Thursday, August 6, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sally Fuess

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

From Sally's DPW Gallery Page:

I am inspired by the slice of life moments and the fleeting insights into an individual’s character whether it is animals or people. My process begins with ink sketches preferably from life but also video or my own photo reference. With oils, I paint in either a warm/cool vibrant palette over a toned background or a limited Zorn palette. I directly sketch my composition in oil on the canvas/panel and then build layers, playing with brushwork, glazing, pick-outs and palette knife. With my ink and watercolor drawings, the process involves fountain pens, large quantities of coffee, a big recycle bin and a little luck. Thanks for visiting!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always doodled but I took an oil painting class at UCLA and fell in love with it.



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

I was a lab tech for fifteen years but painted in my spare time. Currently, I am lucky enough to paint full time.


Common Squid
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have dabbled with oils, acrylics, pastels, gouache and watercolor along with pencil, charcoal and ink.



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

I love oil and enjoy playing with watercolors, especially watercolor with ink. Acrylics and I have never gotten on well.


Goatitude
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really would like to get better with watercolor and someday study sculpture.



Who or what inspires you most?

I think the urban sketchers movement is really inspiring - I just love the freshness and international aspect of the art. I also love sculpture especially the Terme Boxer in Rome, anything by Michelangelo, Bernini, Rodin and ancient Asian horse sculptures. As far as 2D work, I love the draftsmen: Rembrandt, Sargent, Van Gogh, I. Repin, E. Schiele, Hokusai, Lucy Kemp Welch, Armin Hansen and Sergio Toppi. Subject wise: animals, water and people.



Owlish III
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Fear of messing up. I don’t mind redoing something fifteen times to get it right, but I hate losing the freshness of the work. I find that if I stop and draw it until I know it well, then go back to the painting, it is very helpful.



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

Early mornings and headphones to block out the distractions.



Lowlander
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Travel, rowing, walking the dog and sketching. I also love harbors, wildlife sanctuaries, aquariums, zoos and preserves for animal reference.

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

Draw, sketch and then draw some more. I also find workshops invigorating.



Goofy Gull
(click to view)

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

Influence of Japanese prints on western art especially Van Gogh.



What makes you happiest about your art?

Finishing a piece. Selling a painting is awesome too.

Thanks, Sally!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 30, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Marlisa Dunn

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

From Marlisa's DPW Gallery Page:

Thank you for visiting my gallery! I began painting as DIY art therapy and fell in love with the medium at first brush stroke. I want to paint everything around me, to show how beautiful, interesting, or whimsical a moment is, even with typically mundane objects. I'm inspired by nature, strength, and resilience. I hope my art depicts the gratefulness I feel for the world around me.

I akin my daily paintings to the world's most laborious social media posts, as they're vignettes or moments captured on a given day, like a journal. I post some behind-the-scenes in my Instagram stories. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Well, this is an intense story that I haven’t told anyone. I’ve referenced bits of it, but I’ll see if I can type it out more fully to share here.

I always have enjoyed looking at art. My husband has a natural talent for drawing and so I assumed he was the artist. I even had my own Instagram folder of saved art, to show HIM, even though I was the one really enjoying the posts. Then one particularly stressful day I thought, “I should do art therapy.” That night I was struck by an artist’s emotional piece on social media, and I thought, “how fun would that be to paint those metallic straight brushstrokes?” And then it hit me in an instant, I was overcome really, and I thought, “I could actually try to paint that” and as I was thinking it, something came over me, full body chills, but even more intense, when I realized I WAS allowed to try that. I started softly crying, with the realization that, for my whole life, I could have been an artist, and for some reason had never thought I was worthy. The next day I bought paints and I’ve painted every day since then. This was four months ago.

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

This would be a fun question to be able to answer. I plan to continue painting my heart out and I do hope that eventually I will call it a career.

I will say, my first paintings were exhilarating and nerve-wracking because I simply couldn’t believe I was accessing what felt like an entirely new language. It felt too good to be true. Because I was thrilled by every step of learning, I approached each stroke as a learning opportunity, not a chance to mess anything up. I refused to let doubt or negativity attach itself to even a second of the learning process. This has helped me throw myself headfirst, not with cocky confidence that I’m so great, but with the exuberance that I am so blessed to have this opportunity.

