Thursday, February 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ester Wilson

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

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

From Ester's DPW Gallery:

I've been drawing for as long as I remember. Growing up on America's West Coast gave me a great appreciation of Nature, and I hope to convey that love through my work. I strive to achieve the best quality in everything I do.

My work focuses on contemporary realism with everyday objects and plant life. I received a baccalaureate degree at the Atlanta College of Art which helped strengthen my craft in drawing and painting. Now I follow my passion to learn more about classical art, interweaving the facts of today's world with the artistic methods passed down through ages, rendering the visual language as accurately as my creative ideas allow. I try to record that intangible connection between myself and the object - a difficult thing to describe, but something surely felt. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first picked up a paintbrush at the Atlanta College of Art where I took an oil painting class. Most of my life before college I was drawing, so pushing around goo with a brush felt alien. But after graduation, a painter friend showed me different ways to handle a brush, various paint viscosities, and how to get my image down in gooey paint. That's when I really started to love it.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

My sketchbooks are packed full of mediums and subjects, like gouache, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, pencil, all creating images of people, places and things. With oils I've played around with florals, still life, portraits, animals, landscapes and master copies.

Tulip and Cup
(click to view)

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

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

I love painting with oils on hard surfaces the most, and I appreciate the way a still life will not move while I'm trying to paint it. I think landscapes are my biggest challenge, which I do plan to practice at a point in the future.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I'm interested in making large oil paintings, preferably focusing on light wrapping around form, composition and brilliancy in color.

Market Flowers
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many painters now and ancient who are inspiring, I don't know where to start. I do enjoy looking through the ARC website of 'master' painters (www.artrenewal.org), just as much as I enjoy finding new work posted on Pinterest. My favorite work usually always incorporates strong drawing skills.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't like to procrastinate, so I avoid it at all costs.

Chipmunk
(click to view)

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

Making paintings is my job (which I love), so I'm in my studio at least 40 hours per week. It's not a technique, but I've made a promise to myself to keep creating in order to get better at this craft, and I have faith my artistic goals will be met, even if by sheer persistence.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

All kinds of things present themselves as subjects. Sometimes a splash of sunlight glinting off glass is enough to make a painting. Other times, the gorgeous colors of fruit at the grocery store make me want to get home in a hurry to start painting. Inspiration is everywhere, and I need to always be curious/open-minded enough to find intrigue in anything. For me, this is all about frame of mind, accepting life as beautiful and interesting.

French Bath
(click to view)

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

When my work is stumbling, I need to take a break. Usually hiking or getting extra exercise helps tremendously. Doing things that are active and not art related helps me zoom back out to a larger view of life. It doesn't take long before I'm back in the studio and excited to be there. If a block is persisting longer than a weekend it also helps to just push through those blocks, regardless of how I feel. Making a few bad paintings is not a big deal, plus the next one that's better feels great to make.

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

With every painting, I learn more about myself. I try to convey my excitement in the things I see and feel. Those attempts show me what I subconsciously find valuable in the visual language, and overall this is leading me to understand my visual voice. For example, edge control is increasingly important to me lately. I try to create a sense of real atmosphere in my still life work, where certain objects melt into others and focal areas stand out sharp. I find my paintings mimic my internal feelings like a mirror, so it's critical that I keep my outlook positive, curious and receptive.

Cabbage and Wood
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm very happy to have the opportunity to create paintings and drawings. Simply the the opportunity in life to see, feel, improve, focus, grow... all of these things, and so much more, is bundled in the act of creating. Art makes me smile.

Thanks, Ester!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 9, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ken Devine

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

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

From Ken's DPW Gallery:

I was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1952, educated in Reigate, Surrey, moved around the country and eventually settled to plan, with my wife Bev, to open a gallery and framing workshop in rural Nottinghamshire.

Although becoming one of the first in the UK to qualify as a Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer, my heart was in painting and, after thirteen years of framing and selling other artists work, we sold our business to concentrate on my own work.
After exhibiting and demonstrating for many years at Patchings Art Centre, I became a resident artist there in 2001/2, where I had my own studio, taught a few classes and generally enjoyed being involved with the place.

