Thursday, July 29, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Susan Tubens

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Susan's painting "April 12th" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Susan's DPW Gallery Page:

I am an oil landscape painter whose appreciation for big sky began in Florida and deepened during time in the midwest. Living in Vermont and West Virginia provided inspiration in the lushness of trees, fields and surrounding mountains.

I work both in plein air and in my studio using reference photos that I have taken over the years. My favorite time of day to depict is sunrise and sunset however the blue sky and clarity of midday light can be enchanting.

One consistent feature in my work is a sense of calm, even in the stormscapes. In the end, I paint scenes of places that I would like to stay a while.

What did you want to be growing up?

I don’t remember having a specific career goal but was very fortunate in that I had parents who nurtured their children’s individual gifts. I went on to college, completing a degree in Anthropology then a degree in Health Science and have been working in health care since then.

When did your artistic journey begin?

Drawing was a passion during childhood but was abandoned during the adult years until just recently.

April 12th
(click to view)

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

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

Yes - many years went by raising a family and working without time to create art. In 2016 I was lucky enough to meet an artist in Omaha, Paula Wallace, who was an exceptional teacher and since then, painting has been nothing short of a passion.

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

I have used acrylic and water color but love the versatility of oil paint as well as its properties that allow application of multiple layers for a translucent effect. Landscapes are my preferred subject although I depict land masses as the support for expansive skies and clouds. DaVinci said “Once you have tasted the taste of the sky, you will forever look up”. He was right.

(click to view)

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

I am still early in this process but am realizing that my voice has been there from the beginning, I just needed to see it. It is important to learn technique, value, composition and color and in doing so experiment with style however, never lose sight of the things that sing to you.

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

I am still inspired by Paula Wallace, my first teacher, who has an uncanny way of depicting color and form in the landscape and sky. I also keep returning the works of John Constable and spent most of my last trip to the Smithsonian in front of his work “Wivenhoe Park, Essex”.

Coastal Lights
(click to view)

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

Patience and persistence are key. 

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

Fortunately I love painting so much that if anything, I neglect other necessary duties in order to paint. I have had to learn balance in order to maintain relationships (and the laundry).

Where Clouds Gather
(click to view)

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

I often take a step back and try to see the bigger picture (no pun intended). A painting that just doesn’t work is often a result of poor composition or technique. Paula would say “Let’s put this one away for awhile” and she was right- a fresh look later would often clearly show the path forward. Recently I underwent a critique by an accomplished artist who spent quite a bit of time discussing how a selection of my paintings could be improved. I felt a bit defeated but he was right about everything and I am lucky to have had that input. Accepting criticism is difficult but learning from it is necessary to make steps forward.

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

My constant goals are to continue improving my skills through practice and education by other artists. The learning never really stops. A short term goal involves painting as a full time occupation and a long term goal is to be knowledgeable enough to teach other artists.

Higher Still
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Professional success means waking up every day excited about creating art. It means supporting yourself in your chosen occupation. It means making the world a little bit better though the results of your actions.

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

My proudest moments are when I take that next step forward and am able to produce a better painting.

Thanks, Susan!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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