Thursday, October 27, 2022

DPW Spotlight Interview: Diane Woodward

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

Enter to Win Diane's Giveaway

From Diane's DPW Gallery Page: 

I’ve always loved to paint and draw from a very early age and my parents encouraged that love by taking me to art (oil painting) lessons for years. 

Then life got in the way and many years went by when I did not paint at all.  Ultimately and finally after retiring, I went back to my first love of art.  

I like painting a wide variety of subject matter—it’s what keeps things interesting.  While I do not paint every day, I paint as often as possible.

(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?  

First a ballerina, then a schoolteacher, then a lawyer.  None of those were in the cards, and I eventually had a 30+ year career in Information technology.

When did your artistic journey begin?  

Apparently, it began pretty early.  My mom used to tell a story that I drew a great likeness of an owl when I was barely able to hold a crayon.  But take that for what it’s worth.  😊

My parents were very supportive of my art and took me to art class (oil painting with Mrs. Libby Smith) for years as a child and teenager. Mrs. Smith taught me the mechanics of oil painting, mixing color and applying paint to canvas.  Her technique was more realistic than what I’m going after now.

Dreamy Wildflowers 
(click to view)

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

Since my career was not art oriented, many years went by when I did not even pick up a paint brush.  I got back on the horse immediately after I joined my husband in retirement over three years ago.  I knew that I wanted to paint again.  Since then, the things I want to paint just keep piling up!

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

I really like all painting mediums—they all have points to recommend them.  I gravitate toward oil painting simply because that is what I started with and am more familiar with.  About 12 years ago, after seeing Louise Frechette paint an entire pastel painting, I took a pastel class but never seemed to get the hang of it.  I would like to try it again.  Also want to try gouache.

As for genres, I like impressionistic paintings best.  There isn’t a particular genre or medium that does not appeal.  If a painting is unappealing, it is usually the subject matter of the painting.

Angry Birds
(click to view)

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

Actually, I’m still trying to find my style!  I read somewhere that finding your style was simply a matter of painting more and your style will eventually emerge.  Not sure I’m there yet.

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

There is a long list of amazing artists I admire.  Narrowing that down to one, it would have to be Michele Usibelli because I love her style.  Not long ago she posted on IG an unremarkable, bland reference photo and her interpretation in her painting.  The difference was astounding.  She did not try to recreate the scene in the photo verbatim but she gave her painting the contrast, color and life the photo lacked.  That’s what I would eventually like to be able to do.
If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?  

Make time for art.  Life can take over and business and work intrudes way too often.  I regret that I let so much time pass before picking up a brush again.

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

Right now, I have something of a schedule and usually try to paint 3-4 days a week.  If I can’t settle down and paint, I’ll rearrange the studio, go through some art books, review reference photos, and just think about what I need or want to do next—the distraction and procrastination.  After so much of this, I usually can decide on what to do next.

Beach Read
(click to view)

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

I talk to myself and remind myself it takes years for artists to reach a stage where they’re satisfied with most of what they paint.  And the fact that everything is not going to be a masterpiece.  Everyone is not going to love my work.  It takes a lot of work and paint and canvases to get where I want to be and I’m not there yet.  But eventually I know I will.  Until then keep painting.

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

Long term I’m working on building a credible body of work that shows improvement and I would like to try for Oil Painters of America at some point probably way out there in the future.  Short term, slow down and be more deliberate and painterly with my brushstrokes.  Work on composition and drawing.  Be deliberate about practice.

Favorite Flannels
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?  

Having an audience who finds pleasure in my work; self-satisfaction with my paintings; and regular sales would be the icing on the cake.

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

When I got that first check in the mail from a gallery!   

Thanks, Diane!

© 2022 Maddie Marine

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