Thursday, June 13, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Elaine Hahn

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

From Elaine's DPW Page:

Elaine Hahn, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, holds a BA and MA in Art from the University of Missouri, and has studied with noted artists throughout the United States, England and Mexico. Her early career was influenced by her experience at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. She is a Signature member of the Paint America Association Signature Society, the Florida Plein Air Society, a member of the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, and is a Signature member of the American Watercolor and the National Watercolor Societies. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I loved drawing at a very young age. My mother would put me in classes at the Kansas City Art Museum for kids in the summer. I went on from there to study art and get my degrees in art.

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

I was a Marine Corps wife and moved every three years. That made many starts and stops for twenty years.

River View
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you worked with and which have stuck and which have fallen away?

In school I tried most every medium from print making to encaustic wax painting. This was good because I knew I favored drawing and painting. I chose oil painting at first. A group of artists in Virginia, where I lived then, started an Art Co-Op where we taught classes and on the main floor had a gallery. That group still exists in Occaquan, Va. I was teaching print making and pastels at the time. The Watercolor artist left, and my students asked me to teach Watercolors. I had just seen a watercolor demo by the famous artist, John Pike, while attending a pastel workshop and he made it look so easy. I said I would try!! That started my twenty year journey with Watercolors.

Bushels of Crabs
(click to view)

Who inspired you the most?

I’ve taken workshops from many artists and was inspired by them all. Albert Handel and Kevin MacPherson were two of my favorites. I also really admire Richard Schmid and have learned a lot from just reading his books.

Feeding Time
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m great at this!! I read the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and had to laugh. I fit right in!  A great book on how to deal with procrastination for artists.

Hull Reflections
(click to view)

How have you dealt with burn out in your career?

After spending my twenty years in Watercolors, I felt I needed a change, as I was getting burned out. It was a big one!! - back to Oils and painting Plein Air. At that point, I needed to get out of the studio, experiment and also try a different medium while painting outdoors. I loved it and did many Plein Air events and saw a lot of beautiful places where I painted.

Then after several years, I came full circle back to the studio, still working in oils but, doing Still Lifes instead of landscapes. It was at this time I found Daily Paintworks. This really helped motivate me to do a painting a day for many months. I really know that this challenge was a big help for me. Often times now when I feel stuck I go back to that challenge of a painting a day. All artists should all be very thankful for this Daily Paintworks site.

Sparkle
(click to view)

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

Now I am motivated by doing paintings that I feel are worthy of entering into national shows. Subject matter is usually coastal oriented (we live on the water in Florida) or Still Lifes.

Sunset Glow
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I paint for hours and time flies and everything goes amazingly right. I wish more moments like this happened. Also, when someone appreciates my paintings or loves them enough to buy it.

Thanks, Elaine!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 6, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Gina Garding

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

From Gina's DPW Page:

Hello! I am a Minneapolis-based painter. I've been painting for about 5 years and learn something new every time I'm at the easel. I love keeping it fresh by painting a wide variety of things, but I'd have to say my favorite subject is pet portraits. You can see more of my work on my blog (www.ginagarding.blogspot.com), or follow me on instagram (@ggardingart). Thanks for stopping by!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I always loved to draw and was a very creative and crafty kid, and about five years ago my mom urged me to take a painting class to balance out my left-brained job as a statistical programmer. Fortunately for me my first class was with Kat Corrigan, and her excitement and passion for painting was super contagious and got me hooked!

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

I’ve had periods where life got busy and I got out of the habit for a while, but in the last couple years I’ve been more consistent and the stops are shorter and less frequent.

Duck Reflections
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I paint with acrylic, and have a couple hours under my belt experimenting with water-based oils.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’d love to learn oils, and I plan to keep trying those. I would also really love to try gouache sometime, I love the look of it and I’ve heard it’s quite opaque in nature and that suits me well for how I paint.

Focus 2
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I was very inspired to try painting pet portraits by Kat Corrigan. I don’t know a lot of art history, so my other inspirations tend to be current artists that I follow on social media. I love the work of Teddi Parker, Patty Voje, Sharon Shock, Cathleen Rehfield, Holly Storlie, Katya Minkina, Robin Rosenthal, and there are so many more…

What does procrastination look like for you?

Getting inside my head too much! Sometimes anxiety sets in, that I don’t have enough time to paint something the way it “should” be painted, so instead I leaf through reference photo ideas or spend time looking at others’ works.

