Thursday, December 14, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Denise Gilroy


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

From Denise's DPW Gallery:

I am a painter living in Northern Idaho. I love painting from life but also enjoy time in the studio. My favorite thing is to be alone out in the woods, along a river or any beautiful spot trying to capture a portion of what I see & feel on my canvas. My approach is more impressionistic in nature and I have been experimenting with my palette knife to keep it loose. Oh yeah, I LOVE animals and paint them often too.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  

I started drawing/painting in high school and was encouraged by my art teacher. I fully intended to go to college for art but chickened out in the end and wound up getting my degree in Finance. I have been somewhat of an entrepreneur most of my life, encompassing creative jobs, but only got back into fine art in 2006.

Scenes in the Neighborhood
(click to view)

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

Even now, I do not paint full time (although it is close to full time) and enjoy the variety of other tasks. I am not sure if I use the other tasks to procrastinate or if the diversion helps me when I do get to focus exclusively on my art. However, if I do not paint for a few days in a row, I feel as though I get out of shape and need to go over some basics to get back into painting shape. Kind of like doing sit ups/push ups, no one likes doing sit ups but they are essential to keeping the core in good working order.

Morten Slough
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?  

At one point in my life I took a monotype class and continued playing with that for a few years, really liked it. Now, it is only oil painting. As for genres, I like so many different ones that it is probably not good. I have read that artists are supposed to create a body of work that is recognizable as theirs, a style. I don't think I have accomplished that yet. I like to experiment and try different approaches.

Trees in Shadow
(click to view)

Painting with a palette knife has been my most recent experiment and it keeps me from getting too caught up in detail. I do stick with similar subject matter, landscape & animals. Maybe someday I will settle down and paint a body of work that is recognizable as coming from one person. For now, I will keep my options open.

What are you looking forward to exploring in the future?

I just purchased my first studio easel and I am really excited. My dreams are all about large format paintings and I have been unable to do that well with my Open Box M set up. Looser, more expressive paintings in a series are what I am thinking about. I will probably have many failures in my effort to go large but that's okay, maybe I will learn something. I have to tell myself to keep it simple and don't get caught up in the details.

October Color
(click to view)

What is your mental preparation for painting?

I heard about a book that has helped me approach my art, called "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield. I suggest this book to any and every artist, it really worked for me. I learned to treat art making like any job - I need to show up and work at it everyday. I may not create a great painting everyday but I sure won't create a great painting if I am not painting or making excuses not to paint.

Under Cover
(click to view)

I also try to tell myself that what I am painting is an experiment and it is okay for it to fail because it won't be a failure completely if I try and see how it plays out. I may not like the painting but I tried something that maybe I would not have tried without permission to fail. Usually, the painting comes out better than I had hoped or if I went into the painting with an attitude of "it has to be a masterpiece."

Another approach I have learned but don't always remember in the heat of the painting, is to create a nice painting. A painting doesn't have to be exactly what I see in the landscape or photo I am using as reference. Grab the elements you want to convey and leave out what doesn't need to be there.

Thanks, Denise!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 7, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Melissa Gannon

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

From Melissa's DPW Gallery:


Each painting is a journey of discovery. Influenced by the Impressionists, I love to explore layering and arranging colors into vibrant patterns of light and beauty that unfold onto the canvas and reflect the joy inherent in the world around us.

Nature is the primary model I paint from. I'm attracted to the shapes formed by light and shadow, the mosaic of sun-dappled leaves, or the visual delight of a meadow of wildflowers seen from a mountainside trail. I seek to share the wonder of these experiences in my work and bring a piece of nature's bounty indoors for all to enjoy. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a kid I loved doing art projects and worked images into most of my class projects. I used to draw during the summers as well. As I got older I started painting from photographs with watercolor. My first watercolor pieces looked a lot like oils as I had no idea about washes! I enrolled in classes and really learned about watercolor, joined an art group and started participating in art shows, then teaching, learning pastel, acrylic, mixed media, and now oils.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

There have been a few starts and stops. I started one painting before my second child was born and finished it four years later! As an adult I've always had art projects going but I didn't really pursue it as a career until after my kids were in college.

