Thursday, February 18, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Amy Braswell

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

From Amy's DPW Gallery Page:

Art makes me happy. I am excited each morning to get to my easel to paint or draw. I feel as though I have found the perfect combination of art mediums. My colored pencils and pastels allow me to have precise control with a lot of details. Painting with oils lets me be loose and bold and expressive with my brushstrokes. I paint to feed my own desire to create. My hope is that my artwork will bring joy for others as it does for me when I am creating it.

What did you want to be growing up?

A veterinarian. I have always loved animals, but it ended up that I did not like science classes. I was really good at math and ended up getting an accounting degree.

When did your artistic journey begin?

My entire life, I have loved to create. I taught myself to sew and had a line of children’s clothing when my kids were young. I also taught myself photography and still do a bit of that when approached. But I did not start with art until early 2018. I discovered colored pencils and pastels and decided to try them out and realized I was pretty good at it. I followed some artists on Patreon and learned different things from different artists and improved with each piece I completed. My colored pencil and pastel work are very detailed, and I wanted to try something where I could be looser. A year ago, I ordered some tubes of oil paint and some canvases, picked up a paintbrush and I’ve never looked back!

Yellow Bug
(click to view)

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

Did you have any long periods without creative expression? How did you "get back on the horse"?

There was a lot of time between my sewing/clothing line days and when I picked up a camera and started learning photography. I was raising kids and that was my focus. There was nothing that sparked my interest in photography other than enjoying taking photos and wanting to get better at it. I found myself with a lot of time because my kids were both in college. I am very lucky and have a very supportive husband who lets me try just about anything I want to.  

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

I enjoy oils, colored pencils, and pastels. I tried watercolor early on and my hat is off to all of the watercolor artists out there! I could not handle the lack of control! I am hoping to take an online class with a watercolor artist and try them again. I did not like acrylics because of the quick drying time. I have recently started doing a little needle felting and find that a lot of fun, so we will see where that goes!

Barnyard Piglet
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

Honestly, I’m not sure I have found my personal style yet. I mentioned earlier that my attraction to oils was to be able to paint loose and I don’t feel like I am there yet. Since I haven’t been able to attend any in person oil workshops, I have watched a lot of classes online. I try to take a little bit of what I learn from each artist and apply it to my own work.

As far as finding my voice goes, I feel like I am getting close. I like to tell a story through my paintings and leave it to the viewer to make up their own story when they look at my work. There are many social issues that are important to me such as homelessness, sex-trafficking, and empowering young girls.  Starting this year, I am donating a portion of each sale to one of several organizations I have researched and chosen (the buyer chooses one) that supports these issues.

Name an artist, well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

That would have to be Bonny Snowdon. Not only is she an incredible colored pencil artist, but she is the kindest, most giving person I have ever met. Her desire to help other artists learn and improve their work shines through in her teaching. Another artist and I were able to spend a week with her in 2019 and I feel so fortunate be able to call her my friend after that week. Everyone should go look at her work because it is spectacular.

Ginger Kitty
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

If there is something you want to try, then go for it! Don’t ever underestimate what you can do.

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

I look forward to getting into my studio space every morning. I have so many things that I want to paint, draw, felt, make etc. If I ever do get distracted, all I have to do is think about all of those things! This year, I have started using a planner and that has helped me focus on what my goals are for the week and what I need to try and get accomplished each day to reach that goal. My first grandbaby was born late December and I will admit that she is a distraction, but I don’t mind that!

(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I look at how far I have come and remember how much I love what I do. I have little sticky notes on my easel that say things like, “what if?,” “slow down,” “actually, I can,” “be bold,” etc. They all remind me that it’s my art and there really is no right or wrong way. One of my favorite quotes is “to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

Short term my goal is to continue to work on being looser and more expressive with my brushwork. I am currently taking one of Dreama Tolle Perry’s courses and having a lot of fun. She has a beautiful loose and colorful style and I have picked up a lot of useful tips from her. Long term, I would love to have a body of work that would enable me to have a solo exhibit in a gallery.

(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

To be a good person by helping others, being kind and gracious, choosing happy, staying positive and living the best life you possibly can.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

I would say when I finished the portrait of my corgi, Moses. It was the first colored pencil portrait I had done where I wasn’t following a tutorial. I gained so much confidence with that piece and never looked back.

(click to view)

Thanks, Amy!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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