Thursday, August 3, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Andrea Jeris

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

From Andrea's DPW Gallery:

"If you ask the sun why it shines it would answer, 'because it is my nature to shine.'" I paint because it is my nature to paint.Nature takes my breath away. Sometimes it is overwhelming. I look at it until it looks back, then I find there is an image haunting me until I sketch it or paint it. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My dad signed up for the Famous Artist Painting Course (a mail correspondence art course with artists including Norman Rockwell) as a hobby. He lost interest in about three months and gave me all the supplies including a full set of oil paints. Woo Hoo! I was sixteen.

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

Entering college I wanted to go into art. My dad said I’d have to go into teaching or commercial art. I believed him and worked in graphic design for most of my life, painting only being a hobby. I didn’t paint at all the seven years I was married but I won’t go into that. Now retired from graphic design I am on my second career as a full-time painter and I love it.

Flowers in the Window
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I think I’ve tried every media except fiber and sculpture and wanted to do them all—HA! For a long time I was a landscape painter. In the past few years I have tried still life, floral, animals, and others, and have really enjoyed each. I’m delighted to discover I have new inspirations.

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

For years I went back and forth between oil and watercolor. Then I saw a demo on slow-drying acrylics and thought I could achieve both watercolor AND oil techniques in one medium. I painted in the “open" acrylics for three years. Then I took a workshop in oil and I remembered what I loved about oils. I have been painting in oils ever since.

Backyard
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I’m now dedicated to oil to hone my craft.

Who or what inspires you most?

All the great masters from the past, Rembrandt, da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, Sargent, Sorolla, Hopper, and others. And the artists who are making it now, Mary Whyte, Duane Keiser, Scott Christensen, Quang Ho, Carlos San Milan, Brian Rutenberg, Karen Jurick, and of course, Carol Marine.

Girl in the Garden
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

The Internet! It is such a time suck for me—looking at other people’s art.

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

Art before housework! Ha ha! I try to paint everyday. I used to think I needed a three hour block of time to be able to paint. Now if I have a half an hour I’ll take it. But usually I get in at least a half a day if not six or more hours.

Flower Farm
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

When I paint every day I start painting everything with my eyes constantly. The Chinese have what they call "The Ten Thousand Things."  "…among The Ten Thousand Things there is no ordinary thing." —The Zen of Seeing by Frederick Franck

From May through October I go out plein air painting once a week with friends. I take lots of photos as well, everywhere I go.  And I keep a list of ideas when the mood strikes.

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

I was painting very tight, almost photo-realistic. But felt that was too much about skill rather than expression. So I look to artists I admire, watch a video, tutorial, read art magazines, study techniques, and I keep trying to loosen up my work and we’ll see what happens. I’m still learning so much. Oh, and of course hit the museums and galleries.

Yellow Rose
(click to view)

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

It’s beneficial to experiment, and when I disengage from outcome I do my best work. That’s difficult because usually I have a picture in my head and if I can’t get it to come out on the canvas it’s frustrating. If I just say I’m going to try a technique to see what happens, and there is no expectation, any result is helpful to learning.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Oh, it takes me to another world, a very happy place.

Thanks, Andrea!


© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 27, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Valerie Lazareva

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

From Valerie's DPW Gallery:

My name is Valerie and I am a self-taught artist. A little about my work: All my work (with rare exception) are made from nature. I chose impressionism because it is «an explosion of emotion» and «feelings from the other side», respectively, in this direction, I develop my creativity. My works are made in my own original technique. It is a mixture of materials such as gouache, tempera and acrylic accents. I prefer all the tools -- used palette knife. As well known artists distinguish more shades of color, always in the process of contemplation. You may find it hard to believe, but all the colors that I use in the work I do see on a subject that I depict, but mostly pale shades. I deliberately exaggerating the color so that you will have been able to see what I see, I see what an incredible number of colors in world around us! Welcome to my world!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

It's hard for me to remember what became the catalyst or starting event for the beginning of drawing. The most interesting thing that did not foreshadow anything and did not lead me to painting, in spite
of the fact that I was always a creative person, loved to sew my clothes at school and wanted to become a designer, was I created hand made jewelry and for some time sold it quite successfully. But all these passions quickly ended, became obsolete and became not interesting. After graduation, choosing a university and a further profession, I first thought about painting, but I followed a different
path, which, I thought, was also quite creative and interesting.

However, faced with the realities of life, I once again realized that I was wrong. And in 2012, when I was twenty-five, I started drawing with a pencil and looking for lessons on the net, I participated in various online flashmobs, including "365 days of drawing", I tried different materials for the first year and understood what I like about painting palette knitting - in particular Impressionism. I admire the French Impressionists of the late 19th century, I am close to their ideas, aspirations in painting and impressions from the world around us. In this direction, I have been developing my work for the fifth year collecting knowledge and information of interest to me. Now I dream of going to Paris, visiting museums (in particular the Museum d'Orsay) and see in the living paintings of Monet, Renoir, Degas and other impressionists.