Coneflowers
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have only painted with acrylics. I also discovered an affinity for sketching.

I don’t know what the term is for the genre I paint. My daily paintings are vignettes, like snapshots, of my daily life. My compositions are heavily influenced by my habit of sharing on social media. I find that I approach them the same way. They are a moment I want to capture because of a feeling it’s created in me.

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

I only have a couple hours before work and an hour after work to create, so my sketching practice has fallen away, even though I still enjoy it.

I began by painting abstract landscapes. They were very fun, in a pretty unique personal style, but they would take me one to two weeks to paint. I found this frustrating to have to stop and start each morning, getting back into flow then needing to stop right in mid-flow. Therefore I decided to switch to a daily painting practice in order to be able to complete a painting in one to two sittings before or after work. That was the best decision I have made so far. It is very gratifying and it also takes the pressure off. It forces me to stop and not overwork a painting. And most importantly, each day is fresh and fun.

Daily painting also gave me freedom to paint anything I want. My first daily painting was my bowl of cereal.

I Like You Now
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I cannot wait to have time to really learn portrait painting and drawing.

I’m also still at a point where I’m looking forward to buying large canvases. I’m already mapping out my ideas for large scale paintings and look forward to seeing what my style evolves into.

Who or what inspires you most?

I get inspired easily, having a lust for life and an empathetic nature. Even typically mundane things bring up feelings of gratitude and need to be painted. Being outdoors in nature inspires me the most.

Serging Up a Storm
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Even though I’m a huge procrastinator in every day life, that hasn’t come up with painting yet. Most days I can’t wait to get started. The closest would be when details start to feel tedious if I’m tired. Such as a lot of botanical details, etc. I then approach it like a patience challenge and breathe through it, making the process more meditative.

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

Getting up at 5:30-6:00am each day and painting while the world is still quiet is absolute bliss. I paint until 9am, then again on my lunch break, then again after work if I didn’t get it finished. I try not to clean anything in the kitchen while I’m making my coffee because that will turn into a two hour cleaning frenzy. So I stay focused, take my coffee to my studio and get started.

Foster Cat
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I pay attention throughout each day to what item, activity, or moment stays with me. Then the next day it comes to me pretty easily. I have a bunch of back-up ideas, but haven’t needed to use them yet.

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

I have too many ideas. After a month of painting I started to feel a type of existential dread, like “Oh no, I’m not going to live long enough to paint everything I want to!” I literally started taking my vitamins more regularly to promote longevity so I can paint as much as I possibly can.

Breakfast
(click to view)

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

I am learning to keep my mind and insecurities out of the way of the artist that has always been inside of me. She is finally free and I am basically jumping out of her way. I don’t have time for roadblocks, particularly self-induced, because I want to make up for lost time. I am riding this wave of momentum and joy as long as I can.

More practically-speaking, doing my own color mixing is my current learning focus. I feel like there is an infinite amount of learning opportunity there.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest when my art also makes someone else happy or inspires the artist inside of them. That is the ultimate joy, to pass on the passion.

Thanks, Marlisa!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 23, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Sherri Aldawood

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

From Sherri's DPW Gallery Page:


Sherri Aldawood was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. From an early age, she would watch her father paint, and as the painting developed, to her young eyes, it seemed "like magic". Drawing, painting and being inspired by beautiful colors were a normal part of her young life.

Sherri attended the American Academy of Art, Chicago, Illinois, where she was challenged to learn the basics of drawing, composition, value and color. Since that time, she has expanded on that solid foundation, allowing her own personal style to evolve.

Sherri particularly enjoys painting from life and can often be seen painting "en plein air" around the Phoenix area.

Sherri is blessed with a loving family who support and encourage her artistic endeavors and she is especially grateful to God for giving her an interest in and love for art and the opportunity to pursue it. "It has been a colorful journey".

Leah in the Garden
(click to view)

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I have been interested in art as far back as I can remember. My dad was an amateur artist and
my parents encouraged me to draw and do creative projects. I took art classes in school and
tried to do some painting on my own, but I didn’t get really serious about painting until I
attended art school.