Koi
(click to view)

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

Refer to previous question - it’s not usually an issue of enough hours in the day for me, so much as it is getting out of my own head thinking that I need more time. The one post-it note I have taped to my easel says “Don’t think, just paint!”.  I try to set a goal of touching paint to canvas even for 20 minutes, and it often turns into longer than that.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I often paint from reference photos, and there’s a great website Paint My Photo.com that I love to peruse. It’s kind of like a thrift store, in that you never know what you’ll find and there are some real gems. I also do pet commissions so those are kind of decided for me.

Ready for My Close-up
(click to view)

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

I keep it fresh by painting what most excites me at the moment. I’d love to do a series, but I’ve found if my excitement of the subject wanes it really affects my painting. The things I paint usually have no connection to each other -  it’s how my brain works! I’ve found having a large file of potential reference photos helps avoid burnout, because there’s always something that I’ll find new and exciting.

Callie 10
(click to view)

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

Sticking with paintings through the rough patches. Sometimes a painting just needs to be abandoned and I’m ok with that, but I’ve had some good successes by working through the “ugly” and coming out the other side. Also, patience with myself. I go through phases where my mind sees how I want something to look but my hands can’t do it yet – it’s frustrating but remembering that practice is a part of it helps.

Thanks, Gina!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 30, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Esperanza Deese

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

From Esperanza’s DPW Page:


My journey into art started late. I graduated with a degree in Accounting, licensed as a CPA, and have been in the accounting profession for over twenty years now. Most of you have probably worked with an accountant before, so you can imagine how my life in that field is pretty much black and white. Painting changed all that. I do not have formal training in the fine arts, but God gifted me a couple of years ago to depict the beauty of His creation into canvas with paint and brush.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

What always puzzled me is how my camera does not capture how I see a scenery, like how the ocean looks so big but when you take a picture of it, so little of the water shows up. I’ve always wished I could paint what I see but with no painting background, it was just a wish. Then in 2016, I found Carol Marine’s book “Daily Painting” which sparked my desire to learn how to paint. In the book, she featured Dreama Tolle Perry whom I googled and found out was offering an online art course. I signed up in September 2016, and by following her video instructions, I learned to paint with oils. It gave me so much joy to finally be able put my vision onto canvas. But I didn’t paint regularly until I joined the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge in Feb 2018. A few days into it, the Lord prompted me to put a bible verse with each of the paintings I posted. Amazingly, I was able to finish 23 paintings during that period, and I saw so much growth as an artist from each painting.

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

Having a full-time job as an accountant with all its busy seasons, my painting was always being put on hold. And life happens – a marriage proposal in November and the subsequent preparations for the wedding in February put my painting career on hold again. But with God’s grace and my dear husband’s support, I was able to scale down on my accounting job so that I now have more time to dedicate to painting.

Three and One
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I paint whatever inspires me, so I experiment with various genres. My favorites are seascapes, nature, floral and still life.

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

When I first started painting, I used acrylics. Then with Dreama’s class, I shifted to oils, loved it and stuck with it.

Foster Care
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I was inspired to paint my then fiancee now husband. It was the first portrait painting I’ve done and I really loved the experience so I’m looking forward to exploring more portrait and figurative painting. More people and their activities.

Who or what inspires you most?

The words of our Lord. The bible is His love letter to us. It’s where I turn to when I need advice, comfort, inspiration... anything!

Peace
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Reorganizing instead of painting!

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

I tell myself that I’m free to do whatever I wanted as long as I get one painting done, so better get on it as soon as possible. Then usually, by the time I finish one painting, I would be so “in the zone” that if time permitted, I do another one...and then another.

Sunflower Wedding Bouquet
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I stop to really look at and enjoy sceneries, nature, people, inanimate things that catch my interest. I take lots of pictures.

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

I paint a variety of subjects so there’s always the challenge of  learning to paint something new. To avoid burnout, I have this in my heart - Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”

Jar of Love
(click to view)

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

Marketing and promoting my artwork.

What makes you happiest about your art?

With no background in art and now able to create beautiful paintings, I know this is a gift from God.  When someone tells me that my painting made them happy, it makes me happy. But when someone says the bible verse I shared with the painting spoke to them...oh joy...HEART BE STILL.

