Thursday, October 17, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rebecca Ives

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

From Rebecca's DPW Gallery Page:

Inspired by the wealth of diversity in nature and our relationships to other living creatures, my work is characterized by an exploration of styles and substance intending to invite the viewer to share in simple observations of these relationships.

I have worked as a graphic designer, a small business owner in retail music, and as a picture framer. I am now painting full time, mostly in oil, with the intention of growing technically and imaginatively while creating art that acknowledges the value of our interaction with nature. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

It was a museum trip in the first grade that introduced me to the world of art. I still remember standing with awe before a large oil painting of a pirate thinking to myself that I must learn to paint. I won a prize of private lessons through an art contest at school when I was nine, and later studied Painting/Drawing at The School of Art and Design, East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  I've been painting off and on ever since, taking a huge detour to work with my husband in our mom and pop record store for twenty years. Music and art!

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

After university I became painfully aware that making a living in art would require branching out into other related fields. I was lucky to work in the screen-printing business as a designer for Guess, Trocadero, and Panama Jack for a few years. That position taught me to become a speedy producer of art which is exactly why the concept of Daily Paintworks suits me.

Ginger Lily
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?


I worked for a number of years with watercolor and then with acrylics. While I enjoyed both, my first love was working with Oils and so now I have returned to working exclusively in Oil which seems to suit my style.

After exploring several genres I kept returning to animals and nontraditional florals in my straightforward representational style. I recognize that I am not a camera, so I embellish or modify based solely on my instincts. Like many, I still struggle for a more painterly style but I do see it in my future.

My husband and I maintain a cat sanctuary and I paint pet portraits to support this endeavor. We have a web page and an active Facebook page. This facility and need drives me to produce art every day.

I am an active member of a local painting group and we have numerous opportunities for exhibitions and Shows/Sales of our work. I am currently working on a thirty-six piece solo show for April 2020. My theme is "From the Center" and my focus is painting the literal center of a variety of flowers to highlight the structure and color, almost to the point where some of the works appear to be abstracts.

Cedar Waxwing
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I have studied art history extensively with an emphasis on contemporary art but what gets me most excited is to see the works of artists working today such as Jill Soukup, Jennifer Gennari, Deb Weiers, Alex Kelly and Perry Haddock.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't allow procrastination into my studio because there are so many furkids to feed and exhibits to work toward. There is strong motivation that comes with being a part of a painting group that encourages active participation to bring local art to our community, providing relationships that nurture and support each member. These two factors bring me into the studio every single day.

Simon
(click to view)

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

I am on a schedule which seldom wavers. Maintaining our sanctuary takes five hours each day so I start at dawn, work in the studio from late morning to late afternoon and then return to paint for an hour or more in the evening, always stopping at 8:30 for some family time. It helps that my studio is at home and that my husband also works at home. We share in all of the household chores which allows each of us to thrive in our chosen fields.

While I love working with our animals, I am happiest in the studio, listening to a variety of music while I paint and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of both.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

With my focus on the subjects of animals and florals, there is a wealth of subject matter close at hand. Long ago I studied photography as part of my art education and I'm able to use that skill to mostly photograph my own subjects. I work from the photographs of pet owners for their portraits and I take advantage of reference photos on Pixabay.com when needed.

If I ever get stuck for ideas, I return to my recurring themes such as Cats in Hats, Birds and Pottery, Flower Structural Pieces and animal portraits. Sometimes by returning to a comfortable place, I am able to let my imagination or thoughts take me somewhere else for the next piece.

From the Center: Sunflower
(click to view)

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

I am always excited by my subject matter and have a strong desire to do the best I can with each portrait or each work that I know will be exhibited. I am well aware that others will see my work for the first time at a show and it could be my only opportunity to engage with them and hopefully find a patron.

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

At this point, I am learning to trust my skills and go more boldly into compositions, whether simple or complex, with confidence. I am less uncertain, more self-assured, more willing to explore ideas. I feed off the energy that my mentors project. Their successes motivate and drive me to enjoy my painting journey. It is after all, a swift ride to the other side so I'd like to go out with my brushes on fire, lol.

