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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patricia Musgrave

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

From Patricia's DPW Gallery:

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and am a life-long painter. Gardens, florals and still life have been my subjects of choice, but landscape painting is where I believe I find the most challenge. Color is both a quest and reward. I never get tired of finding new ways of exploring color harmonies.

I believe that a good painting aught to be more than a two-dimensional object. It should not only provide pleasure, but must also give inspiration to the viewer that stays with them after they have moved on to look at something else. That is my goal with every painting I create.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I can’t remember a time not painting! But I suppose it would have been in pre-school or kindergarten, like many others. My mother was an artist at a time one was supposed to put away those fanciful ideas and be a wife and mother, but the artistic influence was always there.

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

Of course! I always thought of myself as an artist, but there were times other things seemed more important, but it was the birth of my daughter that got me truly serious about my work. I wanted to be a good role-model for her. Now, I try not to let anything get in the way, but life does.

Painted Roses
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I felt the connection to painting early on, and was never seduced by print making or sculpture, although I like them very much. I hope to come back in my next life and be a sculptor (and an opera singer), but I was always drawn to the colors, and thick and tactile quality of oil and acrylic paint.

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

As a younger artist, I was very interested in abstract art, but gradually came to see realism and all its intricacies as the greater challenge. I do have a variety of styles, and that’s because to me, each painting is different. From idea to execution, things develop - and change - and often the media or paint application needs to change as well.  Color has always been the most intriguing element to me. It's allure - the warmth and coolness of tones, the mixing of colors and where you place them, that has been the key element in my art.

Sheep in the Road
(click to view)

What are your goals as a painter?

I look forward to painting more and painting better! Even though I have painted for decades, I feel like I have not reached my high-water mark. Whether it is to paint “the perfect painting” or to reach and succeed at a higher level, I just don’t know yet, but I look forward to finding out "the journey".

Who or what inspires you most?

I’d like to say everything does, but to be more specific, daily life inspires me - I try and see the beauty in everything I look at, and be open to ideas. My fellow artists also inspire me - not just the masters, but we live in a time where there is a lot of really good art being made, and I feel constantly inspired.

Late Summer Sunflowers
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

All the other stuff when I’m not painting. Appointments you can’t get out of, family visits, laundry, dinner, stuff. You have to be as vigilant as you can in your own interests.

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

First of all, I have regular painting hours that I keep sacred, and no one can bug me. I say “I’m sorry but I have to work”, even if I don’t get much done. Then I put on music, the music is an "audio reminder" that I’m supposed to be painting. I guess it’s all self-discipline. I think the discipline to keep working is as important as good paints and bushes.

Dusk, Lima, Peru
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I’d like to say that everything gives me ideas, but I guess it’s a mindset. I try and keep my “creative channel” open at all times. But I also get ideas from pictures, stories, other artists and what they’ve done - what colors and combinations they’ve used, what techniques, etc. It’s all “information in”.

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

Tough question. Assuming my art is fresh and vibrant, I try to keep a good mood while I'm painting (going into “ the zone”), and not paint on an important painting when I’m sick or feeling blah or upset. Looking at the great masters of history as well as current artists is also important, asking questions  - how did they do that, why does this work? Also, visiting museums, and galleries, seeing “real" paintings where ever I can.

Breakfast
(click to view)

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

How to improve on what I do. There is so much to know and understand. It’s a life long quest.

What makes you happiest about your art?

First, just doing it. The sheer joy of putting paint on a surface (usually canvas) and having it “work”. Then other peoples' appreciation, not the ego stuff, but the sharing of some inexplicable thing. They see this picture and feel happy or rewarded, and there’s some kind of a connection, human to human. That connection, to me, it is what it’s all about.

Thanks, Patricia!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, September 7, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Alina Vidulescu

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

From Alina's DPW Gallery:

I love to paint landscapes, and architecture but am also trying different subjects and styles. Most of my paintings are inspired by my travel. I love painting with acrylics but occasionally use oil.

I paint because:
• It makes me smile.
• I love yellow, purple and the smell of fresh cut grass.
• I love contrast.
• I like the way the brush sings. I paint anything that makes me happy.