Thanks, Esperanza!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 23, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Phyllis McAdams

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

From Phyllis's DPW Gallery Page:

Born and raised in England, I dabbled in art while growing up but it wasn't until I emigrated to the United States that I began my formal art education. After settling in California, I went back to school and earned a B.F.A in Painting and Drawing from San Jose State University. I showed my work for a number of years in galleries on the West Coast before relocating with my family to Southeast Georgia. There, I exhibited extensively in galleries on the East coast as well as in numerous Juried and Invitational shows across the country. I have painted professionally for over thirty years, my preferred medium is oil and my subjects are primarily still life, portrait and the figure. Also, because we have now returned to California and live in close proximity to Yosemite National Park, I have begun to enjoy the outdoors and the challenges of plein air painting.

When did you first start drawing and painting?

As a child growing up in England, I spent many rainy days cooped up indoors. On those days I entertained myself by drawing. Even on nice days I drew outside on the pavement with a piece of chalk or limestone. I always drew fashion figures, skaters and ballerinas; my mother taught me to draw teacups and saucers which I still like to do. I didn’t begin to paint until years later after immigrating to the United States. I first took an Adult Education painting class and from there was encouraged to continue studying art.

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

No. Once I started showing in galleries and selling my work I didn’t take any long breaks.

Old Tin Cup and Coffee Pot
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Most of my experimentation was done in college art classes. I’ve used oils, watercolors, charcoal, pastels, pen and ink, gouache, acrylics using an airbrush and sculpture. I also experimented with silkscreen, etching, scratch board and photography. The various genres I’ve enjoyed are portrait, the figure, still life, landscape, seascapes, street scenes and interiors.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

The printmaking media completely fell away. Now I work mostly with oils and once in a while with some of the other mediums. My main subjects are still life, portrait and the figure. I do some plein air painting once a month with a group of artists but my forte is setting up a still life in my studio and painting it from life.

Teapot Reflections with Grapes
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

At the moment there’s nothing more I am interested in trying.

Who or what inspires you most?

As a still life painter, I’m often inspired by the ordinary objects I see around the house or while rummaging through thrift shops, garage sales and antique stores. I’ve collected boxes of props that have inspired me to paint them at one time or another. Even the produce section of the grocery store with its colorful fruits and veggies can be inspirational. During my art career, I’ve worked mostly on life size trompe l’oeil paintings that often take days or even weeks to complete. But now, thanks to Daily Paintworks, I’m also inspired to paint smaller, faster, more spontaneously and more often.

Sweet Peppers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I procrastinate by doing other things when I can’t decide on something interesting to paint.

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

Making sure necessary obligations are taken care of so I can go into the studio and concentrate just on my art.

A Window in Time
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your painting?

Sometimes my ideas are unexpected such as a fleeting view of coffee mugs or cowboy hats hanging on a wall in the background of a television show, or seeing an arrangement of colors while thumbing through a home d├ęcor magazine, or just a random everyday object casting its shadow in the sunlight. When looking for still life ideas, I’m usually attracted to bright colors, abstract shapes, a variety of textures and by the way each element reacts when affected by light.   

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

I frequently alternate my painting styles from loose and expressive to tight realism or trompe l’oeil. I change my support sizes from large to medium or small and a genre change sometimes helps. I also belong to a portrait group; we meet once a week to paint from the live model.

Girl with the New Pearl Earring
(click to view)

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

I’m learning to paint much smaller and looser and with less detail than my usual work. I’m also learning to use the computer more for marketing purposes.

 What makes you happiest about your work?

When I’m working on something I’m really excited about and when it’s finished I actually love it without having to wipe out or redo areas to make it work. I’m also very happy when someone purchases my artwork and then lets me know how much they enjoy it – that makes my day.

Thanks, Phyllis!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 16, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Robert Anke

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

From Robert's DPW Gallery Page:

Dad, husband, artist, teacher, mountain biker, and singer of songs in the shower.

Robert's website - robertanke.com
Robert's Instagram - instagram.com/robertthomasanke/

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I always took art classes in college in addition to my regular load just to stay sane. I started painting then.



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

For sure. I’m always in the process of creating something, but the mediums I immerse myself in vary over the years. Painting is one of the things I always come back to though.



Dawn Over Diablo
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The ones that stick out as having really captured my interest for long enough to feel like I got past the novice stage would be painting, drawing, ceramics, video game map design, comic strips, mountain bike trail design, scratchboard, and ink block printing. I also really like the creative processes in cooking, and composing music.