Red Poppies
(click to view)

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

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

I think that stops are a part of process and are present at any creativity. I consider myself the cheerful person, but we are only people and are powerless over bad events which sometimes happen in our life. I am emotional and I take everything very much to heart - probably therefore during the difficult periods I can't draw.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In due time, I tried almost all picturesque materials, such as pastel, acrylic, watercolor, but most of all I like gouache, love it for dullness and velvet. Recently, was fond of oil as it gives boundless opportunities for painting. I tried different genres, but always had thirst for the nature, landscapes and a plein air at heart.

Peaches
(click to view)

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

The "still life" for me is one of my favourite genres, and architecture doesn't especially inspires me as well as portraits (it is possible this will change).

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Now all my desires and a creative power are directed to studying of a landscape and  plein air painting. Summertime passes too quickly. The nature and space live their own life and constantly change, and what you can't draw today - tomorrow already looks a little differently, differing in both color scale and the made impression.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Therefore, procrastination is a missed opportunity, which can no longer be ever.

Black Cat and Blossoming Apple
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Already about three years, as I was with my family (my man and our little daughter), we moved from the big city to the Karpatian mountain country on other end of the Ukraine. I studied all this time and I admire the nature surrounding me, but only now I find forces to try to represent the beauty of the world surrounding me. All of this is very difficult. Man in his history has created many beautiful things, including cities, and a majestic and stunning architecture, but human creation can not be compared to what the Lord God created - His majestic mountains, incredibly beautiful breathtaking sky, the sea, nature in all its Diversity. To at least try to portray all this, we need moral strength and a lot of courage. :)

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

Most likely it's my family, my beloved man and our daughter who support me and take on my responsibilities at home when I immerse myself in the world of painting and creativity. I am very grateful to them for their moral support!

The Sky at Sunset
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

As Louis Armstrong sang, I paint what surrounds me - this is the basis of my work. I would like to show people that even in the most ordinary, simple subjects there is a zest and even in the simplest, ordinary life with its everyday life and everyday life there is magic. It is easy enough to sometimes look up at the sky.

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

This feeling of inner contentment... It comes by itself, regardless of the time and labor invested in the drawing. It happens that the picture or sketch painted under the influence of the mood of the moment makes more impression than the work on which is spent a lot of time.

Yellow Shoes
(click to view)

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

I am always in the learning process, whether it's simple contemplation of nature, reading of teaching literature or master classes. As an artist, I see a variety of colors and all kinds of shades in the world around me and with every new work I'm getting closer to being able to convey this all as inspirationally as possible.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I would say that happiness in art is a picture that turned out or a fee for work... And today I feel - it's not so important whether the picture looks idyllic, whether I am satisfied with the result of my work, whether I get money for it (although all this is also important) but the main thing is that I can see that all this there, all this Magic around! I think our mission on earth as artists, is to at least try to show it all to people. :)

Thanks, Valerie!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 20, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Emilia Leinonen

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

From Emilia's DPW Gallery:

I am a Finnish translator and an art enthusiast, born in 1972 and living in Finland. I have studied the theories and techniques of art-making on my own and on a few art courses.

In my work, I use mostly oil, water colour and dry pastel. The inspiration for my work comes from the nature and family life.

With my pictures, I wish to render the viewer a warm, pleasant feeling and a sensation of beauty. My aspiration is to capture the essence of the human nature and the timeless beauty of nature.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting in 2003 when our first child was a baby. I had been playing the cello so far but obviously had to give that up for the time being. I craved art in some form and found painting. Tired but happy, I painted in pastels while the baby was sleeping. As the kid grew and two more were born, I continued painting.

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

I’m more or less waiting for the ‘start’ all the time as I’ve always had too little time to paint. I’m a translator by profession, and over the years, my work load has tended to increase. The past year has been especially tough, but now the situation is much better and I look forward to painting again.

Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Mostly because of the lack of time, I experiment too little. Seeing a beautiful painting done with an interesting technique makes me want to give it a try. I’ve tried acrylics, watercolour, gouache, dry pastel, oil pastel, ink, different drawing media and water-soluble oils. As to the genres, I’ve tried abstract painting on some courses but it seems that is not for me. I’m attracted to depicting the beauty of the natural world pretty realistically.

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

Transparent watercolour, dry pastel and oils are my favourites. I attended several courses on Chinese brush painting and found that fascinating, like meditation, but had to give it up to make room for the kids’ hobbies in our family timetable. I’ve also given up painting with acrylics, as they dry too quickly to suit my pace.

Towards Spring
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I look forward to plain-air painting and landscapes, which probably have to wait until the kids have flown out of the nest. I’ve been working almost entirely on photographs so far.