Sunshine!
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began with watercolor. When I started teaching I began using acrylic, pastel, colored pencil, oil pastel and mixed media. I'm beginning to paint with oils. I did some layering and collaging for awhile in acrylic and watercolor which is a fascinating process. I've used the different texture gels available for acrylics in some of my pieces. Lately I've been using acrylic inks mixed with watercolors. I started out as a pretty realistic painter and have moved more toward impressionism.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I don't do much collage anymore but I feel that every bit of experience with different mediums contributes to my overall knowledge and skill. I tend to cycle and revisit methods that I've used before but I might use them in a new or different way.

Oak Leaf Swirl
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have some cold wax and I'm beginning to explore it as a finish to both acrylics and oils and I want to use it in my oil painting as well. I'm experimenting a little with watercolor on gesso and absorbant ground and I have some Pearl Ex powders that I want to experiment with.

Who or what inspires you most?

I have a big book called "California Light" which has the work of the California impressionists and it's AWESOME! I love Monet's work and how he changed up some of his elements to make them fit better in his paintings.

I really love nature—I see purples in tree trunks! This time of year—fall turning to winter—when the woods are mostly dark with their sprinkling of brightly colored leaves is beautiful!

Waterlily Sparkle
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Looking for something I know I have but can't find!

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I make a loose plan every day based on blocks of time and try to stick to it. I had to shift my computer work to the evening. When I did it in the morning half the day was gone before I knew it!

Maple Leaf Rock
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I love to hike and bike and always pay attention to nature around me. I take lots of photos and when I'm inside my studio I use the photos for reference. This time of year with the geese flying is cool and I like to add geese to my pieces. I've been painting outdoors more and I'm finding that plein air painting is a really great way to learn. Sometimes I'll buy flowers and paint those.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I like to be excited about what I'm painting. I focus on the process and the journey, not on the end result. The piece will work or it won't and that's OK because I'll learn something either way. Moving between mediums is helpful as well. Sometimes I'll paint something in acrylic that I really like and try something similar in watercolor or visa versa. I read a lot of art related books which give me different ideas to use in my work. My classes are a good stimulus for me since some people have been in my classes for years and I have to hustle to present subjects in new and engaging ways. Some days I'll spend a lot of time walking at the park with my camera.

Let's Go for a Walk
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I'm currently focusing on color—how to use it to enhance what I'm trying to say. I've been experimenting with some different wash techniques in watercolor.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I really love it when a student comes to me and says, "I see so much more since I've been in your class!"

It's so wonderful when someone really resonates with one of my pieces and lets me know how much they love it and how it looks so wonderful in their home.

I am really thankful for the space, time, and supplies to create art.

Thanks, Melissa!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 30, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Hallie Kohn

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

From Hallie's DPW Gallery:

As artists I think we go through phases... Each phase is a period of learning, meant to teach us something important. Once the skill is "mastered" we have a way of knowing when it's time to move on. That stretching is the most frustrating, but also the most rewarding part of painting for me. The painful growing. It hurts, but is also extremely nurturing for one's spirit. It keeps things fresh and interesting. We each have our own journeys in life, and I count the artistic one as one of my greatest.

Hope you feel inspired too--please enjoy!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was young, I went and stayed with a treasured family friend. Though she was fairly temperamental, she was also extremely passionate. She was an oil painter and I carried around an image of her painting at her easel for 20+ years. This was quite contradictory to the fact that I never went on to study art.

After going through a tough time in my life, and looking for an outlet, I relayed the memory that had been tucked away in my sub-conscience all those years. My husband encouraged me to try painting myself, and we went out and bought an easel, canvases, and some oil paints that week. It had to be oils, like my muse.

This was almost 15 years ago, and mind you, there was no YouTube and social media was off in the future somewhere. I learned the very basics and started the work by reading and studying books. It was a long learning experience. Oil paints were completely overwhelming in the beginning. It took almost a decade of mixing colors and using mediums to become second nature.


