Thursday, December 16, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Bob Palmerton

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Bob's painting "Hoh River, Olympic National Park" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Bob's DPW Gallery Page:

Bob Palmerton Pastels is offering original pastel paintings of your awesome vacation photos! We can do landscape and architectural art of your favorite scenes. Makes for a GREAT Christmas gift! To inquire further, contact us.

(click to read bio and contact artist)

What did you want to be growing up?

I was interested in art in high school, and thought that a career in architecture would combine design and creativity with a specific career path that could allow me to make a good living. I was also interested in communications and journalism when I was a freshman in college. But once I discovered economics, I enjoyed it so much that I embarked on a career in finance.

When did your artistic journey begin?

My journey started in high school when I dabbled in oil paints and pastels. I put aside this hobby however for about twenty-five years to pursue my career and raise a family.

Hoh River, Olympic National Park
(click to view)

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

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

I rediscovered pastels in 2003 when my wife, Mary, uncovered two pastels I had completed while a teenager, and she framed them as a gift. That got me hooked on pastels and I began studying pastel technique and landscape painting. I dug through old art supplies from my teen years that I had stored away. I found a small set of Nupastels and began trying them out once again. Soon I was on eBay and various art supply websites to build my pastel collection.

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

Pastels are my favorite. I also enjoy acrylic and oils. In fact, I will often create an underpainting of acrylic and then apply layers of pastels on top of the surface. I prefer to use bold acrylic colors to help emphasize either the hue of the pastel or a complementary color. Pastel papers have come a long way since my youth, as sanded surfaces grab onto several layers of pastel and enable a variety of creative expressions. I typically avoid watercolor, pencil and charcoal, but I suspect I will dabble in them at some point in my art career.

As for genres, landscapes are my favorite. I feel that I can be more loose and expressive with landscape subjects. "Nature always wears the color of the spirit," is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson of which I am particularly fond. I like to interpret the landscape and convey a unique message, not one that can be captured simply with a camera, but one that exalts the mysteries and priceless features of an ever-changing landscape.

Lost in the Maze
(click to view)

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

I was always interested in nature and landscapes.  My family enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors, and I find that the natural environment presents so many opportunities and surprises to express my style.  I enjoy capturing the aftermath of a snowstorm, conveying the excitement of waves crashing against rocks, expressing a sublime mountain view, and so much more. I want my customers to appreciate the natural environment and to enjoy the many surprises that nature offers.

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

The Hudson River painters: Albert Beirstadt, Thomas Cole and Frederick Church.

Dance of the Coneflowers
(click to view)

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

Paint every day. Observe nature and "learn to see" what perspective or re-arrangement of the natural environment would make a great painting.

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

I maintain a large database of reference photos, and if I run out of ideas I revisit those photos and also might head onto a hike with my dog and camera to find opportunities.

Fall Kaleidoscope
(click to view)

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

If I am doubtful about my current work, I will let it sit and gel, and eventually get back to it. I sometimes take breaks, review works of other artists and techniques. Regardless, I hang out in my studio every morning and if I'm stuck, I'll do some framing or clean up my work site. I spend much time on social media, blogging and writing newsletters. Sometimes writing my blog gives me an idea for a subject to paint. I will also occasionally take a scene I had done in the past and re-create a new piece of art with a different perspective or color scheme.

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

I plan to back off from full time finance, replacing that time with travel, creating more art, and teaching landscape painting. I look forward to offering virtual classes in 2022.

On the Beaver Creek Trail
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

Completing a pleasing and rewarding piece of art, one that I think about and say "Wow," I created that!" I enjoy it when I get a call from a past collector wanting a pastel that was found on my website or on DPW!  It is also rewarding to have a gallery decide to represent my work, and to have paintings juried into art exhibits.

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

Winning awards is wonderful and so reinforcing for me to keep on painting! I won first place in a local show a few years ago, and it was humbling to see the patrons of the art show gather around my painting after the award was announced. I was very proud of this achievement.

Wind Chill
(click to view)

Thanks, Bob!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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