Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Tait's painting "Sun Bouquet" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.
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Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing interview
What did you ant to be growing up?
I wasn’t the kind of kid that dreamed of what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I have done a few things. I was an elementary school teacher, then started having kids and was fortunate to stay at home with them. Once they started going to school, I went back to school to become a Registered Nurse. I worked for about 7 years but was finding it hard to find a work life balance and was missing out on a lot of my kids activities. I also found that I was not that passionate about it. At the end of 2019 I decided to step back and stay home to figure out what was next for me. Then the world shut down with the pandemic and I knew home is where I belong. I love being a mom.
When did your artistic journey begin?
Towards the end of 2019, when I left the workforce, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I enjoy doing outside of being a mom. I was devouring books and listening to a ton of podcasts about finding your passion. I came across a talk with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love and Big Magic. She said not everyone is born with a passion and that you should follow your curiosities instead. Until I heard this I literally thought I was the only person in the world without a passion. So instead of searching for a passion, I set out to follow my curiosities instead.
I embarked on a ton of creative projects. I decided I was going to remodel our guest bathroom and started a blog about that. I took a number of art classes, one on digital art, a photography class and did a 30 days 30 faces drawing challenge. I started to recognize that I really enjoyed being creative.
During that time, I came across the artist Erika Lee Sears, an artist and a mom, who made a commitment to a daily art practice. She had an online course called Oil Painting Daily Challenge. The course was short daily painting lessons. I bought the supplies and completed the class in a week. I started reading her blog and saw her improvement over time and I thought maybe this is something I could do. She talks about oil paint and art in a way that makes it feel so accessible.
I was also discovering all these self taught artists who believed in this idea that art is not a talent but rather a learned skill. It was an aha moment for me. I always believed that you were born with the talent for art and that I didn’t get that gene. That’s when I came across Carol Marine’s Daily Painting book and discovered there was a whole movement of daily painters. That’s when I thought maybe this is something I could do.
On May 1, 2020, with a small mixed media sketchbook and some primary color oil paints I decided to start painting daily. At the time I didn’t think I would last a week, but I took it one day at a time, as I still do today. I decided to hold myself accountable and started a blog and a dedicated Instagram, @pronouncedtyt, to document my progress.
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Did you have any long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?
With my commitment to daily painting I currently do not experience long periods without creative expression because I create daily. But a long period in my creative world amounts to hours in the day. I often try to get my painting done early in the day to avoid life’s obstacles from derailing my daily painting goal. Honestly, there are times that I just don’t want to do it. When these times come I ask myself, is today really the day you want to stop the streak? So far the answer has always been no. I remind myself that daily painting is not about painting a masterpiece every single day and sit down and paint something.
Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?
Right now I am gravitating towards oil paints. Oil paint feels so luxurious. But I have also explored gouache, acrylic and even house paints. I have mostly stuck to the still life genre. As a relative beginner everything appeals to me, I want to try it all!
I have recently been interested in plein air painting and might start following that curiosity. I also have a love for digital painting on my iPad with my Apple Pencil using Procreate and the Art Rage apps. Adding digital painting to my practice has allowed me to have a no excuses approach to daily painting. I am a mom of three teenagers that all participate in competitive sports. Many of my afternoons and weekends are spent at a sports field for practice and games. I love that digital art allows me to have my “studio” with me anywhere and I can paint during warmups and practices.
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What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?
I am still in the process of pinpointing my personal style and finding my voice. I am just trying to stay curious. When I look at my own art it is hard for me to recognize if I even have a style. What I am realizing is that I am my own worst critic. If I hadn’t committed to daily painting and sharing it online, I would be embarrassed to share anything. It takes me a while to like my own work. It’s something I am constantly bumping up against and working through.
What I can say about personal style is, I don’t know if you have control over it. I am essentially copying styles I like and they never come out looking exactly alike so maybe that’s my style. Somewhere in between what I like and what I am capable of creating. My thoughts on this are constantly evolving as I gain more experience.
Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?
I am aware of the well known artists such as Kahlo, Van Gogh, Picasso, which I do admire. Right now though I admire current working female artists.
One of my favorite artists I discovered on Daily Paintworks is Teddi Parker. I love her style and her approach to art. This might sound silly, but in my head she is my imaginary mentor. I always think what would Teddi do? How would she approach this still life set up? I don’t know her at all but she seems very carefree and confident. I can feel that in her art. Her art feels like play and It’s just so happy. I admire that she is a mom, puts her family first, but makes a commitment to art most days. She is just so talented!
I also admire the artist Heather Ihn Martin. She paints in oil and gouache. I had the opportunity to take a gouache workshop with her. She is the first artist I have met in real life, I was starstruck! She is so humble. Her work captures the everyday and she is so prolific. Watching her paint was like watching magic. She is so fast!
Lastly, but certainly not least, Carol Marine. Her work looks so effortless and I admire her thoughts and approach to a daily practice. Her book, Daily Painting, sits on my desk and is like my painting bible. I have read it several times and every time I reread it I learn something new. I wish she still taught workshops. Even though she doesn't, I am so happy that she created all these Art Bytes about her process. One thing I have learned from Carol, that I carry with me, is when painting to think about it in terms of painting the poem not the dissertation. Every time I get caught up in the details I hear her mantra in my head. I am a huge fan!
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If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?
The one piece of advice I would offer to my younger creative self is follow your curiosities.
Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?
The one piece of advice I can give to combat distraction and procrastination is to lean into it. It’s trying to tell you something. It’s information. Maybe you need a break or maybe you’re just being lazy and that’s okay. But think about the why and feel the feelings, whatever they are. Then just start somewhere. This could mean looking at some art for inspiration, priming a panel, cleaning up your studio space. This often gets you back in the mindset to get to work.
A great piece of advice I read from James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits says, “Every action you take is the vote for the person you want to become.” The idea is that one bad day is not going to ruin everything but the days you vote for who you aspire to be add up and the goal is to have more of those votes. When I procrastinate I always think of this quote.
Another idea I can offer is to make creating as easy as possible. I learned this from the artist Lisa Daria Kennedy, a daily painter who has been painting for 4600+ days in a row. She has paired down her set up to have absolutely no nonsense. She uses a limited palette, paints only flowers, uses one brush that sits in water so as to never have to wash it and even picks paint tubes that are easy to open. While you don’t have to be that extreme, think about how you can set things up to make it as easy as possible to show up and do the work. Removing obstacles tends to remove the excuses as well.
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In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?
Self doubt is always lurking in the background for me. The secret is that battling this is brilliantly built into the daily painting practice itself. I show up daily, do the work, despite all the self doubt and/or adversity. Every piece is not a masterpiece but I promise you will learn something from that painting. You will soon realize that It becomes about the process rather than the outcome.
What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?
My short term goal for my art is to paint daily, enjoy the process and continue to share my progress online.
My long term goal would be to continue to grow as an artist. I dream that I could make a living from my art, have a solo show one day, have my art in a museum and teach others that art is a skill that anyone can learn.
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What does success mean to you personally?
Success means to me that I get to do the things I enjoy most everyday.
What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?
The proudest moment in my creative life was selling my first painting on Daily Paintworks. When I started this journey I never thought anyone would be interested In purchasing my art. It’s a first I will never forget, it felt like possibility.
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