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 (, 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.

(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 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

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