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