Zinnias in Jar
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

There were years when I was pregnant or taking care of my two sons when painting fell to the wayside. Today, hardly a day goes by that I don’t paint. It’s like meditating or even exercising, the more one does it, the better it feels. Being in “the zone” of painting is something I feel completely grateful for.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

For mediums, I’ve experimented with watercolors, gouache, acrylics, oil sticks… Getting out of my comfort zone is my strategy when I feel frustrated or in need of growth; taking a break from oils is a great way to appreciate them more when I come back to them. I’ve also tried different genres for the same reason, going to painting people or scenes, two of my least comfortable areas.

Peonies and Satsuma
(click to view)

Which ones have “stuck” and which ones have fallen away?

I continue to bring out random play things for creating, including the arts and crafts bin my boys like! Photography gets me going like nothing else.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Mixed media with oil pastels, pencils, paints.

Raspberries
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Anything can be inspirational to me because I align inspiration with adventure and excitement for life. Going somewhere or doing something new inspires me the most, but it could be a new flower in the garden, or a fruit in season, a new vase, anything.

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks and feels like stress. In my life I’m always searching for more painting time, so procrastination is rare. If I’m procrastinating, then I probably won’t paint that day, but instead have a day with exercise, yoga, cooking a big dinner, going on a field trip, or something that is more time consuming.

Stretching
(click to view)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Getting started as soon as I can in the morning, after coffee of course! I normally do best if I am able to find my inspiration before I start each day, whether that means finding a good photo, setting up a still life, or going to cut some flowers. If there is too much thinking or planning ahead, then I may not be inspired by that in the moment. One day recently I had planned to paint a small 6x6” grapefruit and I just couldn’t. Instead I painted a 30x30” fox--I had to paint big!

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

That’s the hardest part, especially in the fall and winter because I am a spring/summer person all the way. Normally it’s whatever is around me.


Untitled
(click to view)

How do you keep art “fresh”? What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your
work vibrant and engaging?

To keep things fresh I might try painting with a different brush, on canvas instead of panel, a different size or genre, painting on a colored ground, anything to get out of my comfort zone. To avoid burnout I just try to paint what I love and what excites me.

(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Right now I’d say my growth is more internal. I’m learning about putting myself out there more. There was a time when I didn’t feel ready for certain things, and as I’ve grown and gained confidence I feel more ready for submitting to juried shows or approaching establishments about hanging my work. I’d like to try doing an art booth for the first time.

The most important thing I have learned on my artistic journey is to love and appreciate my own path. It’s important to me to be true to me. With time and perseverance we can all get where we want to go. That’s what is happening in my life every day, I’m slowly and gratefully trying to get where I’m trying to go. Some paintings are flops, but most surprise me.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I’m doing it. I love the process of painting, the feeling of it.

Thanks, Hallie!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 23, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Linda Marino

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Linda's painting, "Tomatoes on the Vine- Kitchen Prep No. 2" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Linda's DPW Gallery:

Connecticut native, Linda Marino has a passion for painting animals, still life, landscapes and figures in oils, acrylics and watercolors. Linda's professional career began in marketing and advertising after receiving her BSBA at Western New England University. For the past 30 years Linda continues to work on her fine art skills studying in Florence, Italy, as well as several other CT Universities and local art schools. Linda enjoys share's her passion and knowledge of art through teaching classes and workshops at Artsplace in Cheshire and Arts Escape in Southbury as well as on location at retirement communities, senior centers, hospitals, and churches. Captivated by plein air (outdoor) painting, Linda's gear is always packed and ready for a painting excursion. The vast array of scenes that are just a short drive away keep drawing her back. From the rolling hills and farms of Litchfield County to the rocky coast to the lively energy of New Haven - subjects and scenes are plentiful. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Creating art has always been a part of me. I can remember in 3rd grade checking a book out of the library on how to draw dogs and practicing the same dog over and over. Junior high and high school it was woodworking, silversmithing, sewing, textile painting. In college I fell in love with watercolors. Then experimented in acrylics and onto oils. A little dabbling in pastels too.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Many. Since I didn’t officially go to art school  (I majored in business administration and marketing in college) I took every art class offered in order to apply for a study abroad art program in Florence Italy. That was a pivotal point in my life: at that moment I knew I had to incorporate “creating art” into my career. I worked in advertising and graphic design for the next ten years until I had my kids. When trying to get back into the graphics field after an 8 year break- the entire industry change - all my equipment was outdated and I had no clue how to write code for web design. Full circle, I decided to go back to my first love - painting and drawing. I took as many classes as my schedule and budget could afford while raise my three young children.  It wasn’t until 2012 that I had more time to paint and work full time on my art career.