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

After graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, I started working as a graphic
artist and pursued painting in my spare time. Once I had kids, I did not paint very much at all for
at least ten years. I got back into painting about fourteen years ago and the more I pursued it,
the more serious about it I became.

Morning Still Life
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I was doing watercolor for a while after art school, but then switched to oil and I’ve been
working exclusively in oil ever since.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I sometimes think about exploring watercolor, especially for plein air painting. I think it would
be easier to travel with watercolor rather than oils and would be good for making small, quick
sketches that I could refer to later when working on studio paintings.

Shady Spot
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

There are many subjects that inspire me. I am particularly drawn to gardens and
southwestern architecture. I also love to paint people and still life in garden settings. I am
inspired by light as it falls on my subject.

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I procrastinate, it is usually because I am working on a painting and I’m not sure what to
do next. I can find many ways to avoid the painting, but I think the best thing to do is to get
back to it and make a decision.

Backyard Swing
(click to view)

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

Fortunately, I don’t work at a regular job and my kids are grown, so I have plenty of time to
pursue my art. If I am going to be starting a larger painting that will take a lot of time, I will
make sure I have taken care of a lot of my other responsibilities first, so that when I start the
painting, I will be able to focus on that and not be too distracted by “life”.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have lots of photo references so I am never at a loss for ideas. I also like to paint from life
when possible. I look at a lot of art by other artists and that always inspires me.

Alana's Roses
(click to view)

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

Because I look at so much art, I see many techniques used by other artists that I try to
incorporate into my own paintings. Something I try to do, but which is difficult for me, is to
allow myself to fail. Sometimes by trying something new and risky results in a better painting
than if I had just stuck with what I already know.

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

One thing I have been working on for a long time is design. It seems like no matter how much
I know about this subject, there is still more to learn. I try to think of composing with abstract
shapes of value rather than painting “objects”. I am also experimenting more with softening or
strengthening edges as a way to lead the viewer’s eye around the painting.

Wildflowers with Blue Pitcher
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

For me, the most exciting time of the painting is the beginning. It is still full of possibilities. I
love to plan the painting with value sketches because it is just a fun time to create. It also
makes me happy when I feel like a painting has turned out well. But, what makes me really
happy is when I sell a painting. The idea that someone would love my art enough to buy it
sends me over the moon!

Thanks, Sherri!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 16, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Megan Aadland

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

From Megan's DPW Gallery Page:

Hello! Thank you for checking out my gallery here on DPW. What a great platform for artists who try to create something new everyday, like myself. I'm a stay-at-home mom who finds her sanity in nature and tries to bring it back to the easel. I live with my husband of thirteen years, two young girls, and a couple of chickens in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I hope you find something you love here and if you don't, just check back tomorrow!

There is art in the air, the ether, just reach out and take as much as you need.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Making art has always been in the background of my life but I never considered it as something special about me. As I got older, I realized, everyone can make art, but they don’t feel enlivened by it, as I do.

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

I took a few art classes here and there as an adult, before children. I actually took a painting class at a very prestigious school and absolutely hated it. It turned me off from making art for a while. Right after my youngest was born, a major solar eclipse occurred, which got me thinking, damn it, life’s too short. Making art again was calling me, and I committed myself to a daily practice.

Antonito Silo
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oh gosh, I feel like I’ve tried them all! I often go back and forth between abstraction and representational, acrylic and oil. I’m still learning and get so excited to try new styles.

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

Over the years, I have picked up almost everything and played with it, like how a musician can tinker with lots of instruments. Textile and fiber arts, all the different drawing and painting mediums. I enjoy them all and circle around from time to time. Oil painting feels so good and textural and there is so much to learn, which keeps my brain engaged. I know I could spend a lifetime doing it and still not learn everything there is to know

Pink on Pink
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In the near future, more plein air is my goal. I just ordered my first pochade box which I am both nervous and excited about. Eventually, I would like to learn to do portraiture, but I would need some serious instruction first, I wouldn’t want to insult anyone with my lack of skills!

