Thursday, February 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ester Wilson

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

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

From Ester's DPW Gallery:

I've been drawing for as long as I remember. Growing up on America's West Coast gave me a great appreciation of Nature, and I hope to convey that love through my work. I strive to achieve the best quality in everything I do.

My work focuses on contemporary realism with everyday objects and plant life. I received a baccalaureate degree at the Atlanta College of Art which helped strengthen my craft in drawing and painting. Now I follow my passion to learn more about classical art, interweaving the facts of today's world with the artistic methods passed down through ages, rendering the visual language as accurately as my creative ideas allow. I try to record that intangible connection between myself and the object - a difficult thing to describe, but something surely felt. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first picked up a paintbrush at the Atlanta College of Art where I took an oil painting class. Most of my life before college I was drawing, so pushing around goo with a brush felt alien. But after graduation, a painter friend showed me different ways to handle a brush, various paint viscosities, and how to get my image down in gooey paint. That's when I really started to love it.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

My sketchbooks are packed full of mediums and subjects, like gouache, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, pencil, all creating images of people, places and things. With oils I've played around with florals, still life, portraits, animals, landscapes and master copies.

Tulip and Cup
(click to view)

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

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

I love painting with oils on hard surfaces the most, and I appreciate the way a still life will not move while I'm trying to paint it. I think landscapes are my biggest challenge, which I do plan to practice at a point in the future.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm interested in making large oil paintings, preferably focusing on light wrapping around form, composition and brilliancy in color.

Market Flowers
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many painters now and ancient who are inspiring, I don't know where to start. I do enjoy looking through the ARC website of 'master' painters (, just as much as I enjoy finding new work posted on Pinterest. My favorite work usually always incorporates strong drawing skills.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't like to procrastinate, so I avoid it at all costs.

(click to view)

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

Making paintings is my job (which I love), so I'm in my studio at least 40 hours per week. It's not a technique, but I've made a promise to myself to keep creating in order to get better at this craft, and I have faith my artistic goals will be met, even if by sheer persistence.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

All kinds of things present themselves as subjects. Sometimes a splash of sunlight glinting off glass is enough to make a painting. Other times, the gorgeous colors of fruit at the grocery store make me want to get home in a hurry to start painting. Inspiration is everywhere, and I need to always be curious/open-minded enough to find intrigue in anything. For me, this is all about frame of mind, accepting life as beautiful and interesting.

French Bath
(click to view)

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

When my work is stumbling, I need to take a break. Usually hiking or getting extra exercise helps tremendously. Doing things that are active and not art related helps me zoom back out to a larger view of life. It doesn't take long before I'm back in the studio and excited to be there. If a block is persisting longer than a weekend it also helps to just push through those blocks, regardless of how I feel. Making a few bad paintings is not a big deal, plus the next one that's better feels great to make.

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

With every painting, I learn more about myself. I try to convey my excitement in the things I see and feel. Those attempts show me what I subconsciously find valuable in the visual language, and overall this is leading me to understand my visual voice. For example, edge control is increasingly important to me lately. I try to create a sense of real atmosphere in my still life work, where certain objects melt into others and focal areas stand out sharp. I find my paintings mimic my internal feelings like a mirror, so it's critical that I keep my outlook positive, curious and receptive.

Cabbage and Wood
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm very happy to have the opportunity to create paintings and drawings. Simply the the opportunity in life to see, feel, improve, focus, grow... all of these things, and so much more, is bundled in the act of creating. Art makes me smile.

Thanks, Ester!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

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