Thursday, February 4, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jeanne Bruneau

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

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

From Jeanne's DPW Gallery Page:

Jeanne holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art & Design. Following graduation, she pursued a career in graphic design and marketing. While she primarily uses design software to facilitate her work, she always keeps paper and pencil handy to draw quick thumbnail sketches when exploring concepts. Jeanne's ability to sketch and compose designs quickly provided her with the foundation necessary for her transition to and current passion for plein air pastel and oil landscape painting. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

After spending so much time working on computers for my job in marketing, around fifteen years ago, I took a few watercolor and pastel classes at a local art center and got hooked on making art as an alternative to the rigidity of my work at the time, designing catalogs. Once I went outside to paint plein air, making art became a real passion.

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

I work full-time so there are periods when life gets in the way, especially in the winter, when I have a hard time getting motivated in the studio. That's when I resolve to try a new medium or technique.

Blue Beetle
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I thoroughly enjoy plein air painting in oil or pastel. Painting from life—learning to observe and translate to canvas—has been invaluable in advancing my painting skills. I've been playing with acrylics, too, just having fun with bold color.

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

While I love the immediacy of pastel, I'm concentrating now on oil painting because of the relative ease of framing during plein air events.

Santiago Flower Market
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In oils, my goal is working larger than 16" x 20"; in acrylic, still need to learn their unique properties to use for the best advantage.

Who or what inspires you most?

First, my sister, Patricia Bucko, a self-taught artist whose work is full of whimsy and joy. Then there are artists I follow on Facebook, mostly painting in an Impressionist style, many plein air painters. The common thread is their ability to capture light and shadow and bold color and brushwork.

Blue Velvet
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Generally, I procrastinate over upcoming show deadlines, causing myself unnecessary anxiety and stress. But it all manages to get done somehow.

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

Setting a goal to enter an upcoming show or plein air event, or participating in online challenges is a motivator though the goals need to be realistic—you can't do every event that comes your way. Plus, having a home studio set up even if I can only paint for a half-hour before work.

Brunch at Campbell's Place
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

In plein air, I'm attracted to contrast, color, and patterns, and aim to include a strong focal point.

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

I'm always studying other artists' techniques to determine how they might improve my work. Playing with toned backgrounds, experimenting with varying the paint thickness with painting mediums, square vs. rectangle formats, and choosing a variety of locations such as urban scenes.

Winter's Retreat
(click to view)

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

Still learning to 'see' and correctly capture values. When I mull over failed paintings, they generally lack a good value structure.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Besides the meditation-like feeling I get when painting for a few hours feels like minutes, if a subject I paint connects with someone, that gives me a thrill. I painted a little foot bridge in a local park; a woman saw it and told me her son's Scout troop had built the bridge many years ago -- so she bought it for him. Connections like that, even if they don't lead to sales, are very satisfying!

Thanks, Jeanne!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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