Who or what inspires you most?

Travel and trying new things helps to refill the creative well. We live in such a beautiful area, there’s always something happening with the light and weather that makes things appear new, if one only remembers to look! I admire the works of Carol Marine (of course!), Donna Walker, Sharon Schock, Christopher Long, Teddi Parker, so many artists I see on DPW. Passion is catching! Seeing great art in person is even better. Museums and galleries are some of the best places on earth.

The Power of Beauty
(click to view)
Where does the rainbow end, in your soul or on the horizon?” -Pablo Neruda

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don’t feel like I have time to procrastinate too much during this phase of life, I try to just jump in without overthinking too much. Getting started can be the hardest task, knowing you only have an hour to work takes some of the pressure off. If the hour is painful, it’s only an hour. If it’s good, you’ll want to keep going.

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

My kids are still pretty young and home most of the time. Quiet time (read: TV time) for my two kids every afternoon is the deal I make to ensure I get an hour to do whatever I want.

Summer Hike
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

We live in a beautiful area, everywhere I look is inspiring. We have a lot of great parks and trails but I’ve also pulled over on the side of the highway when I’ve felt moved to try and capture something special.

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

When I’m feeling really blocked I usually “take a break” by doing some abstract expressionism acrylic art. Focusing on another creative outlet helps revive me too.

Colorado in the Spring
(click to view)

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

Right now I’m experimenting with not reproducing things exactly as I see them but trying to invoke more feeling and meaning from a painting. I also have so much to learn technically, this past month I focused more on my drawing skills and have already seen a payoff in my painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Working with the materials is just plain fun, it doesn’t get any better than having pure pigment at your disposal. Creating something from “nothing” is absolute magic and I feel so fortunate that I get to participate in the concert of creating everyday.

Thanks, Megan!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 9, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nadya Larionova

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

From Nadya's DPW Gallery Page:

I've loved to draw and paint since my childhood when my mother suddenly led me into an art studio for children. There we found out I draw very well. And it was my first steps in this field. We used watercolour. Since that time I started to paint and draw often and to try different styles.

Usually I draw fast and expressively. Many people are excited by my paintings. And this supports me.

My works were represented in my secondary school walls and when I was deciding about speciality after school my teacher strongly advised me to go in art. And I started to study at pre-courses of Architect High School in University. Four month later my father (professor of Physics) assured me that Physics is a better choice... Today I have a PhD in Physics and made a good career. But I made decision to stop in this and start to make art my career because art is my big passion.

Two years ago I completed a four year fine art course successfully and I have good recommendations from my tutor Sergey Lychagin who is a perfect painter and a big professional as a tutor. I paint a lot in impressionist manner. I use different materials and I love all of it. I develop myself every day with new techniques and new materials. My artworks are sold to private collectors in Russia and abroad.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

At the age of eleven I found myself occasionally in art studios. Our family friend who was a good artist in the past gave to my mother great response about this: her children were learning there. I was older than others for a year or two. On the first lesson, it was sketches of the autumn forest in the suburbs when we were equipped with small pieces of paper and graphite pencils. I showed I could draw very well. My mother was surprised and excited by my drawings and I felt interest in drawing as well as I found friends there. During one and a half years of training there, I learned to have admiration for subjects I draw and to not be afraid to express myself through drawing. We used thirty-six color watercolours with white gouache and sometimes the soft pastel. We drew and painted in studio by using sketching we made in the street. I think it was a very important step which gave me the main thing - to feel and to love what I paint or draw and to not be afraid to express it. Though it was without academic knowledges which I obtained about twenty years later, it become important for me in all aspects of life.

