Thursday, November 18, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Steven Scheibe

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

From Steven's DPW Gallery Page: 

**Steven Scheibe's artworks physically embody things both seen and unseen.**

-   _Seen:_ Many of Steve's paintings simply celebrate the natural beauty and wonder of a thing, a place, or a moment_._

-   _Unseen:_ Other works by Steve gently amplify the voice of allegory he has discovered in nature's patterns. He says, "All that is visible is evidence of the invisible. Through art, I seek to make tangible the immeasurable realities of soul and spirit." 

Steve expresses his discoveries of the seen and unseen in a variety of media -including music, drawing, watercolor and oil painting, stone lithography, dye-painting silk, and art glass. He has created large, suspended murals in [dye-painted silk]( for public art. His sand-carved, mouth blown antique glass, and laminated [glass artworks]( grace walls and windows of public spaces. His two-dimensional works are also included in many private, public, and museum collections. (click to read more)

What did you want to be growing up?

As a young child I wanted to be a research scientist in plants or animals or marine biology – and of course I wanted to be an artist.

When did your artistic journey begin?

When I was very young, my family’s television broke. My parents decided to intentionally not replace it. And so without that typical, on-demand entertainment available, my siblings and I invested all our spare time in creating and doing. We invented games, wrote music and plays, hosted contests with neighbors, learned many crafts, raised animals, and enjoyed discovering the great outdoors in the nearby woods, horses, fields, and lake. All of this fueled my love of nature and nurtured creative thinking. My first successful visual art was drawing a black-capped chickadee. It looked real, and I was hooked on drawing.

Windy Winding Waldrick Road
(click to view)

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

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

I’m a creative. So even when I’m not painting, I’m cooking, gardening, or remodeling—everything done as an artist. Except when coping with stress, loss, or pain, creativity doesn’t ever “turn off.” That said, there have been seasons where I had to spend more time generating income by non-art related work. I found a growing tension within me until I was back in visual art again.

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

I create in dye-painted silk, glass, drawing, stone lithography, watercolor, oils, and pastels. Each medium embodies well different subjects. 

Acrylics are my least favorite to paint in because they are less forgiving. I’ve tried re-wettable acrylics with some success. I have painted successfully in acrylics at university, but now I use acrylics mainly in underpaintings and for toning canvases. I admire those who make them work so well. 

Watercolor is the most difficult but also the most fluid/dynamic, so their challenge keeps me curious. Oils are the most forgiving and offer the deepest deeps and endless mixing possibilities. Pastels are quick, with immediate color choices and a variety of mark-making options. In this chapter, I’m really enjoying the transparency and opacity of oils, and the luminosity and immediacy of pastels. They’re my current favorites. Next year, who knows?

Maple Dapple Trail
(click to view)

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

You know how when you hear your own voice recorded and played back, it sounds different – maybe even unfamiliar? Similarly, it’s not easy for me to fully identify my own visual artistic voice. But I naturally gravitate toward representational art and realism. Within that, I suspect my artistic voice is always changing (our speaking/singing voices do change throughout life) because I’m forever learning and adding something new. The possibilities are limitless!

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

There are very few artists whose works I don’t appreciate. Each artist I encounter – in print or in person –offers me another dimension of inspiration and art wisdom (which is seemingly endless). I’m particularly grateful for the living artists online today who share their work and processes. I’ve learned so much by watching numerous others create and listening to their interviews. And for that reason, I’ve begun making and sharing simple videos of my own art making.

Offut Summer
(click to view)

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

Don’t wait to create. If you don’t make it, it won’t become.

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

My version of procrastination usually stems from a fear that the result won’t turn out (fail). Separating my personal worth from the outcome of an artwork is essential. Even if a particular project flops, I’m still me. That’s a challenge when we pour our souls into our work, but differentiation is key.

The main challenge for me is starting. And so preparing helps. When possible, I prepare reference photos and sketches in advance of anticipated studio time. And I leave my easels and supplies always set up to make beginning a little easier. I try to keep supplies and tools clean and ready. Once I start, I get in the zone and I wonder why I didn’t start sooner.

Another tip is consistency – keep painting regularly. I find that when I pause for even a week, I begin to lose confidence, and I hesitate to start.

One more tip: Once when I was young, a wise artist woman advised me, “Steve, if you paint commissions, be sure to do your own studio work as well, to keep up your confidence.”

Remembering Summer
(click to view)

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

Self-doubt and adversity certainly do come. 

Sometimes I take a break. Removing the pressure often makes the work joyful again.

I also solicit input from other trusted artist friends when I feel stuck on a particular painting. Their fresh eyes often help me find solutions.

And I pray - pretty much all the time, stuck or not. I see creating as a physical and spiritual collaboration. 

Oh, and music often helps me focus and relax and create. Music is a great motivator.

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

Short term – I want to paint more. I want more studio time and less admin.

Long term – I want to be a painter and a writer and a friend.

(And somewhere along the way, I have a glass innovation/invention I want to develop more and share with the world).

Cape D. Lighthouse (delight house)
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Success is always moving toward my goal. Even if a project fails, if I’m moving toward my destiny, that is success. Money and recognition are sure helpful, but they’re not an accurate measure of artistic success.

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

The accomplishments of solo shows and musical presentations and receptions in our State Capitol, and also at the Washington Center for Performing Art were biggies. I’m also super pleased with my public art waterfall for Liberty Middle School in Spanaway, Washington. It’s over three hundred square feet of dye-painted silk in a suspended sculpture, illuminated by water-effect lighting. 

Ok, that’s more than one proudest moment… but…

And lately, my heart jumps every time I begin to see my small landscape painting emerging from 2-D paper to an illusion of depth. Each one is a wonder to me!

Cycling Duo
(click to view)

Thanks, Steven!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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