Studio Cat Rosie
(click to view)

Thanks, Rebecca!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 10, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nina Brodsky

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  

My great aunt was my first inspiration. When I was really young, she and I would play the squiggle game. We would draw random lines and curves all over the paper and then try to find drawings in the squiggles. I was fascinated by it. She was an art lover and her house was filled with wonderful art and the paintings called to me. I wanted to create beautiful art too.

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

I have painted on and off my entire life. Graduate school, work and raising twin boys took most of my free time and it was a struggle to find the time and energy for my art. However, for the past twelve years I have been painting and drawing on an almost daily basis.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?  

When I was in college, I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker and tell my stories that way. I made a number of short films but soon changed my major to studio art. I liked having the entire artistic process in my hands. Not a collaborative effort. I experimented with various print making techniques, oil, acrylics, watercolor, gouache, pastel and collage.

Rooster
(click to view)

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

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


I still occasionally do collages, and watercolors. However, I mostly stick to oil.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I am going to stick with oil for now.

For Jewel, A Fallen Flower
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

I am a representational painter and when I see something that moves me I want to paint it. Painting it allows me to spend time with the subject, to indulge in the joy it brings to me.

What does procrastination look like for you?  

Social media and crossword puzzles.

JL
(click to view)

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

Having dedicated studio space. I can leave things in process and come back to it easily.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Sometimes ideas just come to me. Sometimes I search through my photographs for an idea. Sometimes I look on the web for reference material.

Iden and Bobby's Place
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?"

I keep it fresh by only painting that which inspires me. I jump around a lot between still-life, portraiture and landscape.

What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Looking at other people's art, especially art that is different in style, medium, technique and subject matter. I find it incredibly inspiring and it fires my mind -- generating new ideas for me to try and incorporate into my art.

Overland Truck 2
(click to view)

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

I am always trying to get better at my art. I am currently studying anatomy and working on my brushwork.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

Feeling in the zone and watching as my painting takes on a life of its own. I am always astonished when it is done and I love it.

Thanks, Nina!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 3, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Greg Bombeck

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



From Greg's DPW Gallery Page:

After a stint as a secondary school art teacher, I attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which lead to work as a storyboard / layout artist at Hanna-Barbara Studios in Hollywood. After numerous Scooby Doos, Godzillas and Superfriends, I started drawing storyboards for ad agencies. This lead to my owning and operating an advertising agency (for numerous years). While writing ads, I painted landscapes as time would allow. Now, I spend my time painting primarily landscapes near my home in Eagle River, Alaska and residence in Ennis, Montana.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

Both my mother and father had an interest in art. My mother painted when she was a young woman and was quite good. Unfortunately, growing up during The Great Depression, she did not pursue art as a career. My father was more of a draftsman. Like most parents, when I was a child, they encouraged me with lavish, unwarranted praise for my rudimentary drawings. It must have stuck, I have continued to draw and paint throughout my adulthood.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I favor oils, love the expediency of watercolors, and having done a few stone lithos as a student – wish I had a stone and litho press.

The Pennsylvania Farm
(click to view)

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

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

I painted watercolors when starting out, later, I tackled oils. I have always believed watercolors to be more forgiving than oils. To answer what has fallen away, I’d like to do stone lithography.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I like to mix it up, paint in oils one day, watercolors the next. Regardless of where one is in their artistic development, I think artists are adventurers and exploration is what happens when you have brush in hand.  It’s the old adage, “…the more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”

Woodlands, Nancy Lake, Alaska
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

It is amazing what the internet has brought us. Look at all the accomplished artists whose work is now visible through the internet, such as the artists from Europe and the former eastern block nations who post on DPW. What a great venue the internet is for bringing talented, once obscure artists to our attention. I am continually inspired by the variety and depth of talent out there.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

 My couch.

View from Fire Creek
(click to view)

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

Finding time to paint was difficult while working on a career and raising a large family. Fortunately, when I was starting out, I was paid to draw 40 hours a week doing storyboards and scene layouts for animation. Then, I reached a point fairly early in my advertising career, where I was able to work part time from home and enjoy more brush time.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

A landscape painter is surrounded by subject matter. Parsing it down seems to be the challenge.

Eagle River Vallet View#2

How do you keep art “fresh?"