Chestnuts
(click to view)

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

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

Unfortunately, I had a stop period in painting. After secondary school I made choice between art and traditional learning for my family (physics) on behalf of science. Before this decision I studied in pre-course of Architecture Department and had a success. But I had a lack of academic knowledge, I drew a gypsum head and I lost self-confidence. I made a good career in science, I have a PhD in Physics and then I worked in commerce companies in the Life Science field and it was a very good time. But sometimes I drew and seventeen years after my choice of science I started to paint again and I started to study oil painting with a private tutor. Before it for a long time it was interesting for me.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I use everything or almost everything. I love oil painting, gouache, watercolor, pastel both soft and oil, tempera, soft materials like sangina, charcoal, graphite, souce, sepia, markers and simple gel pen. I want to develop myself in acrylic and ink. All materials are so different and it is an additional interest how to show the same thing with different mediums or what better to choose for better effect. My main style is impressionism. I love fast painting, a la prima style, I love expressive brave brushstrokes and lines. My painting style in childhood was primitivism when I used simple forms and bright sometimes unexpected colors. My gouache paintings were presented in permanent exhibition in my secondary school. I love to paint nature, objects, human, creatures, so I paint landscapes, cityscapes - I adore architecture both of small historical towns and big cities, still-life, portraits, flora and fauna paintings. I want to develop my painting in conceptualism and try myself as an illustrator. I doubt I will paint in botanical style with all the details or in photorealism. It is out of my character and interest.

Standby Part 1
(click to view)

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

I try all kinds of medium and enjoy the differences and possibilities of each. There was the time I did not understand oil pastel. But when I tried it in encaustic and with the pastel of good manufacturers with interesting colours, I understood this medium as well. Oil pastel has a great opportunity in different techniques. There was a long time I did not use gouache because I thought this medium was for children. But later I found there are no age borders for mediums and gouache has excellent unique properties I can use in my paintings. And my collectors support this. I will never paint for hours and days to show every detail of a thing.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Now I want to try painting by using the orgalit with spackle, I think there I can reach new effects and texture that will help me to flow in conceptualism. I want to damp down realism partially and paint with minimal quantity of colors, lines etc. -- express feelings by minimum resources. For me it is easiness in practice and with interesting effects. I want to use big formats. And I want to develop encaustic painting. The idea here is the same: more expressions by minimum resources.

Walking in Adeje
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I spend attention on artists with minimal resources, but with expressive paintings. It is contemporary artists, whom I track via internet. Second category is book illustrators. I think now is a very interesting time for such kind of art, there are so many directions and resources in such direction. And I am really impressed by their works. There are so many freedoms, magic and kindness, and there are a lot of unbelievable and perfect techniques so I decided I want to try myself in illustration as well. My first steps was last year when I made at minimum one sketch a day. And I accidentally continued it in quarantine and I found it makes me as happy as painting. As you see I have huge plans. :)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I hope it is not about me. Usually I find what to do and I have another problem: to have more than twenty-four hours a day to realise my ideas. Sometimes I need to have emotional rest. Sometimes I'm looking for and can’t find inspiration or an idea for painting and I am thinking and thinking for a day or two or three. Sometimes it is stressful and finally looks like procrastination but not so in fact. Sometimes I'm looking for information that can inspire me. It can be a movie, some dialog, view from a window or big master. Usually I have an open mind for this continuously.

Forest Field
(click to view)

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

An experience in commercial companies helped me. Planning is useful in different sides of life and art is not an exclusion. I make a list with ideas and time to realise it with the way of it. I try to paint every day. If I have no such possibility, I do sketches or drawings. And as I said above, generally, I do art every time: I keep in my memory every emotional experience. I take a little sketchbook with ink gel pen everywhere. I make photo pictures of scenes those impress me. I have a rather comfortable studio in my house. It helps me to not lose the time on preparation.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Ideas for painting is coming together with my bright impression. It is places I visited or people I met or some idea. Every time I feel like I've fallen in love. It is the main condition for painting for me. And only in this case it will be good painting. As I mentioned above, I catch ideas every time. Beautiful places, interesting people, adorable flowers, interesting scenes between people, architecture, different things. But commonality of all of this is my delight and engagement. This is the first step.

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

It is very simple to keep art "fresh" for me. Usually I have new emotions. If not (when routine cares are too heavy) I go anywhere and open my mind. It may be internet-surfing to have a new impression. It can be simple things in life or of course exhibitions, travelings, meetings, movies, internet accounts of masters in different areas not only in painting. And changing materials for painting gives me a “fresh” feeling too. And changing between painting-drawing-sketching-illustration activities let me feel on wave.

