Thursday, December 1, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kaethe Bealer

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

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

From Kaethe's DPW Gallery:

My name is Kaethe, pronounced "Kathy". I have been A DPW member artist since 2011. I have been painting since the age of 16 and have been on a serious course to become a better painter for the last 13 years. I have had the pleasure of studying with numerous accomplished artists. Peggi Kroll Roberts, Tim Horn and Stanley Goldstein have been my consistent teachers. I have also tried to absorb the wisdom of the art community. My mediums are acrylic and oil. I love painting light and shadow and hope that I can take the ordinary and emphasize its beauty. Thank you for looking at my work! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I loved art since I was able to pick up a crayon. When I was sixteen, growing up in Hawaii, my Mom signed me up for an adult painting class with a local artist, the late Joe Dawson.  We had fun painting his formula waterfalls, lava flows, beaches and palm trees. To my chagrin, my mom still has those paintings hung up on her walls.  (Please Mom, if you are reading this…)

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

I didn’t do much art during my college years, especially during graduate school. I have a Masters in Social Work. I have always taken some kind of art class and was a “Sunday painter” until 2002. I am not sure what happened at that time but my light switch went on. I was excited about painting and wanted to get better at it. I became obsessed and the obsession is even more intense today.

The Kayaker
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have used oils, acrylics, water based oils, pastels, watercolors, collage and silk screening. I think I have painted almost every genre. I get bored painting the same thing.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

I paint with Golden Open acrylics and oil paints. I don’t really use anything else. My subject matter remains varied; cats, dogs, figures, interiors, flowers, cityscapes, seascapes, etc.

The Art Class
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I hate to say it but I don’t have any interest in other mediums. Is that a bad thing? I just want to be a better painter. If I had to pick something that kind of falls into the category of exploration, it would be changing up the sizes of paintings and the formats. I have been doing squares and mostly small works. I would like to do larger works. I am going to be working on a 24x42 in the near future which I am pretty excited about.

Who or what inspires you?

I live on a boat and everywhere I look, I see a painting. I see paintings when I go for walks with my dog and when I am driving down the street. (I only take photos at the stoplights!) I get inspired seeing other artists’ work. I am hooked on Instagram for that reason alone! I get inspired because of the encouragement I have received from other artists. I also get inspired by listening to art podcasts such as Savvy Painter, Artists Helping Artists, PleinAir, and the Jealous Curator.

(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I once heard that procrastination often appears when you are trying to be perfect. I suppose when I am trying to find ways to not paint, it's spending time online. When I am ready to get over myself, I can start my work and not think about things too hard.

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

Even though I don’t have a lot of space, I do leave my table top easel set up with my palette box. I often paint in the mornings before going to my day job. This is especially true when I have deadlines. Weekends are usually reserved for painting. I try to paint 'til the evenings when I want to spend time with my husband.

The Commuters
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your painting?

I am constantly observing, taking photos, playing with compositions. I use photo editing tools to help me arrive at an idea. I have thousands of photos that I periodically look through. I look until something excites me.

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

I give myself permission to take breaks. I think they are purposeful. I need to pace myself and not feel like a painting machine.  I use my breaks to ponder new ideas, look at other art or just do something entirely different away from art, like an art vacation.

The Flower Table
(click to view)

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

I think I am learning how to talk about my work. I have been such a visual person. In my work as a social worker, I am focused on listening to others. My brain is not wired to elaborate and especially not to elaborate about me or my work. Opportunities such as this interview have been presenting themselves to me lately.  I recently did a demo for the Tracy Art League (thanks Vince!) and have a talk scheduled for my “30 Paintings in 30 Days” at the Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton, CA. I think there is something in the universe that’s telling me to develop the language around my art.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When someone tells me they have a connection with one of my paintings. That a painting spoke to them in some way and perhaps provided them with a smile. That makes me happy!

Thanks, Kaethe!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

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