Thursday, October 17, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rebecca Ives

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

From Rebecca's DPW Gallery Page:

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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

Ginger Lily
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

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

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

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

Cedar Waxwing
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

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

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

(click to view)

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

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

From the Center: Sunflower
(click to view)

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

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

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

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

Studio Cat Rosie
(click to view)

Thanks, Rebecca!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

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