Thursday, August 15, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amy Whitehouse

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

From Amy's DPW Page:

Art has always been my passion, and experimenting with all kinds of media is my favorite way to spend the day. Painting, collage, mixed media, art journaling, you name it, I'll try it. Raising my four children I've tried to instill in them a love for the visual arts and music. I'm so proud of their artistic abilities and contributions. Teaching painting classes to all ages provides me the privilege of helping others create their own original artwork. Joy! (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I loved drawing as a young child and would take my drawings around to neighbors asking if they’d like to buy one. The price was five cents each. Fortunately, I had kind neighbors and usually made enough to buy a gingerbread man at the bakery.

May Flowers
(click to view)

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

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

I had the good fortune to attend painting classes at age 12 where I learned the basics of working with oil paint. I painted only a little in high school and college, and even less as a young adult. Raising four children seemed to take all my resources. I began again in earnest in my late forties, taking classes and workshops at the Scottsdale Artists School.

City Lights
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

Oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media. Presently I’m painting primarily in oil or pastel. Someday I hope to investigate encasutics.

Arizona Spring
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

Vincent Van Gogh, Odilon Redon, and Wolf Kahn are a few of the artists who inspire me. Attending art exhibits and museums motivate and give new vision, as does spending time at the beach. Recently I took a workshop with Tony Allain which reignited my love for soft pastel. Tony’s work and teaching are highly inspirational.

Fantasy Garden
(click to view)

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

Making art is my priority. Life does “get in the way,” but I manage to get in my studio 5-6 days a week simply because it makes me happy to paint.

Fabulous Floral
(click to view)

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

I naturally love to experiment with materials and subjects. Currently I’m exploring more abstract themes. Sometimes I just start with patches of color on a large canvas and see where the painting wants to go.

Dreamland
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

This is easy. When I hear a buyer say to me, “I look at your painting every day and it makes me so happy,” or a variation of that idea, my heart swells.

Thanks, Amy!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 8, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Yana Golikova

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

From Yana's DPW Page:

[Painting] was the best feeling and from that time it remains this way. Moving to America brought me many opportunities to express myself as an artist and show my work. I am specializing in representational oil painting. My primary subject is Still Life, but my work also includes figure, portraiture and landscapes. I paint mostly from life and the live models. I regularly participate in exhibitions and competitions, where my work has garnered awards. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was born in Siberia, Russia. Growing up there surrounded by magnificent nature encouraged me to really appreciate it, feel it and truly love it. I could never get used to this beauty. As a young kid, every time I would see something inspiring, I was looking for a way to keep it in my memory. That is when a spark for art lit up in my heart. Painting and drawing was the best way to capture the moment and share it with others.



Mandarin
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career? What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Even though I always loved drawing and painting, it stayed as a hobby for many years. After finishing college (Business Management), I relocated to the United states which brought me the opportunity to come back to art. I started to explore different materials (graphite, colored pencils, pastel) and subjects (people, animals, landscapes). Even though I taught myself a lot I felt that it was not enough and I decided to go to art school (The Art Students' League of New York), which really helped me to grow as an artist. I had an amazing teacher who taught me representational oil painting. I also learnt a lot from my fellow students who had years of experience. My primary subject was still life but I also painted people since we always had life models.


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

While I was at school I didn’t have much time to use any other mediums but oil. Right now I mostly use oil and pastel. I like colored pencils as well but they are very time consuming which is why I don’t use them as often.

Clouds on a Sunny Day
(click to view gallery)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I tried and have almost all. The only one I might give a better try one day is Watercolor (which I also have. I’m addicted to art material haha).



Who or what inspires you most?

I cannot pick one. I always look around and find beauty everywhere. I love animals, I love to observe people’s faces, I love nature, even a fruit from the grocery store or some old vase or a jar I spotted somewhere makes me want to paint it. Also other artists’ work.

Olivia
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Social media can be very great if you can concentrate on the important content and keep track of time. I’m still working on mastering it. Also when you have several commissions at the same time but not the best photos.