Tomatoes on the Vine- Kitchen Prep No. 2
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with. 

Watercolors, charcoal, pencil,  acrylics, oils and  pastels. I like a variety of genres - still life, landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, figurative and florals. I love creating custom pet portraits for others. I specialize in dogs but I have painted cats, pet chickens and even a pet elephant! I’m hooked on plein air painting and just “playing around” in my sketchbook.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

 I’m currently stuck on oils and acrylics and my watercolors are used primarily for my sketchbook.

Soup Prep with Chef Dean
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Acrylics. In the past I’ve used acrylics in the most traditional ways but recently I’ve taken a few classes and watched several demos on the versatility of acrylics - and wow! the possibilities seem endless!

Who or what inspires you most?

This is a hard question to answer because inspiration can come from so many places and in so many different ways. It could be a feeling of joy or happiness, or perhaps from viewing works by the Masters such as John Singer Sargent or Claude Monet to more contemporary artists such as Charles Sovek and Charles Movalli.  It could come from my quite time when journaling or just how the sunlight catches the rim of cup as I’m washing dishes. I suppose what drives my husband crazy is when we’re in the car and I yell “Stop!” - “ over there, I want to take a picture of that scene - I want to paint that!”. My students inspire me. As well as many artists who post their work on Daily Paintworks.


China - Pet Portrait Commission
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Spending too much time on the computer … “researching”.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Since my teaching schedule has increased over the past two years, I have found it best to block in time on my calendar for “Just Painting”. Then I’ll work my marketing, administrative work and housework around that. I also carry around my sketchbook and try to incorporate even some quick sketches; on days when my schedule is full a quick sketch can nurture my creative soul. Sometimes you’ll find me sitting on the kitchen chair sketching the ingredients for the meal my chef husband is about to prepare.


Painters in Paradise
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

When plein air painting, I’ll drive or walk around a certain area for about 15 -20 minutes. Allowing my senses to fully engage with the surroundings. I’ll feel the heat of the sun warm my shoulders, the nip of the cold air on my fingertips, the smell of the fragrant honey suckles drifting through the air or the sometimes less than favorable whiff of low-tide. The sketchbook opens, a few quick sketches are scratched in and then up goes the easel.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Watching others create.  There is something so refreshing in watching the way someone else solves a problem creatively - with their hands or with technology. It opens doors to so many more ideas. Ideas I would have never thought of on my own. Whether it's painting, drawing, building, designing, etc. Online or in person - I just marvel at how we all have a unique way to solve problems or to create something from just some simple raw materials.

Mercy by the Sea, Mercy Center, Madison, CT
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

To be a better art instructor. I’m trying to slow down. To really break down the process of how I work and to figure out the best way to teach and explain it to others. This is challenging for me because sometimes I work fast and intuitively and when you have to stop and explain why you do what you are doing… that’s hard. But so rewarding.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Using the gifts that God has given me to create, teach, serve and love others.

