Thursday, January 6, 2022

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jeff Atnip

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

From Jeff's DPW Gallery Page:

I have had a long, frequently interrupted painting career marked by bouts with laziness and lots of bad
paintings. But, according to the National Council of Painting Authority*, you have to get most of the bad paintings out of your system before you can do any good ones. I think that is good advice.

On a serious note, I have the most experience with watercolor, but I keep experimenting with other mediums. I love sunlit surfaces, reflected light, shadows and contrasts. I also enjoy depicting weathered textures, trees and old structures.

I have won some awards over the years and been accepted into juried shows, but I have mostly neglected enrolling in competitions.

I definitely like this idea of painting small and painting frequently. It is fun and takes some of the pressure off. Thanks, Daily Paintworks, for providing this marketplace.

*A taxpayer-funded fictitious organization.

Road To Sevierville  

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

What did you want to be growing up?  

First I wanted to be an astronaut, but I found out that you had to be good at math. Then I studied forestry in college until I found out it is not all about living in a secluded cabin in the woods. I finally settled on graphic design because that was the only subject in which I could make good grades and that I enjoyed.

When did your artistic journey begin?  

I was always drawing as a kid - trying to draw the super heroes from my comic books etc… It was always a struggle however, because I was definitely not a prodigy and I was always dissatisfied with my drawing ability. 
Barn Window
(click to view)

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

Sometimes I am just lazy, but I don’t recall any extended times when I did not even bother to take a sketchbook with me.

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

I usually use watercolor and I gravitate towards the rural landscapes that remind me of the countryside where I grew up. However I am not averse to cityscapes and still life and whatever shapes, shadows, contrasts and textures that catch my eye. I also will use oil, acrylic, gouache, pastel, colored pencil, and pen and ink. I like looking at some pure abstracts, but I do not see myself ever doing that. Also, art that is designed to shock or offend for whatever reason does not appeal to me.

Some Kind Of Red Bird
(click to view)

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

The process is ongoing and I am worried that it will never finish. The problem is that I cannot seem to settle on one style because I like so many of them. If you look through my gallery page you will see loose impressionism, tight realism, large detailed watercolor landscapes, small ACEO watercolors, tight scratchboard renderings, cars, horses, birds, barns, people. Somebody help! 

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

I admire the watercolors of Tony Couch and Tony Van Hasselt and I have attended workshops by both men. Their style brings out the beauty and unique advantages of the watercolor medium. I also follow Joseph Zbukvic, Keiko Tanabe and artists like them. Other artists I admire are Shishkin, Peder Monsted and Andrew Wyeth.

Green Moss White Oak
(click to view)

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

Get started early and keep filling up your sketchbooks.
Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle? 

Force yourself to get started and the good feelings will follow. 
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

Take a break, walk away, don’t be afraid to tear it up and start over.

Can Of Nails
(click to view)

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

Just keep on trying to get better and maybe eventually sell more for higher prices.

What does success mean to you personally?  

I know God has given me a small measure of talent. I want to see it fully realized and expressed for his glory.
What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

I have (mostly) avoided entering contests for decades just because it seemed like more trouble and expense than it was worth. But I was pleased a number of years ago when two of my works were juried in to the annual Tennessee Watercolor Society annual show.

Zion View 1
(click to view)

Thanks, Jeff!

© 2022 Maddie Marine


  1. I really love this interview. I resonate with everything he said, including and especially about personal style.

    1. Hey, thanks. I just now noticed that my interview had comments!

  2. I loved your interview also,,s the first one I,ve commented on. I believe you have more than one gift from God!


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