Thursday, August 9, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kristina Sellers

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

From Kristina's DPW Gallery:

Growing up in a modest home, in what some would call a nondescript suburb, was really a good thing for me. Turns out when you have to look a little harder to find beauty, you appreciate it. This has shaped my relationship with art. I have been called a "slice of life" painter and I love it! Helping people to see beauty in ordinary things is a wonderful privilege. In my college years I pursued art as a career, quickly realizing becoming an art teacher or a graphic designer seemed to be what I was being funneled towards. Both are worthy fields, but not what I wanted to do. I took a break from school, during which time I met and married my husband, joining him in his real estate business. Some years later I took a plein air class on a whim. I had never tried oil paints before and didn't know anything about plein air painting. So this was a double "Aha!" moment. I loved the tactile quality of oil paint and the adventure of being outdoors. I was hooked. (click to continue reading)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was an obvious artist from a very young age. But surprisingly, I never tried oil painting. While visiting a local gallery, I noticed they offered workshops. I signed up for a plein air class with artist Eric Jacobsen. The experience of delving into the feel of oil paint and the adventure of plein air combined was almost too much! I was totally hooked.

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

I was a real estate agent alongside my husband for many years. Ever since that first plein air workshop, my husband and I made it a goal for me to do art full time. I went full time a few years ago and haven't looked back!

Red Roof
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Although I started with plein air, I enjoy working in my studio, or from live model sessions. I have self imposed painting seasons. When the weather in Oregon is great, I'm outside painting and socializing with fellow artists. By the time fall weather rolls around, I'm ready to take some time to myself and hunker down in my studio for a few months, exploring ideas and working from photos I've take along the way.

I've experimented quite a bit with palette knife painting. I find it interesting that most artists discount it as a tool. It's difficult to do an entire painting that way and you have to be ok with giving up control of your drawing within the painting, but it can have such a vibrant outcome.

Spring Bouquet
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Currently, I'm working on trying to marry my brushwork and palette knife work. For the most part, I don't like it when I see a painting that's been done with brushes and has a couple swipes with the palette knife. To me, it's a bit jarring. So I'm trying to figure out how I can harmonize that in my own work.

Who or what inspires you most?

I'm endlessly inspired by color and light. I know it's a simplistic answer but it's so true! I would call myself a colorist for sure. And when I am out plein air painting I care far more about catching a fleeting light effect than painting every tree in the landscape before me. I love mystery, so I guess following what makes me curious is very exciting to me.

Summer Mixer
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I definitely go through times when I experience a sort of stage fright. I'll do anything else but paint. I'll gesso panels, watch videos about painting, go through endless amounts of photos trying to decide which one to paint. But paint... oh no! Usually I beg my husband to give me an assignment. I don't like the assignments he gives, but it spurs me on to make a decision to work on something.

I have tremendous support and kinship with fellow artists in my community. That has been a wonderful surprise for me. I figured before I got started that being an artist would be a bit isolating. My fellow artists keep me inspired and help me keep my perspective in check.

(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I try to bring something fresh to the table every time I paint. For me, growth and following that bit of mystery is the reason I'm doing this. I want to stay engaged and hopefully that translates to engaging work for everyone to enjoy. I still actively pursue knowledge and training and take workshops. I never really turn off the "artist switch". By that I mean that even if I'm watching a show or going for a drive, I'm noticing things. Making mental notes of why things work together, or what would make them work better together.

Rowena Sunset
(click to view)

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

Sometimes it seems like I'm one of those performers that is spinning dozens of dishes at one time. I'm learning complicated heady stuff, but if I don't keep up with drawing, some plates are gonna come crashing down in my work. Or if I'm thinking only about color and value, my composition plate is going to get wobbly. It seems like learning about painting requires you to constantly get back to the basics and nail those skills down better each time.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm very happy when people key in on what I am trying to communicate in a painting. When they really connect and have an emotional response, I've done something worthy.

Thanks, Kristina!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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