Thursday, November 4, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: John Wallie

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

From John'a DPW Gallery Page:

I’m an acrylic artist based in Ohio. I’ve been painting since 2013.

What did you want to be growing up? 

Many things. I wanted to be a magician, a ventriloquist, a professional chess player, to name a few. Primarily though, I ended up wanting to be a professional game designer. I released many free games online through my teen years. I would make the graphics for the games myself, so in addition to being a hobbyist game designer, I was also what you might call a "digital painter."

When did your artistic journey begin?

Early childhood. I've been using pens and pencils to draw things on paper for about as long as I can remember.

Sliced Tomatoes and Vegetables
(click to view)

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

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

I don't think I've ever had long periods without creative expression. I always find something to keep myself from being bored. There was one time I had no canvases or painting panels left so I came up with the idea to use paper mache to "sculpt" a tortoise and then I painted that.

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

My favorite medium is acrylic paint. With acrylics I can mix any color I want and the cleanup process is easy. I also like to use alcohol markers, pens & pencils for sketches. 

My favorite genre in painting is impressionism. An impressionist painting for me is about escapism. Impressionist paintings act as windows that you can look through to see a world that is similar to the one you live in but different enough to be a fascinating new experience for your eyes. This is why hyper-realism, while it is a very skillful and respectable genre, does not appeal to me as much as impressionism.

I've experimented in abstract painting as well and never got too far. For me it seemed important to strike a balance between reality and abstraction, and impressionism is the best balance I've found.

Edge of Woods at Evening
(click to view)

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

To find my personal style I try to experiment by painting a variety of different subjects and simultaneously using new tools & techniques. Sometimes I see interesting effects in paintings by other artists and I'll try to reproduce those same effects in my own work. One question I always try to ask myself before I start a painting is, "Does this subject bore you?" and if the answer is "Yes," then I know not to waste my time painting it. You should only paint something if it looks interesting to you.

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

There are many artists who inspire me. Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Theodore Clement Steele. It's exciting to see how some of these first impressionists could simplify what they were observing in nature in order to put it onto canvas in the form of paint.

Scissors and Yarn
(click to view)

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

Don't paint objects. Paint the shadows and the effects of light.

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

At the end of every day I write a "to do" list of things I want to accomplish for the next day. I place this list in a prominent place where I will see it frequently.

Macaw II
(click to view)

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

When facing obstacles I remind myself to "Do your best, and let God do the rest." (Quote taken from Mr. T) 

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

I've only ever done plein air painting in Ohio, which is the state I live in. Eventually I'd like to go to some of the other states and create a bunch of plein air paintings while going around the country. My short term goals are usually just do a painting every day, or at least every other day.

Lemons and Metal Pots
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

There are two important successes I strive for. Number one is to create a painting that I'm happy with. Number two is to earn a living through my artwork.

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

I have no singular proud moment. Many of my paintings turn out to be failures, so when I complete one that I'm happy with, you might call it a proud moment.

Thanks, John!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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