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

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