Giving demonstrations and workshops to art groups and societies was also a feature at this time. The aptly named Genesis Fine Arts was the first company to distribute my paintings nationwide. Solomon & Whitehead then published my work and used their extensive national gallery network to sell my originals.

I sell direct to the public these days. It's a lot easier!

My studio is in Brittany, France, where I live with my wife, Bev. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Like everyone else, it was in my youth way before responsibility robbed me of my time. The days were long and had to be filled with something. Art was one of those things, but I can't recall when or how it began. When I was ten, I sat before some school governors who were trying to determine if I was suitable to be admitted into their pretty exclusive boarding school in the south of England. They pulled out a painting of a ship that I had painted and forgotten about, and concluded I had sufficient talent. I was in! I soon became the darling of Miss Sinclair (my art teacher), who allowed me the exclusive use of oils, which was a great privilege. Everyone else had to use poster paint.

In truth, I only liked art at school because it was easier than maths. During one half term in the sixties, I was sitting at a table in the Coys house (a family I was staying with) and decided I wanted to paint something. They encouraged me, and so I began and, as I did so, was stung by a bee. A painful start to my first conscious desire to paint. In the late sixties, as I was about to leave school, I came across two old codgers sitting outside at their easels overlooking one of the lakes in the school grounds. It struck me that I would one day do the very same thing. Nothing was more certain. I never thought it would take so long, though.

Vision
(click to view)

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

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

Yes! All the time! Even now!! With fourteen grandkids, need to communicate often and a desire to travel and experience life in full, painting isn't always possible... but it is an important part of my life. I guess when I'm too old to travel (coming up quickly), I'll have more painting time. One thing is for sure... if my sight stays with me, I'll be painting to my last day if I'm able.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I tried and loved watercolours but found them too unforgiving. Pastels seemed too messy for my liking. Acrylics at the time dried a different colour and weren't as vibrant and colour-fast as they are today. Oils afforded me the opportunity to scrape away mistakes or paint over, which was just up my street.


Surface Value
(click to view)

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

Oils for sure! If they are good enough for Monet, Munnings or Miro, they're good enough for me.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Has to be acrylics! Now that the quality is comparable to oils, I fancy a crack at them. I'm hoping they will allow me to really splash it around and produce some sensational intuitive paintings in an impressionist, abstract style, without time wasted for drying.

Who or what inspires you most?

I was originally drawn to the vibrant colour of Van Gogh; the technique and mood of Munnings and the subtle colour of Seago, but in truth there are too many to count and for many years I've gained inspiration by visiting galleries to see the modern masters... there are some fantastic artists out there who are still breathing, many of whom are not celebrated.

Keith & Suzi's Little Rat
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks pretty good at the time as there is always something you would prefer to do and is perhaps more pressing. When I feel good, I think I can paint forever, but when I don't, I won't. The two hardest things for me are picking up a paintbrush and, when I do, putting it down again. I do, however, have a saying that helps me enormously... and I catch myself regularly quoting it out loud to myself... Do it! Do it right! Do it right now!

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

I have a dedicated painting area. It's essential to have my own space where everything is ready and waiting for me. Half the battle is won if you don't have to waste time preparing things. The only thing that stops me painting is me, and I think perhaps that's down to the fear of failure. It's a mental thing that every artist has to face and ultimately conquer as part of their progression. I know that once I start, I'm okay, so I ensure that all I have to do is pick up that brush.

Final Stage
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I always carry a camera and use it to amass resource material. As I flick through the photos I choose something to paint based on how I feel at the time. I can't paint anything that I'm not in the mood for. So, in short, I don't think at all... I just look and make an instant decision. Then I squeeze the paint out and immediately get on with it.

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

Rotation of subject matter works for me. I generally lose motivation when I stick with one subject for longer than a week. This month (January) was quite a challenge to stay motivated as all the paintings were seascapes. I also force myself to move outside of my comfort zone from time to time, which helps. When you consider that after all the resource has been gathered and categorised and raw materials bought, and when all the paintings have been photographed, uploaded, sold, varnished, wrapped and dispatched, painting time is relatively short so I consider it as rest-time.. I'm ready for it. It's a time to sit down, relax and enjoy myself. Let's face it, if we aren't enjoying the experience, we won't be painting for much longer, will we?