Artists often talk about being “in the zone.” I am still working on that. I tend to over think what I am doing, and subsequently, over work a painting. I do stumble into the zone occasionally. For me, I think “fresh” happens there.

What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I do not finish a painting every day. I struggle with small formats. I do however, try to paint some everyday, and it seems to be working for me. Some days I paint for hours, some days for minutes. “Miles of canvas” as they say, is the road to success.

South Meadow Creek View, McAllister, Montana
(click to view)

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

You are never too old.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It’s a window.

Thanks, Greg!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 26, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Hong Yang

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




From Hong's DPW Page:

I started my art education at the Art Students League in New York in 2017. I always seek to advance my knowledge by taking numerous workshops across the country. The flower painter Michael Klein has been a significant influence on me. I have also taken workshops with Robert Liberace, Dan Thompson, Katie Whipple, Sean Cheetham, Zoey Frank and Tony Ryder.

My current obsession with flower paintings dates back to my childhood love for gardening. I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband and two tuxedo cats. You can find me on Instagram @hyangpainter. Member of California Art Club.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting and how you taught yourself to paint. 

In 2016, I signed up for a Robert Liberace painting workshop when I had next to no knowledge of oil painting. I was hooked immediately. My picture was horrible then, but I was fascinated by Liberace's teaching, the Latin names of bones and muscles, and the old masters he introduced us to.

In 2017, I went to graduate school (not an art school), and I spent every summer and winter break at the Art Students League in New York. I had read about this place in numerous art history books, so you can imagine how excited I was. I enjoyed the freedom bouncing from studio to studio, and the congenial spirit among students. The most important thing I learned is that you are responsible for choosing your own art education. No one can take the burden off you.

Since then, I have taken many workshops to advance my art education. In other words, I design my own curriculum. Some workshops focus on specific techniques and processes, which are always intriguing. Some don't teach techniques per se but expose me to more possibilities and higher aims of art. The latter include Zoey Frank and Martin Campos.

Peonies
(click to view)

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

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

I still consider myself a student of classical traditions.

Now I want to learn to use color, rather than chiaroscuro, to describe form, space, and atmosphere. I am also exploring different ways to organize pictorial space. The ideas growing on me don't immediately find their way into my paintings. It takes time to simulate.

Garden Roses 1
(click to view)

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

I don't think I have started my painting career as I am still in the student mindset. I signed up for DPW hoping to sell some works to fund my future workshop tuition. I have to handle many administrative issues selling my works while juggling a full-time job. I am still learning the ropes.

What mediums have you experimented with? 

Oil, watercolor, charcoal, graphite, silverpoint, woodblock printing, and clay sculpture.

Sweat Peas and Roses
(click to view)

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

I love them all, but oil painting suits my temperament better. I hope to return to watercolor someday. Richard Schmidt said watercolor is a master's medium and I totally agree.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I want to explore collage as a means to design, compose, and to abstract.

Garden Roses
(click to view)

What inspires you most?

Roses are my current obsession. After I moved to LA, I discovered a place that sells freshly cut fragrant garden roses. I feel such a deep connection with these roses, gazing at them all day. They talk back to me with perfumes and scents, sometimes loud and sometimes subdued.

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I have free time but can't get myself to paint, I often read art history books or books written by painters. I even take days to write book reviews on them, as an excuse not to paint. Sooner or later, I get sick of such futile philosophical musing, I can't wait to go back to the physical act of painting.

Last Peaches of the Summer
(click to view)

Thanks, Hong!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 19, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Yangzi Xu

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



From Yangzi's DPW Page:

While juggling hats as a marketer, a mother, and a wife, she squeezed every single moment to practice her art. She started with watercolor, but eventually migrated to acrylic and oil. Her subject drifted in many directions, but again and again, she came back to painting cityscapes. She discovered something magical about city streets. The reflection of car lights on a rainy day, the blurry silhouette of buildings in the snow, the endless play of light and weather on the streets, all dominated her art.

Yangzi is mostly self-taught, but was greatly benefited by studying under masters such as Bill Bartlet, Alvaro Castagnet, and recently with Xiangbin Shi.