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

Painting, drawing and ceramics always stick. Anything related to computers falls away. As much as I love designing and composing with tech, it just taxes my body too much, the older I get.

Carquinez Strait
(click to view)


Who or what inspires you most?

I find artistic inspiration in a lot of places, but lately I find it in representational painters who use an economy of strokes. Asian ink brush work is the epitome of this style, but Western examples of that approach are where I currently draw inspiration. Hester Berry’s work and Mike Hernandez’ gouache stuff are two examples.


What does procrastination look like for you?

Screens. Love them and hate them. I try not to sit down in any comfortable chair with a screen until I’ve mtn biked or gone to the gym, cooked dinner, painted, and finished any chores for that day.

Water and Sky
(click to view)



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

Finish dinner and go straight to painting. Do not sit down, do not pass go, do not collect $200.



How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?


I’m an avid mtn biker and the scenery lends itself to the landscapes I often paint. I take a lot of photos while riding.

Black Oak Valley
(click to view)

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

Like most people, I would imagine, I only work in media I’m enjoying. But sometimes I have an additional, specific goal to improve in a particular medium, which can make it feel like work. In those cases, giving myself breaks by creating other things really helps.


What makes you happiest about your art?

The creative process: finishing a piece, starting all over, coming up with ideas, getting lost in the work and coming up for air sometime later. Love it.

Rothko Conversation
(click to view)

Thanks, Robert!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 9, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judith Elder

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Judith's painting "Paris No. 115" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Judith's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a self-taught acrylic artist. Eleven years ago I figured out what I wanted to do. As a child I liked to make things -- from "clay pots" in the mud in our woodsy backyard to "perfume" from rose petals. Then there were the floor plans I'd sketch, often using the letters of the alphabet for the shape of the house. I have always liked arts and crafts, architecture, colors, and texture. It was worth the wait to find myself as an artist, and the journey was a good one.​

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting in 2008. I started by copying a few paintings of Monet and Van Gogh and then painting from photos I had taken. Around the same time, an artists' co-op was opening in the town where I lived at the time, so I envisioned having paintings for sale in that gallery. That vision became reality and I am still a member of Two Rivers Gallery.

My interest in doing something creative began early... my mother always took my sisters and me to cultural events -- ballets, art museums, symphony concerts, etc. -- because she loved them and wanted us to benefit from them, also. She was always sewing, painting, doing needlework, etc., so we were always surrounded with creativity and would dabble in arts and crafts. Even as a ten-year-old I liked architecture. On family drives I would gaze upon grand old houses, and I would draw floor plans just for fun.

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

I have not stopped painting since 2008.

Paris No. 115
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have tried watercolors a bit and want to try oils someday. I tried a number of different genres at first… landscapes, cityscapes, people, still lifes, and interiors.

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

The one that has “stuck” is anything to do with architecture -- old buildings and cityscapes, interiors, and architecture details. While visiting Paris and London a couple times in the past several years, I took tons of photos (over 2,000 on my last trip) of mostly buildings to paint from.

I have a Paris Series that I constantly add to, and I’m also adding to my London Series.

London No. 13
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I would like to explore figurative painting. I’m going to stay with acrylics for now; oils someday, though.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by the artwork of many artists, such as Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, and Utrillo. A current artist I admire is Edward B. Gordon of Germany. I often spend time online looking at styles, colors, brushwork, etc., of artists. (I’m addicted to Pinterest.)

The other thing that I’m inspired by is the architecture of London and Paris.

Paris No. 59
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I am distracted by my computer.

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

My “studio” is on one-half of my dining room table (my sewing machine is on the other side) and has a clear view to the living room where my reading husband usually sits. I paint; he reads; we chat.

Paris No. 90
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

With my huge stash of photos, I never run out of ideas.

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

Once in awhile I will try a Van Gogh or Matisse style of painting, or any number of artists' styles. Also, since I paint mostly small sizes, I will sometimes paint a larger size for variety.

A Good Place for Breakfast, Osaka
(click to view)

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

I am always trying to learn to be a better artist, whether it is working on shadows and light, or improving on perspective.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Two things… first, I just enjoy the process of painting and seeing how it turns out. Second, I’m happy when I sell a painting because that means that someone wants to have that painting around because it makes them happy!

