Thursday, November 16, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jinnie May

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

From Jinnie's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

Clock Tower Capri III
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

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

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

Soon To Be Cherries
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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


A Stroll in Provincetown, MA
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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


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

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

Texas Prairie
(click to view)


How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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


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

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


Seaside Sorrento
(click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Jinnie!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 9, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Tod Steele

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

From Tod's DPW Gallery:

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

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

Feather Locklear
(click to view)

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

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

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Lab With a Pearl Earring
(click to view)

Which other mediums are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

Vincent Should Have Had a Dog
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

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

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

This Too Shall Pass
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

Frida Cowlo
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

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

Thanks, Tod!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, November 2, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Judy Wilder Dalton

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


From Judy's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

Into the Woods
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

Crop Lines
(click to view)

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

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

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am happy staying with oil and pastel.

Over the Hill
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

Being in nature is probably the best inspiration I have. 

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

Tree
(click to view)

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

Barns
(click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Judy!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Natali Derevyanko

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

From Natali's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

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

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

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

Water and Flower
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

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

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

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

Yellow Roses
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most? 

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

Forsythia
(click to view)

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

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

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

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

Pomegranate
(click to view)

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

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

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

For You
(click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art? 

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

Thanks, Natali!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 19, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Claire Henning

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

From Claire's DPW Gallery:

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

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

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

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

Teal Cow
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

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

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

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

White Cottage
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

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

Who or what inspires you most?

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

Umbrella Reflections
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

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

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

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

Peaceful
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

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

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

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

Mission Wall
(click to view)

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

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

What makes you happiest about your art?

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

Thanks, Claire!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 12, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Deborah Ann Kirkeeide

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

From Deborah Ann's DPW Gallery:

My name is Deborah Ann Kirkeeide (Deb), I'm a visual artist, a painter. I live in Minnesota and work from my home studio. I paint primarily in oils working on small surfaces, such as gessobord and canvas panels.

I paint subjects that make me smile, they can be everyday ordinary objects, people, animals, flowers or scenes. Sometimes they have a bit of whimsy but mostly they have that little something extra that speaks to me. My paint style incorporates loose brush strokes and usually lots of color.

I'm inspired by the impressionistic painters and motivated by the Daily Painter Movement that is going on today whose philosophy is to paint small, to paint often, in order to become a more productive and creative artist. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

College opened my creative world! I was introduced to all different mediums and genres and loved it all. My Mother was a painter and always encouraged and inspired me. Also, I have a very practical side to my nature; knowing all I needed was an easel, brushes and some paint to create, my plan was to focus there instead of sculpture or print making. There was one problem, painting did not come easy for me and I almost gave it up. Being stubborn pushed me to continue, so glad I did.

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

All the time. When my children came along, I gave up oil painting due to the fumes and toxins and started painting in acrylics, but that wasn’t very often. For thirteen years while my children were growing up, I was fortunate to fall into an illustrating career working from home which I loved. Over time my illustrations became stiff and boring so I was ready for a change. I took a non art job for twelve years, hardly painting at all, turning to crafts for satisfying my creative urges but always promising that once retired I would return to oil painting. I retired in 2011 and was oil painting again in 2012, it took my stubbornness to persevere as I had to relearn what I lost.

Oranges Uncut
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

The question should be which mediums and genres haven’t I tried; in college I was exposed to everything that was around at the time: printmaking, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry making, watercolor and oil painting. In high school, I worked primarily with acrylics. I have never tried pastels, yet, I do have a set. Just this summer, I experimented with gouache for the first time and for the last couple of years I’ve been having the best time experimenting with mixed media, creating small art scrap, story, scripture journal type books.

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

It’s very easy to get distracted by all the great mediums and genres that are out there, I only have so much time and energy so I’m focused on oil painting primarily and secondly acrylics. I have a goal to keep reaching and striving to become a good painter.


Tea Cups and Lace
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Acrylics and mixed media. There’s a lot of potential with acrylics and mixed media jumps starts my creative juices. Also, this summer, I tried plein air painting. I should say forced to try plein air painting as my studio was packed up due to a remodel. This was a case of a negative turning into a positive as I needed the kick to get out and it turned into a wonderful experience that I hope to continue.

Who or what inspires you most?

The Impressionist painters are number one, Monet, Degas, all the greats. You will think this is an advertisement but if not for Carol Marine and Daily Paintworks, I would have been lost. After retiring, I was starting from ground zero in painting. I searched for classes and artists with the impressionistic style of painting I loved. I found Carol on another web site and followed the trail to DPW and then the art bytes. The daily painters movement has motivated and inspired me even though I don’t paint daily, I am painting, learning and improving.

White Porch
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I’m really not a procrastinator when it comes to something I love. I can’t wait to get in my studio and paint, when I carve out time I don’t let anything interfere. However, I have put a summer of painting on hold due to grandkids visiting from out of state or I have a burn out and just need to recharge.