Siesta St Ives
(click to view)

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

The need to keep things simple, perhaps... that atmosphere or mood is more important than detail and that it’s important, for me at least, to concentrate on colour, texture and intuitive touches. I’m learning to stand back and observe a lot more before applying paint, and when I do, apply it with confidence. Having said that, I have to say that this process isn’t instant... I’m a perpetual student.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When others show appreciation and say complimentary things about it... or better still, invest in it. I’m fortunate enough to have sold more of my art that Van Gogh ever did as a living artist and, as such, am a lot happier than he ever was. A quirky little fact that makes me smile.

Thanks, Ken!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, February 2, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Charlene Marsh

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

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

From Charlene's DPW Gallery:

My name is Charlene Marsh and I am an oil painter creating artworks that make the heart sing and the soul soar! I love to backpack the painting supplies deep into the forest and other wild places to paint on location in all four seasons. You cannot drive to the places where I paint. I create artwork that raises the chi of our living spaces and brings joy into our lives. The artwork I create connects us with beautiful, wild, and not-so-wild spaces in nature and helps us reconnect with our inner soul. Nature - and the paintings - help us to think, meditate, pray, and dream. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My sister got a paint-by-number kit when we were kids and I started painting with the leftover paint.  I used the cardboard from my dad’s shirts that came from the laundry owned by my grandfather to paint on.  We used to make board games and would carve little race cars from plaster cast in clay molds and then paint them with paint from the local hobby shop.  I also wrote stories about giants and fairies and would illustrate them.  So I have been painting and creating since I was a kid.

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

My first degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, was in English and my second degree was in Fine Art.  I have worked as a full time, professional artist ever since graduating.  I love making art, writing, and reading so I have crafted a career where I can incorporate all my interests.

Autumn Reflection
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

For twenty-five years, I worked full time creating hand dyed wool, tufted onto cotton, tapestries while painting part time.  The tapestries were figurative and/or narrative and/or metaphysical themes incorporating sacred geometric, with shifting perspectives and transparencies.  The tapestries were very labor intensive and could take months to complete one.  After completing one, I would take a break and work on painting which was the total opposite of working in fiber.  Painting was fast, fluid, messy, and instant gratification.

At the same time, I attended a Life Drawing Co-op every Wednesday night for ten years and hosted my own Life Drawing Co-ops working with figure models under natural light out here on my farm.  I could paint a full figure in an hour with bold, loose brush strokes.  But I really did not try to exhibit, market, or sell my paintings at that time.   I primarily did still life and figure paintings until around 2003 when I started painting the forest that surrounds my farm.  In 2005, I developed a repetitive motion problem with my wrists and had to give up the fiber work.  I went full time into painting and was very surprised to find success right away.  Luckily, my skills were at a level I was able to shift seamlessly.


Magic Lilies and Hollyhocks
(click to view)

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

When I attended Indiana University, I took all kinds of classes working in all kinds of mediums and techniques including clay, metal, printed and dyed fiber, constructed fiber, graphic design, sculpture, drawing, painting and even clothing construction techniques in the, then, “home economics” department.  I kept taking studio classes until I felt I had found my “voice” after learning the fiber tufting techniques and taking several oil painting classes which both clicked with me.  I even got an A+ from the professor in my first painting class which caught me by total surprise.  I ended up working full time in fiber for twenty five years and then oil painting full time since 2005.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am pretty happy painting with oils.  There is always something new to learn.  Light, color, values, and subject matter provide endless material for exploration.

Fall Colors Along the Creek
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by nature and the power of God.  The paintings feel like shadows compared to the power of God but if I can even capture a flicker of that power, I am happy.  I am merely the vessel, the conduit, to manifest the spirit of God in our world.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Reading.  I love to read about anything and everything.  Ficton, non-fiction, art, marketing, politics, health and nutrition, mysteries, romance, suspense and intrigue, inspiration/motivation, history, archeology,  classics, biographies, metaphysics, science, gardening.  I could go on and on.  I once did a piece for the local library called “Portal to the World” because I think books are the doorway to knowledge and deeper understanding.


