Thursday, January 7, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Stephanie Penman

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

From Stephanie's DPW Gallery Page:

Most women shop for shoes or clothing, I buy art supplies. I am happiest when I am creating, painting, making jewelry, sewing or even hammering nails into boards. My father was a commercial artist, so I grew up with art supplies at my fingertips. To this day my “go to” cutting tool is a razor blade and if I’m gluing something together it probably will involve rubber cement. My father’s paintings line every wall of my parent’s home (and a few of mine). I am in awe of each and every one. I photograph small sections of them and try to copy and learn from them. When my dad’s eyesight made it too difficult for him to paint, he offered me his acrylics and oil paints as well of any of his brushes – I took them home determined to find that talent hidden somewhere in me. That was early 2014, since then I have been waking up every morning to the inspirational artists of DPW, and dabbling in my basement studio as much as possible.  It is time to stop WATCHING, and start DOING!! So here goes nothing!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I truly cannot pin point a single event or time when I started painting. I learned about DPW probably through Pinterest and was intrigued. I bought Carol’s book Daily Painting and was inspired. Because I was working it was difficult to carve out time to paint every day, but fortunately I am a morning person, so I started using that time for painting and experimenting. My father was a commercial artist who worked out of a studio in our house. He was the original Mr. Mom working from home and taking care of four kids while my mom worked as a nurse. We always had markers, paint, rubber cement and canvases to play with, but none of us followed in his footsteps. Actually until I started painting myself, I never fully appreciated his amazing talent, which is sad. Now I wish he were here to guide me and answer questions, sometimes I think he is doing just that, only remotely.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love crafting and making art. If anything, I have probably dabbled in too many mediums. I have never met an art supply I didn’t like… as is evident by my studio area. I make jewelry, even have taken classes in the lost art of wax casting. Lately I have been experimenting with collage, making my own painted Yupo paper. I have taken a classes in printmaking and really love Linoleum Block carving - may try to add that to my “to do” list this year.

Just For You
(click to view)

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

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

I mostly work in acrylics, they are way more forgiving. I want to spend more time experimenting in oil, but I always manage to make excuses like “maybe next week” or “after I get back from my next trip.” I don’t know why but they seem like such a big commitment with mediums and solvents and clean-up. I think I just need to sign-up for an Oil Painting for Beginners class and just dive in.

Which ideas are you looking forward to exploring?

Maybe trying to work more with a limited palette and get more comfortable with color mixing. Master flesh tones and paint more people. Also, fluid acrylics, they are so vibrant – I want to work them into my process.

Hanging Out
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I love nature and the Southwest. Hummingbirds and cactus fascinate me. The Grand Canyon and Sedona are magical.

All the other artists on DPW inspire me to keep going and put in the time. It took me probably three years to get up enough courage to join DPW and I posted my 62nd painting the other day. I don’t want to tell you how many are in the basement in the “to be burned” pile.

A trip to an art museum or gallery can always inspire me, or a nice long hike.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Spending time scrolling through social media sites, looking at other people’s art, photographs on sites like Pixabay and PaintMyPhoto looking for inspiration. Full blown procrastination usually results in me going to TJ Maxx or Target.

Summer Fun
(click to view)

What has helped you to grow as an artist?

People that support and encourage me. I can always count on my sister to be an objective critic. She and I have been carving out time to paint together which is difficult because we live over 1000 miles apart, but we have had many Sister Paintalongs that have been very productive. Sometimes we paint from the same reference photo and the results are so different, I just love that.

I think workshops are great because you get to try things from a different artist’s perspective and it is a forced chunk of time just to work on art. Covid has put a damper on this, but hopefully soon we can return to some semblance of normalcy.

I love studying other artists that I admire, their brushstrokes, color palette, background, etc. I am so thankful to artists who share their knowledge on social media, with videos or progress photos.

Listening to art podcasts also helps my growth. Learn to Paint with Kelly Ann Powers and Studio Insider – Susan Nethercote are my go-to's.

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

I started using a planner about a year and a half ago and it has been a game changer. I write in everything I want to get done that day with a little box next to it. I may be a bit over the top about this, I even include nine boxes that are for my seventy-two oz of water that I try to drink. The satisfaction I get when I check those boxes keeps me going. I think it makes me feel somewhat in control of my life.

I mark out time just to plan art… like, “come up with three reference photos” or “photograph still lifes of XYZ.”

Intense Stare
(click to view)

What is your biggest challenge as a professional artist?

Becoming one. Finding my style. My father was a very realistic painter and I tend to gravitate to that even though I would like to paint “looser.”

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

This year I am signed up for two online fifty-two week courses. One is more “art play” and the other is Miniature Workshop by Jed Dorsey – I love his use of light and shadows. I am hoping these will push me creatively.

Also, if I’m not feeling like painting, I don’t force it. Sometimes not painting and doing something else, like reading a magazine or taking a walk is all I need to send me running back to the easel. I trip to Dick Blick or Michael’s can help too.

(click to view)

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

I am learning to be patient with myself and if it isn’t working take a break, don’t force it. Keep going!

What makes you happiest about your art?

Turning on the music and losing myself. Time flies in the studio (aka basement).

I love the connection my art has with my dad (who passed away last year) and my sister.

Wonderful Weeds
(click to view)

Thanks, Stephanie!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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