Thanks, Linda!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jinnie May

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

From Jinnie's DPW Gallery:

My paintings include watercolor, acrylic, and mixed medium and oil. I paint large representational cityscapes and seascapes just about everyday in watercolor in a style I call Casual Realism. My abstracts are sometimes figurative but mainly non-objective on either paper or canvas. Whatever I paint I truly enjoy the process and hope you enjoy the outcome.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My mother was an artist who taught a kindergarten class at home and I used to draw alongside her students. We drew cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, holiday items and various other things. Being an artist, my mom used to give my sister and me crayons and the back side of old wallpaper rolls to draw on to keep us busy. And it did! Crayons were always my favorite Christmas present. Both parents promoted creativity, risk taking and dreams. I was very fortunate.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

After high school all painting stopped, I went to college and earned a Master’s degree, entered the work force in a non-art related field. After thirty-five years, I retired. As a retirement gift to myself I took a watercolor class in Bermuda with Bryan Atyeo, a wonderful Canadian artist. At the time I didn’t know anything about watercolor, Bermuda or Bryan but had a great time, learned a lot and was hooked on watercolor.

Clock Tower Capri III
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started with watercolor and was enthralled with the California Watercolor Artists of the thirties and forties. I not only loved the style but also the genre they painted. I bought every book I could find on them and read them from cover to cover, over and over again. I stayed with watercolor as my primary medium until one snowy winter when I had exhausted my photographic subject matter and decided to try abstracts and acrylic.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Actually they all have “stuck”. I go back and forth with all three, using different subject matter with each medium.

Soon To Be Cherries
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m looking forward to doing large format oils, collage, encaustics and more acrylic... I’m open to trying all mediums and probably a few I don’t know of yet.

Who or what inspires you most?

Most of my inspiration comes from inside, my thoughts, my childhood and my experiences. When I’m stuck I look at art books, Pinterest, and YouTube. Always works for me. There are too many other artists to list who inspire me. Thanks to all!


A Stroll in Provincetown, MA
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m fortunate to be able and willing to paint every day. I procrastinate in other areas but not when it comes to art.


What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Being single, having supportive friends, free time, adequate funds, health, space and desire, sounds simple but I worked at it!

Texas Prairie
(click to view)


How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

With my representational watercolor paintings, the scenes are mainly from European painting holidays both created on-site and from studio photos. With the acrylic abstracts, most don’t start with any planned ideas but rather come along as I paint (sometimes). That makes them a little more challenging and fun for me.


How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I try not to paint for anyone but myself. I say try because it is difficult to leave a style that sells, wins awards and is the people’s choice. It is an easy trap to fall into and difficult to stop. I enjoy pushing the envelope with art and am usually anxious to leave my “comfort zone”.


Seaside Sorrento
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I learn every day. I learn more about myself by painting than from the painting process itself. I’m reminded daily of my need to be challenged to be happy and get bored if things become complacent.

What makes you happiest about your art?

What makes me happiest in life in general is freedom and freedom also makes me happiest in art. I enjoy the freedom to paint what I want to paint, when I want to paint, how I want to paint, what materials to use, who I may paint with and where the painting may end up. Yes, several have been chucked in the fireplace, it’s a great feeling! I also enjoy the wonderful feedback from other artists, customers and the general public.

Thanks, Jinnie!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 9, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Tod Steele

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

From Tod's DPW Gallery:

For lack of a better term, I call my painting style, 'Moomoo-ism', which is basically 'the joyous portrayal of cows and other creatures'. I am an animal painter because they make me so happy! While painting I work with lots of energy and joy... and my sincere hope is that the viewer will share in this merriment. My personal philosophy in painting is: "make 'em laugh... or at least smile a bit"... if I can do that, then I'm happy.

