Thursday, February 18, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kimberly Conrad

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

To enter to win Kimberly's painting, "Beautiful Storm - Mini #1" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Kimberly's DPW Gallery page:

"Art and music are to my soul, as food and water are to my body. I believe that they are two of God's most precious gifts to His children. As the author and giver of creativity, through these gifts, He has given us a portion of Himself. He created the very first canvas, magnificently painted it, and brought it to life" I am a full time artist, dividing my time between painting and teaching in my Colorado studio. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been creating one thing or another most of my life, but I did not begin a career as a full-time painter until 2006.

I was designing clothing at that time and was introduced to palette knife oil painting and fell instantly in love. I closed the clothing business, and began painting daily.

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

Not since I began painting full-time in 2006. Life, of course, demands your full attention at times and can keep you from the easel temporarily, but painting is certainly a priority.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began in oils, had a brief affair with mixed media and then moved into pouring acrylic, which I absolutely love.

Beautiful Storm - Mini #1
(click to view)

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

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

I have been primarily pouring acrylic for the past 8 years, but the palette knife is calling out to me, and I have a series of oil paintings planned in my head. I am hoping to begin that series in March. I will, of course, continue to pour. I have a studio in Denver, across the hall from my gallery, dedicated to pouring, and a studio at home dedicated to all other art, so I am fortunate to be able to easily do both.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Again, I am excited to get back to oils, but I am also in the process of setting up a mixed media station in my home studio.

"Flurries # 3"
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

People inspire me! I truly love people, and being a part of like-minded groups such as Daily Paintworks. My gallery and studio are both in an old boarding house in the 7th avenue restaurant district of Denver. There are ten other artists in the building and I love to mosey from room to room and see what others are working on. I am on the second floor and my windows look out over the tall city buildings. The energy of the building and the the views never fail to inspire me.

I also have a slight obsession with centenarians! I study them and their habits and lifestyles. You would be amazed at how many are artists, photographers and writers. There is something about the love of and the act of CREATING that keeps you young in mind and spirit, which is great for the body!

What does procrastination look like for you?

In all honestly, procrastination is rarely an issue for me. Time management, however, is a monster of a battle. I am the CEO of Where Art Lives online gallery and magazine, and an art business coach, and those responsibilities come before painting.

Original Abstract Expressionism Painting "Brewing"
(click to view)

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

I try to be at my desk by 5:30 a.m. to get in my 5-7 hours of computer work and coaching calls, then paint in the afternoons and evenings. I have learned that if I get a late start at the computer and work into the late afternoon, my creative energy dwindles - and I will likely skip painting.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am an expressionist at heart, but have been painting seascapes and landscapes for several years now.
I do a great deal of commissioned work especially for the hospitality industry, which dictates my subject matter, BUT because of my technique, my expressionist heart gets satisfied.

A client may choose the palette, but pouring is very random. I like to say the paint tells it's own story, and it is really thrilling to see how that story plays out and what the end result is.

Palette Knife Abstract Expressionism Painting "Bladeworks 47"
(click to view)

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

Well, at the risk of sounding redundant, the technique of pouring renders something different every single time, and the outcome is always a surprise.

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

I am learning that you must be fearless, and follow your heart. Look straight ahead and ignore the naysayers; they will always be there. There are those that say you must choose one medium and one style and not waver from the path. For some that is great advice, for others, it can be the death of creativity. In that respect, I have always been, and will always be a rebel. I do not believe there is a right or wrong creative path - there is simply YOUR creative path.

Coastal Abstract Art "School in Session"
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Well, I of course am thrilled when someone connects with my paintings, and even more thrilled when they feel they must make that connection permanent!

But the bottom line is, I love creating things. If something happened today, that kept me from ever painting again, I would find a way to somehow make something else. I have been "making things" my whole life, and I hope to be "making things" until the day I die.

Thanks, Kimberly!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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