Her works are collected by private collectors from many parts of the world. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

While growing up, my favorite activity was drawing, but in the middle of my teenage years, other interests carried me away.  It was not until about seven years ago when I was dragged by a friend to accompany her to a watercolor class and the passion for art suddenly came back to me in full force. I have been painting almost every day since then.

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

Since my passion for painting was rekindled seven years ago, there were only some short spans that I paused, mostly due to family reasons such as giving birth to my daughter and moving. Other than that I've been pretty consistent with it.

Rainy Night
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I painted in watercolors for a few years. During this period I didn't try other mediums, mostly because we lived in a small apartment. Two years ago we moved to a larger house and I started painting in acrylics and very soon migrated to oil and settled there.

In my watercolor days, I explored a variety of subject matters, but since I moved to oil my focus has shifted to cityscapes, especially city streets in inclement weather -- rain, fog, snow, you name it.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

Perhaps charcoal and graphite -- I've dabbed in figure and head drawing in the past and I am interested in exploring that again.

Lost in the Rain
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

My previous watercolor teacher Bill Bartelt and his paintings are huge inspirations for me and motivate me to capture the moods of Chicago and other urban milieu.  I have been living in Chicago most of my adult life, but it wasn’t until I saw Bill's paintings that I started to paint them.

Since I started painting in oil, I got a lot of inspiration from Jeremy Mann for his lush cityscapes.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I need to clean the desk; I need to re-arrange the easel, I need to place an online order for a few crucial paintbrushes… okay, now I only have 10 minutes to paint…maybe I should just skip it today.

I am getting better at observing myself; if I suddenly become very active with trivial things, it is usually a sign of procrastination.

State Street at Dusk
(click to view)

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

Telling myself all I need to do is to simply show up - it's okay if I make a lousy painting or even destroy a work-in-progress one, as long as I show up and do something.

If you have a day job, you know you simply must show up no matter what. To me, this mindset is very helpful to allocate time for painting.

On some days if I don't feel like painting, as long as I get started, I usually get absorbed and make some progress. If I am really not in the mood, I still spend time in the studio to sketch out ideas or select reference pictures.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

I keep a queue of ideas and reference photos. I constantly look at my queue, tweak the order, and add things to it. This way, I almost always know what the next one, or next ten things that I want to paint.

I use iPhoto folders to save and organize reference photos, inspirations, painting ideas and so on, and I found it tremendously helpful. I use an iPad at home, and can access and edit the folders and materials on my phone whenever and wherever I need to.

Snowy Day
(click to view)

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

I always allow myself to experiment and fail. I constantly try to extend myself, but just a little bit every time.

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

Being patient! Due to personal reasons I stopped selling art for a while and restarted recently, and things are pretty slow for now. I hope with time more opportunities will emerge.

Rainy Day in Chicago
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Inspiring people, connecting with people and bringing people together.

Seeing the world through a new lens and finding beauty in everyday life.

Thanks, Yangzi!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 12, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Larisa Nikonova

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



From Larisa's DPW Page:

I am a professional fashion designer. I had my own business for a few years and painting was always my dream. After moving from Russia to Canada I started painting. I tried different techniques and styles in various mediums, but I chose to work with oil and flowers, painting from life. I constantly study and participate in exhibitions, competitions and awards.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I always was painting from my early childhood.

I studied in art school, finished art college and Art Industrial Academy in Saint Petersburg in Russia for fashion design and my work was recognized by the most famous Russian designer Vicheslav Zaitsev and received many certificates.

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

I just started my painting career after I moved to Canada. Before, in Russia, I was in the fashion business for a few years, I had my own designer atelier.

Dahlia
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I worked with all mediums during my art life; each medium has its own language, expression and different strings and strategy. Acrylic allows one to make many texture variations. During my study for fashion design I worked with gouache a lot but this material didn’t become one of my favorites. Watercolor is so lovely and very delicate for work.

Bouquet with Lisianthus
(click to view)

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

Every medium is good in itself, it just takes time to adapt to a material. I prefer oil. It is the most flexible material for expression; it doesn’t dry too fast and it’s possible to work with layers.

How would you like to develop your career next? 

I wish to go France and Italy for landscape painting. Painting and traveling are the most wonderful things for an artist.