Who or what inspires you most?

I love to paint what I know best: my family members and the flowers in our garden. It’s people’s personalities mirrored in their bearing and faces as well as the colours in nature that inspire me most. Sometimes I see an image that I feel instantly connected with and I know I have to paint it. ‘Face To Face’ is one of these paintings. DPW is a very important source of inspiration for me. If I need a quick surge of energy, I look at My Picks, and if I need to cheer up, I read the kind comments my wonderful fellow-artists have sent me.

Face to Face
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is lurking behind every corner for me: there is always a hoard of domestic chores waiting for my spare moment to blame me for being a bad house-keeper. I try to keep them at bay by repeating to myself that the house is there for me, not the other way around.

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

I’m working towards being a part-time translator as I was earlier. Then I just go to the ‘studio’ (our utility room) at a certain time in the morning. The same thing during the weekends: when the kids have had their lunch and start their 1-hour computer game session, I try to leave the dishes alone and go to paint. I’ve learned it’s no use trying to paint at other times. I can’t concentrate as I want to be available for my family.

Summer Flowers in a Jug
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Invariably, I see something beautiful that strikes me. I rush to take a photo. It may take years until I get to actually painting it, but if the photo is good, I can still see what I originally fell in love with.

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

I haven’t experienced burnout in art – rather, it helps me not to reach that state in work life. I greatly admire freshness in art and achieving that is always a struggle for me. The lack of time tends to tighten up my style, so the idea of ‘painting for the bin’ is impossible for me. When a painting inevitably fails, I immediately start a new one on the same subject and try to make use of the mistakes I made earlier.

With an Umbrella
(click to view)

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

I feel like I’m at the point of realizing what ‘do what comes to you naturally’ means in practice in art. I greatly admire loose, bold, seemingly quick and spontaneous paintings and I’ve thought that’s how I should paint, too. But when I pick up the brush, it just does not happen. So why go against it? I’m about to give myself the permission to paint pretty tightly, like in my latest work ‘Daisies And Marigolds’. It’s hugely important to follow your true nature and enjoy the process. If I can afford, I can always buy one of those magnificent, loose paintings someone else has created. Or at least admire it on-screen.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Painting is like meditation, it offers an escape from the usual train of thoughts and daily worries. Seeing jewel-like colours on the palette thrills me even before I put them on canvas. By creating something beautiful I feel like I’m taking part in the elevation of humanity and the strife towards making this world a better place. I’m happy with my work when it pleases my own eye or delights even a single viewer.

Thanks, Emilia!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Debbie Miller

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Debbie's painting, "Slice of Life" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

From my early passion for coloring books and pot-holder weaving, I was always interested in creativity.  I was a big “dabbler” – knitting, cross-stitch, art quilting, mosaics, visual journaling, hand-built pottery, block printing, mixed media – you name it, I’ve probably tried it or dreamed about trying it.  But I was gun-shy about painting.

Except for the elementary years, I never took a formal art class in school. I didn’t know how to draw, and I felt intimidated about proportion, perspective, shading and color mixing.  My husband, Brian, who is now my daily painting partner, was an art school graduate, so I Ieft the “serious art” to him. But I was in my mid-50s, feeling creatively stagnant, and wanting to invest in that part of my life more fully.  So, we started taking online painting and mixed media classes, and eventually discovered Donna Downey Studios in Huntersville, NC.  Donna -- a talented painter in her own right -- has a vibrant following of online art students, and she offers intensive workshops featuring artists from around the world.  These workshops were so life-giving and inspiring, that we committed to going several times a year to learn, get re-energized, and have fun with other creatives.

In March 2016, Donna hosted a workshop with Lisa Daria Kennedy (one of DPW’s daily painters).  Lisa taught us her style of painting abstract florals.  But more significantly, she talked about the value of daily painting, the beauty of making your creative mark in the world every day, and the benefits of generating a large body of work for helping develop your personal style.  Brian and I were hooked.  Even though my first paintings were woeful, I caught the vision.  We went home and started a ritual of waking up at 5am, painting before breakfast, and putting our art out there on DPW, Instagram, and FaceBook.  It is probably one of the best decisions we ever made.

We are now rapidly approaching our 500th consecutive day of completing a small painting, each day, no matter what, rain or shine.  Now, I consider myself a painter.  Who knew? It’s never too late! And, if you do something every day, you get better at it.  I’m a living testament to that fact.


Slice of Life
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In terms of mediums, I mainly paint in acrylic, but I hope to transition to oils after I get a little more practice.  I am also still a huge fan of mixed media.  I haven’t been doing it as much in the past year, but I love the look and feel of mixed media artwork, especially incorporating vintage papers and line work with graphite and crayons.

