me a talent and passion which has made my life worthwhile.

Thanks, Jean Pierre!

© 2015 Sophie Marine

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