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

Wish I had a better handle on this question as I would love to carve out more time. Honestly, I don’t paint everyday, I don’t have the energy for it and when I get in my studio it’s an all day event, so maybe it’s knowing yourself and how you work best. Painting a few hours a day doesn’t work so I carve out at least two full days a week to paint, it’s a wonderful bonus to have a third day. I usually plan to have meals already prepared or have leftovers. If I don’t plan meals ahead then I won’t eat right or eat anything at all.
Antique Ride #2
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Photos, inspiration from other artists both past and present or a new technique that grabs my attention.

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

Mixed media has been a huge help, it’s very freeing. Plein air painting has been recharging my batteries, getting me out in the fresh air and around other artists. Really being excited about the subject matter, new technique or experimenting with a different medium. Right now I’m excited about working with acrylics again. Sometimes taking a break works wonders then I come back on fire to get going. I’m a firm believer in prayer, it adjusts my attitude and keeps me from obsessing.

Gaggle of Geese
(click to view)

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

To forgive myself for painting failures, to let things go. Fear is a huge stumbling block, if you are afraid to fail you won’t move forward.

What makes you happiest about your art?

To see improvement.

Thanks, Deborah Ann!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, October 5, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Melissa Gresham

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, "Rhett" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Melissa's DPW Gallery:

It is said that "art is more than a product of your efforts - it should be about feeling, life, attitude, and soul." For me, art is a form of worship to my Savior.

An artist residing in Greenville, SC, Melissa's interest in art began as a child. Recognizing her love for art and her natural ability, she began entering into various art competitions.

From early beginnings of simple drawings to becoming an art teacher, Melissa now has many years of experience in her craft. Developing her own curriculum, she taught art for middle school and high school, along with giving private lessons. She enjoys all mediums and specializes in acrylic and watercolor. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

What began with simple drawings as a child developed into a love for art of all genres.  My appreciation for art and teaching led to a season as an art teacher.  Working with children, young people, and adults not only was gratifying, but confirmed my heart-felt desire for painting.

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

Although I continued painting and drawing throughout my life, there were seasons in my life that my art was put on hold.

Not to say there were not any negative times, but as a whole the pauses were happy, being newly married, becoming a mother and realizing my career as an instructor.  All of these short pauses managed to manifest themselves as beauty marks in my career, and led to what I believe is true heart-felt work and creativity.

Rhett
(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?

With my experience as an art teacher, I have been fortunate to work in most all mediums and genres.

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

Both acrylic and watercolor have definitely stuck with me.  As far as “fallen away”, I don’t find as much joy with oils and pastels, however, I still dabble in those at times.

The genres that have stuck with me are realism, abstract, impressionism and pop art.

Be Still
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I want to learn even more about acrylic and watercolor.  I definitely want to push the boundaries in both these mediums.  I want to expand my mixed media techniques in both these mediums as well.

Who or what inspires you most?

What a great question! I don’t know if I’m inspired by any one person or one thing, maybe more of a collective of viewings, readings, and interactions I’ve had over the years with various artists.

Denali
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

There are times, when I’m commissioned to paint a subject that I don’t particularly want to paint because its in a genre or style that I think doesn’t do the subject justice.  These types of paintings often don’t flow like I want them to.  At that point, I find myself doing household chores as a diversion from work that needs to be completed.  Believe me, until I get to it, I feel very unsettled.

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

I try to make sure I touch my brush to canvas every day if at all possible but everyday life does call.  A huge motivator for me is that I can see my easel in my studio from our great room and it’s like a bug to a light, next thing I know, brush to canvas.

Just the Two of Us
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

An old photograph, a scene from a movie, a piece of artwork I spotted on my favorite sitcom, various artists’ works both past and present and I still grab old notes from both commissioned and non-commissioned works and find ideas there.

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

Trying new techniques.  Experimenting with a new brush, palette knife and painting surface as well as a new paint medium to give different impact.

To avoid burnout, I’ve learned that changing mediums and/or subjects often helps.

Tobias
(click to view)

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

I’m currently learning how to control the anxious feelings that often come with a blank canvas.  I’m also learning how to not confuse or muddy my colors yet I’m realizing muddy colors sometimes work in a painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

The peace, joy, and freedom I experience is almost too difficult to articulate.  My art is my passion and really when I look back on my life, it always has been.  Being a believer in Jesus Christ, my art is, for me, another form of worship and that’s what makes me happy.

Thanks, Melissa!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 28, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rick Nilson

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

From Rick's DPW Gallery Page:

I am a painter. I have not always been a painter. I paint like this now. I am trying to improve my skills with these oil paints and brushes.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started painting in 2007. I had a general contractors license and I was building "spec" houses. I was abruptly out of a job and money. While waiting for the next shoe to drop I taught myself to use MSpaint.

I was encouraged to try stretching some canvases. So I did. My first paintings were just that. 1x2 pine frames hand made with cotton "duck" cloth from Walmart. I bought gesso and some acrylic paints. That was late 2007 and 2008.

Hope
(click to view)

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

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

Oh yeah. I don't like to talk about that.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I am still learning oil painting.  I have drawn a lot of house plans and a lot of "Site Development Plans" for real estate developers as a landscape architect.