Flowers from Childhood
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature, especially flowers, are the most inspiring things. Just one flower can be a start point for a big floral composition.

What does procrastination look like for you?

After a weekend break, my setup time takes a while; to find all necessary things for work and have another a cup of tea.

Wedding Memories
(click to view)

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

It is just my sacred time with my myself and a good audiobook. Just ensuring my painting time is firmly in my schedule and whatever... I am painting!

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

Fresh view of my subject, to feel passion and hunger for painting. If you don’t feel it, take a break.

Spring Flowers
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Somebody’s work, anything beautiful is evocative for me.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The process of painting and appreciation by people makes me happy -- good words and especially when they want to have my painting.

Thanks, Larisa!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 5, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Brian Miller

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Brian's painting "1125: Two Tears" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.



From Brian's DPW Page:

Making flipbooks with the corners of all my notebooks. Art school. Degrees in animation and filmmaking. Professional graphic design career. Children's book illustration. Font design. Web design and development. Then a switch to programming and problem-solving. Discovering mixed media art journaling and the freedom to play with paints, ink sprays, stencils, monoprinting, collage, and mark-making. Teaching art classes online and through in-person workshops. It has all been good and fun. But I'm not sure that I really and truly FELT like an artist until I began a daily painting practice in March 2016. Committing to making a small painting each day has really allowed me to develop my personal expressive style with new freedom. (click to read more)

Instagram: @brianmillerart
Website: www.brianmillerart.com
Location: Orlando, FL USA

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been an artist all of my life. I went to art school in the 80s, and I have a degree in animation and filmmaking. But I didn’t really start painting seriously until a few years ago after my wife Debbie and I took an art workshop with Lisa Daria Kennedy. It was on abstract flowers -- but unknown to us it actually was a not-so-subtle sales pitch for daily painting. After the workshop we said let’s try creating a painting every day for a month -- then two months -- then three months… and now we have painted almost every day for the last 3 1/2 years. Over 1,250 paintings each.

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

Since my painting career didn’t really start until the last three or so years I haven’t really had any stops. Before this season, I would often want to paint and make art, but I never made the time for it. I was too busy with work and the other obligations of life.

1125: Two Tears
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I mostly paint in acrylics. When I travel, I do a little watercolor or gouache just because it is so portable.  Recently, I am dabbling in oils. I really want to paint in oils, but the lightbulb has not fully clicked yet. Right now, it doesn’t seem as comfortable as my acrylic work.

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

Acrylic has really stuck -- it is my go-to medium.

1166: Cool Drink
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m really excited about getting better with oil painting – I do want to master this medium.

Who or what inspires you most?

As far as inspiration, the pre-Impressionists, Impressionists, and post-Impressionists are like light and air to me.  A few years ago, Debbie and I were visiting the National Gallery in London.  We had been enjoying the Sainsbury wing and the works of the Old Masters (1200s – 1700s) and we crossed a walkway that took us into a room of work by Manet and Degas and Sargent – and I literally felt like I could breathe more deeply -- the light and life of the colors, the bold brushwork, the freedom to break the rules.  It was so beautiful that it made me want to cry.  These artists and others (Matisse, Van Gogh, and more contemporary artists like John Button, Kiata Mason, and Sarah Sedwick) also motivate my current fascination with painting the still life. I love being able to set up my own scene to paint from. It seems like there are endless possibilities there. I think I have become more of an observational painter lately. I like to look at something and then paint from that. I am not a literal painter, though. I will often take liberties with what I see. I feel I have the complete freedom to reinterpret the subject matter any way I want. As an artist, I am responsible for the painting, not the source material.

1251: Dots of Flowers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

For me procrastination is finding some non-essential busy work. I like to “re-organize” my studio, create an improvement on our website, setup an inventory system, or refile all the digital copies of my work as ways to divert from the anxiety of the blank canvas. All these things are needed, but I will often do one of the easy things when I should just be creating the art.

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

My wife and I wake up every morning at 5 AM, hit the coffee to brew, put on some music or a podcast, and get to our easels. We like to get our painting done first because this is what we consider the most important part of the day. The creativity feeds our souls for the day. If we waited till after work, we would have a harder time getting started. Also, I cannot underestimate the blessing it is having a spouse who is on the same journey. We are able to encourage each other.

