Friday, May 18, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Patti Tapper

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

From Patti's DPW Gallery:

Somebody once told me, "Your hands are never still." It's true. I began painting at seven, initially with pastel and then oil. I continued through college, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Since then I spend my time appreciating the beauty in the world and translating my sense of awe into my artwork. I enjoy working with a variety of materials and my studio is a kaleidoscope of color and pattern with inspiration everywhere you look!
(click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I started painting in kindergarten, the same time I began my life of crime. It was 1957 in Toledo Ohio and I was splatter painting and all of a sudden I found myself in the principal’s office with my mother there! Apparently, the teacher had hung her sweater on the door knob behind my easel and my innovative technique resulted in her sweater being painted as well! That is a true story…

Anyway, my love of painting started when I was a young child and my mother took me to the Toledo Museum of Art to take classes. After that, she found a wonderful teacher for me by the name of Daniel Passino. Every Monday night from 6:30 to 8:30 she would take me to his studio and I learned to paint with pastels and then with oils. The rest of the class were adults, but I don’t remember feeling shy or awkward because we all were sharing the joy of learning to paint. I studied with Dan until I graduated high school and left for college to study painting and art history at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

My Mother's Pastry Cutter
(click to view)

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

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

There was an interval in my life when I stopped painting. After I graduated from college, I put down my brushes and began my career with Jacobson’s Stores in fine jewelry. I began in sales, then management and then buying, which turned out to be a wonderful career. I moved from Toledo, Ohio to Dearborn, Michigan where I trained as an assistant buyer and then lead buyer for their seventeen fine jewelry salons in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. It was on one of my buying trips to New York that I met my future husband and love of my life, Steven Tapper. Following my marriage, I reluctantly ended my career with Jacobson’s due to the distance factor between my home and their corporate offices. We were blessed with three wonderful children and while raising them, I went back to my artwork, spending time painting as well as teaching art privately. I enjoyed my high school students but my most rewarding classes were those that I offered to adults who had never previously made art. Once they relaxed in the non judgmental atmosphere of my studio they fell in love with their own creativity. Guiding them through the process, I learned as much from them as they did from me.

Spring
(click to view)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? 

I have always been a lover of “creating” so naturally that has led me on many adventures with various mediums. The colors and patterns of fabrics thrills my sensibility. I make quilts, clothing and handbags and spend hours drooling over my collection of fabrics. I have studied mosaics and jewelry making. I am a certified precious metal clay instructor and love the process of making a material that is so malleable into shiny polished metal. I love to knit and spent some time knitting fine silver wire and pearls into bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I love creating with whatever medium suits me at the time and I am fortunate to have a large studio, so I keep all of my supplies and materials from all my different pursuits close at hand in case that muse calls to me. Although I have painted in acrylics for the past thirty years, several months ago I had a longing for the terrible smell of turpentine and decided to paint in oils as well. I told you that I have a big studio, right? Thankfully there is a doorway that allows ventilation as well as a view of my little perennial garden just outside the door.

Through the Glass
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

The internet has changed my sources of inspiration three fold. I used to be inspired either by artists that I had studied in my art history books or in the exhibits that I would see here in Michigan or in New York. Now on a daily basis, I find oodles of inspiration from paintings that I would’ve been unlikely to come across before. Once a painting catches my eye, I look up the artist and find more inspiration often in their blogs or sometimes, if available, in their workshops. I have been so lucky to study pastel with Wolf Kahn in Connecticut, cold wax technique with James Scherbarth in Minnesota, abstract painting with Steven Aimone in Maine last July and this summer flower painting with Dawn Stafford, a painter that I have admired at Ox Bow in Michigan. I have traveled and painted in France several times in my life, marveling at the fields of lavender and experiencing the gardens in full bloom at Giverny. These are just a few of the places and people that have kept my juices going!

Pomegranate with Muffin Tin
(click to view)

Curiosity has always been key for me in generating my creativity on a daily basis. I work as a visual merchandiser three days a week. That means I make displays for our jewelry stores. Generating new ideas and putting the materials together is very energizing. Most of the time I am working in shadow boxes and store windows so it is a lot like a three dimensional canvas. I love to pursue new techniques and am constantly trying new materials. This spring I have created an actual magical forest in each window, with jeweled insects and little creatures, sharing the space with beautiful necklaces, bracelets and rings.