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

Having a deadline or traveling plans. Not turning on the TV. Staying positive. When you are happy it’s much easier to be inspired and stay focused.

Lilacs
(click to view gallery)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I just listen to my inner self - whatever desire I have in my heart at the moment. I often paint commissions too where the decision is already made. I also save pictures that I love from the Internet and follow artists whose work I admire.


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

I often switch mediums and subject matters - it helps me to keep a “fresh view” as well as to not get burnout. Sometimes I work on few paintings at the same time. Taking workshops or watching instructional DVDs is also helpful.

Bella
(click to view)


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

There is so much more to learn and it’s ok to make mistakes in the process.


What makes you happiest about your art?

The process of creating something that was not there before is magical. Also seeing the reaction of the people who are viewing my work especially when I create custom portraits is priceless. To be able to make somebody happy with your art is a true blessing.

Thanks, Yana!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 1, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gabriele Kolb

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

From Gabriele's DPW Page:

I am a Brooklyn, New York based painter and water-colorist and have been painting since childhood. I found great satisfaction creating custom pet portraits and have been doing that for over 15 years.

After sampling colored pencils in 2017 I fell in love with the medium, and has been my medium of choice since. Working with colored pencils allows me to create highly detailed photo realistic paintings.

Tell us about how you first started painting.

Started drawing as a child, I am primarily self-taught. I attended the Fashion Institute of Design, majoring in textile design. A good deal of my work in school included floral patterns and I developed a strong interest in botanical watercolor. My passion for dog portraits started with my beautiful Golden Retriever Midas. He was getting older and I wanted to capture him on canvas before he was gone.

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

As a career, my painting started in New Mexico with my sister-in-law producing fabulous hand painted pet feeders that sold in boutiques throughout the country. After moving back to our SoHo loft, I gave up the feeders to join the artists in the neighborhood selling my pet portraits - voilĂ  SOHOPets. Now that I am retired I can devote my entire day to doing what I love.

Labradoodle
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried watercolor and acrylic, and have now found my true passion - colored pencil. I love the ability to get the fine detail to produce a photorealistic result.

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

I have, for the moment, committed completely to colored pencils, so watercolor and acrylic are on hold for the time being.

Jack Russell... lets play ball!
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have always been intrigued by pastels and looking forward to giving pastel pencils a try, as much as I love doing pet portraits I am curious to try my hand at a still life and landscapes, also pastel looks like a good medium for wild animals. I want to challenge myself to do a large painting of one of the big cats.

Who or what inspires you most?

My husband inspires me to paint everyday and he is my biggest fan and gentle critic but always encouraging. Some of the artists that have inspired me are Chuck Close for his amazing large photo realistic portraits. Bonny Snowdon's wonderful colored pencil tutorials have been an inspiration and my work has improved immeasurably with her guidance. Gemma Gilling introduced me to suede mat board, one of my favorite surfaces to work on for animals. I also learned a great deal from Cynthia Knox and Karen Hull who are all fabulous colored pencil artists.

English Bulldog
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?


Too much social media in the morning – just a few hundred more Instagram posts to review while I finish my morning cappuccino. It can steal a lot of valuable painting time. Another block comes if I have a commission to paint but have terrible photos of the subject. I find myself doing everything else but starting the work.

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

It takes discipline to paint every day, which I try to do. I am always exploring new techniques and working to expand my skills and that adventure drives me to put in the time.

Marcel
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I do many commission portraits. I get my inspiration from the photos they provide. I also spend time surfing the net for great reference photos and following the work of accomplished color pencil artists.

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

By taking on-line video classes, finding new papers, new pencils, discovering new skills, techniques and hard work.

Tee-Too
(click to view)

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

That there is so much more to learn about my new medium of colored pencils. The most important thing for me right now is working on improving my technique, so I need to paint every day to get better and better. The complexity of color layers and mixing values to achieve precise effects is daunting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The moment the eyes are done and the subject is looking back at me, I can feel the animal's spirit, that’s magic! Great reviews from clients and fans on-line are a joy as well. I feel extremely grateful to be doing what I love to do!