As far as genres go, my first love was impressionistic abstracted florals – and you know what they say, “you gotta dance with the one that brought you.”  So, I continue to paint florals as a staple, but I have also discovered a passion for painting vintage dresses, especially styles from the 1950s.  My dress paintings were motivated, in part, by a feeling of nostalgia for an era of civility and manners (in contrast to what I was encountering in the daily news cycle).  And they seem to stir feelings of longing and memory in the viewer, too.  I am having so much fun combing through archives of photographs from pattern makers, designers and fashion magazines.  And I love hearing stories from people about their their prom dresses, memories of watching their mother get dressed up, or what draws them to love mid-century images.  I feel like it’s given me a connection point with others, which is so meaningful to me.

Afloat
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I guess that I am most inspired by passion and story.  When I’m not at my easel, I work as a professional mental health counselor, journeying with adults who are dealing with relational challenges or recovering from emotional, physical or spiritual abuse.  As a soul-care provider, I am deeply moved by both the fragility and the resilience of the human heart; and I think that makes me particularly drawn to artists who reveal some of their own authentic stories in their work or their public persona.

I’m just blown away by the passion of artists out there who are parents, squeezing in a few strokes on a painting in between nap times and laundry. Artists who work at all kinds of other jobs to pay the bills and get health insurance, but still manage to make space in their worlds for their creative endeavors.  Late-bloomers, like myself, who grew weary of art-making and finally took the leap of faith into creative self-expression.  Artists who have honed their craft through dedication and practice and keep showing up to the lifelong dance of being and doing art, overcoming resistance again and again.  Activists who use their art and influence to take on issues and make a stand for their beliefs.  Brave souls who come to art as a pathway of healing.  Their stories, their energy…it makes me want to be brave and faithful and use my art for good in the world.

Who's There?
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I used to be the Queen of Procrastination -- especially when my perfectionism was in full gear.  The interior dialogue would go something like this: “I have to do this right (i.e., perfectly).  I’m not prepared enough to do it perfectly today, so maybe tomorrow I will have the energy to be perfect.”  But tomorrow would come, and “I still can’t tackle perfect, so it would probably be best to wait. I’ll be more inspired tomorrow.”  And that game could go on for quite some time, until a crisis or a deadline loomed.  Then I would just have to get it done, and I could tell myself “Of course it’s not perfect, not your best work, because you didn’t have time to do it perfectly.  Next time… next time you’ll just have to try harder.”

It was a horrible hamster wheel of fear, shame, and self-loathing.
But my daily painting routine has taken the pressure of perfectionism off my shoulders.  I paint every day, no matter what.  So, if I don’t love my painting today, it’s okay.  Because tomorrow will be another day, and I get a fresh start.  This daily-ness has really helped me wean off procrastination as a lifestyle.  In fact, I don’t even like to delay painting until the afternoon or evening, because the energy feels different.  So, I find myself waking up, wanting to paint, and willing to make the sacrifices needed to make that happen.  Let me tell you – this kind of resolve is new for me!  And it’s leaking into other areas of my life, too.  Go figure. And hallelujah!

Earl Gray Morning
(click to view)

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

It helps to be married to my art-making bestie, who is equally committed to daily painting.  But we’ve also done some practical things:
We converted our family room into our art studio.  So now the thing that it most important to us takes up the most real estate in our home.
We create art goals for ourselves every 6 months, so we know our targets and milestones we need to work toward.
We have an artistic alliance with a friend.  We usually paint together at least one day each weekend, we text each other nearly every day to share our work and participate in an informal critique, and we hold each other accountable for staying on track with our goals.
This might seem like a minor thing, but it’s really been helpful to me: I use a stay-wet palette with a limited number of paint colors.  So, my paints are laid out and ready to go when I am.

All of these things help create mental and physical “space” for our art-making.

Love Grows
(click to view)

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

I think my art stays fresh because I am a life-long learner who also loves to teach.  For two years, we led a monthly art group for twelve people who wanted to be more creative and practice art in community.  We continue to do that on a smaller scale, and it’s always energizing to teach a technique or share a project idea with others and see what happens.  The act of teaching solidifies and opens us up simultaneously.

And every good teacher is a learner.  So, we continue to invest in our own artistic education by taking classes, trying new things, and spending time looking at art.  Instagram is a great, accessible, daily opportunity to feast on artwork.  But we also enjoy larger-scale art adventures.  For example, in August of this year, we will be taking a 4-day coastal landscape painting class in Cornwall, UK.  I have never done plein air painting, and I’ve never been happy with the landscapes I’ve attempted.  So this course will be an adventure.  The trip will also include sketching in the Portrait Gallery in London, a visit to the Tate in St. Ives, a day spent exploring the Royal Academy of Art’s annual summer exhibition, and a day at the British National Gallery’s modern wing.  I will also be studying about icons in Oxford University’s Summer Theology Programme.  It should be a rich and inspiring time.

