Thursday, January 18, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Douglas Barron

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

From Douglas' DPW Gallery:

Michigan Artist, Douglas J Barron is a 1982 graduate of Frankenmuth, his home town. The artist paints oil on canvas, en plein air and studio, and practices his technique to convey a sense of immediacy and harmony that we feel within our natural environment. He applies the strengths of his medium to achieve rich surfaces and vibrant hues of favorite subjects; sky, water, flowers and views of the Michigan countryside.Often you will find Douglas gardening and raising chickens on his farm, sources of inspiration for much of his work.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I enjoyed art classes in High School but never pursued it. In March of 2016, I was reunited with my art teacher, Alan Maciag, (alanmaciag.com) at an art auction. At this time Al was giving art lessons. I took my first class with Al in March of 2016 and a follow up in March of 2017. As my painting skills grew, so did my desire to learn.  Art is an excellent way to challenge your brain. It also got me away from the TV!

Rose of Sharon
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I started with Oils and continue this medium. I love the challenge that oils offer and the endless amount of color options that can be created during mixing. There might be a time that I will explore acrylics and or possibly watercolors.

I primarily paint in studio, but I also like to be outdoors and Plein Air Paint. The studio gives me plenty of time to work the subject, whereas Plein Air challenges me in speed.

Peeling Paint
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

The two muses in my life are my spouse then our farm and surroundings. Until I started painting, I never really paid attention to what was happening in nature throughout the seasons.

Sled
(click to view)

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

My goal is to try and paint at least 3-5 times per week. My spouse is my resource for ideas, together we explore cities, landscapes and new places. The resulting photography gives us inspiration.

Being involved with events, exhibitions, and paint-outs really helps add excitement and focus.

Soybean Rows
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art? 

I find a great deal of enjoyment in the process of a painting, from the initial sketch to signing my name.  Goals are good! When I have a blank canvas in front of me, I have a new goal!

Winter Paddock
(click to view)

Thanks, Douglas!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 11, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jacqueline Davis

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

From Jacqueline's DPW Gallery:

Originally from England, I have also lived in California and now reside in New York state. I'm influenced by old architecture, vintage glass, ceramics and all things retro.

I have spent time working variously in graphic design, ceramics and teaching!

My most recent love is oil painting. I have studied still life with Karen O'Neil; plein air painting with Randall Sexton; and taken workshops with Leslie Saeta.

Thank you for taking a look.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Of course I drew and painted at school, but a career in fine art just never seemed something I could practically consider. However, after high school I somehow immediately landed a job as a graphic designer. I stayed doing that for three years, but feeling the need for something more fulfilling - and deciding I needed some proper qualifications, went back to college.

At the college I attended, we were never introduced to oil paint - I think it was probably something to do with the cost. I did love oil pastels, which were my favorite medium.

I started dabbling in oil paint after we moved to America (initially California) from the UK, six years ago. Initially I was just teaching myself and not getting very far. I really got into painting properly after we moved to the east coast. I started taking some workshops at the Art Students League of New York. A really good teacher can help to open up the possibilities of what oil paint can do. After that I was hooked.

Three Odd Bottle Buddies
(click to view)

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

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

Yes! I stopped for many years! After college and gaining a degree, I trained as a teacher - I taught a subject called Design and Technology in the UK which for my part was predominantly graphic design and drawing, so while I didn't paint, I continued to draw pretty much constantly.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

At art college we experimented with pretty much everything; pastel and oil pastel, watercolor, acrylics, gouache, photography, ceramics, textiles! Everything except oil paint!

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

Interesting question. After my first child was born, and I was looking for a creative outlet, I took up ceramics again at adult school. Actually, I ended up buying a little paint-your-own-pottery business from another mother, who was done with it. It fell into my lap almost by chance. So I did that for three years. I also painted and sold my own pottery, inspired at the time by my seaside home in the south of England. I sold the business on when we moved to the US.

I have a little play with watercolor now and again, more as a compliment to pen line drawings.

Misbehaving Tulips

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

For the moment I'm happy staying with oil paint. 

My comfort zone is still life but I dabbled a fair bit with plein-air last year, taking some plein-air workshops: also I was so, so fortunate to be invited on a painting retreat with a group of the most awesome people you can imagine. I will be forever grateful for that. Plein-air is such a different discipline from still life I think. It's almost like learning everything again, from scratch!

I hope to take some more workshops with artists I admire. There's so much to learn about painting in oils and I'm definitely still developing as an artist.

Who or what inspires you most?

It's a strange thing - I have a great love of old ceramics and glass. I'm quite addicted I admit. I'm drawn to vintage pieces that could almost tell a story. So I'm always inspired by what I have in my kitchen cupboards! But, I don't think it's good to just paint what comes easy. I want to challenge myself as well.

Scattered Strawberries and a Painted Bowl

What does procrastination look like for you?

