Thursday, March 7, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Marita Hines

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

From Marita's DPW Gallery Page:

I worked for over forty years in non-art related fields, moving from one job assignment to another in an effort to grow and stay engaged. It was both tedious and challenging. When I got the opportunity to retire and pursue painting full-time -- there were doubts that I would be able to maintain a level of engagement without constantly shifting direction. Then I was re-introduced to Plein Air painting! Capturing and translating a fleeting moment in time challenges me in ways my "day job" never could. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I was into drawing from an early age, using my skills to create paper dolls and doll houses. Arts and crafts have been part of my life as long as I can remember. As a teen, I was lucky to have participated in a Saturday art class sponsored by Carnegie University. Although I did not pursue a degree in art, I have taken many workshops and classes over the years.

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

After working in a non-art related field most of my adult life, I got the chance to retire and pursue painting full time. Until my retirement in 2015, painting was something I did on occasion to relax or while on holiday. Now that I have time to paint full-time, I still don't know that I'd call it a career.  I sell my work in order to paint more. Nothing makes my day like someone who has fallen in love with one of my paintings and wants to take it home with them.

The Cabana
(click to view)

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

Who or what inspires you most?

Early on, a mentor introduced me to Plein Air painting. Plein Air is a French term referring to painting in the "open air" or outdoors.  Although my first experience with Plein Air was not a good one, it was memorable. It was a cold, snowy day and my fingers would not cooperate. Yet, there was something so inspiring and challenging about painting outdoors. Van Gogh painted the same haystacks repeatedly -- was he inspired by the changing seasons and time of day? Those things just add to the allure. Today, I belong to two Plein Air groups, including one that I manage.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have experimented with sculpture, oils, pen and ink, charcoal, gouache and watercolor. There was a period when my work was abstract in nature. My only regret is that it took me so long to figure out it wasn't my thing. Today's paintings are loose and representational. 

Potted Pretties at Longwood Gardens
(click to view)

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

My favorite medium by far is watercolor.  It's perfect for Plein Air painting because it dries quickly, cleans up easily, uses no chemicals or solvents, and is very portable. 

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

I start early in the day, because that is when my energy level is at its peak. I try to schedule the less creative work like sending emails and doing paperwork in the evening hours.

(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I take pictures everywhere I go. Most people take photos of loved ones during special events. I take pictures of strangers and beautiful landscapes and architecture. It's not just my vacation photos that are potential paintings. It's the ones I take of everyday life -- the back alleys, old buildings, beautiful gardens, an old man sleeping on a bench.

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

It's in my nature to get bored with a regular routine. But there are so many ways to change it up -- learning a new technique, using a new color palette, watching a video, reading a book, checking out a new location to paint.

Afternoon at Landis Valley
(click to view)

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

I'm currently working with a limited palette, trying to improve the harmony and innovation of my color combinations.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I enjoy when people make a connection with my art. Sometimes I make a connection with the work of other artists. I'm an artist and an art collector.  In fact, I won a painting from the Daily Paintworks Artist Spotlight.

Thanks, Marita!

© 2019 Sophie Marine


  1. Your paintings are amazing and beautiful! Such a change from your abstract days ( I am not a fan of abstract-as you know) You really have a God given talent!

  2. love your paintings, have watched you grow over the years

  3. One of Pennsylanias finest painters.