When discussing my inspiration I must mention my actual studio because it is bursting with all of the things that I love. Drawers of colorful beads, jars of tiles in every hue, objects that I have collected or been given, colorful glass vases and printed bowls as well as different painted papers, maps and old letters for collage. I also have a lot of old photos of loved ones, as a reminder of the richness of the journey. My shelves are overflowing with books about every facet of making art and the creative process. There’s a worn very comfortable arm chair to relax in as well as music to listen to and generally I am joined by my beloved companion, Luna, our golden shepherd. Once I head down the stairs to my studio, and pass the sign “No Worries Allowed” I have entered a different world, mine.

Still Life with Red Cup
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

My happiness with my art comes from the way that I see the world with an “artist’s eyes”. My mantra has always been “live a colorful life”. I am very grateful for the beauty that I see often in the ordinary things in my daily world. The way that the light falls across the winter landscape creating more lavenders and grays than you could imagine. Or how a few oranges on my kitchen counter become worthy just by the way the sunlight makes them glow.

My most recent still life paintings are created from a different perspective or viewpoint in order to accentuate the forms and the patterns of light and shadows. I create very elaborate drawings which allow me to become familiar with my subject before I pick up my brushes. Lately I have taken up the challenge of adding patterned fabric and colored glass objects to my set ups. I love figuring out the best way to approach the painting, often thinking backwards to solve the challenge. It gives me great pleasure to receive a complement on one of my paintings. I love selling my work and thinking about the joy that it will bring to another person’s world.

Thanks, Patti!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 10, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Bobbie Cook

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Bobbie's painting, "Cups Challenge" 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.

Artwork is a form of expression that I am comfortable with sharing. It has served me well as a student, a biologist, a teacher, and a parent. Now that I am in what most people would call retirement age I wanted to become more serious about oil painting specifically. Because I knew very little about how to get started I became a weekly participant at a local open studio. The owner/artist of the studio provides everything a person needs in almost any medium you want to try. This was my informal introduction to oil painting.

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

I have really only been painting for about seven years. The first four years I would only paint in preparation for a class. Painting sporadically like that was not conducive to learning. Then I discovered Daily Paintworks when I bought a painting on eBay from a DPW member. Soon after that I bought Carol Marine’s book and decided to join DPW myself. The almost daily practice is how I have really been learning to paint.

Cups Challenge
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love working with oils and will continue learning as much as I can with this medium. As for genres, I seem willing to try just about anything. However, my favorites are outside scenes and wild animals.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Everyday life experiences inspire me. Most of what I paint is connected to my past or present experiences or experiences of those I am closely connected to like family or friends. I often think when I look at my collection of paintings that it is like a journal.

The Magic of Fireweed
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Procrastination is when my mind is so busy that I can no longer prioritize what I need to do. This happens when I slack off on my daily chores like housework, yard work, grocery shopping, etcetera. When this happens I just need to take time off from painting and declutter my life.

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

Routines work well for me when it comes to working around my family. Weekdays are easy because I spring into action once everyone has left the house. I like to get my blood flowing by first exercising. Then I head up to my studio which is a loft in the peak of our A-frame house. I give myself myself two hours to paint a panel that I have previously under painted. I set a timer in my kitchen so that I am forced to walk away from my painting for a quick break and to reset the timer. The timer really helps me set parameters and to maintain focus. Weekends are another story. Sometimes I will paint if there is a quiet time, otherwise I will do several under paintings, or not paint at all.

Leaving Girdwood
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

In general I like to paint what I am surrounded by outside whether it be at home, or traveling. I have trained myself to take reference pictures on a regular basis. If I have the time I will sit and draw in a journal. I am always surprised how much a drawing enhances a future painting.

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

I find it hard to burn out when I have so much to learn and so many new things to try. However, I do get discouraged at times and feel like I am not making any progress. This is when I go to galleries and museums to view other peoples work. I also like to check out what is going on in current art magazines. Somehow viewing the artwork of others inspires me to get back into my studio with great energy.

Thinking of Spring
(click to view)

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

Color is something I am experimenting with right now. One method I have been enjoying is to start a painting with only translucent paints and then finish it with opaque paints. The other thing that I am working on is muting color to better define landscapes.

What makes you happiest about your art?

People always ask how is it that I can sell or give away my paintings. Then I think about what a mess it would be if I kept them all. I find a greater joy in the process of painting than in the product of painting. Besides, it is wonderful when someone makes a special connection to a painting that they feel they must have as part of their life story.