Thanks, Judith!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 2, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Carol Myer

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

From Carol's DPW Gallery Page:

I use luscious oil paints, with deep, saturated color to interpret on canvas the nuances of color and light that I have trained my eye to 'see' in the world that surrounds us. Color changes according to the source of light, the surfaces and surroundings that reflect it, the atmosphere, the time of day and the season. I find it challenging, fascinating and rewarding to engage this study every day, and I will never tire of it. In fact, even when not painting, I see colors bloom all around me with enhanced hues. I feel excitement and anticipation as I take my brush and/or palette knife and watch the painting as it comes to life.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I loved the smell of Vano starch and tempera, used in finger painting in Kindergarten. As a very young girl, I would always use any money I earned or received on a ‘Paint by Number’ set.

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

After taking a number of drawing and painting courses in college, I took a long break to work in interior design, while my husband and I were raising young daughters. Then my mother died as I was turning forty. I’ve been painting steadily ever since.

Untitled
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Watercolor, acrylic, gouache, until landing on oil, it’s so versatile. 

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

When I discovered the Hensche colorist movement, I was swooning. At first I took classes with Susan Sarback, and then Camille Przewodek, who has been the major influence in my work, specifically color theory. Now I only dabble in other mediums.

Sunbathing
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Just got back from the Plein Air Conference in San Francisco, thanks to two professional artists there, I am intrigued with gouache's possibilities for travel.

Who or what inspires you most?

Seeing luminous color in the light and shadow falling on people, flowers, and the landscape, then interpreting that in my own way.

Untitled

What does procrastination look like for you?

I easily make time for painting, I can’t not do it. Procrastination is blowing off a workout so I can paint.

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

Not an issue. I have a studio in my large living room by the bay window. I live in a beautiful area with Mediterranean weather, flowers in my garden, and figure sessions in my area. My husband is supportive and is happy to help in any capacity.  He draws well too. I like to be balanced and spend time with family and friends, but since this is my only job, I spend hours and hours standing blissfully at my easel.

Pacheco Pond
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I only have to open my eyes and look. I think I should probably take a little more time and consideration in my composition, but I feel anxious to get going and just dive in.

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

I take workshops with master artists that I admire. That is a sure fire burnout cure for me. I learn something new every day, and infuse some insight or experimentation into the next big thing.

Curtis
(click to view)

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

Today, inspired by Aimee Erickson’s demo last weekend, I was playing with backlit figures, and the way the light dances and glows around them. That was fun.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The passion to make something new and beautiful.  I also like the community of artists and art admirers. Wherever I go, there are others speaking this same language. Passion to make something new and beautiful.

Thanks, Carol!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

Thursday, April 25, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alina Adamczyk

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

From Alina's DPW Gallery Page:

I was born in Kracow, a magical city considered to be the centre of Polish academic, cultural and artistic life.

Strongly influenced by its rich history, medieval landmarks, abundance of museums and art galleries, I decided to study conservation of art, focusing on architecture. I developed an interest in drawing and painting after finding a stash of old sketches and watercolour paintings by my grandfather. At that time however painting was more of a hobby for me, and I decided to change my career to social work.

I moved to New Zealand in 2012, where I live in Richmond in sunny Tasman region. Overwhelmed by the beauty of New Zealand as well as the lifestyle it offers, I joined a local art group when I re-discovered my true passion – painting. I've been painting mainly in oils for few years now and am a member of local art gallery Wall to Wall Art. My works have been displayed at local exhibitions and in local cafe's and businesses and number of my works have found new homes in New Zealand and international private collections.

I love to paint New Zealand landscapes, birds and flowers. My paintings are richly coloured and full of light and I am drawn towards realism.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I remember when I was a child there was a very special person who inspired me. It was my grandfather. The funny thing is that I never met him. He died in a car crash a few years before I was even born. But to me he was like some amazing mythical creature, everybody around me knew him and admired him. He was talked about with a lot of respect and love. I knew that he used to work designing roads and bridges, but one night I discovered that he was also an artist.

I sometimes stayed at my grandmas and I loved going through her things (she had those amazing dresses with sequins and ostrich feathers). One night when I was going through her cupboards and wardrobes I came across a massive stash of beautiful charcoal sketches and watercolors painted by my granddad. I couldn't take my eyes off them, they were beautiful: churches, cathedrals and castles. When I asked my grandma about it she told me about granddad's love for painting and she gave me his old set of watercolors and pastels. That is how I first started painting.