Thanks, Gabriele!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 25, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jennifer Krentz

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

From Jennifer's DPW Page:

Having grown up in an artistic household, art has always been a part of my life. I've studied, taught, sold, bought, etc, etc. Not a day goes by that I don't think about painting or making something.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up in an artistic family so was always around it and had access to materials. It has just been a part of life for as long as I’ve known. I don’t ever recall a decision to paint… artistic urges were always present.

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

Oh, gosh, yes. Other things in life would take the forefront. Other life paths called to me, but I always came back to art in one way or another, whether selling my own, or selling others, or teaching, or just making things for myself. Creativity was often the loyal friend I probably took for granted and didn’t always appreciate as much as I should have.

Starlight
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love anything that comes in colors. Watercolor, gouache, oil, colored pencil, ink, crayons, ceramic paint, paper, fabric, clay… I’ve experimented with a lot. Back when I was in college some 30+ years ago, I started painting on cookies with food coloring. I still do them to this day. If something could be painted, I’ve probably tried it… even if it was using the wrong paint on the wrong surface. I suppose I would say I love to do both “serious” and fun. I love a good still life, but I also love drawing/painting characters.

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

The main mediums that have stuck are oil and gouache. I rediscovered gouache a few years ago when I was invited to participate in the Giant Robot Post-It Show. I hadn’t really used it much since college but rediscovered something special about it. It works with how I work.


Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I inherited my mother’s kiln and am hoping to get it hooked up one day. I have fond memories of working with clay.

Who or what inspires you most?

Everything. Everything can be looked at from a different angle and seen a different way. Everything talks to us in some way.

The Aftermath
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?


Argh… procrastination for me comes when I think there is only one way forward and someone is waiting at the end to bust my chops for not getting it right. It stops me cold… and then I need to remind myself that this is fun, and that there are many roads that take you to the end, and all roads are valid, just as all ends are valid.

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

It used to be scheduling time and sticking to it, but that’s not a problem anymore now that I don’t have school-age kids. Now, it’s just telling the art demons to be quiet when they’re being particularly loud and want me to stop. Sometimes I encourage them to paint with me.

Spring Ahead
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I see something that is intriguing and feel I need to paint it. I like riddles, so sometimes I’ll see something that looks challenging and I have to figure out how to do it. I’m always painting in my mind. A lot of the time, the ideas are just dropped into my head. I’m very appreciative of that.

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

Taking a break helps, long and short. If one painting isn’t working, work on another. Using different mediums helps, as well as changing up the genres. I just keep doing stuff and the ideas and excitement will generally come.

Lychees
(click to view)

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

I’d say the biggest thing I’ve realized in my later years was that what I viewed as my mistakes were really my style. I’ve also realized I’m nowhere near finished, thank goodness.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest is that I still love doing it, and I’m still improving every day. There are still wonderful surprises around the corner. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self a lot of this, but I’m glad I’ve realized now. Better late than never!

Thanks, Jennifer!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 18, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jeff Strzelczyk

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

From Jeff's DPW Page:

Hello Car Lovers. I am an amateur automotive artist using 100% acrylics on canvas. I love car design and found my calling with my Car Portraits and other Automotive art designs. I started out when I bought a Mustang early in 2018 and decided to paint it. From there it just took off and within 8 months have created over 100 individual paintings of all sizes. Most working off pictures from online but I do commission work for personal automobiles. I also have dabbling with movie cars and car chases to expand my portfolio. Thank you for viewing my works.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I'm a little different than a lot of artists on the site as I had only been painting for about six or seven years when I met my girlfriend who is also an artist. Before that I mainly did craft projects with paper and decorating old coffee tables using spray paint and stencils. I didn't realize that I could paint because I was never one to enjoy drawing. I started painting cars about a year and a half ago when I did my own car, then I just kept going.