Oh my goodness, I'm the most hopeless procrastinator, in that I think "I'll just sort this out before I start". So I'm always clearing up the kitchen, doing the laundry or running errands or tasks, and before you know it, it's 2pm already.

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

This January, I set myself a challenge to paint everyday for the month - my goal is to get into a daily habit, so that painting comes first. I'm learning that if I always have to 'clear my desk' first, I'll never paint! I have switched my day around, so that I start painting first thing in the morning. I leave the afternoon to do the other stuff: photography, posting to my blog and facebook, etc. I'm finding so far that it's working well. For one thing, the light in the afternoon is usually better for taking photos of my paintings.

Ready, Steady, Bake

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

For my larger pieces I always have a million ideas for paintings swimming around in my head. They sort of develop and percolate over a long period of time. It's hard to describe, but I know what I want to achieve because I have the composition worked out before I start. Of course what goes on in your head and what appears on the canvas can be two different things!

My DPW paintings tend to be studies to help me with a larger idea that I'm formulating.

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

In terms of 'keeping it fresh', I have this obsession with keeping my colors alive and vibrant. I'm always playing around with the paint and trying different combinations to darken and lighten without muddying them.  My color palette is a constantly evolving thing. I like trying out new colors to see what works.

In general terms though, I think yo should paint what you love, but challenge yourself as well. I think it's important to keep developing, trying new things.

If something is not working, even if the painting is terrible, then you have learned something from that and you can try something different next time.

Stripes, Spots, Spoon and Spatulas

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

I'm a very slow painter. I thought I had wanted to speed up my process but what I'm learning is that speeding up doesn't necessarily achieve the results I want. So I'm learning to accept my own limitations. Maybe it's not about how fast you go, but how you get there that matters!

I have a vision in my mind's eye of what I want to achieve and I know that I have a long, long way to go. I know that the only way to get there is to put in the hours and just keep moving forward.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I'm happiest when I'm in 'the zone' as I call it - everything going on in the world melts away and you can give your painting your full focus and attention. It's really nice to do something for yourself.

Also, on the odd occasion when you 'knock one out of the park', it's very satisfying and you feel like you have achieved something.

I'm incredibly grateful to my husband and children who are always so, so encouraging and supportive.

Thanks, Jacqueline!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, January 4, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Shweta Mahajan

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

From Shweta's DPW Gallery:

I'm a self taught artist from India. My work comprises mainly of watercolour, charcoal and pencil. (click to view gallery)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting during my school days and became a full time artist in 2013.

Orange African Daisy
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

Graphite and watercolour are my prefered mediums. I love the unpredictability of watercolours. I also wish to work wiith oil colours and acrylics. I like to make paper sculptures as well.

Squirrel and the Red Berries
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

My mother is an artist so I was drawn towards art quite early in my life. I'm fascinated by nature and try to capture the visual experience in my works. Trees excite me most and I've done around 100 drawings and paintings on trees.

Riverbed
(click to view)

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

I don't find it difficult to find time to paint. The hardest part is to let the brush go.

What does procrastination look like for you?

There is no stopping once I start working on a project.

Blue Footed Booby
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Yoga and meditation helps me to get my creative juices flowing. Ideas are everywhere. I look through hundreds of photos to decide on the subject.

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

I'm learning to talk about my work and be more articulate.

Whitaker Point Trail
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art? 

The most satisfying thing about creating art is that I get to express myself. I love the process that goes into making a painting. I like it when the work is appreciated.

Thanks, Shweta!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 28, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Karen Israel

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

From Karen's DPW Gallery:

The joy I experience when painting with pastels delights my eyes and engages my mind. I hope to invigorate my subjects with energetic color and unique design. I am an award winning, Connecticut pastel artist who is a Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America and the International Association of Pastel Society. I am also the current President of Connecticut Pastel Society. In addition to welcoming commissions, I have had the experience of juror, teacher and demonstrator of pastel.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I began painting about ten years ago while I was working as a Physical Therapist. The desire to study drawing and painting trumped physical therapy and a few years after that I began painting full time.

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

I never stopped painting but along the way I worked in different mediums before devoting myself fully to painting in pastel.


Sunflower Fun
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I began with watercolor and then briefly with oil painting. In fact, I use watercolor often as an underpainting in my pastel technique.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

There are so many approaches and surfaces with the medium of pastel that I don't think I will ever get bored! I am aways working with new products and approaches to pastel, but if I ever did try a new medium it would probably be oil.

Savannah Dreams
(click to view)

What inspires you most?

Interesting arrangement of shapes and/or dramatic light are the ingredients that pushes my creative buttons. I paint a wide variety of subjects and am inspired by any challenge that is out of my comfort zone.

Who inspires you most?

I am inspired by the works of John Singer Sargent, JoaquĆ­n Sorolla and Jean Chardin to name a few. I am also inspired by so many of the great contemporary pastel artists, some of who are on DPW.