Puponga
(click to view)

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

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

Even though I loved drawing and painting since I was a little girl, I didn't take it seriously until around three years ago. I think I haven't done any art since I finished high school.

I went to a very specialized high school where I did qualification in conservation of art. Drawing, painting and sculpting was our everyday bread back at school, but it all went a bit out the window when I chose to study social work. After doing my degree I went to Ireland where I worked as a preschool teacher and the closest I got to art was doing potato stamping.

Then I moved to New Zealand and this is when I really got inspired to start painting again. I picked up my paintbrush around three years ago and I haven't stopped since. Initially, it was just a leisure activity, once or twice a week just for fun, but with time it become much more than that.

Kingfisher
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I tried painting in watercolors, acrylics and oils, I also had some fun using airbrush. The only subject I paint is nature. I manly paint landscapes, flowers and birds.

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

Definitely oils, I really like painting with fast drying oils: alkyds. I am a bit impatient, so conventional oils were taking a bit too long for me to dry. Acrylics on the other hand are sometimes drying too fast for me to achieve some of the blurry background effects that I really like using for my flowers.

Pelorus River
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

One medium that I haven't really explored and I think could fit my style really well are pastels and pastel pencils and I plan to try them one day. 

Who or what inspires you most? 

My main inspiration is nature. I am absolutely in love with New Zealand and its beauty. It's incredible how you can travel fifty km and come across so many different type of landscapes, it's very unique. Whenever I go for a ride and look around all I want to do is stop and take reference photos for my paintings every few meters... I like big wide panoramic scenes and I also love little things like reflection of light on a winter berry or a flower on bloom.

As to who inspires me... well there are too many artists that I admire to talk about, but all of them are realist artists.

As to old masters, my favorite must be Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin; also Albert Bierstadt and others form Hudson River School. Talking about contemporary artists, well, I am mainly aware of ones that are a bit more active on social media. My favorite artist of all must be Andrew Tishler, he is originally form Australia but lives in New Zealand, not only he is an amazing artist but he also likes to share his talent through You Tube videos and tutorials. I also love landscapes by another NZ artist: Ivan Clarke, as well as flowers by Lyn Diefenbach and Amber Emm.

Fresh as Freesias
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I consider myself to be at the beginning of my artistic journey and I read somewhere that it takes around 10,000 hours to become a master at something. To me the main issue here is that I often tell myself I am not ready for something, that I should leave it for later when I get better at things... when I become a master... well it may take another seven years, right? So I realize that it doesn't make much sense, putting the things away, because as an artist I may never be fully satisfied with everything I do and there will always be room to improve or stretch so I try to fight that feeling and just get on with things.

Kereru
(click to view)

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

Time, hahahaha... I never have time... I am a wife, mum to two beautiful little girls (seven and three) and I work as a social worker supporting refugee families four days a week.

No, but seriously, when I first started painting it was only once per week at adult education evening classes on Mondays from 6-9pm. But I got hooked and I started thinking about when can I find time to paint. Initially, I started stealing some time on Saturdays and Sundays when my little one was having a midday nap (and I put a movie on for the older one - bad mother!). But soon it was't enough and I came to the conclusion that I don't really need to sit in front of a movie in the evenings as painting is my own way to relax.

Now I try to paint every day in the evenings after I put my kids to bed, it's often between 9pm and midnight, and I also paint on Tuesdays during the day when I don't do my main job (although since I joined local collective gallery, I also need to do shifts there two Tuesdays per month). I also now love wet, cold weekends as they are a good excuse to stay at home and paint. :)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

I see things and places that inspire me.

Wharariki Beach Stream
(click to view)

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

I haven't been painting long enough to experience burnout, ask me in ten years.

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

Marketing! Seriously, I had no idea how many skills an artist needs to acquire to become successful. It's not only about being good at painting... which I constantly work on. It's about making people notice you among so many thousands of other talented people, it's graphic design, social media, web design, marketing, accounting, interpersonal skills (especially if, like me, you work at a gallery trying to literally sell art to people), it's huge and it's necessary to get where I want to be.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Just creating art, the process itself. To me art is like yoga or meditation for some people, it takes me to a different place. When I paint I don't think about what happened at work or what I need to buy for dinner tomorrow, I lose track of time and it's only me and the painting in front of me and the colors.

Thanks, Alina!

© 2019 Sophie Marine