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

For me painting is strictly a hobby. I'm a physical therapist by trade and still work full time, painting in the evenings and on weekends. There hasn't been any major stops along the way unless I need to step away for a few days. As long as people enjoy the cars I will keep painting.

Green Bug
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

As far as mediums I have only used acrylics. Oils are too messy and water colors don't allow me to get the straight lines I need for the cars. I started with just painting "car portraits" but have branched into painting race scenes, movie car chases, movie cars, etc. All my paintings with the exception of a few have some sort of automobile in them.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I do want to experiment with pours at some point and incorporate them into the car portraits. I think that would be fun.

Dream Road Trip
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Mustangs, Corvettes, GTOs, Challengers, VWs, etc. My girlfriend is my best inspiration and my best critic. Without her I wouldn't be painting.

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

Like I mentioned this is a hobby for me so when I feel like painting I paint. When I don't feel like it I do some of the other things I like to do like cycling, reading, puzzles. Of course there's the whole day job thing that keeps me busy as well.

Vintage Speed
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I paint the cars I would love to drive someday. I'm also a huge movie buff so anything car related in the movies is fair game. Lately I have been finding ways to incorporate a car into whatever "Call to Artist" events come around in my area such as a Hippy Bus for a Woodstock theme or cars named after animals for a zoo animal event. I'm always up for a challenge and for the most part have no fear when I paint.

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

The nice thing about cars is that there are plenty of gearheads out there that love their four wheeled babies. I don't think that will ever change.

Let's Keep Going
(click to view)

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

Windshield wipers, headlights and tire treads are hard.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Seeing a classic car come to life on the canvas. Seeing people enjoy what I do. Enjoying that I have this ability.

Winter Sting
(click to view)

Thanks, Jeff!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 11, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Barbie Smith

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

From Barbie's DPW Page:

A native of California, Barbie Smith is an oil painter whose love of color and beauty is reflected in her work. She finds inspiration in the endless wonder of God's creation and tries to reflect that beauty in her paintings. She looks for any subject with a strong design element including patterns of light and shadow or bold contrast of color or value. Her work is often described as that which evokes a sense of peacefulness and tranquility for the viewer. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Art has always been an important part of my life. Drawing was my favorite activity as a child and when I began college I had the opportunity to pursue an education in art. At that time we were encouraged to paint with Acrylics. I learned some of the fundamentals of painting and even painted some murals but eventually I decided to get my degree in nursing.

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

Raising my three children became my focus for many years. I served as art docent in their school and designed the sets for musical productions at our church but the desire to paint never left. I would wander through galleries and think to myself, “I could do this” but I really needed someone to get me started. I was actually wandering through a gallery when I met someone who would do just that. She was painting a demo and I was captivated by her beautiful work. I began to take lessons in oil painting and since then I have pursued art with a passion.

Still Standing
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I was introduced to acrylics in my college years and they were great for mural painting. I took a few lessons in watercolor but fell in love with oils after my first lesson. I have tried water soluble oils for traveling but I prefer traditional oils. I have painted landscape, cityscape, coastal, animals and recently have begun to devote more time to still life. It is quite a challenge to choose and arrange the objects, decide on a color scheme and lighting and then paint from life. I also belong to several plein air groups.

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

Today I only paint with oils and still enjoy the many genres that I mentioned above. There are so many subjects that excite me and I like the freedom to explore and paint anything that inspires me.

Last Light at Point Lobos
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

The medium that I really want to explore next is gouache. From what I understand it is similar to both watercolor and acrylic having some of the characteristics of both. I have a brand new set of gouache and I’m looking forward to learning the techniques so I can have another option for plein air painting.

Who or what inspires you most?

The beauty of God’s creation is my inspiration and since I have become a painter my appreciation for nature and my surroundings has grown immensely. I especially love peaceful countryside landscapes, vineyards, and gardens, as well as the architecture of houses, buildings, fountains and statues. I am also inspired by the work of other artists and especially those who paint in an expressive, painterly style.

