Thursday, May 24, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mario Parga

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

From Mario's DPW Gallery:

Painting in the contemporary and classical realism styles, English artist Mario Parga has painted professionally for over thirty years.

Throughout his painting career, Mario has painted numerous high profile portraits for private collections around the world, painted murals (including all the murals at Chingle Hall, England, built in 1260AD, as featured on a BBC documentary), exhibited with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters at the Pall Mall Galleries of London and had one of his Old Master copies auctioned by internationally renowned fine-art auctioneers Bonhams of London. His paintings have also been featured on the American television network PBS. Mario's fantastical/surrealism genre paintings are represented by Morpheus Fine Art in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mario's studio is located in the Emerald Coast, Florida, where he resides with his wife and daughter. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting:

I started painting at the age of four and began painting with oils when I was nine. I was always drawing as a child, I never stopped, and felt the need to move to oil paint after a few years of water based paint.

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

Yes, over the years I've had a few, but the stops were very short lived as I've been a professional artist for thirty-one years and rely on painting sales. I'm sometimes lazy, as I think we all can be, and sometimes it's just nice to take a rest from the easel. I always feel the need to paint though, even if it's something for myself. I think I've painted fairly consistently for the last ten years or so.

At Last Light
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The two mediums I've always used are oil paint (my main medium) and watercolor (mostly for preparatory sketches). I've always been a realist painter, painting in either the classical or contemporary realism genres. I paint pretty much everything from the fantastical to more traditional landscape/seascape/figurative works, and I enjoy painting birds and some wildlife. I'm primarily a portrait painter, painting portraits in the traditional way with layered paint and some glazing, and I've also painted numerous Old Master copies for clients over the years too.

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

I would say the above have stuck with me for most of my life to date, there was a phase when I enjoyed painting still lifes and trompe l'oeils, but these have become fewer over the years.

Lullaby for Skye
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

As well as enjoying painting fantastical pieces, I've currently got two very detailed larger pirate themed paintings on the go. I've always loved painting the ocean, so combining large sail ships with figurative/historical work is very interesting to me and enjoyable to paint.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature. There's nothing more beautiful than nature, and if I had to pick a specific subject I'd probably choose the ocean. I spend a lot of time with my camera photographing the ocean and collecting reference pictures, from dawn to dusk shots and from calm to stormy waters. The way light reflects off water is beautiful, and sunlight on a stormy day over the ocean is simply awesome. Living on the Emerald Coast here in Florida, I'm lucky to get to see it all.

Captain Fraser's Folly
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Ah... procrastination... Yes, I'm very guilty of it, sometimes for days on end. Sometimes I suffer from what I call 'The Dilemma of What to Paint', and can sit around for days procrastinating and dismissing every idea that comes to me. I think all artists procrastinate to some degree, though some more than others...

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

That's a good question, and the way I make time for my art is to treat it like a job and discipline myself to start painting at a certain time each day (usually 10am works best for me) and put in as many hours as possible depending on what I'm working on and how finished/unfinished it is. I usually have three paintings on the go on three different easels so I can allow for drying times between paint layers or paint whichever one I'm in the mood for at any particular time. Although I paint Monday to Friday, I often paint at the weekends also and give myself a day off during the week.

Anna's Hummingbird
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

It depends really, sometimes an idea will pop into my head, or I'll see something outside or on TV that inspires me or triggers an idea. I also take a lot of photographs and always have a DSLR with me (as well as the camera on my cell phone) as I like to refer to them at later dates.

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

I don't think I have a particular technique that helps me with this, I just tend to paint things that I myself like and enjoy painting. I think the moment artists start painting subject matter for the sake of it or because we think it may be more commercial is when our work becomes stagnant and tired. I would always advise to paint what you truly want to paint as it will definitely show in your work.

Sea of Green
(click to view)

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

I don't think I'm learning any new techniques, I've been painting for too long, but I think I've got more patience now and perhaps plan ahead with a larger painting more than I did before.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That's easy; when a client truly loves the painting. It's very touching to see reactions when portraits are revealed for the first time, or when someone is so taken with a painting they tell me how much they enjoy looking at it. I'm lucky enough to have a few collectors who own several of my works, I always like painting for them because I know they really appreciate my art.

Thanks, Mario!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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