Coneflowers and Poppies
(click to view)

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

Setting up an events and show schedule always motivates me to create new work for the upcoming events which can include online events, juried art fairs, gallery shows, open houses, demonstrations, etc.  I also maintain an active blog and an e-newsletter so I feel accountable to my collectors and followers to keep producing new work.  Creating art is a lifetime habit.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The paintings evolve over time.  I will paint in a particular genre for awhile and then try something else that may be related but goes a step in another direction.  For example, last year I got an “Arts in the Park” project grant to create four plein air paintings in the local state park.  The original idea was to paint in the forest but when I saw the Olympic sized pool packed with swimmers on Memorial Day, I wanted to paint that.  I ended up doing a whole series of pool paintings.  For 2017, I have received another “Arts in the Park” project grant to paint the beaches at two different state properties to continue the theme of painting swimmers in action.  Until 2016, I had not done any figure painting in quite some time so it is fun to go back to that and refresh those skills but in a new way.

Deep Snow on a Sunny Day
(click to view)

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

I have a totally different medium on the side I work in that I don’t show or offer for sale.  Right now, I make glass sculptures for my gardens that are just for fun.  They are totally different from making paintings.

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

Right now, I am working on taking plein air pieces and reworking them as larger paintings.  I may use two to ten plein air paintings as inspiration for a larger piece, taking the best elements from each one to create a truly spectacular, larger painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When a painting captures a feeling that makes the heart sing, I feel the most satisfied.

Thanks, Charlene!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Ling Strube

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

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

From Ling's DPW Gallery:

Ling Strube is a distinctive and a passionate artist who was born and raised in China. At a very young age, she had expressed her ardent love for art especially in painting. After finishing high school, she decided to enter into an art school to formally train for three years. In the year 1990, she migrated to Australia and started working as a street portrait artist as her first job. Her effectiveness fostered after getting employed as an illustrator artist in few of the reputable companies in Australia. In 1996, she attended Eastern College of TAFE in Melbourne, Australia and took up Computer-aided Art and Design for two years which broadened her knowledge in the field of art. She then later worked as a Graphic Designer in Trellian Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne. By the year 2000 she migrated to Germany for good. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I was still a young girl, by chance I saw a lady artist who lived in our neighborhood drawing a beautiful portrait. This aroused my great interest. After I finished high school, I took some workshops and learned some basic painting and drawing skills. Later, I studied graphic design as my profession in art school but it has always been my dream to become a painter.

Persimmons and a Knife
(click to view)

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

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

Yes, since becoming a graphic designer, I have constantly been involving in the graphic design business and working with my computer. But now and then I still like to paint, especially when I have a lot of stress. Painting is a very pleasing way to relax.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

When I started to paint, I experimented with acrylics and watercolor. Later, I found out that oil is my favorite medium. Regarding genre, flower and still life are still my main subjects but I also like to paint landscapes and animals very much. I have drawn many portraits for people and sometimes also painted these in oil.

A Beautiful Summer Day in Germany Village
(click to view)

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

Working with oil definitely stuck with me. I haven’t painted watercolor for a long time. I hope that one day I will pick up this wonderful medium and work with it again.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Recently, abstract landscape has appealed to me very much. If possible I would like to learn some of the techniques and skills for this. I am looking forward to exploring abstract style.

I am the Queen
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

My works are highly inspired by some of the renowned artists of the 19th century - Claude Monet, William-Adolph Bouguereau and Nicolai Fechin. I am also inspired by some renowned contemporary artists including Richard Schmid, David Leffel, and Sherrie McGraw. All the beautiful shapes and nice color combinations from nature inspire me.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Searching for a new subject or thinking about a new composition to paint sometimes makes me stuck. It is a bit difficult for me to paint the same subject with a similar composition. I prefer my paintings to all look new and fresh.