I Will be Ready at Eight
(click to view)

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

Right now, I think I am learning the most about form and figure.  Through painting vintage dresses, I have had to develop a sense of how the fabric is affected by the body underneath.  In the past, I’ve avoided doing full-on figurative work because I’m very aware of all that I don’t know about anatomy.  But the figures have kind of sneaked up on me, because I want to capture a certain attitude, turn of the shoulder, posture that communicates something about the girl wearing the dress, even though I don’t typically paint their faces.

What makes you happiest about your art?

That I’m doing it! Seriously. It still makes me so happy that this is my life.  I get to wake up each day and paint.  I get to luxuriate in color and beauty.  There are people who have responded so favorably to my work and buy pieces from time to time.  How amazing is all of that?  And I get to do this with my amazing husband and a community of friends who inspire and delight me.  I wouldn’t trade this season of my life for anything.  I am very sensible of the reality that I am a blessed woman.  And I hope that I pass blessing along to others, as well.  There’s happy for you, right there.

Thanks, Debbie!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, July 6, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Kathy Broyles

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Kathy's painting, "Cherry Tomatoes" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.


My background is in Graphic Design. About twelve years ago, I began to take some classes at the local Art Center. I explored acrylics, basic drawing, Chinese brush painting, figure drawing – whatever was being offered that interested me and would work with my schedule. I was raising five children, so there was not a lot of time to spare. As the years passed and the kids grew, I recognized that oil painting was the passion I wanted to pursue, but I was reluctant to voice my ambition for fear of failing. I asked artist friends to tell me about their journeys and watched as they persevered in practicing their craft. I knew I had to ignore the fear and jump in - I am happy that I did.

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

In the summer of 2009, I decided I wanted to paint full-time, so I quit my job (thank you, supportive husband!) I spent a productive year working in my home studio and in various workshops and classes. I still look back at the body of work from that time and think, “Wow!” After a year, I was called back to work and my studio time was cut. In the fall of 2013, work became full-time and time for painting dwindled to nil. Happily, I retired this past spring and am painting once more (thank you, husband, once again!)

Cherry Tomatoes
(click to view)

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

What have been some of the highlights of your career as an artist?

When I was working part-time, a ceramist friend and I began selling our work at the newly opened community Farmer’s Market. We enjoyed getting to know the farmers and the regulars, and marketing our artwork to a diverse audience – and we sold a lot, too! We quit when my job became full-time. I still miss the fun of it (but not the early morning set-up).

Another highlight was spending a perfect week in Provence painting under the tutelage of Atlanta artist Nancy Franke. What a wonderful experience it was to paint with an amazing artist in such a beautiful place. Local workshops with Lisa Daria Kennedy, Scott Conary and Lorraine Christie have been invaluable as well. I think the workshop experience is so beneficial. I feel concentrated time with the instructor and fellow artists ensures real growth for me.

Ranunculus
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I’ve worked in oil, acrylic and watercolor - and oil is what snagged me. I think it is the history of the medium in addition to the luscious feel and workability that keep me enthralled. The paintings I admire most are oils, so I want that connection with them.

I have explored many genres and find there is so much to learn from all practice. Painting a still life or floral each day, working at training the eye to really “see” is always helpful, so I come back to those. I do love landscapes, architecture, animals and don’t exclude any genre. I anticipate moving into more abstract work going forward.

Kiwis
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

“Place” is what I am excited about right now. A sense of place; a safe place; a place of my own; right place; wrong place; a place in time; out of place; in place – not really a genre, but an idea. I am moving into a studio space for the first time in late summer. It’s a new “place” for me, and I am looking forward to exploring that idea, literally and figuratively. I am really excited about the work ahead.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am motivated by the challenge. The challenge to express an idea, an image, a shadow on the board or canvas with the paint. The challenge to master a new subject, technique or perspective. Painting can be terribly frustrating, and yet so fulfilling. A painting can have a fantastic beginning that is so, so exciting, and next thing you know it’s a disaster. But I keep at it, and “trust the process” and work my way to the finish. The result may not always be a successful painting, but the reward is what I have learned during the process.

Eggshell
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Working in my home, it looks like going out into my vegetable garden in my back yard - pulling a few weeds, picking a few green beans, looking for the friendly water snake. I don’t see it as a negative, but as a time to refuel, to appreciate the beauty of creation. I imagine I will work longer stretches in the studio space, in the company of other artists, but I will still take the opportunity to step outside now and then.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Sometimes I must fish for them, look around me and see what is there - or I will look through photos for inspiration. Other times, often while day or night dreaming, I will imagine a finished work. I’ll spend time figuring out how I will create it in my head. I can get so excited about executing it with that vision in place. I believe that some of my best work has been a result of this process.

