Thursday, August 4, 2022

DPW Spotlight Interview: Brenda Kay Paintings

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

From Brenda's DPW Gallery Page: 

Brenda Kay Paintings, abstract artist painting representational and plein air paintings
•Inspired by and responding to beauty, culture, and my Creator
•Color filled layers of meaning and paint
•Often complex, always thoughtful

With a commercial art degree from UNW St. Paul, I started out in advertising, but have turned my focus to painting full time in my home studio.  I enjoy using my art training and life experience to build strong abstract compositions.  I love walking in the woods, wind-tossed water, coffee and chocolate, and especially my Beloved Husband and two adult kids.

Brenda has been awarded the BoldBrush Award for Abstract, BoldBrush 1st prize for Abstract, and has received several regional art awards. She has been selected to participate in the Hoosier Salon, the SALI National Abstract Art Exhibition, and is a Hoosier Woman Artist. She was also juried in to a workshop with renowned artist Makoto Fujimura in 2018.
Member: Fort Wayne Artists Guild •Hoosier Salon • Lakeland Art Association• Hoosier Woman Artist

Maple en Plein Air
(click to view)

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

What did you want to be growing up?  

Well, the first thing I remember wanting to be was a cowboy, and when I realized that girls could only be cowGIRLS, I was severely disappointed!
I really could not decide what I wanted to be, but when I was entering my second year of college with an undecided major, my Dad said, "You know, you will always be drawing. Why don't you study [commercial] art so that you have a way to earn a living, and then if you still want more school, you can go back and get more." The better I get to know artists, the more I recognize how unusual that parental direction was! And he was sure right.
When did your artistic journey begin?  

I was the kid in elementary school that was often picked to do the art stuff, like painting Christmas scenes on the windows and 'fixing' the out-of-proportion US map.  Maybe that was the start of the journey.
Good Morning!
(click to view)

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

I did. I set aside my art for many years while we raised and homeschooled our (now adult) kids. We had just been through traumatic times and my health was compromised during that time, so we decided to put first things first. I did still dabble with some art here and there, but it was not until our kids were on their own that I really started to refocus on my art.

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

I love acrylics, and my primary artistic calling is abstract painting! I really delight in expressing concepts in non-objective art.
Plein air and somewhat representational painting is my new side pursuit, and I am finding a lot of joy in learning and getting more skillful in these genres. Daily Paintworks is a great place for me to share these paintings.
I have difficulty appreciating photo-realism/realism in painting.

Pasture Grazing en Plein Air
(click to view)

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

Interestingly, I had always done representational art until dear friends commissioned me to do a large abstract painting for their home. I didn't even know where to begin to paint a quality work of art that was non-objective, so I began to study and practice abstract works until I found my abstract painting becoming second nature, and I found that I could communicate effectively with that genre.
Now I am in the process of studying and practicing more representational art and plein air painting and I am finding that I don't yet have that inner direction that comes almost naturally in these genres. Particularly in plein air painting, I am finding so many factors that require my attention that I struggle to find my stride! But I am feeling it coming along as I practice.  

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

There are so, so many! Fred Ingrams, for simplicity in design and excitement in color
Jim Wodark, for plein air chops and interesting color
Bob Burridge for teaching skillfully and compelling color
David Huang, metalsmith, for detail and brilliance in his vessels
Timothy Botts, calligraphy, meaningful design and lots of color
And also lots of poets, musicians, dancers, actors, authors, and other artists

Swimmer Warm-up
(click to view)

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

I still need to tell the same things to myself now - don't get too uptight about the results. Do the next right thing, and keep at it, and let the results be left up to God's timing. Just don't give up.
Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?  

Whew, this is a tough question! I do find it is helpful to get SOMETHING on the substrate, and then respond to what is there. It helps me to remember that, as I heard from artist Kathie Odom, "While I am painting, nothing hurts!" Ha ha!
Walk By Faith
(click to view)

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

Another tough question! I find that my first response has to be to ask my Heavenly Father whether I am following His lead. More than anything, I want to be doing what He calls me to. So sometimes He will prompt someone to send me an encouraging note (or an invitation to be a featured DPW artist!), or maybe I will win an award or sell a painting. Sometimes I just begin to feel more confident by doing the next thing as a matter of discipline. And sometimes I just have to choose to paint as a discipline even if I don't feel better!

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

I really don't have goals. I know that is not the way I am "supposed to" answer, but it is the truth. I would love to be able to paint when my Beloved Husband retires, and help support our family if possible, but I wouldn't call it a goal.

(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?  

I have asked myself this question before, and my best answer is that I want my art to communicate - to bring truth, goodness, and beauty into the world in a way that helps people see that God is True, Good, and Beautiful, and that He is extremely fond of us! It is a very tall order for paintings to do that, admittedly!
What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

There have been significant moments in my artistic journey, including awards, invitations to juried exhibitions and events, and good sales of my work, but at least today as I type this, I think one of the "proudest" moments for me was seeing the impact of one of my paintings on someone. Most years I host an open studio/open house in my home, and I invite as many people as I can get my hands on to come and see my new work! One particular year, I saw a lady in my studio gazing at an abstract work that was on my easel. It was a very meaningful work to me, but I was not yet sure that it was communicating like I wanted it to. But there she stood, weeping in front of that painting. She asked me about the meaning of it, and yes, she had indeed been impacted in the way that I had hoped. Not much can top that. 

DeFries Garden en Plein Air
(click to view)

Thanks, Brenda!

© 2022 Maddie Marine

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