Thursday, February 27, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kerry Hastings Hogan

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

From Kerry's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio, currently living in Cypress, Texas just outside of Houston. I earned my bachelor degree in Fashion Design from The University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning). After graduating, I worked for ten years as a designer, eight of which were with Ralph Lauren in NYC. I left my dream job to raise my three children. We have moved five times with my husband's job, our latest in 2012 to Houston. Finally settled, and the kids more independent, I got back to creating. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Creating has always been a part of who I am. I grew up sewing, baking, designing garden bed layouts with my mom, and sketching. I went to the University of Cincinnati and earned my Bachelor in Fashion Design through their incredible D.A.A.P program (Design, Architecture, Art, and Urban Planning). In my first year foundation courses, one of my illustration instructors was a colored pencil artist. She showed our class slides of her work one day and when I saw the rich color that could be achieved with colored pencil, I dove right in. It was the next natural step, for me, to add color to my sketches and I started sketching the world around me, not just fashion and figures. I also had friends in the architecture department, and when I would visit them, I would have to walk past the painting studios. The paint looked so fun to mix and put on canvas in bold strokes of color.  It looked expressive and exciting. I was growing weary of the time it would take me to complete a small colored pencil drawing, so I was determined to learn how to paint.

(click to view)

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

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

I had many stops and starts with painting, but I was always creating in some form. I worked as a fashion designer for ten years, eight of which were with Ralph Lauren in NYC. I have three children that are very close in age, and we moved to different states five times with my husband’s job. Each of the moves involved the time consuming tasks of setting up a new home, enrolling the kids in new schools, finding new doctors for everyone, and making new friends (the best part). There wasn’t much time or energy left for making art, but I did manage to take watercolor classes in two of those cities. We have been in Texas for about eight years now, so about four years ago we were settled, the kids were older, and I started painting regularly.

Total Riot (Figs No. 3)
(click to view)

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 used charcoal, design markers, colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and oils. Once I tried oils, I never returned to other mediums. I love how the color stays true, and how forgiving they are. I’m not intimidated to put brush to canvas since I know I can scrape it back and start again if I need to. I would like to try charcoal again. It is messy, but I love the interesting marks it makes.

For genres, I did loads of fashion illustration, life/figure drawing, and clothing illustration in college and for work. Ralph Lauren didn’t like sketches that were computer generated. Everything was hand drawn which was great for keeping up my drawing skills. I now paint mostly flowers and still life with the occasional animal thrown in. I definitely want to paint more animals and explore landscape further.

Rainier Cherries No. 1
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Contrast is probably the single design element that inspires me most. I’m most drawn to light, shadow, bold color combinations, graphic patterns, and varied texture. In still life, I love the combination of organic, soft, natural shapes mixed with man-made hard lined shapes. The ideas for my paintings usually stem from a contrast that I have observed and want to capture.

I am inspired by (to name a few) Frederic Remington, Kerry James Marshall, Walter Hunt Everett, Van Gogh, Mark Daniel Nelson, and Malcolm Liepke - all for their handling of light and brave use of color. 

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination, for me, is usually a result of lack of confidence in something new, like a new subject that I’ve never painted. I’ll get a million other chores done before I attempt it.

Big Love
(click to view)

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

In order to make time for my art, I went back to the work schedule I kept as a designer (minus the sixty hour work weeks!). I paint during the day. At 3:00 my day ends when the kids come home.  I do dinner and chores in the evening.

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

I try to only paint things that I am excited about. I feel like it comes across in the painting if I’m not that excited about the subject matter. The challenge of new subjects and genres keeps me from burnout. I also like to vary the size of my paintings. I really enjoy painting large. Sometimes it can be refreshing to return to a painting the next day instead of starting new every day.

Morning Cuppa
(click to view)

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

I’ve been experimenting recently with using color to convey mood. I’m appreciating just how colorful a painting can be even with the use of muted tones.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I’m just getting started, so it seems like there are endless amounts of subject matter to pursue. I will never be done learning and that challenge will keep it fun. However, the biggest thrill is when someone else connects with my work.

Thanks, Kerry!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

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