Thursday, March 22, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Teddi Parker

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

From Teddi's DPW Gallery:

My passion for painting started at a young age and was greatly encouraged by my family throughout my early life. With this foundation in place, I began to experiment and learn new techniques over the course of the semester I studied Spanish in Argentina. While living in Buenos Aires, I purchased canvasses and paints and then carried the finished paintings through the subway system by hand. Just imagine that for a minute. ::wink:

Through the gracious advice and critique of my pen-pal mentor, I am now making up for the lack of formal artistic training in my past and am currently learning how to better evoke emotion through vibrant use of color. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting sophomore year of college before going abroad to study Spanish.  My family had the supplies lying around and I got the itch.  I carried it over to Argentina and bought supplies and hauled them through the subway and painted in my host family's bedroom.  Getting those paintings home was a feat (I painted large back then).  It started out with images I would find online and copy, then turned into photos my friends took while we were abroad, and now it's primarily still lifes.

Unconventional Friendship
(click to view)

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

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

Yep.  But thankfully my husband encouraged me to pick it up again.  I jumped on the daily painting movement in 2014 and it has been revolutionary for my creative side.  I was also doing art lessons with some littles from my church - so the daily "arting" was helping my skills to develop much quicker.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In painting mostly acrylic, I have played with oils and enjoyed them but have never purchased them myself.  I don't have the proper set up nor the $ it would take.  I actually get house paint from the landfill and use those pints for the large scale paintings, and for my 8x8s I get the 3$ samples at the hardware store and mix my colors with those.  I've had success in getting the colors I want, and that yummy brushstroke-showing oil paint look to my pieces.  I play around with a lot of other crafts too; embroidery on my clothing, my neighbors have taught me to knit and crochet, some sewing, and jewelry making.

Your Filament is Showing
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Gosh, I'm discovering new artists that inspire me every day - thank you social media.  Carol Marine's style definitely got me pursuing the bold and loose painting methods though.  Before I was so tight and photo-realism.  This is much more free and fun for me.  Lately the library books my daughter brings home have been inspiring me - there are some creative illustrators out there, and through them I've learned to appreciate the shapes in animals and nature. 

What does procrastination look like for you?

Hmmm, I think I only procrastinate when it comes to commissions that I'm not super excited about.  Since baby number two has come I think I'm done with that part of the job though.  By the grace of God I don't really have to look at my painting as a career, to me it's just a skill I enjoy that occasionally makes money.

Blowing Bubbles
(click to view)

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

Synchronized naps times, ha!  My art is a lower priority than other things that are happening in life right now, and that's okay.  So in this phase of life, when I get to do my art it's a treat.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I keep a folder on the computer and save any images that make me want to paint so that I can refer back to them when I need reminding.  Or I have my still life shelf and there are definitely favorite items there I keep coming back to.  I like to work in series so I often use the same items or subjects or themes over and over.  Right now I'm on a cactus kick, but I would say I'm still in the middle of a reflections addiction.  Last year it was glass.

Pumpkin Play
(click to view)

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

Oooof, back when I was better at painting every day I would definitely experience burn out or boredom.  It's depressing and scary because you ask yourself - do I even enjoy this anymore?  Am I even any good anymore?  I've learned (and am still learning) to take a break and embrace another craft for a bit until the excitement and inspiration return, because they always do.  And look at lots of art!  I love finding the artists that make me want to paint by just looking at their paintings. Or pulling back and doing some abstraction play for a while.  That is just throwing paint on a canvas for me with really big brushes so I feel like an artist. ::smile::

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

How to have grace on myself.  In the world of social media I definitely feel the pressure to post a painting every day or let the way I feel about a painting be based on how many responses it gets.  My husband is really good at sensing when I need the reminder that I enjoy painting and to not pursue the next painting wondering what the people want to see or buy, but to pursue it thinking what might be fun to try.  I have way more fun painting when I'm grounded in that.

Wet Hippo
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

What a fun question.  When I can't stop staring at something I just finished.  Sometimes I'll even put it on the dinner table for my family to critique with me.  So much fun.  Another perk I didn't expect is how many people it has connected me to, and the conversations about art I get to have with strangers.  I love that too.

Why is beauty important?

My husband and I have been chatting about this topic so much in the last year or two.  The art culture here in Fort Collins, CO is on the rise so lots more art is being hung in lots more places and it gets you thinking about what makes good art.  I usually think about the sunrise.  God could have just made the sun come up and go down and that be that, but he thought it was important to fill them with loads of color and texture and beauty.  I think that's deep down why we appreciate the awe of nature so much.  If beauty important to the creator of the universe, we should make sure to do our craft well - not just to please him but to experience his joy too.

Thanks, Teddi!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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