Thursday, June 10, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Samantha Koehn

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

From Samantha's DPW Gallery Page:

All my watercolor paintings are painted with non commercial watercolors. The majority of my watercolor paint is bespoke. From vendors on Etsy, one Japanese company and a vendor who has been around for nearly a century. I prefer to paint with non commercial paints, I am a collector and prefer to support small business, just like myself. I also believe it brings something special to my art. And the colors, boy, do I love the colors of the bespoke watercolors, real pigments.

I am available for commission work. I am reasonably priced, and my turn around is often fast, depending on the subject matter. I prefer hard objects as opposed to fluffy, cats, dogs, or pets. I will leave those commissions to the experts!

Thanks for stopping by, Sam.

What did you want to be growing up?

I grew up in London, England. Fashion, Arts, Theatre Arts, anything that was not related to office work was really where I wanted to be. I lacked the confidence to be a part of these genre’s - I was VERY shy. Alas I did not end up with a career in these areas!

When did your artistic journey begin?

I have always had an artistic journey since I was little. Art in secondary school was my favorite subject. I do not think there has been any part of my life that I have not dabbled in art in some way. Up until today, art has always been a hobby. I was laid off from my long-term career in corporate retail at the end of 2019. Then 2020 hit. To cope I decided to paint one picture a day for the year 2020. As the year progressed my work grew. My supportive husband encouraged me to put myself out there and open an Etsy shop for my art. I would say the abundance of my art path, has been from 2019 to present day.

Big Tree Big House
(click to view)

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

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

I do not have long periods without creative expression. A couple of days at most. I usually go for a walk, exercise, visit with my kids, or surf the internet for inspiration to shake the cobwebs. Right now, I have an abundance of energy and creativity. Maybe ask me this question again in a couple of years! I do understand burn out though, humble enough to know it will happen one day.

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

Right now, all my art is watercolor. I LOVE this medium. I love the fluidity, the motion, the texture. I love that you can paint transparent or layer and layer until you get the desired intensity. Watercolor feels natural to me.

I used to only paint with acrylic. I loved how I could get messy with the paint. Now it makes me feel a bit suffocated. Oils. I have not dabbled with. They intimidate me. Maybe they are too technical for me!

Magic Garden
(click to view)

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

I do not like to be very technical or concise with my art. I am a pretty fluid person by nature, and I think this reflects in my art. I like pretty things, and I paint pretty. My rt does not always have to make sense.  I think in the past six months I have found my true voice, I seem to paint now with a similar style, no matter the subject matter. I try to remember to paint with whimsey. Would I like to be in this picture, would I be happy in this picture?

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

My husband. Jim Koehn. He is a historian with a twist. He is very technical and has been painting for close to forty years. I have learned SO much from him. It helps to live in the same house!

My favorite famous artist is David Hockney. I mean come on! His landscapes, who would not want to be in his countryside.

Mule Ears, Big Bend National Park
(click to view)

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

Never think you cannot be the person you really want to be. Confidence comes from within, love yourself first. The rest will follow, even if it takes forty years.

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

Procrastination is minimal in my DNA. I am what my mother called a “do-er”. I only tend to procrastinate when it comes to numbers! I do get distracted, more in the way of too many choices. I must learn to focus on one thing at a time.

Ocean Blues
(click to view)

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

For me self-doubt is a painful experience. A discussion with (usually my husband) shakes my self-doubt. His positive outlook usually kicks me into gear. Even if it takes me a couple of days for his words to register. I guess patience pushes me forward.

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

I am happy to be able to paint daily. My long-term goals are to keep doing just that. Short-term and long-term it would be nice to sell more of my art because it speaks to people.

Garden Shed
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

This question does not relate to me just for art. Success for me is to be happy in all aspects of my life.  As a wife, mother, friend, sister, to have found the right tribe. To live with a humble lifestyle, that affords nice things now and then, and affords road trips, travel, and paint!

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

The year 2020. When I was brave enough to put myself out there and not be afraid of what people think of my art. If you do not like it, fine, if you love it, awesome.

Thanks, Samantha!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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