Together
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is something I struggle with every day as I watch precious hours slip away while repeatedly checking my phone or doing another google search. Having high expectations for my paintings keeps me from getting right to work but I am learning not to expect perfection. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

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

Approaching each new painting as practice rather than performance helps me to relax and enjoy the process. Getting to the easel as early as possible helps me to make time for painting. That way I don’t let other things steal my time and leave me feeling frustrated and defeated. If I paint early then I feel I have accomplished my purpose for the day and I like to set my finished painting in the kitchen so I can look at it while I am cooking or cleaning and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Victorian Charm
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

There is nothing more frustrating than to have the time to paint but no idea what to paint. Choosing what to paint the day before keeps me from wasting precious time. Keeping a photo file of my most inspirational photos can help me to avoid endless scrolling through years of images. Most of my ideas come from places that I have visited or sightseeing trips with my husband. I am very intentional when I visit an area about keeping my eyes open and my camera ready. Fortunately, my husband doesn’t mind pulling over or turning the car around so I can take pictures of the cows by the roadside or the light on the vineyards. I also like to paint on location as often as possible so I will scout the area and take photos before I begin. Painting isn’t always about finding the perfect scene or subject but about bringing out the hidden beauty that may not be obvious.

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

Keeping my art fresh means keeping it simple and not overworking it or adding more detail than it needs. It means putting the paint down intentionally and not second guessing my myself. Trying new techniques, studying other artists, taking workshops and visiting museums all help to bring new life to my art.

On Your Toes
(click to view)

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

Recently I have been learning to put more paint down and manipulate it as if I were sculpting with paint. This allows me to play with the paint and see what it can do instead of being fearful of making a mistake.

What makes you happiest about your art?

My art gives me something to look forward to every day. It takes my mind to a peaceful place where my focus is on beauty. There is never ending potential for growth and learning and great satisfaction when someone tells me how much they enjoy having my art in their home.

Thanks, Barbie!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 4, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Donna Theresa

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

From Donna's DPW Page:


As an emerging artist, I am choosing to see my surroundings differently. Whereas before, I glimpsed at the face of my loved one or a stranger on the street, an everyday apple or pear, or the hazy hills in the distance; today I see shape, value, texture, movement, and thus emotion and narrative. I imagine how I might render these observations and then I practice... I do not surrender to the voice of comparison. I carry on in a spirit of curiosity and gratitude that I may find my way. On that journey, I ultimately find a part of myself undiscovered. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My passion for pastels started in a community college drawing class about three years ago. The instructor was introducing color using the pastel medium. I took one swipe of a chromatic orange stick and I remember thinking... "Now THIS is fun!" From there, I obsessively began learning online through Youtube tutorials from the best and most generous artists in our medium. I began entering exhibitions and getting accepted and it grew from there!

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

I paint daily... hence my membership in DPW! The only stops and starts in my budding painting career are a result of travel or other obligations.

Nuthatch
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have taken figure drawing classes using graphite and charcoal. I experiment with underpainting mediums like watercolor, acrylic inks, and clear gesso for creating texture. I started with landscape paintings, dabbled in some still life, and recently moved into figurative genre painting birds... I challenged myself to a personal "painting a day" in January 2019 and produced quite a collection of lovely little birds!

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

Of those mediums, I am still passionate about pastels. I exclusively paint in pastel. My genre passion is landscape depicting seasons and I am particularly fond of marshlands. Along with that, I am still painting birds.

At Peace
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to stretch myself into mixed media using collage and pastel someday. I am a representational artist with an impressionistic style... I would like to explore taking that into the expressionistic and abstract.

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me most. I am an avid bird watcher... an activity I share with my husband. I am constantly looking at the natural world around me and thinking to myself, "How could I render that?'

Joy
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

So I am one of the most industrious persons I know. Procrastination is not in my vocabulary! I have always been this way.

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

Staying organized in my personal life, managing the household (I have two adult children who live here while on break from college, and four cats!!) early in the day, practicing my piano before noon, eating a good lunch and then spending the afternoon in my studio with a good cup of coffee, listening to a book on tape or to classical music... That is my perfect day.