1242: Feeling a Bit Blue
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I like to work in series. I usually gather a grouping of items to paint at the beginning of the week. I then try to paint variations on this during the week. If all else fails, I choose flowers. Not because I am a flower guy, but because they are full of variety and interesting shapes and colors. Also, let’s face it – they are beautiful to have around.

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

I try to take continuing education workshops at least twice each year.  These opportunities to immerse myself in a learning experience always invigorate my own art practice.  Also, we usually participate in several group art shows each year.  Sometimes these shows have themes that are established by the curator, other times, we get to set the themes.  Either way, working toward a show is a good exercise for me to explore new themes or techniques or push myself in some way artistically.

1182: Patterns and Shadows
(click to view)

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

Personally, for me the act of painting helps me to slow down. It is a quiet time in my day where I can observe and respond without a lot of external pressures. Until I started to paint seriously, I did not know this was missing from my life. Also, not directly about art-making, but related -- I love teaching art. We have been teaching a six-week course in daily painting at a local community art school for the last year and a half. We have had seasoned artist and beginners in our classes, and I really enjoy trying to find ways to encourage each artist with their art-making goals. Early next year Debbie and I are planning on offering a series of on-line classes.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The first thing that I need to mention is how excided I am about having a body of work. For a long part of my adult life I dreamed of having a large collection of art that I had created. But mostly it was a dream. Being able to look back and see the path of over 1,250 paintings makes me proud of what I have been able to accomplish.  On a technique specific level, I absolutely love painting the negative space around something – a tree, flower petals, or the area through a glass. I think this is so magical – how you can shape something by painting what is not there. It always makes me happy.

Thanks, Brian!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 29, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Staar Caswell

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



From Staar's DPW Page:

I am an artist living in the Okanagan and Shuswap area of BC, Canada. I enjoy a wide range of subjects from pet portraits, wildlife and landscapes. I strive to add mood and energy to each painting.

I enjoy teaching children and adult workshops. What I like best about teaching workshops is helping a student through a difficult passage in a painting and seeing the confidence gained while doing so. We can be so critical and harsh on ourselves and I consider it an honor to remind and guide others on their creative journey.

I have studied and taken workshops with Gaye Adams, Terry Isaac and Robert Bateman, and am a lifelong learner.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first memory of painting was copying a pattern out of an old wallpaper sample book which a family friend purchased, framed and hung in his home. I was pretty encouraged to continue. My high school grade 8 art teacher introduced me to acrylic paint and I was hooked.

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

I have always fit in time for painting or sketching since high school but it has only been the last seven or eight years that I have been consistently painting. I have taken workshops with Terry Isaac and Robert Bateman which has encouraged me to paint more consistently. The more consistent I am with painting everyday the more my skills grow, seems like you forget less of the nuisances of painting which makes for less "do overs" and quicker progression of the painting itself.

Above Rock Lake
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have pretty much run the gamut of mediums and have dipped my toes into most art materials. I have experimented with a looser more impressionist style, abstract, surreal and a genre that I call Intuitive painting. I often still have one on the go in studio to work on in between my realistic paintings. Realism is the genre that gives me the most sense of satisfaction and challenge.

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

Realism and intuitive painting have stuck, the rest have fallen away. Realism is the genre that gives me the most sense of satisfaction and challenge and this has been a constant in my artistic journey.

Intuitive painting can be very refreshing, I really enjoy the freedom it offers. The application of layers with no specific plan, just allowing the imagery to arise can be a nice break from the challenge of realism.

Chickadee
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to continuing my exploration of loosening up my realism with regards to landscapes and wildlife. I really love the energy that a well executed impressionistic painting can have. I am currently trying this with my 100 skyscape challenge but as the title indicates it has been a bit of a challenge to loosen up and not refine details.

Who or what inspires you most?

Robert Bateman and Terry Isaac have been a source of inspiration for me for a few decades, both of which I was able to take workshops with in 2017 and 2018. I am really enjoying following many artists on Instagram such as Chris Long and Nicki Ault.

Sky of Diamonds
(click to view)

What inspires me?