Still Life with Pumpkin
(click to view)

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

I learned there are no limits in art. I mean I can be an illustrator for today, fine art painter tomorrow and conceptualist after tomorrow. Or simultaneously; not sure but I am trying. And I try new things and the result is good. It moves me further and develops me and of course gives necessary emotions for art. For me now illustration art is something of a new one. During quarantine I made a break through in illustration. I knew about such field before, but now I found that this kind of art is changed, there are many possibilities to make it like magic and to show this to a lot of people over the world in the books. I want to go on with this in parallel with painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the process of art. And I love people's reaction to my art, it gives me sureness that I do right thing and makes me strong and happy. During my art it seems to be I'm situated in a different dimension, possibly like speaking with God or in space. These feelings are special and after this I feel tired but extremely happy and satisfied. Often I don’t know why I painted in such way, I can’t explain, I can try but it will be a little part of it. I feel extremely more than I can say or explain. Even after explanation, it's slightly disappointing because words in air or in paper or screen don't have the same meaning as I feel. I am happy my collectors are impressed by my paintings. It means they understand me and I reached my goal and made the world slightly better because my paintings contain only positive spirits even if it is a sorrow. For me it is important to show the internal view on things I paint to bring on a unique feeling of the observer.

Thanks, Nadya!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 2, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Annetta Gregory

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

From Annetta's DPW Gallery Page:

Annetta is an American artist who has been creating art in one form or another most of her life. For years it was a hobby using art to relax and as a form of meditation as she focused on raising a family. Slowly she began to sell locally and eventually online through various social media outlets.

Living in NW Arkansas was an advantage over the last decade as art opportunities grew in this fast expanding area. Crystal Bridges museum and local art shows have grown and increased exciting opportunities for artists of all mediums. She took advantage of these opportunities participating in local art groups, Artists of Northwest Arkansas and Plein Air Painters of the Ozarks as well as teaching at Studio Seven during the 2018 year.

Now having moved to a rural community in Jay Oklahoma a whole new series of opportunities have opened up for her. So many vistas and farm scenes in every direction provide inspiration. Her husband, Claude, and herself renovated an old barn and turned it into a studio on their farm.

Annetta continues to work on improving and growing her skill as an oil painter. Goals for 2020 include more plein air painting as well as developing her photograpy skills so as to capture the various birds nesting and living in the area. If you live in or near her area please stop by and visit her studio.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always been involved in art of some kind but started painting in oil about twenty years ago in my forties.

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

I did have times when I was busy raising a family where I didn't paint for long periods.

Friendship Bouquet
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have experimented with watercolor, soft pastel, and acrylics. But, I really love oil and pretty much only paint with them anymore. I still love soft pastels and will probably do more of that at some point.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by nature, flowers, animals and country scenes. I am inspired by whomever I am learning from at the time and right now that is Kelli Folsom and Daniel Keys.

Chocolate Delight
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is usually a problem for me when it's having to do anything not art related. The business side of art is my weak area. I work out of my studio and have over the years made a point to treat it as a job in that I show up every week day morning and paint.

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

My family and friends all know how important it is to me.

Peaches, Tea and Impatiens
(click to view)

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

To keep my art fresh I try to learn from someone who paints different than I do. It challenges me and teaches me new skills.

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

Right now I am focusing on still life paintings and plein air, working from life.

Joyful Moment
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happiest about my art when I finish a difficult painting and it works out the way I wanted.

Simple Things
(click to view)

Thanks, Annetta!


© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 25, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Virginia Macintosh

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

From Virginia's DPW Gallery Page:

I found my place in the arts early in life, from doodles, and sand drawings on the playground to first paintings in kindergarten. To earn a living, after studying painting and ceramics in college, I pursued what was then known as "commercial art", and ultimately became a graphic designer, first in New York then California - pre- and post-computer. For several years I enjoyed creating and selling pottery, but my true love has always been oil painting. Now living in Northern California, I have enjoyed showing and selling my work in a local gallery. I hope to continue growing and experimenting and learning as an artist, and sharing my journey here with you.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I grew up in Southern California and had a painting class in what must have been Kindergarten where we painted standing with easels. I remember putting extra thought into a painting of a snowy mountain, when several teachers came over to admire it. It was an ego booster, and that certainly helps. Also about that time, maybe age six or seven, (long story short) I chanced to meet an old Hollywood character, a self-declared prophet, known in those parts as “Peter the Hermit”, who looked me in the eye and said, “You will be an artist!” Experiences like that stay lodged in your brain. How did he know anything about me? Did I become a painter because he told me that? That incident was strange and memorable, but more important to me at the time was the love and encouragement of two family friends I called aunts. They were both artists, and I was inspired by their work and their dedication to it.

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

I did a lot of painting in college, much of it experimental and abstract, then the need to earn a living intervened. I started working in the advertising department of a Beverley Hills department store illustrating shoes and handbags. In New York City, I worked as a production artist in a Graphics studio, later becoming a designer myself. Because Graphic Arts is a unique art form whose goal is selling products, I think I was a little conflicted about painting at the same time. I felt freer creatively when I retired, and started to paint more seriously.

Lemon Slices
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Aside from doing graphics, and maybe as a contrast to it, I was a potter for several years.  I worked in a small studio in New York at the beginning of my graphics career, then spent a summer at the Anderson Ranch in Colorado, learning from some excellent potters. Later after returning to California, I had access to kilns and wheels through classes at Walnut Creek’s excellent Civic Arts Education. My work combined slab and thrown pieces, and I specialized in table-top fountains which I exhibited there and at in a local gallery. I have tried watercolor, etching, and even played with marble painting, but oil painting was on my mind through it all.

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

It takes a lot of room to be a potter: lots of equipment and lots of storage space. When I retired, we moved and downsized. The long and short of it is, I gave up pottery, and started painting again. I love oil painting more than any other art form, and that is what I want to keep doing.

Paddling the Whitefish
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

In college I was in love with with Fauvism, especially Matisse paintings of that period. Think of “The Green Stripe.” Then l was into Abstract Expressionism, but more as an intellectual exercise than practice. Carol says, and she is right, that you learn by doing, and that drawing is central when it comes to painting. The teachers I had before and through college were well established, and certainly charismatic, but mostly wanted you to paint like they did, and they didn’t inspire me. After I graduated I took a drawing class at the then Chouinard Art Institute in L.A. taught by a man named Don Graham who had come from Disney. He was just a wonderful teacher whose methods caused me to approach drawing with brand new eyes - brand new understanding. He wrote a book, which I have, but being right there, learning from him in person, was game changer for me. I still spend time reading about and studying artists such as John Singer Sargent, and Anders Zorn, and am inspired by the figurative work of Diebenkorn, Thiebaud, and a long list of others. I am also inspired by painters whose work I have discovered through DPW. But I often think of Don, now long gone, and like to think he would approve of my work.

Bright Garden
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I paint every chance I get; most days, in fact. But there are lots of distractions, and I’m often sidetracked. I have chores: meals, gardening, etc. and I have to make myself get off the computer. I am also an avid birder, very distracting, not to mention wanting to spend time with my husband canoeing, hiking. Then there’s the dog, the cat. Being sheltered in place certainly helps remove distractions, and I am lucky to be retired with work no longer being an issue. I don’t think I’m really that much of a procrastinator. I’m more apt to worry if I have enough time left in my life to do all the painting I want to do, especially when I feel there is still so much to learn.

Bike Rack Abstract
(click to view)

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

It took many years before I could have the time to paint, and now I really want to paint. I want to paint right now and stop writing.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I have subjects: water, boats, flowers; and I keep lots of photos (only use those I’ve taken) as candidates. But I read somewhere that Picasso said, “I don’t seek, I find.” But finding is also an art. You have to be alert. I tend to be “in my head,” and have to remember to focus when there is something visually interesting right in front of me  - usually something about light - then stop, see, and capture it. I also like using local subjects such as farmers markets. And I happen to live in a beautiful place by a river. There are subjects all around me.

