Thursday, August 4, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jamie Stevens

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

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

From Jamie's DPW Gallery: 

About 25 years ago, I took oil painting classes for a year or two (ugh...shows my age!) Every once in a while I would talk with my husband about how I would like to paint again but there just never seemed to be a good opportunity or space to try it. Initially, he gave me acrylic paints and brushes as a gift. I was really excited but completely intimidated! I barely looked at it for over a month. After some encouragement, I finally began to experiment with the paints that he had given me. More recently, I've started painting in oils and I love it. My hope is to paint a little every day. Most of my painting happens during my daughter's nap and in the evening if I'm not too tired from chasing around a 4 year old! The most important thing about me is my relationship with God. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I always enjoyed drawing and art as a child. I even had a dream in elementary school of one day being a Disney animator! The very first time I painted was when I took an oil painting class during most of 6th grade. I remember really liking it, but for various reasons I didn’t continue the next year.

Petey the Parrot
(click to view)

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

Since meeting and marrying my husband, I would occasionally tell him that I would love to try painting again. Life was busy and we lived in a small apartment so it didn’t seem very feasible. Christmas 2014, he bought me my first set of acrylic paints and brushes. I had never used acrylics before and felt kind of intimidated. It took me a couple of months before picking them up and trying to paint. Once I started though, I didn’t want to stop! I am really thankful to be married to such a supportive person. I fully credit him with my rediscovered love for painting.

After playing around with my paints for a few months, I happened across Carol Marine’s book “Daily Painting”. Not only did I love her work, but I also loved her book! It introduced me to the idea of painting small and often. I was encouraged to read that she started her daily painting journey during her child’s naps. I also paint during my child’s naps. I thought, “Maybe this is something I can really do!” I read that book last summer and feel like that was when I began the path I’m on now.

July Book Club

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

I took a break from painting for most of last school year. I had a three year old at the time and increased my hours at work. I didn’t know how to continue painting and prioritize my family and other important things in my life. I’m trying to get better at leaving more margin in my life for painting. What mediums and genres have you experimented with? I have worked in acrylics and oils.

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

I painted with acrylics initially but picked up oil painting this past May. I love painting in oils. I haven’t picked up my acrylic paints since I painted my first oil painting! I do want to try working with them again at some point though.

Daddy-Daughter Time
click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’d like to explore using gauche, but I am having too much fun with my oils for now!

Who or what inspires you most?

Other artists. I especially enjoy reading other artists’ blogs. It’s inspiring to get a peek into their journey as an artist. When I feel tired at the end of a long day and unmotivated to set up my studio (aka my kitchen table), looking at other artists’ work motivates me to get up and start painting. I also love the feeling I get when I can see that a painting is coming together. It doesn’t usually happen until I’m about 2/3 of the way through the painting… sometimes it doesn’t even happen until the very end. Remembering that sense of satisfaction and joy inspires me to paint again. I’m also frequently inspired by what I see as I drive around town.

Sunny Side Up
click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Because painting can only happen during very limited times during my day/week, I don’t procrastinate much. After I get over the initial barrier of being tired I’m usually pretty excited to get started.

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

Like I said before, I wasn’t able to do that for most of last school year. This year I won’t be working as much. Also, my husband is very encouraging. It helps that he wants me to paint. It also helps me to be a part of DPW because I want to be posting there frequently.

Mug on Yellow
click to view)

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

I think I’m still learning a lot of the basics… composition, values, how to mix colors and trying to get a lot of miles on the paintbrush.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Painting is a joy and a challenge. I’m happiest with my art when I meet the challenge and it all comes together.

Thanks, Jamie!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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