Thursday, March 24, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Paulette Farrell

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

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

From Paulette's DPW Gallery:

I am a sports and portrait artist living in Cheshire, England who loves drawing sports scenes involving movement. I sold my first professional drawing in May 2014, since then the demand for my cricket & sports drawings have increased dramatically, becoming collectibles. I am now a professional artist working from my home studio. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I did not start drawing until my late thirties.  My children were given a box of oil pastels for free, nobody seemed interested in using them so I thought I would give them a go.  I was not sure how to use them so then began a journey into discovering mediums, how to use them, what they look like in a piece of art.  I think I am still on that journey six years later but interestingly, I do not use oil pastels anymore.

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

Not so far, once I started I have never stopped.  Some days are quieter than others though.

Snow Spaniel
(click to view)
Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Paulette's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Quite a lot.  I initially used oil paints which I really love but soon shelved due to young children and the length of time it takes to dry. I have used watercolours, charcoal, soft pastels and pastel pencils.  With genres, I have tried landscapes, still lives, portraits and figure drawings.

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

Watercolours quickly fell away; I did not like the fixed nature of them as I like to change my mind.  My artists eye has improved greatly and I won't stick with a piece if it doesn't feel right.  I have to keep changing it until I am happy.  Oil paints I hope to try again with now that I have my own studio space.  My true loves though are charcoal and pastels.  I work with both.  Charcoal is fantastic for doing my sports drawings, it allows me to show movement really well.  I also feel pretty smug that I can accomplish something wonderful with a stick of wood and a piece of paper.  Pastels and pastel pencils are also a great medium, they allow me to be flexible and I love the subtle blends.

Whippet Style
(click to view)

For genres, from the moment I started to draw I wanted to do portraits.  I think I liked the romantic ideal of having a sitter and drawing them.  This is something I have not done enough as I tend to work from digital photos more than anything.  My sports drawings come from my love of sport - particularly cricket and hours spent watching my children play.  I love the twist of bodies and the awkward shapes that sports people get into.  My pet drawings came from commission requests.  They were going well, but I always got really nervous when a new commission request comes in. I try to draw independently some tricky animal drawings to help my drawing.  I found I liked sourcing my own beautiful images and transforming them into art.

Who or what inspires you most?

A great or interesting pose, a moment in a sports event that captures movement and a key turning point.  The artists I love are those who represent beauty in art, who bring out the wonderful elements that we all see.  I love Renoir and Rembrandt and Carl Larsson.

(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I had to look up what procrastination means, I think it means distraction or putting things off.  I have not drawn this weekend because I have spent almost all of it discovering lightroom and photoshop, only by chance because I wanted to know how to show my scanned drawings with a white background.  That led to three days kind of wasted but not really because I know a bit more now. So for me, I am guilty of going off on tangents and not staying focused. That said, it is probably a tangent that I needed to take.

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

This is a constant angst for me.  I work part time as well as having three teenagers, a dog and two cats.  I find it hard to settle down to draw when I know that there is other stuff to do.  The best thing that I have found lately is to ensure I work on a timetable.  I have three art days in a week and I now have those three days carefully planned to fit in website/email work, drawing, framing and promoting. The difference was immediate when I began to follow my timetable: a clearer mind with everything running fairly well.

(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am a great lover of Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.  I follow a lot of sports contacts and I am always on the look out for great moments caught on camera.  I draw from life when I can, a sketch pad at a cricket match is a wonderful way to people watch.  The animal drawings are easy inspiration, as they are so lovely, the more natural looking the better though.  I prefer to capture certain 'looks' or moments with animals and people.  Probably the most common theme that captures my eye is movement, the more complicated the better!

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

Again a differing of opinion.  Good advice I have read is to stick to what you are good at or enjoy and become brilliant at it or completely contrary advice is to keep trying new things to maintain your interest and passion.  I tend to do the latter.  I like to keep up to date with new materials and techniques, I follow many artists and publications, go to galleries, etc.  It's what I like to see in other people's work that makes my own style and if I keep on admiring and evaluating other people's art then mine also improves.

Black Prince
(click to view)

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

I've recently taken up graphite drawing in order to improve my sketching skills.  Never a big lover of graphite, which I felt tended to look dull and dirty, it has come as a surprise how much I love it and indeed I am now marketing it as a new medium/style for me.  I think being able to use charcoal so well has helped me take up graphite so easily.  Also, I have recently discovered Nitram charcoal which is wonderful and allows me to be more accurate whilst still retaining the soft beauty of charcoal.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When the finished piece is the same image or better than the picture I had in my head.

Thanks, Paulette!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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