Port Townsend Harbor
(click to view)

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

Tough issue. It’s hard to know when you are in the “investment trap” and need to let an old dog go. I admit that sometimes I will work a painting to death. If I catch myself at it, I wipe or sand it all off and start over or give up on that subject. For me, keeping work vibrant often means simplifying it. For my way of working, too much detail kills freshness. On the other hand, I’ve painted over several paintings I later wish I had kept, and that is another trap.

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

I am continuously working on drawing within painting, letting paint flow more easily, staying “in the zone." I want subjects to be located in space, and for the paint to have a sort of linear movement; a hard task. I also try to be patient. I certainly am not in a place where I can do a painting a day.

Noyo Harbor
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am not a message painter. For me it is all about the paint. There is a sort of balance of line, color, space and tone that goes “Wham,” when it all comes together, and I breathe an inner “aaah.” Getting that makes me happy. Striving for that makes me happy.

Thanks, Virginia!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 18, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Yi Blondel

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

From Yi's DPW Gallery Page:

I feel like I am at the start of my artistic journey and thankful to these days of quarantine for getting me to see and do things a little differently. What inspires and fascinates me is light, color, shadows and people. Light, color and shadows are easier to capture in stillness.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have always loved drawing, painting, and making things and grew up in a home with a very creative and hard working single mother. When I was young I used to also like making up worlds with images, but somewhere along the way I stopped. It was only about three years ago that I tried, and fell in love, with oil painting and since then I can’t seem to get enough.

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

About what feels like a hundred years ago, I did two years of art school / college. I at the time felt pressure that I had to do something more ‘serious’ or ‘meaningful’ for my career and stopped drawing and painting for a long time until I started again a few years ago.

Blood Orange Wedges
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

While at art school I tried many different mediums and enjoyed printmaking even though it is quite technical. When I think back I didn’t really enjoy painting, so I was surprised when I started painting again and instantly felt connected to it but maybe it was because back then acrylic was the only option.

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

I love painting with oils and would like to try doing printmaking and collage again but my space and access to a press is limited at the moment. Also I feel I have just begun to understand a little about color and light, which is fascinating, and oils produce the most vibrant colors. There is also something seductive about the texture and smell of oil paint and mediums.

Lemon Reflecitons
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Mixed media and also being able to do larger works would be great fun. I have also always had a fascination for movement and a sense of space so any medium, combined with painting, that could convey those things would be fun to explore.

Who or what inspires you most?

What inspires me most is just looking at things, and people. I love observing colors and light…..and also people, but haven’t manage to integrate the people watching into my paintings yet. I have also had a couple of great teachers who have taught me a lot about how to use those observations and translate them into colors and strokes on canvas. There are so many awe inspiring painters and artists to learn from but I also feel it can be overwhelming and want to figure out my own visual language.

Shadow Life of a Leaf
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

This is a great question! Procrastination for me is simply not painting or not pushing yourself to get out of your comfort zone. I can easily get stuck in the world of ideas and thoughts and perceptions of how something should be perfect. Thankfully, I have realized that I learn more by doing and perfection doesn’t exist.

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

I remind myself that it is a priority even if there are lots of other things that need to be done and also make sure to have my materials ready and easily at hand. I also don’t pressure myself to get a specific result, the most important thing is to do a little something everyday.

Leggy Nude
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

At this stage I have so many ideas I tend to try and keep it simple so I am sure I actually paint something. Also, there is poetry and whole universes in simple things and I like to see if I can capture part of that.

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

To be honest, I think it is the other way around, painting has kept me from ‘life burnout’ so I haven’t experienced that so far.

Breakfast Shadows
(click to view)

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

I feel I need to put myself out there and learn how to make painting something more or less sustainable so I can keep doing it. I am at a double cross-roads where I am learning the process of finding my own visual voice, including figuring out if and what I want to share with my paintings, and also the marketing part of it.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I can do it. It is a gift that I took for granted for too long. Every time, even when I am not completely satisfied with the result, I am still a little in awe that I somehow pull it off. It feels a bit like magic; especially those times when I am not in the mood or tired and sure I won’t be able to make something decent but still do.

Pink Aluminum Fruit
(click to view)

Thanks, Yi!

© 2020 Sophie Marine