Poppy Abstract
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?


My ideas come from my observations of the natural world.  I study other artists that I admire and glean ideas from them. I participate in a small private art group where we have a weekly painting challenge on a particular subject or genre. I also love to look back at photos from our family travels around the world.

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

How do I keep my art fresh... I experiment with various underpainting techniques. I paint small and often. I often paint alla prima (all at once)... I have yet to burn out. You see, I am a retired nurse by profession, a mom of two adult college children, and this new passion is just that... NEW! I play piano, dance ballet, study french and have been known to perform improv comedy... nothing holds my attention like painting with pastels. At the easel or out in the field, I never think about anything except my next mark.

Evening Time
(click to view)

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

Right now I am learning to do only what I want to do... I am letting go of trying to make a business out of art making because I really don't enjoy that aspect of being an artist. I will promote my work and share my work in the manner that suits me, like posting to DPW, participating in national and international exhibitions, and being an Open Studio artist once a year here in lovely Santa Cruz, California. I am letting go of comparison and staying in the spirit of curiosity... which ultimately leads to my joy.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest about my art is the vibrant color that the pastel medium affords me!!! There is nothing more exciting than taking a stick of a luscious soft pastel stick and making a big bold mark on a fresh piece of sanded paper! Makes me giddy. :) I also, love to share my work with others because I want to share the joy of art making with everyone.

Thanks, Donna!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 27, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alice Harpel

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

From Alice's DPW Page:


I am a fine artist residing in Crawfordsville, IN. Upon retirement from the Indiana Department of Education, I have created a second career in the fine arts.

Most of my artwork originates from my original photographs, my plein air experiences, and my memory. I paint primarily in oils, acrylics, and pastels and often introduce other elements, such as collage paper, to achieve my desired vibrant colors and texture. (click to read more)

Tell us about how you first started painting.

As a young child and like many artists, I loved art and being creative. Living in the country next to a very small town, art was my entertainment. When I was first married, my husband was convinced he saw talent in the drawings that I would do in my spare time. So, he quickly went out and purchased my first set of art supplies. And that was the beginning of being a self-taught artist.

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

As stated earlier, my start really was when my husband “invested” in all those “bright, new, shiny” art supplies. So convinced of my talent that he was also a willing partner to take some of my paintings to art shows for me when I was “unsure” of this new thing I was doing.

My stops have been the raising of our two children and returning to a teaching career (but not as an art teacher) which then led me to go onto earning a Doctorate in Educational Administration. At that point, I put away my paints and brushes for 35+ years later, only to return to them upon retirement. And about a month before retirement, I ordered $1000 worth of art supplies from websites, and anxiously waited to return to my passion.

Acrylic spring tulip floral painting impressionism
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

When I first returned to painting, I worked in watercolor, but once I started to work more with acrylics, I became spoiled. My most recent medium for experimentation has been soft pastels.

The genres that I have experimented with are abstract work and painting figures (little girl ballerinas).

Which ones have “ stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

I no longer do watercolor unless it works as an underpainting for pastels. Acrylics have spoiled me there. I still play with abstracts and create “little girl” ballerina paintings, along with my traditional landscapes and florals.

Sunflower still life acrylic bouquet floral art
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to explore a looser style with my pastels. And I would also like to see how I can combine my acrylics with pastels with my abstract work.

Who or what inspires you most?

Besides the local artists who have made it to the national level, there are several I follow on the Internet. To name a few: Tom Christopher (pastels), Roger Dale Brown (oils), Jill Carver (oils), Nancy Franke (oils).

Oil red barn winter landscape painting
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination---cleaning my studio, cleaning my home,  looking through old art books.

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

I frequently do an early morning walk where I can clear my mind to focus on the day. I also create a “mind map” at the beginning of each year and refer to it monthly. This pushes me to make time for all aspects of my art.

