Thursday, September 14, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patricia Musgrave

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Patricia's painting, "Painted Roses" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Patricia's DPW Gallery:

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and am a life-long painter. Gardens, florals and still life have been my subjects of choice, but landscape painting is where I believe I find the most challenge. Color is both a quest and reward. I never get tired of finding new ways of exploring color harmonies.

I believe that a good painting aught to be more than a two-dimensional object. It should not only provide pleasure, but must also give inspiration to the viewer that stays with them after they have moved on to look at something else. That is my goal with every painting I create.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I can’t remember a time not painting! But I suppose it would have been in pre-school or kindergarten, like many others. My mother was an artist at a time one was supposed to put away those fanciful ideas and be a wife and mother, but the artistic influence was always there.

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

Of course! I always thought of myself as an artist, but there were times other things seemed more important, but it was the birth of my daughter that got me truly serious about my work. I wanted to be a good role-model for her. Now, I try not to let anything get in the way, but life does.

Painted Roses
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I felt the connection to painting early on, and was never seduced by print making or sculpture, although I like them very much. I hope to come back in my next life and be a sculptor (and an opera singer), but I was always drawn to the colors, and thick and tactile quality of oil and acrylic paint.

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

As a younger artist, I was very interested in abstract art, but gradually came to see realism and all its intricacies as the greater challenge. I do have a variety of styles, and that’s because to me, each painting is different. From idea to execution, things develop - and change - and often the media or paint application needs to change as well.  Color has always been the most intriguing element to me. It's allure - the warmth and coolness of tones, the mixing of colors and where you place them, that has been the key element in my art.

Sheep in the Road
(click to view)

What are your goals as a painter?

I look forward to painting more and painting better! Even though I have painted for decades, I feel like I have not reached my high-water mark. Whether it is to paint “the perfect painting” or to reach and succeed at a higher level, I just don’t know yet, but I look forward to finding out "the journey".

Who or what inspires you most?

I’d like to say everything does, but to be more specific, daily life inspires me - I try and see the beauty in everything I look at, and be open to ideas. My fellow artists also inspire me - not just the masters, but we live in a time where there is a lot of really good art being made, and I feel constantly inspired.

Late Summer Sunflowers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

All the other stuff when I’m not painting. Appointments you can’t get out of, family visits, laundry, dinner, stuff. You have to be as vigilant as you can in your own interests.

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

First of all, I have regular painting hours that I keep sacred, and no one can bug me. I say “I’m sorry but I have to work”, even if I don’t get much done. Then I put on music, the music is an "audio reminder" that I’m supposed to be painting. I guess it’s all self-discipline. I think the discipline to keep working is as important as good paints and bushes.

Dusk, Lima, Peru
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I’d like to say that everything gives me ideas, but I guess it’s a mindset. I try and keep my “creative channel” open at all times. But I also get ideas from pictures, stories, other artists and what they’ve done - what colors and combinations they’ve used, what techniques, etc. It’s all “information in”.

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

Tough question. Assuming my art is fresh and vibrant, I try to keep a good mood while I'm painting (going into “ the zone”), and not paint on an important painting when I’m sick or feeling blah or upset. Looking at the great masters of history as well as current artists is also important, asking questions  - how did they do that, why does this work? Also, visiting museums, and galleries, seeing “real" paintings where ever I can.

(click to view)

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

How to improve on what I do. There is so much to know and understand. It’s a life long quest.

What makes you happiest about your art?

First, just doing it. The sheer joy of putting paint on a surface (usually canvas) and having it “work”. Then other peoples' appreciation, not the ego stuff, but the sharing of some inexplicable thing. They see this picture and feel happy or rewarded, and there’s some kind of a connection, human to human. That connection, to me, it is what it’s all about.

Thanks, Patricia!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

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