A Day Away
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I don't procrastinate when it comes to making a painting.  For me, the procrastination comes in framing and photographing my finished works.

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

I don't seem to have a problem finding time to paint but it is the other areas in my life I have to make time for, such as getting to the gym, cooking and cleaning.

Traveling Light
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Sometimes I will find inspiration from unlikely places. Other times, I seek out the inspiration with a trip to the zoo or a hike in the woods. Once I have created a successful painting in a certain subject, I will then attempt to paint that subject in a series.

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

CHANGE is the key word for me. To stay fresh, I will change subject, format, color palette, surfaces, approaches. In addition, I sometime work from life, other times from photograph. I sometimes work from a black and white photo, sometimes from one in color.

Marguerite's Delimma
(click to view)

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

I am learning to be a better critic of my own work. I am also learning to be a better business person as I tend to give my art away for too low a price.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love teaching pastel and inspiring others to have confidence in their art making abilities.  I am pleased when my art sells or wins an award but I am most pleased when I create a work that is a notch above the previous work I have done.  I believe there is no ceiling for improvement, I am always taking workshops to learn more and that is what is so very exciting about being an artist.

Thanks, Karen!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 21, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Naomi Bautista

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

From Naomi's DPW Gallery:


I started taking a basic painting class at a local community college after my daughter started kindergarten, which was thirteen years ago. Learning how to do fine art was something I've always wanted to do. Ever since I was little, I knew I was an artist. It was ballet that gave me a tool to express myself through movements with music. Now canvas is my stage. I pick up my brushes and let myself go. Whatever the subject I'm seeing can be just a reference of what my inner eyes interpret, and what comes out of the interpretation is something only I can create. How fun and exciting it is.I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love to do. Thanks to my very supportive husband and daughter, I'm on a journey of self-discovery. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting fifteen years ago when my daughter started going to kindergarten. I started taking a very basic painting class at a local art school. I started painting with acrylics.

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

I've been fortunate to be able to continue to paint in the last fifteen years. I experimented with different mediums like oils, water color and even with clay to make potteries.

White Swan
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Denise's interview.
What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I always go back to oils. I like to be able to mix colors well and oils allow me to do well just that. Also it's the matter of being used to the medium.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I think I'd like to try using acrylic more in the future.


Who or what inspires you most? 

I like the Russian artist, Sergei Bongard. His emotionally expressive painting techniques inspire me so much.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

For me, procrastination looks like not trying to learn new and different skills and techniques and being satisfied with the status quo. Also for me, winter time is more challenging to push myself to be more motivated to paint because of the shorter day light hours and cold temperatures.


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

I do meditation every morning that ensures me to make good use of my time throughout the day. Without the daily meditation, I don't think I can spend my days efficiently.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

I get ideas from different sources. I actually get a lot of ideas when I meditate. Also I always try to be mindful about learning different art techniques and ideas from almost everything I see like sceneries from car rides, magazines, photographs, posters, movies, TV shows, etc.



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

For me, painting is the best way to express my feelings and emotions. Although I feel frustrated and struggle with not being able to paint in a way I want to from time to time, I don't think I've ever felt burnout. I feel joy and appreciation for being able to do what I love to do the most. I think that's how I can keep my work vibrant and engaging in a natural way. Expressing joy like dancing on a canvas wearing shoes called paint brushes, that's the way I feel when I paint.



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

I feel like I'm getting into a new level of my artistic career now. It's very exciting to feel that I can extend and expand my techniques to the next level . Being out of the box and finding out my inner voice more.

I think 2018 will be a very exciting year for me as an artist!

Thanks, Naomi!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 14, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Denise Gilroy


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

From Denise's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.  

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

Scenes in the Neighborhood
(click to view)

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

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

Morten Slough
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?  

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

Trees in Shadow
(click to view)

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

What are you looking forward to exploring in the future?

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

October Color
(click to view)

What is your mental preparation for painting?

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

Under Cover
(click to view)

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

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

Thanks, Denise!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, December 7, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Melissa Gannon

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

From Melissa's DPW Gallery:


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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

Sunshine!
(click to view)

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

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

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

Oak Leaf Swirl
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

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

Waterlily Sparkle
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

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

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

Maple Leaf Rock
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

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

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

Thanks, Melissa!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 30, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Hallie Kohn

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

From Hallie's DPW Gallery:

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

Hope you feel inspired too--please enjoy!

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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


Zinnias in Jar
(click to view)

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

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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Peonies and Satsuma
(click to view)

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

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

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Mixed media with oil pastels, pencils, paints.

Raspberries
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

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

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

Stretching
(click to view)

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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


Untitled
(click to view)

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

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

(click to view)

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

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Hallie!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 23, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Linda Marino

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

From Linda's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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


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

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


What mediums and genres have you experimented with. 

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

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

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

Soup Prep with Chef Dean
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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


China - Pet Portrait Commission
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

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

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


Painters in Paradise
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Linda!

© 2017 Sophie Marine