As a young fellow I took courses in Animal Husbandry and was amazed at how much personality the animals had, and they have fascinated me ever since, thus it was natural to paint them once I ventured into an art career. I believe that animals can help make us more human by connecting us to the Divine, and I am honored to celebrate their wonder in some small way. I live in Gold Beach, Oregon, with my wife, professional artist J.M. Steele, our Corgi, Lily Bell, and our studio cat, Emily Rose.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My wife has been a full-time artist nearly her entire adult life.  I am her biggest fan and have supported her in any way I could, but I never had thought of painting for myself.  But then on my 49th birthday I got this overpowering urge to paint.  This urge came out of the blue.  Totally unexpected.  With my wife's expert help I dove into painting and have never looked back.  Instead of watching TV I would spend entire evenings looking at art online, paying attention to which paintings I was drawn to, trying to figure out why they appealed to me. Painting is far and away the most fun and interesting thing I've ever done, however, the first three years where extremely frustrating.  All I did was study and make terrible paintings - ha!  I remember once sailing a lousy painting across the back yard into the berry bushes, vowing I'd never paint again.  However, I was addicted to it and persevered until I found my own unique style and the subject matter I loved most... animals.

Feather Locklear
(click to view)

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

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Well, I loved to draw as a little kid, but somewhere around 8 or 9 someone made fun of my stuff and I stopped cold turkey.  I started in again at 49 years old, so yeah, I had a 40 year 'pause' - ha!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started in oils, as that's what my wife has mastered.  I like oil paint, but it doesn't like me.  I am a terribly messy painter and I would get oil paint all over myself.  Not a good thing.  So I tried acrylic, and after a short while fell in love with it.  I think it works especially well with my style of painting.

Lab With a Pearl Earring
(click to view)

Which other mediums are you looking forward to exploring?

No, I think I'm sticking with acrylics.  Sometimes I try a painting in oil, but then run quickly back to acrylics.  Oil is a great medium, but I'm just more familiar and comfortable with acrylics.  Mediums don't really excite me as much as ideas do.  New, fun ideas... that's what I hope to explore.

Who or what inspires you most?

Far and away God is my inspiration.  I mean God as in His creation, in His animals, in quality music, etc.  I believe that 'being in the zone' is actually being connected to the Divine, whether we call it that or not.  That's why we humans love being in that zone so much.  If we're painting or writing or baking or building a business... whatever creative thing it is we love doing, 'being in the zone' just feels so darn good.  So right.

Vincent Should Have Had a Dog
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't have too much trouble with that really, but when those times come when I just don’t want to go to the studio, I often refer instead to the huge computer file where I have hundreds of my favorite paintings.  It quickly lights a fire in me to get back to work.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Late at night or early in the morning work best for me.  Once the day starts there seems to be too many distractions.  Early or late is the best because of the quiet.

This Too Shall Pass
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Oh wow.  All sorts of various ways.  Driving around and photographing farm animals.  Watching movies.  Looking at magazines.  Going to shows or festivals to observe people and animals.  Often when I'm painting, an idea will come for another painting.  I love puns and humor of all kinds, and a humorous phrase will often take over my imagination and then become a painting.  Thankfully, ideas for paintings aren't much of a problem (but as my wife says, I just have to make sure they are GOOD ideas - ha!)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I think it's very important to paint for myself - not for others.  I try to paint things that bring me joy.  In doing so I believe the work will find a resonance in others of like mind.  There's an old saying that goes, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader".  It's true.  So, as artists we have to make sure we're passionate about what we paint, or the viewer will not be impressed.  Thus I make sure I have lots of fun when I paint, hoping that the fun will come through to the viewer.

Frida Cowlo
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I've done pet commissions for years... I just love doing them.  The positive feedback from clients really brings me joy.  One lady emailed that the painting I did of her old pup is her very most prized possession.  Now, that's a great feeling.  To know that my painting will be on their wall to remind them of their beloved pet is a great honor.

PS. I just started up a Facebook art page. If the reader would be so kind to like the page that would be great and most appreciated.  Thank you!

Thanks, Tod!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 2, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judy Wilder Dalton

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


From Judy's DPW Gallery:

Judy is a native East Texan, and now resides in the beautiful and peaceful setting of Holly Lake Ranch, Texas. Her work has been exhibited in many national and international exhibitions and solo exhibits Judy has won numerous awards for her paintings, and her work can be found in private and public collections throughout the United States. Judy teaches classes and workshops in creative design and composition. (read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I began painting in my early twenties.  I joined a local art group that had monthly demos and juried art shows. I took as many classes and workshops as I could. Many of the friendships made with other artists have lasted through the years.  I am so happy to see that so many have become successful artists. I believe belonging to a group like that can provide good building blocks for the aspiring young artists.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I did have a tough time painting after a divorce, but with the encouragement of other artists and close friends,  I worked past it and began painting again.

