Thursday, February 1, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Libby Anderson

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

From Libby's DPW Gallery:

I started making art as a child drawing in my mother's blank cookbooks and continued through college majoring in art and art education. My teaching career began in Mississippi and Tennessee and continued when I moved to Pennsylvania. Fortunately where I lived had a great art atmosphere, influenced by the Wyeth family. I concentrated on learning watercolor through classes and workshops. When I moved back to Tennessee I returned to oils. I am having the best time of my life; painting what I love and meeting new people all over the world. Life is good!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started as a very young child drawing in a big blank paste-in cookbook that my mother let me have. She must not have been that much into cooking to give me free rein over the pages. I continued drawing and painting through the years. I remember drawing costumes found in the “C” volume of the World Book Encyclopedia in elementary school. I received a B.F.A in Commercial Art and an art teaching degree and taught elementary art for many years.

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

I painted less when my children were small and also when I was teaching full time. Although I was involved in art every day, I did not produce as much away from the classroom. My husband was transferred to Delaware and at that time I was not teaching. I started watercolor classes at the local art center in Pennsylvania near Andrew Wyeth’s home.

Cool Garden
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Watercolor, acrylic, printmaking, and oil.

Which ones have stuck and which have fallen away?

Watercolor was my primary medium for many years. About six years ago I took some oil classes. It had been many years since I was in college that I had painted in oils. I attended some Carol Marine and Dreama Perry workshops and it was there I found out about Daily Painting. I have found the medium I want to use from now on. Oils are so exciting for me.

Tuscan Color
(click to view)

Which one are you looking forward to exploring?

I would also like to learn more about acrylics. They are so much richer now than they were in the 70’s. I am interested in using some techniques to layer finishes using cold wax to give the look of encaustic. Abstract also interests me and I hope to be doing more of those in the future.

Who or what inspires you most?

I would have to say that my parents inspired me. They have both passed away but their creative influence is still with me. Growing up in the depression gave them few educational opportunities. Despite this, they were creative in their own way. My mother sewed beautifully and made quilts that I treasure still. My father could draw and was good with woodwork. He sought out an older man who made split oak baskets and learned how to make them. The process started with cutting the bark all the way to weaving the baskets. I was always encouraged to pursue art.

Agent 99
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Daily painting has helped cure me of procrastination. It has become such a habit to paint every day that I feel guilty if I am not painting. The only time I procrastinate is when I have a commission I hesitate to start. When that happens I try to warm up by painting a few smaller paintings.

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

Although I am not an extremely organized person; I find that sticking to a daily schedule helps me to stay on track. I try to keep up with the business part of painting by posting on DPW, Instagram and my blog later in the evening.

Miles Away
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for painting?

Since I am primarily a floral painter, inspiration is all around. I lived two miles from Longwood Gardens for several years and went often to walk there. I have boxes and boxes of photos to use for reference when I don’t have fresh flowers. Every vacation and trips to Europe have provided me with subject matter. Once when we were delivering Meals on Wheels I asked my husband to stop so I could take a picture of a bright yellow vintage truck in front of an old wooden garage. I painted it when I got home and sold it the next week.

I am doing more abstract florals and having such knowledge of the shape and form of the flowers in my head has been helpful.

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

I do most paintings alla prima so I don’t work for days or weeks on the same painting and I am unlikely to get tired of a painting. One workshop instructor told our class to always paint something that excited us. If you aren’t excited about the subject matter; the viewer won’t be either.

Another bit of advice I try to remember is to vary brushstrokes and to vary color every few inches in my paintings.

Taking breaks is another way I can stay fresh.

On the Rise
(click to view)

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

I spend a lot of time looking at art in magazines and on the internet. It is an amazing time to be an artist. Access to information is so much easier now than even ten years ago. I am noticing a trend toward abstraction on the art market lately. This has some influence on what I paint but only because it interests me. I think I am painting in a less traditional style lately.

What makes you happiest about your art?

There is just nothing that compares to the feeling that I get when completing a piece of art that I feel is successful. Knowing that I have created something unique gives me great pleasure.

Thanks, Libby!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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