Yellow Flowers
(click to view)

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

I am (re)learning the art of being a painter - I am learning what that looks like in this day, at this point in my life.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I know that my work has brought joy to another, that makes me happiest. Whether someone purchases a painting or comments on it favorably, I know that it has touched them. I can remember as a child when someone would admire something I had created, I would feel a tingling up my spine and a perfect peace inside that I did not want to end. I want to recapture that blissful feeling of connecting with another person through my work. This, and the thrill of meeting the challenges each work presents, are what make painting so compelling and joyful for me.

Thanks, Kathy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 29, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jennifer Boswell

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Jennifer's painting, "Last Summer" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Jennifer's DPW Gallery:

I am a contemporary impressionist oil painter and I practice painting nearly every day from direct observation, sketches, memory and imagination in Santa Barbara, California. I paint a wide range of subjects (abstracts, architecture or urban landscapes, cloudscapes, landscapes, seascapes and still lifes) because it keeps me interested and motivated. I want to creatively express the beauty around me and bring the sense of peace I experience while painting to everyone that sees the finished work. The practice of painting is truly therapeutic for me as I believe art is for the world. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My first memory of painting was in kindergarten when I was standing at a table finger-painting. It was like the world fell away and I felt a sense of peace and knew painting was something I had to do.

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

Yes! After kindergarten, I had a gap until fourth grade and then I sketched and painted often until college where I obtained an Associate of Arts degree in Fine Art. At first, my plan was to get a B.A. in Art but I decided to switch to a nursing program and I obtained an R.N. Degree. Then, I married and had three children (not all at once!) which kept me very (happily) busy, but for the past twenty years, I've painted steadily and wholeheartedly in oils.

Last Summer
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oils, watercolors, acrylics and pastels. I experiment with abstract painting and figurative work (both are challenging for me).

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

I paint exclusively in oils at this time. My favorite things to paint are still lifes, urban landscapes, cloudscapes, landscapes, seascapes and animals (especially cows and dogs).

PB and J with Raspberry Jam
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really admire the abstract expressionists and want to work more in that area.

Who or what inspires you most?

The works of Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Edward Hopper and De Kooning and many more. Also, many current artists (many are on DPW!)

White Roses in Glass
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

If I'm doing laundry or organizing a closet or drawer, I'm probably procrastinating (my closets and drawers are quite messy!)

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

First, I write in a journal (the morning pages from "The Artist's Way") my goals and what I want or need to paint. I'll bring a post it note into the studio and work on those paintings unless I "feel" like painting a certain subject that often just "pops" into my mind!

Red Barn in Pennsylvania
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I sketch and take pictures when I'm plein air painting and develop more landscape paintings in the studio. When I'm driving around, I'll notice the light and shadow on a house and I'll come back another day to take pictures, sketch or paint it. I enjoy the DPW Challenge and entering contests which sometimes have a specific theme which makes me paint something I normally wouldn't.

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

I really like to start a painting and try to finish it quickly and then move on to something else. I think painting a variety of subjects and experimenting with abstracts helps somewhat.

Porch Window
(click to view)

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

To trust my intuition and when I feel the urge to paint something to act on it even if there are paintings on my "to do" list!

What makes you happiest about your art?

I have the opportunity to do what I love to do. That I can express myself through painting and the peace and serenity I feel as I paint might come through to the viewer.

Thanks, Jennifer!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 22, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rhett Regina Owings

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Rhett's painting, "Nasturtiums" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Rhett's DPW Gallery:

Capturing the color and scenery around me is important to me. I love color and enjoy watching the colors mix on my palette and painting. I have painted in orchards, golf courses, wildlife land, gardens & parks, Gold Rush towns, Yosemite, along the coast and on farms in the Central Valley and in Salinas. My colors have accompanied me to Alaska, Yellowstone, Utah, Mexico, Canada and Europe. What a wonderful life I have led. Art is my life and I am happy to share it with you. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My 2nd grade teacher gave us some finger paints to play with. I loved getting my hands and even my arms into that paint to play! I guess I must have made an impression, because the 3rd grade teacher in the next classroom saw my paintings and invited me to come to her class and show her students how to do it! That was my earliest memory of painting… and teaching art!

Later in High School, I took Art every year and was the President of the Art Club. I won the Bank of America Award for Art and that was very encouraging. I majored in Art in college, earning a teaching credential. Teaching Art at the junior high school level for thirty-two years consumed my life after that. Teaching rarely gave me time to create much art for my own pleasure and it wasn't until I retired in 1999 that I really dove into painting full time. I took a series of art workshops and lessons from well known artists and have been enjoying painting seriously ever since.

Nasturtiums
(click to view)

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

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

The biggest stop in my art career was the passing of my parents. They were collectors of antiques and amassed eighty-seven years worth of stuff. I have been spending eight years trying to find homes for all the things they collected. I am still dealing with it!