Amaryllis
(click to view)

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

People can always find the time to do what they really love to do. As a wife and mother, housework takes me a lot of time but painting is always the most important thing for me to do first. When I need a little rest or to avoid staring at the subject for a long time, I do some house work or, after a few days of continuous full time painting, I have one day of rest to do some more housework.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Flowers and still life are the main subjects for me. I often go to the flower shop and observe various flowers then choose the one that inspires me. I also like to collect some nicely shaped objects for my still life painting. In addition, I carry a camera as often as possible. Playing around with my photos in Photoshop can also help me to have an idea.

Still Life with Tullips
(click to view)

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

I don’t continue one subject for long time. For instance, after doing a few flower paintings, I will change to painting still life or landscape. I am lucky I live in Europe and travel a lot. This can really help me avoid burnout and keep my work vibrant and engaging.

Thanks, Ling!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 19, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nat Dickinson

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

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

From Nat's DPW Gallery:

​My love of painting landscapes was instilled by my grandfather, an enthusiastic amateur painter. As a child, I would paint with my grandfather on the back porch studio of his summer house in Maine overlooking the Penobscot Bay. Maine remains a key subject of my work, along with my home in Asheville, North Carolina.

My paintings explore those mindful moments when we stop to see the extraordinary transformations of very familiar surroundings. In my daily walks the changes in light, atmosphere, perspective, and color can make the most ordinary scenes become captivating.

My work is shown in juried shows and galleries in Washington, D.C, North Carolina, and Maine. You can follow my daily painting on Instagram. (click to view bio)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My grandfather was an enthusiastic amateur painter.  When I was small, he would encourage me to paint with him on the back porch of his cottage on the Penobscot Bay in Maine.  I still go and paint at that cottage all these decades later.  Every summer my dozens of cousins will show me yet another of my grandfather's paintings they've proudly kept for years, and remind me of how pleased he'd be that I'm painting.

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

I completed my graduate degree in art, but after some time working in a printmaking shop, I switched to a long career away from creative pursuits. I'd always sculpted or painted throughout that time, and took the first opportunity to return to painting. I've known a lot of artists who struggled with their work when they struggled financially, and I've often wondered whether I would have been a better artist or not if I had persisted.

Through the Trees
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

In college and grad school, we all recapitulated the entire history of modern art over the course of seven years-- a little impressionism, cubism, abstract expressionism, and conceptual art all figured in there.  I was working with wood sculpture when living in New Mexico and some time after, but have focused mostly on landscape painting over the last twenty years-- like my grandfather.

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

90% of my work today is landscape, seascape, or cityscape with acrylic paints.  My sculpture skills and tools are now used for framing and occasional furniture making.

Fairview Barn
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I've never been a technical painter and am not really drawn to exotic media or techniques-- which is somewhat ironic since I was a printmaker in school, and that is all techniques.  At this time, I am focused on working more authoritatively and better expressing light and color.

Who or what inspires you most?

David Hockney does the most brilliant unpretentious documentaries on his creative process.  The recent "A Bigger Picture" and older one on his photo collages have always excited me.  There is not much convergence in our work, but I love to hear him talk.

Mill Pond Passage
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't really see a benefit in procrastinating or waiting for inspiration. Paint some every day, even if you are likely to end up painting over it.  The big ideas come from a lot of little observations from working through the difficult times.  Otherwise procrastination just feeds itself.

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

Like my dog, I'm habit driven and am uncomfortable when not following my routine.  Make art your habit, and this question doesn't really come up.  I can understand that people have busy schedules that can interfere, but you have to honestly evaluate whether that is what is preventing you from making art.

Rescue Dog Boomer
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I walk for two or three hours a day with my dog, and try to scout for new ideas and subjects while doing so.  I plan out ten or fifteen paintings ahead of time, and so I get to pick out the one that most excites me.

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

I recently attended an artist's colony for two weeks, and that was a great opportunity to live with other artists in a new place and context.  I worked incredibly hard and had a great time.  The challenge is to take the excitement of that experience and carry it back to the routine of the studio.

West on Patton
(click to view)

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

How to manage being a selling artist.  It's very challenging maintaining your self-esteem and vision when faced with market pressures, and it is a constant effort trying to find the right situation and audience for your artwork.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The continuous improvement I see.  I think a lot about how my experience of making a series of paintings is so different from the viewer's experience of seeing a single finished work.  The paintings I love best are the ones that seem to flow from the brush, or, conversely, the ones that I had to work hardest to pull together.  That's why the paintings I see are so different from the ones my audience sees.

Thanks, Nat!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Peter Lentini

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

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

From Peter's DPW Gallery:

Children possess art as an intrinsic perspicacity which in most is diminished as they mature. Yet there are some who continue to hold the vision. When I attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I majored in sculpture and even though I paint almost exclusively now, some of that sense of fullness and the drama of shadow and light of the solid object still persist in my work. Over the years, I have continued to manipulate materials, building furniture, objects such as spinning wheels, and traditional wooden boats, some photos of which appear on this site at the end of my gallery. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil, painting since first grade and enjoyed visiting art museums from an early age as well. I knew not to touch, well paintings at least, sculpture was another issue.

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

As for stops and starts, of course. When I attended college in fine arts, I majored in sculpture so I have always been engaged in making: wooden boats, working with wood, carving, spinning wheels, furniture, cabinetry, various forms of design, tile work and carpentry always with some painting interspersed. Though I have made a point to paint regularly and have been doing so for some ten years now.

Attentive
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have painted more in watercolor, transparent, white paper, but over the last several years have been enjoying working more with oils, usually on stretched cotton canvas but also on wood panels which I make. I use only three colors, primaries, a red, a blue and a yellow, and with oil of course a white. Nothing falls away, I learn from each and every venture, every aspect and approach; it is all a way of seeing regardless of details.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am easily satisfied and absorbed so I am rarely aware of any conscious change or attempt to change. I do not seek excitement or novelty, but I do enjoy depth and intimacy with the medium beyond mere thinking.

Mona and Lisa
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

There might not be inspiration per se, but I enjoy the work of other artists if I find an emotional connection or I admire the manner in which they conceive composition or value relations sometimes with all aspects present.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I do not procrastinate, though I do not paint every day either but I usually have an idea of what I want to paint next and start easily enough at the right time, without anguish or waiting for a muse.


Vapor Arch
(click to view)

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

As for making time for art, that is directly related to wanting to make art. I look forward to and enjoy painting so I paint.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas for painting, there are always far too many, but I will narrow the field, mix it up, get close and something will clarify itself as requiring my attention. Of course, there has to be incentive so the idea must be evocative. At least for representational art, many beautiful subjects or situations cannot be rendered successfully with painting. Words can form beautiful images, but these often will not migrate onto the canvas.

Duo et al
(click to view

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

I would never give a thought to "keeping it fresh", however, paint what you enjoy and never look back, set no goals, remain unfocused. Build a wall, make some stairs, prune a tree. Art is not suited for tedious rules or regulations. As Gandalf might have said, “A wizard is never late, but always arrives when he chooses.” There is never too much of this or too little of that. The painting simply needs to work and above all the result must be pleasing or more if possible. Never allow anyone to define you, ever.

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

I do not think in terms of "learning", nonetheless, it is always about seeing and making, never conscious, never imagining what I am doing is art, because it may not be and I am better off not knowing. However, always attempt to make better art, to see more deeply, to enjoy more obliviously.


Duet at First Light
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Specifically, the time in an oil painting when the white is gone, (not the same for watercolor) then it begins to manifest itself, then every move is of consequence, that is a pleasure, absorbed and painting. The joy of art is the fulfillment of making something, having something appear that was once only gessoed white canvas, something from nothing even if that is only an illusion. It is only an illusion anyway no matter what we may pretend to the contrary. So simply, something from nothing, a gift, a surprise.

Thanks, Peter!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Vishalandra Dakur

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

To enter to win Vishalandra's painting, "Museum Visitor 1" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Vishalandra's DPW Gallery:

Born and raised in Hyderabad area, Vishal dreamed of attending the Fine Art College, Hyderabad, but instead pursued an Engineering Degree (B.E. Mechanical) at the Osmania University to satisfy his parents insistence on a more practical path to earning a living.

Vishal was born an artist. Drawing was his passion and he practiced daily. Recognition for Vishal's efforts came early. In 1962, at the age of twelve, A.P. Govt invited him to paint and present the portrait painting of Sri S. Radhakrishnan, President of India at the public gathering at Nizam College grounds. The President appreciated his art and garlanded him.