My work is collected throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

See some of my sold work here: www.yessy.com/alinavidulescu

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I picked up the brushes pretty late in my life, and discovered that I probably loved painting all the time, and had no idea about it. I studied, and worked in the finance field, and while working in corporate America, I took up painting as a hobby. In 2008, after my work contract ended, with the support of my husband, I decided to give painting a chance. It took me a while before I was comfortable saying that I was an artist.

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

After my daughter was born, I guess I can say I stopped painting constantly. Now that she's started school, I am trying to paint a few times a week. My goal is to be a daily painter, and hopefully I'm not that far from achieving it.

Florence Panoramic View

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I started painting with oils, an odd choice for a beginner but just went with it. I loved it but because oils dry slow. When my storage was limited, I switched to acrylics. It's still my favorite medium.

Recently, I started experimenting with oil pastels. I'm still getting comfortable with them, so am sticking with acrylics for now, and playing with the pastels from time to time.

If I want some texture or something different, I am also working with sea shells and sand dollars, fabric and other things, and give mixed media/assemblage a go. My daughter also enjoys working with me on projects like these.

As far as genres, I love painting landscapes and cityscapes (rooftops especially), and also still life. I tried some abstract as well.

Landscape
(click to view)

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

Acrylic is definitely my favorite medium.

I don’t paint still life so often anymore, and abstract is something I don’t identify with.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I definitely want to learn, and work more with oil pastels.

Who or what inspires you most?

I love the impressionists, but also a lot of contemporary artists.  I get inspired the most by my travels but also by every little thing. I always see paintings when I look around: be it the light on my neighbor's house, the sunset or the flowers I pick at the supermarket.

Prague Rooftops
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Internet is a big distraction, but in my defense I spend a lot of the online time looking at art.

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

Keep the studio area clean. I cannot start working on a new piece if things are everywhere!

Glenfarclas Distillery
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

As I said before, travel is a major inspiration for my paintings but really, inspiration is everywhere around me. The important thing is just to keep looking and find the beauty in all places and things.
When I feel I need a new idea, I always go back to the pictures I took on my trips. Looking at other artists' work is always inspiring as well.

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

I alternate the subjects when I feel it's time for a change. Also, I am changing my palette; using some colors I haven't used in a while, getting some new colors from my local art store. Sometimes taking a break also works wonders.

Alversund Norway Fjord
(click to view)

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

I am really trying to get to a looser style. I am working on learning when to stop, not over do it.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I paint, I am the master of my own world. There are no limits or rules, just beautiful colors and pure joy!

Thanks, Alina!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 31, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Conny van Leeuwen

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

From Conny's DPW Gallery:

Conny van Leeuwen is a Dutch artist and is a member of Ars et Studium in the Netherlands. She has studied art in the Netherlands and in Belgium. Her subjects vary, because she loves everything around her.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When I lived in Belgium, I took an art and antiques course. I got interested in paintings and their stories and also the different genres and kinds of medium. I wanted to try to paint too and be creative. My first attempt was an acrylic painting of tulips. I thought it was terrible, but then my mum saw the painting and she loved it (She definitely would say if it was bad). That’s when I got motivated and painted regularly.

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

Because of my demanding job in the hospitality business, I stopped painting. Then I got divorced and moved back to The Netherlands. Sitting in my new living room with my cats and looking at a very white wall, I thought, "There must be a colorful painting hanging on that wall." I made two and that’s when I started painting again.

Pink Peonies
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I tried acrylics, watercolors and oils. I have different genres, because I like so many styles and want to try them all.

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

The watercolor is not for me. I tried but it is difficult to make corrections when making a mistake. I use it sometimes in my sketchbook because that is for my eyes only and for experiments. I love my oils and that is the medium which works for me. It blends well and mistakes can easily be fixed by wiping it off.

Jack
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am experimenting with gouache right now. After seeing James Gurney using the gouache, I got motivated to use them. It is drying very fast, so much more different then oils. A big challenge!

Who or what inspires you most?

Very much everything comes to me as an inspiration. Except black and dark things, like horror or evil things. I am a romantic and animal lover. Color makes me happy. Some painters who are my favorites: Henriette Rönner-Knip, Cornelis Raaphorst, Isaac Israëls, Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir and I love the work of Haidee Jo Summers.