Sunflower floral flower garden acrylic painting
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Since I live in a rural community, all I need to do is drive down a country road—nothing else is needed. All the beautiful colors that Mother Nature “paints” on her flowers always leads me to creating new floral art. I will enter competitions that have a theme that forces me to think of ideas for new paintings.

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

I like experimenting with new colors and techniques---pushing myself to loosen my style. Even though the initial endeavor might not be successful, the process always leads me to new ideas over time.

Wildflower day lily stream creek meadow painting
(click to view)

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

I am analyzing how my pastel painting techniques can help me be a better oil/acrylic artist. I want to see how these pastel ideas can translate to another medium.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the process of creating. I also get satisfaction when I “redo” an earlier painting. It is in this process that I can see the techniques I have learned over time that now makes this current work a better piece.

Thanks, Alice!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 20, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Heather Douglas

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Heather's painting "Fire Escape NYC #2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Heather's DPW Page:

Heather Leigh Douglas began her artistic career in oil painting and has expanded into the encaustic process as well. While her oil paintings are highly realistic her encaustics often take on a freer approach.

Douglas has exhibited in national and international juried shows across the country including galleries and museums. She has had solo shows in the New York Metropolitan area of both her oil paintings and encaustics. Some of her pieces have been used in films and television commercials. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I must begin by saying that, like a lot of artists, I have always been involved in one artistic endeavor or another, with lots of experimenting. As a studio art major in college I studied a variety of techniques which included oil painting. I also learned batik but used the process to create landscapes. After college I began taking classes in photography and eventually set up my own black and white darkroom. Oil painting was something I pursued on and off while creating and selling my batik landscapes.

Fire Escape NYC #2
(click to view)

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

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

When I had my first of three daughters, I put aside painting and batiks and focused primarily on photography. This along with a bit of watercolor painting became my artistic outlet for the next nineteen years. When a friend wanted to buy a painting of my daughter’s, which she refused to sell, I set up an easel and did an oil painting for him. I had forgotten the joy that comes from painting and suddenly I couldn’t get enough of it!

Spring Beauty
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?


One day, ten years ago, I came across an encaustic in an art exhibit and was fascinated. I began trying to learn the technique, which very few people seemed to know about then. The beauty of encaustic for me is that it combines three of my favorite artistic methods. Encaustic uses melted wax, which I had used in my batik days, and oil paint, which is used to color the wax. The medium is so versatile that it also allows me to use my black and white photography to create toner transfers into the wax.

Black Fern
(click to view)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I no longer use a darkroom. My primary focus has become encaustic, although I’ve just begun to experiment with cold wax and oil paint, which I am really enjoying. I also plan to create a series of encaustic monoprints on paper, and perhaps some other forms of print making down the road.

Fire Escape NYC - M2
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

My inspiration comes from the world around me. I am a nature girl who loves the ocean, hiking, woods and gardens, but I’m also drawn to architecture and the energy of metropolitan cities. I always seem to get a boost after going to a museum exhibit or a gallery show. Just seeing what other artists are creating is always inspirational.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is such a dirty word and I know it well! Much as I love the computer and all it has to offer, it can take over if I’m not diligent. Of course there are a host of other things that love to play procrastinator too.

Red Purse
(click to view)

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

I begin each day by tackling whatever errands and appointments must be taken care of in the morning. My reward is spending the afternoon (and often into the evenings), working in the studio without the distraction of other things on the “to do” list.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

A majority of ideas stem from my photography. I often go on photographic excursions with the sole purpose of gathering material to paint. I also use patterns I find in nature (such as rocks, wood, seaweed, etc.) to create more abstract pieces.

Maine Stone #5
(click to view)

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

I find travel to be a wonderful stimulus for creating “fresh” work.  Often times however, just going to a different part of New York City (I live nearby), opens me up to new ideas.

What makes you happiest about your art?   

I am so grateful to have something that I have loved doing all my life and that I can continue to do, till the end of my days!

Thanks, Heather!

© 2019 Sophie Marine