Into the Woods
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began with watercolor and oil painting and stayed with them for many years.  Once I tried pastel,  I was hooked.  I put it aside during my time after divorcing and when I started back painting, it was with acrylic on watercolor paper in a very abstract application.  I have been back to pastel for a couple of years now and feel as if I have come home.  I find that what I learn new in one medium always translated in some manner in the other mediums.  I think that contributes to staying fresh and exciting.

Crop Lines
(click to view)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

One medium I tried for a while was clay sculpture.  I loved it, but made a decision that I loved color too much.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am happy staying with oil and pastel.

Over the Hill
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Being in nature is probably the best inspiration I have. 

What does procrastination look like for you?

Getting bored will shut me down, but that is when I know it is time to get outside and explore.

Tree
(click to view)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Committing to painting daily paintings and posting to Daily Paintworks as been a great motivator for me. 

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I take lots of photographs and travel with some dear friends that love photography.  The travel and the photography give me plenty of resource material to work from. 

Barns
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist? 

Teaching workshops and classes keeps me excited about art.  I enjoy learning from each students unique vision as well as sharing mine.  I have to be aware of why I make the choices and decisions I make with a painting,  if I am to explain it to my class.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When a painting starts to take on a life of its own and speaks to me.  I love to “listen” to my art.

Thanks, Judy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Natali Derevyanko

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

From Natali's DPW Gallery:

I am a Ukrainian artist. I paint from my childhood always and everywhere. I like oil painting. That's what I do not get tired ever. I graduated from the Lviv National Academy of Fine Arts. I am member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. Today, I teach design, illustrate books for kids, participate art exhibitions and I paint in my studio.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I've been drawing since I was a kid. My father kept my earliest works: our cat, Chernysh, and the portrait of the teacher of kindergarten, Anna Nikolaevna. Then I started visiting the studio, then the art school, then the school and then graduated from the Lviv National Academy of Arts.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career? 

My work completely depends on the moments of my personal life. A new period in creativity depended on the period of my life. My first works were on a sacred subject, because I lived in Lviv and discovered a sacred part of myself in a new way. When I had a family and children, in my work there were princesses, knights, castles and various kinds of animals whom children love. Now children grow, require a lot of attention and time and can only realize themselves in small paintings. When children grow up, I will move to a new stage of my work, I will start to paint giant landscapes.

Water and Flower
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

In adolescence, I tried all the graphic techniques, but the love of color still won. I wrote a lot of watercolors alla prima. It was landscapes and still lifes. I love acrylic for its versatility. I painted acrylic icons. He reminded me of the egg tempera used by the old masters. But absolute love is oil. It's texture, saturation and transparency can not be compared to anything. With oil I write everything: figures, portraits, landscapes, still lifes and even children's illustrations. Five books were published with my oil paintings.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Watercolor I now do not paint. But I dream to return to watercolor. I'm inspired by its transparency and romance. Acrylic is in my closet, while it does not interest me. Oil forever.

Yellow Roses
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to study botanical painting. There is a fine line between graphics and color. This fascinates me. Also I'm interested in portrait. I would very much like to study the similarity more deeply, to convey the image.

Who or what inspires you most? 

I have no problems with inspiration. The source of inspiration can be anything: the babble of a son, the whims of a daughter, sunny hares on the wall, a fresh flower, a yellow leaf, garden bouquet. Yes anything! I have many sources of inspiration.

Forsythia
(click to view)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

Time is a problem. I have a workshop, but I do not have time to go there. So I organized a corner with an easel and paints at home. The colors are always open, the canvas is ready for use. As soon as there is a half an hour of free time, I sit down to paint. In the summer when it gets light early, I paint in the morning. Everyone sleeps and I can study painting quietly. Now when the children are in school and kindergarten, I have three hours, which I dedicate to painting.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Ideas do not give me sleep. Sometimes I start a new picture, although I have not finished my previous work. Because I want to transfer to the canvas of interesting falling shadows, or a new flower. Most important ideas come during the drawing process. Each line, every smear pulls new stories that you need to be able to see.

Pomegranate
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? 

I love the process and the result and so far there have been no burnout problems. There is a shortage of time, I always want to draw, I do not have enough time to get tired of drawing. I get tired physically because I put a lot of energy into my work. But if the topics and genres are exhausted, new ones come into their place.

I also teach at the university. Communication with students keeps me on my toes. To be aware of new trends pushes me to a constant search.

For You
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Now I'm learning to appreciate the present and strive to convey the beauty of the environment. I'm learning to find beauty in everyday life. I'm learning to draw quickly. I want to achieve negligence and not be a perfectionist.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

The opportunity to see the beautiful around myself, create here and now, to enjoy the process and result, makes me happy.

Thanks, Natali!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 19, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Claire Henning

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

From Claire's DPW Gallery:

I am Claire Henning and I love painting. I aspire to be a "daily painter", but sometimes life gets in the way of that goal. So I am an "almost-daily-painter" working in oils, mostly on small canvas. For several years, our family's circumstances have prevented me from painting for myself much, especially our youngest daughter's bout with childhood cancer. As part of her recovery, we became involved in art therapy. Art has transformed her life and mine. I am so grateful to be painting again now and excited to share my work with you.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My background and college degree is in Interior Design, so I've always been creative with color and fabrics.  I first started drawing and painting when I was homeschooling my three children. We started keeping nature journals, and I was hooked.  My youngest daughter and I painted together as part of her rehab after a brain tumor. I found that painting was healing for both of us.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Lots of them.  I was painting regularly and selling at art shows and online when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Then there were weddings and a big move to the country. I was painting sporadically at best. Now that the dust has settled this year I've begun painting again with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm.

Teal Cow
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began with watercolor and colored pencils, tried acrylics and landed on oils. I've begun teaching kid's art lessons so I also get to have fun with pastels, chalk, tempera and paper collage. I am drawn to still life, animals, florals and landscapes.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I was not a fan of working with acrylics, because there are inevitable interruptions and the dried paint and ruined brushes made me crazy.  I love oils. I love the creamy texture. They are more forgiving when I walk away from them and you can just wipe anything you are not pleased with!

White Cottage
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

After a recent trip to southern California, I came away with a plein air obsession. My husband is working on a plein air setup for me. I can't wait for the Alabama weather to finally cool off so I can take it out and see what I can do. Stay tuned.

Who or what inspires you most?

Light inspires me . How it catches objects around the house. How the morning or evening sun changes my garden. There is such beauty in every day life.

Umbrella Reflections
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Pinterest, Instagram and Spider Solitaire. I'm a full time caregiver to our disabled daughter, so sometimes when I'm physically tapped, I just can't get inspired to paint.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I have studio space (a spare bedroom) but recently it occurred to me I might have fewer interruptions if I was in the same room with my daughter. So for now I'm set up on the kitchen table and logging a lot more painting hours. She's even been inspired to draw more at the table with me.

Peaceful
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I do work from photos, so I'm always collecting ideas with my phone's camera. I love looking at other artist's work (yes, pinterest) to get different ideas for subjects, techniques and color palettes.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Working with my young art students really stretches me to think in different ways. I usually come away from class with a fun take from the kids that I can use to vitalize my personal art.

Mission Wall
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I've been immersed in plein air demos on youtube lately. There is a lot of great info on simplification of composition, color mixing, value and color temperature.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I feel such joy in the process of painting. I also find hope and healing as I use my creative gifts for God's glory.

Thanks, Claire!

© 2017 Sophie Marine