Foil Crane
(click to view)

Thanks, Bobbie!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

Thursday, May 3, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Juli Rodgers

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

From Juli's DPW Gallery:

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a gorgeous place to be an artist. When I was a child growing up in the Midwest, my siblings and I were always immersed in a love and appreciation of nature. That has formed the basis for my artistic endeavors, and some of my favorite subjects to paint are birds, animals (especially horses), and insects. I work mostly in oil and colored pencil.

While I have been involved in some way with art for many years, I have only recently started painting regularly. I was inspired by Carol Marine's book, "Daily Painting", and find the process has given me a remarkable structure for getting my creativity out into the world.

I would like those who view my work to experience an emotional and sensory connection to the incredible beauty of the natural world.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I was very interested in making art.  My mother was an artist and was always encouraging my siblings and me in creative projects.  After becoming an adult, I lost my connection to art until the late 1990’s when I contracted a life-threatening illness.  During my recovery, I rediscovered my love of art, and began painting landscapes in pastel and watercolor.

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

I did have stops and starts.  In 2003 I began a series of mandalas (circular repeating images) in colored pencil using elements of nature, such as birds, insects and flowers.  There was an intense and spiritual aspect to this process and when the series was finished, it was difficult for me to move on to another project.  In 2009 I moved from Houston, TX to Santa Fe, NM.   I was so inspired by the landscape, I started painting again in pastel.  After several years came another blocked period.  This seemed to be related to some feelings of overwhelm about how to produce and then market the complex paintings that were in my imagination.  In 2016 I found Carol Marine’s book on daily painting and the idea of small, quick paintings resonated strongly with me as a way to go forward again with my art.

Giant Lemon
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have worked in watercolor, gouache, pastel, graphite colored pencil, and now in oil.  Besides landscapes I have painted still life, figures studies, portraits and botanical studies. I am fascinated with “nature journaling” but haven’t been able so far to go beyond the concern about ruining a beautiful journal with pages that are not “perfect”.

Which ones have stuck and which ones have fallen away?

I am currently working mainly in colored pencil and oil.  I love pastel painting and hope to get back to that.  I also love the process and effects of watercolor, but now I use it mostly as underpainting for colored pencil.

Mandarin Orange
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to continuing to improve and expand my oil painting skills.  My newest subjects are animals, especially horses.  I live in a somewhat rural area with lots of wildlife – coyotes, bobcats, elk, deer and so many birds.  I want to paint them all!  I am particularly excited about painting horses.  Several years ago I bought one of my own, and in addition to art, he is one of the great joys of my life.   I am also planning to paint landscapes in oil.  The skies, the light and high desert landscape are incredibly beautiful here in New Mexico.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Nature in all its myriad expressions is what inspires me the most.  There are also several artists who I find inspiring - Duane Keiser, who founded the daily painting movement is one.  I admire the incredible horse paintings of Jill Soukup, a Colorado artist.  Albert Handell, is also an inspiration.  He paints beautiful landscapes in pastel and oil.  He is in his eighties and still goes out to paint plein air.

Lemons and Grapes
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Wow – that’s a difficult topic for me.  It’s too easy for me to give into distractions and also allow others to intrude upon my painting schedule.  There’s also the voice in my head whispering “Painting is too hard”, or “You’ll never be good enough”, and other discouraging comments.

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

I’ve designated certain hours in the afternoon as “painting time”.  Recently I’ve started turning off my phone during this time.  Also, I try to make sure I take care of tasks such as cleaning brushes and palettes outside of these hours.  Finally, I try to remember how much I love painting, and to turn down the volume on my critical voice.

Blue Jay
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Ideas for paintings seem to frequently flood my brain.  I try to write them down so that they’re not lost, but it’s sometimes frustrating that many may go unpainted.

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

I try to avoid getting stuck painting only what I know over and over.  I want to move out of my comfort zone and into uncharted territory once I feel some mastery over an idea or technique.  I can’t say this is easy, as it’s always more comfortable to stay with what is familiar, but it’s also exciting to explore the unknown. 

Palomino
(click to view)

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

I’m finally learning to listen less to my “Inner Critic”, and recognize that producing good art comes with much practice, and producing many “bad” paintings.

What makes you happiest about your art? 

When I’m painting or drawing, I feel I’m in the present moment and really connected to my subject. I’m very happy when I can convey an emotion that captures this feeling of connection.

Thanks, Juli!

© 2018 Sophie Marine