Spilled Cherries
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Hours spending on the Internet/Instagram/Pinterest. I know it is time consuming, but it is an addiction. Nowadays, I start painting in the morning and allow myself to Instagram at lunchtime for an hour.

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

Three small paintings a week is what I have to make. That is a commitment to myself and I stick to it (except when I am ill).

Tulips from Amsterdam
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Everyday life. When I look at my cat, when shopping, when I ride my bike, a beautiful flower. There are so many beautiful things in life, we only have to open our eyes and watch.

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

I can’t paint a lot of the same subjects after another. I have to make a variety in subjects, styles and colors. Starting a sketchbook helped me a lot, especially for composition and getting better drawing skills. In the past it had to be perfect from the beginning, which put a lot of stress on me. Now I start mixing my colors and say to myself, “Let’s try and see what happens.”

Sweet Michelle
(click to view)

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

I feel free to do what I want and when I want. No pressure, that’s why I stopped doing commission work.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am happy when people comment on my work. They don’t have to do that, but they do and it motivates me. Making art has given me a better look at my life and what I want.

Thanks, Conny!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

Thursday, August 17, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Wawan Ms

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Wawan painting, "abstract#558" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Wawan's DPW Gallery:

Hi, I am painter from Ciamis, a small town on Java Island Indonesia. My interest at drawing and painting began in early childhood but started to be neglected during college. And after I got bored working behind a computer as a Mechanical Design Engineer in capital for more than ten years, the joys and passion to paint came up and surrounded my life and made me decide to quit the job, go to my home town and become a full time painter on 2009. As a self-taught painter, I like to explore and do some experiment with many kinds of media such as: acrylic oil, sand, resin, pigment and digital. I'm not confined with one subject area, preferring varies project and media. For small size works mostly I use oil to expose texture, acrylic for bigger size to expose a melt from a aqueous media and sand for delicate a pencil point. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I became interested in drawing in elementary school since seeing a friend who was good at drawing. From there, I tried drawing on some media with friends ranging from making graffiti, t-shirts or greeting cards and it lasted until college.

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

After graduating from college and working in the automotive industry I stopped painting. I actually did not really leave the art world because my work is still related to the applied arts, just different media. And after several years of work, I decided to stay in the hometown and gather with family. And there I began to receive orders to paint the face with sand and Arabic calligraphy.

abstract#558
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I like to try various kinds of media ranging from pencils, acrylics, oil, watercolors, pastels, even with beach sand, it all depends on the effect to be achieved, as well as the technique. I do not limit myself. And as for the genre, I think, now I am more comfortable with the abstract style.

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

I think the one that makes me desperate is the watercolor, because sometimes it is not as expected and can not be repainted.

Lennon
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am interested in developing natural sand paintings because there are still many possibilities that are produced. And not many people are using sand as an art medium. Also until now I hadn't challenged myself to have to make daily paintings.

Who or what inspires you most?

Most inspiration comes from the surrounding environment, landscape, skies, leaves, bushed. It's not the shape of things which I pay attention to but the colors and light. I like to observe colors. So many colors change even in the same thing, when the position of the light source changes, the wind blows. And surely there are some painters in Indonesia that affect me like Hanafi, Affandi, Srihadi Sudarsono and others.

CF#36
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination comes when you do not know when you have to stop playing with your phone. But the procrastination caused by family affairs is a blessing because you are still needed. :)

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

Daily painting. Forcing myself to touch the painting media every day, even if just scratching a sketch book.

BBB#38
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

In general the idea comes spontaneously through work, put oil or acrylic on an empty canvas, let the brush or pallet knife continue it. Although the results sometimes don't go as expected or fail.

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

When a painting is stumbling, leave it and take a new canvas. If necessary leave the studio and go for a walk.

al#21
(click to view)

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


I can manage my own work time so I have more time with family. And also because of my paintings I can have new friends, even outside my country.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am very happy when people are pleased with my work and keep my work as well.

Thanks, Wawan!

© 2017 Sophie Marine