In the year 1964, (at the age fourteen) Press Club of Hyderabad invited him to conduct 1st Solo Exhibition of his paintings, inaugurated by then Cultural Minister of A.P. Govt, Sri M.R.Appa Rao.
Vishal’s early paintings were studies in Realism. Later, he concentrated on the painting style of impasto combining Indian painting strokes and Western colors. Vishal refined his paintings to capture the energy and movement in the topic of his personal history and life's rich memories. One outstanding aspect of Vishal’s art is his unique ability to communicate dynamic movement. In order to have lines and strokes contain aesthetic meaning, first he'll use abstract strokes with vivid rhythms to describe the most complicated human feeling and body language. In the details, the lines and planes are very modern looking, with a realistic feeling. Vishal’s ability to capture the essence of his subject matter while allowing the viewer to participate is sublime.

He received in 2009, National Award in the117th All India Annual Art  Exhibition, conducted by The Bombay Art Society at Jahangir Art Gallery.
In the years 2008 and in 2009, he received Finalist Awards twice from ARC Salon International, New Jersey, USA.
In the year 2009, he was selected to Signature Membership in ISAP (International Society of Acrylic Painters), CA, USA.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

My mother recognized my talent at the age of seven or so when I spoiled all the white washed outer walls of my house with the charcoal sketches of portraits of then movie heroes. Then she purchased drawing materials and encouraged me to practice. So my self taught journey started.

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

I never stopped but slowed during my studies.

Museum Visitor 1
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I practiced many paintings in watercolor in my childhood, now I've switched to oils and acrylics. Learning and practicing in watercolors makes it easy to paint in oils, is my thinking. I think I have painted many in every genre.

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

Watercolor is the medium I left and presently I am doing many oil paintings, and acrylics also.

New York in Night 7
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am unable to sell Native American art, which is the genre I love to paint most; I have painted some thirty of my best paintings in this genre in oil but they are not sold. I have done more figurative paintings and landscapes and sold many.

Who or what inspires you most?

Howard Terpning, I have learnt and improved my talent a lot from his painting style. Whenever I am free I study his paintings, usually every day.

Untitled
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I am always busy drawing or painting something, never idle.

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

Most of the paintings are done in the night, which is the time I prefer for detailed work. I don’t like the noise of the streets.

New York in Night 4
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The toughest subject for me is getting to best ideas for starting a painting. I get lot of ideas but never settle on one to paint, but once it's selected in my mind, painting starts and completes.

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

I love to handle many subjects in my style so there is no creative burnout in my life.

Museum Visitor 7
(click to view)

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

Last year's paintings look bad to me, and this year's paintings may look bad to me next year, so I've learned I am not perfect even after ten years. Practice, practice….

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happy because my mind, my eyes, and my hands are blessed by God such that they create a painting, and I give that to my buyers who praise me everyday.

Thanks, Vishalandra!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 29, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jean Delaney

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

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

From Jean's DPW Gallery:

Jean lives and paints in Qualicum Beach, B.C. on beautiful Vancouver island.

I am inspired by many different subjects, though my favourites right now are animals and florals. My path through life has been dotted with everything creative from fashion design to rug hooking. For 15 years I had a rug hooking design business but always found time to paint, then in 2013 I committed to painting full time. Being mostly self taught has come with it's challenges but it also has allowed me to learn from my mistakes and my victories. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I am definitely what you would call a late bloomer at painting. I was heavily into fibre arts for twenty-five years, and in between that I dabbled in painting. I started taking painting workshops about ten years ago and would periodically pull out my easel and experiment with what I had learned. Then in 2013, I read about daily painting. I started with a small blank canvas every day; what a wonderful concept. I purchased fifty 6x6 inch canvas panels and started painting. In the beginning I did a lot of wiping and sweating but with time I gained confidence. Now the more I paint, the more I want to paint.

Cow 146 In the Clouds
(click to view)

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

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

I had many starts and stops but when I finally committed to painting on a regular basis things changed for me.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I am definitely most fond of painting with oils. For years I was afraid to even try them, but after much encouragement from a friend I took the plunge. I absolutely love everything about them, a perfect fit for my style of painting. As far a genre goes, I paint a variety of things but most days on my easel you will see an animal or a floral.