Light and form in the natural world. I will never get tired of seeing a beautiful sunset, cloud formation, forest or bird watching and catching glimpses of wildlife around me. I love seeing the natural world with dramatic lighting and trying to capture this in paint.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Painting tutorials on Youtube, researching reference materials or ways to stay motivated. Cleaning my studio and even making to do lists and schedules that I never keep.

Evening Watch, Great Horned Owl
(click to view)

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

I get up early, grab a coffee and go straight to the studio where I have a painting in progress on the easel.  I use a stay wet pallet so I just take the lid off and my paints are ready. I have learned it is easier to get started if you prepare the night before, so by making sure I have a painting started on the easel and everything readily available it is much easier.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am always on the look out for great painting ideas in my surroundings while I go about my day, looking at the art of other artists I admire, visiting galleries and reading books on composition and painting techniques are a few of the ways that spark my ideas. I also look at art work that I do not like and dissect the reason and make sure I stay away from those compositions or techniques.

Coastal Wolf
(click to view)

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

I think for me being able to switch from my realistic work to an intuitive painting when I start to feel stagnant helps. I also think trying a different style of painting or spending time just playing in my sketch book with no expected outcomes also helps to hit the reset button for me.

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

I am always learning more about composition, colour and values and how to use them in my paintings for certain effects. One of the things I have learned lately through painting consistently is a more methodical plan of attack for each painting, which is also helping reduce the amount of paintings I have to start over or paint major corrections.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I have really enjoyed looking back at my progress over the past decade which has lead to more determination to keep striving and improving. I am also enjoying teaching art and look forward to continuing and growing in this area as well.

Thanks, Staar!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 22, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Cheryl Wilson

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



From Cheryl's DPW Page:

Cheryl paints at her home in Nevada City, California. She prefers oil on canvas, and her favorite subjects are people and animals. She spent many years in public education teaching a variety of subjects and grade levels. After a long time in the classroom teaching others, she began to study and teach herself art. Now she spends her days in her studio and is very grateful for the gift of being able to spend so much of her time painting.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I loved drawing and always believed I was good at it. When I began working as a young adult, art played no part, but I always considered myself artistic. Later, when I got the opportunity to spend my days learning to paint, I never looked back. I still study and always want to get better.


Drinking Fawn
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love watercolor, pen & ink (I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher), pastel, and beautiful pencil, but oil is my favorite.



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

I feel obligated to turn up with oil paintings for the two shows I do each year, so most of my work is in oil, but I refuse to give up the others that I love.


Peach with Leaf
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Inktober is coming and I will make some contributions to that. I use a dip pen.



Who or what inspires you most?

People and animals are my favorite subjects, but I also love small scenes of nature, like an apple still on the branch. Wayne Thiebaud encourages me to take chances.



Deer Nibbles
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination makes me feel bad. I try to always avoid it because I know I will be sorry. My problems come from responsibilities of life making such demands that painting time is usurped. I don’t like that, but I can’t help it. It is not so much procrastination as interference.

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

I must learn to say no to others’ demands. (I can’t always do it.) I love Mary Engelbreit’s illustration: “No. It is a complete sentence.”



Marlene
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have tried my hand at many subjects and over time I have narrowed my focus down to a few that always delight me. I search for the faces of movie stars of the 30’s and 40’s. So glamorous. I observe and photograph the wildlife in our county, and I look for the beauty in everyday objects. I have tried to paint landscapes because they are wonderful, but I have not yet found the secret to that success.



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

Sometimes I experience burnout and nothing I do looks good to me. Then I must decide if I will power through it or take a break in order to see with new eyes. Both approaches work but I can’t say in advance which one will do the trick.



Teapot
(click to view)

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

When I first began showing my work, I felt shy about it. A fellow artist said, “Just be the best artist you are.” I did not find that very helpful then, but now I do. I am learning to trust the art I make and appreciate it even though I greatly admire artists more talented than I. I can see better now not to compare.



What makes you happiest about your art?

When people tell me they feel peace when they look at my work, I am amazed and grateful. There are people in the world I connect with in this way and I consider it a gift.

Thanks, Cheryl!

© 2019 Sophie Marine