PhatCrab
(click to view)

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

Oil Pigments and all the opportunity is gone. I love it when a good painting comes together with an Epic Title. i.e. Cable Ranch Dynasty. I think sticking with the blog after Facebook took most of the market share is something that "stuck".

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Ask me that when I am tired of oil pigments.

Collington Harbor
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

As a painter I guess Van Gogh. I saw his stuff, his crabs I guess, and thought... I can do that. Jennifer Young taught me how to paint. She posted tutorials for me in 2008 on her blog.

What does procrastination look like for you?

It is an ugly thing, isn't it?

Green on Guacamole
(click to view)

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

My wife has a job. I have a studio.

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

I honestly don't know.

Calico in Blue
(click to view)

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

Not to be so hard on myself or my paintings. That is hard.

What makes you happiest about your art?

A good title is better than a mediocre painting, Sometimes I make myself smile looking at a painting I am creating. How self indulgent is that?!

I do like the new process I have tried. Saw a guy doing a video about how he used the same technique. I write about it in a couple of posts. Strange Brew and Eat Corn. Recent paintings.

Thanks, Rick!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Friday, September 22, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Midori Yoshino

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

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.


I had studied painting and drawing for my job as a fashion designer, but it wasn’t something very important to me. Just a tool for my work. I started painting seriously in July, 2007.

A very sad thing happened to a friend of mine. I don’t want to go into details, but thinking about it made me feel I had to start doing what I really wanted to do. My daughter says YOLO. You Only Live Once. I think that is true and I didn’t want to waste my one life.

Art had been a hobby for me, but I was out of practice and needed to re-learn some things. I took a watercolour class at a local university and entered one of my paintings from that class in an Art competition. When I won, I realised that I really had some ability in painting.

The Equestrian Club in Al Ain
(click to view)

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


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

I did stop the ‘hobby’ painting when I got married and my daughter, Aki, was born. Since I started it seriously, though, I have never stopped. It takes discipline, but I decided I wanted to paint one piece every day. I have found it really makes me look at the world around me because I have to have something to use as a subject.

Once you start doing that, you see the world in a different way. There are many amazing things happening on the streets and in the markets of a town like Al Ain, many things of quiet beauty, but most people don’t see them because they have other things on their minds. 


What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oils, watercolours, acrylic and water colour pencils.


Al Ain Mall
(click to view)


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

I learned oil first, but I felt it was not my medium. We Japanese use watercolour when we are in primary school. We all get used to using it. So watercolour painting is kind of part of our lives for most Japanese and, of course, it has been a big part of our culture. From ancient times, people in Japan have painted on silk or handmade paper with watercolours. Some of this is connected with calligraphy, because we write with a brush also, but there is a long tradition of recording things that are beautiful in nature with watercolours.

I love acrylic as well, though. I do work in it sometimes. The different medium gives me new ideas for how to treat the scene.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

My paintings are usually fairly small. So I want to try something huge.


Blue World
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I’ve been inspired by lots of artists. It is very hard to pick only one, though.

It’s probably Ms Keiko Tanabe. I took her workshop three years ago. It was a plein aire workshop in France. She paints in any situation or conditions, always produces incredible work and her personality is great as well. She has a very warm heart and always cares about other people.

Kanta Harusaki,Yoko Hausaki and  Kenji Aoe are favourites of mine as well.



What does procrastination look like for you?

It looks like cooking a meal for my family, or doing the housework. That’s the only time when I’m not working on art. I teach students at a local university and in my home or theirs. Of course I meet with friends to drink coffee and chat sometimes, but that’s doing something positive, not just avoiding painting. I feel that I’m always busy.

Festival in Yemen
(click to view)


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

I don’t need to make time for painting, whenever I want to do it I can, pretty much. I teach watercolour almost every evening but I have enough time in the morning. I can usually just get out of bed and start painting.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Over the years I’ve become very interested in the work done by ‘invisible’ people. A lot of the ordinary jobs around Al Ain are done by men from the sub-continent, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. They are very hard-working and usually very cheerful and friendly.  I look for them sweeping the streets, repairing the roads, driving taxis and selling fruit and vegetables in the local souks.

I go sketching every day and do simple sketches and simple paintings at the scene which I finish at home. If I don’t have enough time, I take photos.




Yaka Chan
(click to view)

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

 
I never get bored with painting at all. I look for new things all of the time and I am always really pleased to discover something for the first time.

Whenever I go out, I can find out something to paint. I do sometimes get stuck and have no idea how to finish a piece.  In that case, I leave the painting in the store room and a few days later I take it out and I can usually paint on and finish it with new refreshed mind.


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


Everyday I learn from both my work and other people’s as well. Everyday I find out something new, that’s why I can continue painting I think.


What makes you happiest about your art?

When I teach and see the student’s happy face. That is the happiest time for me.

Watercolour is a very flexible medium. It is easy to do even in a bus or on an airplane with a tiny pan paint pallet and a pad of paper on your lap. I would like to spread the idea that watercolour is lots of fun.

Thanks, Midori!

© 2017 Sophie Marine