Thursday, December 14, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Denise Gilroy

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

From Denise's DPW Gallery:

I am a painter living in Northern Idaho. I love painting from life but also enjoy time in the studio. My favorite thing is to be alone out in the woods, along a river or any beautiful spot trying to capture a portion of what I see & feel on my canvas. My approach is more impressionistic in nature and I have been experimenting with my palette knife to keep it loose. Oh yeah, I LOVE animals and paint them often too.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  

I started drawing/painting in high school and was encouraged by my art teacher. I fully intended to go to college for art but chickened out in the end and wound up getting my degree in Finance. I have been somewhat of an entrepreneur most of my life, encompassing creative jobs, but only got back into fine art in 2006.

Scenes in the Neighborhood
(click to view)

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

Even now, I do not paint full time (although it is close to full time) and enjoy the variety of other tasks. I am not sure if I use the other tasks to procrastinate or if the diversion helps me when I do get to focus exclusively on my art. However, if I do not paint for a few days in a row, I feel as though I get out of shape and need to go over some basics to get back into painting shape. Kind of like doing sit ups/push ups, no one likes doing sit ups but they are essential to keeping the core in good working order.

Morten Slough
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?  

At one point in my life I took a monotype class and continued playing with that for a few years, really liked it. Now, it is only oil painting. As for genres, I like so many different ones that it is probably not good. I have read that artists are supposed to create a body of work that is recognizable as theirs, a style. I don't think I have accomplished that yet. I like to experiment and try different approaches.

Trees in Shadow
(click to view)

Painting with a palette knife has been my most recent experiment and it keeps me from getting too caught up in detail. I do stick with similar subject matter, landscape & animals. Maybe someday I will settle down and paint a body of work that is recognizable as coming from one person. For now, I will keep my options open.

What are you looking forward to exploring in the future?

I just purchased my first studio easel and I am really excited. My dreams are all about large format paintings and I have been unable to do that well with my Open Box M set up. Looser, more expressive paintings in a series are what I am thinking about. I will probably have many failures in my effort to go large but that's okay, maybe I will learn something. I have to tell myself to keep it simple and don't get caught up in the details.

October Color
(click to view)

What is your mental preparation for painting?

I heard about a book that has helped me approach my art, called "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield. I suggest this book to any and every artist, it really worked for me. I learned to treat art making like any job - I need to show up and work at it everyday. I may not create a great painting everyday but I sure won't create a great painting if I am not painting or making excuses not to paint.

Under Cover
(click to view)

I also try to tell myself that what I am painting is an experiment and it is okay for it to fail because it won't be a failure completely if I try and see how it plays out. I may not like the painting but I tried something that maybe I would not have tried without permission to fail. Usually, the painting comes out better than I had hoped or if I went into the painting with an attitude of "it has to be a masterpiece."

Another approach I have learned but don't always remember in the heat of the painting, is to create a nice painting. A painting doesn't have to be exactly what I see in the landscape or photo I am using as reference. Grab the elements you want to convey and leave out what doesn't need to be there.

Thanks, Denise!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

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