Hint of Spring
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I watch artist videos like other people watch movies (I call this a healthy addiction). I also find staying curious keeps me inspired.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I am ok without painting for a couple of days. I would say I don’t have procrastination when it comes to picking up my paint brush. What does happen though is that I will start a painting, end up wiping it and walking away from my easel until the next day.

Little Miss Big
(click to view)

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

I wake up at 6:00 every morning, head to the computer to answer emails and then grab my iPad, prop it up at the kitchen table and pull up the photo I am going to paint (which I have usually chosen the night before). I spend a good half hour just observing the photo while drinking my tea and knitting (morning routine). I then head to my easel, and yes, I do paint in my pyjamas everyday.

Simple Pleasures
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

We live in a very beautiful area with ocean and forest. I find that just walking my dog I get so many ideas for my paintings. I also paint many animal portraits so I take my camera everywhere I go and there always seems to be an opportunity to find a compelling subject. There is also a site I use sometimes that allows the use of their photos.

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

I feel very fortunate. I rarely feel burnout, I just feel excitement. After I finish one painting, I can’t wait to start the next.

Cow 148 Slurp
(click to view)

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

For years, I was learning from other artists. Now, I am at a point where I am also learning from myself. Spending so much time alone just putting your vision onto a canvas, you really get to know yourself.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I think because I paint most days, my work has become more rhythmic and in sync… it is a wonderful feeling. Also, I paint one day a week at a studio in town so I am fortunate enough to see people's reactions to my art… there is nothing better.

Thanks, Jean!

© 2016 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 22, 2016

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dana Cooper

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

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

From Dana's DPW Gallery:

After retiring as a children's art teacher, award winning southern California painter Dana Cooper has taken her painting from a hobby to a more full time pursuit. Viewing the world around her now as a daily painter, she is grateful for the opportunity to see and paint the world through the eyes of an artist!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I enjoyed drawing and as an adult, I always found ways to express myself creatively. It wasn’t until my own children were in middle school that I seriously pursued painting instruction for myself. Even at that point, I thought it would only be a hobby. Once I started painting, however, I was bitten by the passion to create art and I have never looked back!

Spring Roses
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Though I have experimented with watercolors, acrylics, gauche, charcoal and mixed media, traditional oil paint still is and probably always will be my favorite medium. Genres? Figures and portraiture are my first love but I can be inspired by most any and every subject, for me it’s always about the light.

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

Watercolors fell away and have never found their way back but I still enjoy playing with gauche, oil sticks, charcoal and mixed medias. I have never worked with pastels, but that medium may be next.

The Painter
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Abstract figurative is a genre that really appeals to me. Though I typically work on the small side, I have some larger, more abstracted figurative work in my studio that may or may not ever see the light of day, but the pursuit of something better keeps me working at it. I think play is important in art.

In the Moment
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Other artists awe and inspire me and push me to try new things.

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

Making time for my art has never been an issue. At one point in my painting career, I did paint every day which really helped me learn to see and mix color as well as get into good painting habits. Today, staying organized and on top of my life’s responsibilities helps to ensure studio time.

Among the Crowd
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Inspiration for paintings comes from a variety of sources. Travels and photos from those travels have been a huge source for ideas over the years. I always work from some sort of reference photo or from life. One often informs the other.

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

Burnout has been an issue at times but I try to paint through it and/or try new mediums and genres. I also try to take workshops from artists whose work engages me to kickstart a new direction.

Her Green Hat
(click to view)

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

I am learning that creating a painting is so much more than being able to copy a reference. I am learning that my paintings are more interesting when I start with an intention or an emotion.  I am learning that edges are important and that creating an interesting value pattern is important. I am learning that painting is what centers me in ways I keep discovering. And what is most exciting to me is that I keep learning!

What makes you happiest about your art?

The process is what I enjoy most about painting and the results are secondary but when both things are in sync, it’s nirvana! I’m happy when my art connects to others.

Thanks, Dana!

© 2016 Sophie Marine