Thursday, December 28, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karen Israel

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

From Karen's DPW Gallery:

The joy I experience when painting with pastels delights my eyes and engages my mind. I hope to invigorate my subjects with energetic color and unique design. I am an award winning, Connecticut pastel artist who is a Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America and the International Association of Pastel Society. I am also the current President of Connecticut Pastel Society. In addition to welcoming commissions, I have had the experience of juror, teacher and demonstrator of pastel.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I began painting about ten years ago while I was working as a Physical Therapist. The desire to study drawing and painting trumped physical therapy and a few years after that I began painting full time.

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

I never stopped painting but along the way I worked in different mediums before devoting myself fully to painting in pastel.

Sunflower Fun
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began with watercolor and then briefly with oil painting. In fact, I use watercolor often as an underpainting in my pastel technique.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

There are so many approaches and surfaces with the medium of pastel that I don't think I will ever get bored! I am aways working with new products and approaches to pastel, but if I ever did try a new medium it would probably be oil.

Savannah Dreams
(click to view)

What inspires you most?

Interesting arrangement of shapes and/or dramatic light are the ingredients that pushes my creative buttons. I paint a wide variety of subjects and am inspired by any challenge that is out of my comfort zone.

Who inspires you most?

I am inspired by the works of John Singer Sargent, JoaquĆ­n Sorolla and Jean Chardin to name a few. I am also inspired by so many of the great contemporary pastel artists, some of who are on DPW.

A Day Away
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't procrastinate when it comes to making a painting.  For me, the procrastination comes in framing and photographing my finished works.

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

I don't seem to have a problem finding time to paint but it is the other areas in my life I have to make time for, such as getting to the gym, cooking and cleaning.

Traveling Light
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Sometimes I will find inspiration from unlikely places. Other times, I seek out the inspiration with a trip to the zoo or a hike in the woods. Once I have created a successful painting in a certain subject, I will then attempt to paint that subject in a series.

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

CHANGE is the key word for me. To stay fresh, I will change subject, format, color palette, surfaces, approaches. In addition, I sometime work from life, other times from photograph. I sometimes work from a black and white photo, sometimes from one in color.

Marguerite's Delimma
(click to view)

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

I am learning to be a better critic of my own work. I am also learning to be a better business person as I tend to give my art away for too low a price.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love teaching pastel and inspiring others to have confidence in their art making abilities.  I am pleased when my art sells or wins an award but I am most pleased when I create a work that is a notch above the previous work I have done.  I believe there is no ceiling for improvement, I am always taking workshops to learn more and that is what is so very exciting about being an artist.

Thanks, Karen!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

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