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have been working in pastels since high school, but experimented with acrylics, watercolors and oils.  The last eighteen years or so, oils have been my main medium as I enjoy painting "en plain air" on location.  It is difficult to bring pastels on location, but I have done it. I worked in water colors for awhile, but truly oils are my favorite medium. Water based oils have really captured my attention now as they are so much safer and I love them.

I have also been experimenting with just pen and ink adding white conté crayons or ink making small ACEO paintings & drawings. The new acrylic inks are fascinating too. And I have invested in the new Pan Pastels which are so interesting.

Early Morning Walk
(click to view)

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

Water based oils are my first choice of media for sure, but I am enjoying re-discovering pastels again after setting them aside for awhile. I find watercolor to be very challenging and I admire other artists who are able to create such beautiful pieces using this media. I do play with it now and then and it is nice to bring on vacation and I also work with them in my car when the weather is bad.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I really want to explore acrylics using mixed media techniques. It is fun to play with stencils, sponges, stamps and just plain colors. I just need time to play.

I also want to explore using my new Pan Pastels. I have taken some of my old pastel paintings and even old watercolor paintings and added the Pan Pastels on top. They are amazing for adding another dimension.

Sleeping Kitty
(click to view)

Are there any subjects you find challenging?

Roses! I love roses, but I find them so difficult to capture their delicate petals and beauty. I admire Daniel Keys and his amazing flower paintings.

Who or what inspires you most?

Painting landscapes on location is really the best way to see color and I try to do it whenever I can. It is a challenge to figure out how to pick and choose what to add and leave out of a scene and make a good composition. I have invested in all the plein air equipment and am pretty much ready to run to a location to paint with my friends or by myself. The beautiful California coast, our central California farmland, the magnificent Sierra Mountains… they all give me the itch to paint. It is wonderful to be outdoors, feel the breeze, hear the birds sing and watch the waves crash on the beach. I look for color, strong shadow patterns, diagonal lines, ways to lead the viewer into the painting and a way to tell a story with my art.

When the weather does not cooperate or I can not leave the house, I love being in my studio. I set up still lifes, pick flowers, look for fun stuff to paint as well as search through my thousands of photos for inspiration. Carol Marine's book: Daily Painting has been a game changer for me. I love painting small and often.

I just finished reading Lust for Life about Vincent van Gogh. What an inspiring artist he was! He had many problems, but he was truly an amazing artist. His passion for painting makes me want to continue struggling with my own painting. I also admire the work of Monet, many contemporary artists and other DPW artists.

Spring Color in Pacific Grove
(click to view)

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

I try to get my housework and other chores done first so I can spend time in my studio. It is amazing how life gets in the way when I want to paint.

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

I love going to art museums and art galleries. There is nothing like seeing art in person. I also enjoy taking workshops from other artists, watching videos and checking Pinterest for ideas. Being with other artists and painting together helps keeping me going and there is nothing like selling a piece to inspire me to keep trying.

English Lavender
(click to view)

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

I have been enjoying working in a series. I find painting the same subject over and over in various ways and angles improves my skills and inspires creativity. I have not painted many figures in my work so I am practicing ways to add them as well as birds to my paintings. I am also working on making my brushwork more loose and light. I also am trying find ways to add more atmosphere to my landscapes. I love the DVDs of New Zealand artist Richard Robinson. He is such a good teacher and I have learned so much from him.

What makes you happiest about your art?

There is nothing that gives me that happy dance feeling more than selling a painting! It is like getting a blue ribbon! It says someone out there likes my work enough to pay money for it! It says all my hard work has paid off and someone out there is now enjoying my work and I can move on to new and greater things!

When I am painting, I am in another world and all the cares of the world float away. I am in a world where I am solving problems and making decisions. What color does that need? How do I make this or that work? Does your eye go into the painting and move around?  Does it speak to someone or bring them fond memories? What is the best way to frame it? And after spending twenty-plus years practicing, does this painting work? What can I do to make it better? I love taking old paintings and re-working them. My style and skill has improved so much and it is fun to see the old painting bloom! I wonder what a painting I do today will look to me in another ten years of practice and how would I improve it then? I am always learning.

Thanks, Rhett!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, June 15, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Cathy Boyd

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Cathy's painting, "The Point in Summer" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.


Tell us a bit how you first started painting.

My first career out of school was teaching in the elementary school system.  The first few years, I taught French, but I longed to have a position with a regular classroom, teaching all subjects.  So, when the opportunity arose for that, I was pleased, but it also meant I would be teaching art on a rotary basis to the senior students.  Not knowing anything about art, the school board enrolled me in a summer session at an art college in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  I was introduced to a broad selection of art subjects, from life drawing to painting to sculpture.  I loved it and that was the impetus for many years of art making to date.

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

I never looked back once I began painting.  I've painted every spare moment I could find, juggling a full time career as a teacher and then a real estate agent, a chronically ill husband and all the while keeping a household in semi-order.  At night, I thought, I'll just paint for an hour, and without knowing, hours would have passed.  Sleeping was difficult as I continued to resolve my painting whilst trying to get a few hours of sleep.  So, with each passing year, and steadily increasing the amount of time spent on my art, I was able to always maintain a generous amount of paintings in my inventory.  I am a very quick painter, and one would say I'm “prolific”.  I believe painting quickly keeps your paintings fresh and loose.  I teach a class periodically called “Fast and Furious, 27 minute paintings”. Using a stopwatch, the students are asked to complete a fully developed painting in 27 minutes.  This is a great exercise to teach them to be more painterly, more loose in their execution.  I do this myself, and can create a nice size body of work in a relatively short time, so my inventory is never a problem.

The Point in Summer
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I originally started out as a pastellist, and used that medium for five or six years.  I took some weekend art workshops from a local artist and loved the immediacy of the pastels, the rich colours, and the versatility of them.  I found I could create soft, sensitive paintings with them and yet also create more saturated, dynamic paintings with them as well.  The only drawback was that it wasn't very easy to create pieces that were very large.  Anything larger than a full sheet was impractical.  The glass and matting was expensive.  These paintings were often going into large expensive cottages, with walls of big windows and the glare on them would often mean the client couldn't see the painting well in the sunlit room.

Bee Balm for Betty
(click to view)

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

When I made the decision to switch to oils, my painting style changed and I began to get a different set of comments from my clients.  My pastel paintings had evoked comments like, “your paintings make me feel so calm, so peaceful”.  The comments I got from from my oil paintings were, “I love your use of colour.”  To this day, that seems to be the most repeated comment.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

At this point in time, I don't foresee changing my medium.  Oil provides me with everything I need.  I have tried painting on different supports however.  Occasionally, I will paint on birch panels, or Terra-skin, and I would like to try painting on aluminum.

Undiscovered
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Nature inspires me most.  Even if I wasn't a painter, I know that nature is my inspiration for painting.  When I watch a movie, for example, I am blown away by the background images I see.  A documentary of another country, or spectacular scenery of my own country makes me want to memorize that moment of beauty so that I can paint it, or something quite like it.  Of course, the lighting is all important, so that has a great bearing on what excites me.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination occurs in every facet of my life.  I love starting a new painting, and so it is common for me to have ten or more paintings that are “works in progress”.  Some have been put away for a year or two, some are lined up and will be completed in the near future.  I love the blank white canvas, as it holds for me the opportunity that “this might be the most amazing painting I have ever done!”  In my daily life, my love of producing lots of paintings and spending eight hours a day on it, means that some daily chores get neglected.  Paperwork and errands sometimes get left undone, and only the most critical things get accomplished.  As a single woman, an empty nester, I can get away with that.

Dark Shoreline
(click to view)

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

I spend at least two hours each morning on social media and administrative tasks, then off I go to my gallery/studio to begin my day of greeting customers, and painting.  My gallery is one large, bright room filled with my own paintings and the back area of it is where I paint.  Customers enjoy seeing me paint, and I don't mind them watching.  Most weekdays I have one or two students in my studio and I paint while they do, so I can produce while they are there.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

What I choose to paint is very much a product of what I see daily as I am going about my day.  So, most often, I am taking photos of local scenes.  Lakes, rocks, rural locations.  Occasionally, I'll stop to get photos of sunlit houses or little ramshackle buildings.  My travels abroad have been a source of subject material.  Looking back at all my paintings I've done, I am actually reminiscing about my life… it's as if I were flipping the pages of an old cherished photo album.

Splashin Around
(click to view)

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

Once a year, I set myself a challenge to do a painting a day.  I have just completed that in May of this year.  If you check out my website - cathyboydfineart.com - you will see that collection of paintings.  They are all small, usually 8 X 8 inches.  This challenge helps me to remember to paint intuitively and allows me to try out new subject material without investing a lot of time in any one new subject.

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

I'm learning that I am incredibly fortunate to be able to practice and improve my craft every day.  At this point in my life, I am able to dedicate as much time to it as I feel inclined.  That is precious.
I'm learning to take risks with my art, to be fearless with colour and technique.  I hope to paint some more large abstracts soon.  They are my way of “taking a break” from commissions and also from the more commercial, representational paintings that are typical of my body of work.

Northern Gold
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm happy that my art brings a measure of joy and tranquility to my collectors.  I do not paint specifically for them, but because I am in tune with what resonates with them, I enjoy anticipating their reaction to the pieces I choose to paint.  My art brings me immense satisfaction as it is a by-product of what I am feeling and experiencing in my daily comings and goings.  I don't lead an extraordinary life, but I see things daily that are extraordinary.  So, with that in mind, I like to put those seemingly insignificant things down on canvas for you that serve as reminders that we are lucky to be so fortunate to have this beauty all around us.

Thanks, Cathy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine