Back in December (yes, I know I'm a tad late with this), I had the pleasure of taking photos for an amazing fellow artist - Sara. She wanted to make sure she had pictures taken with her most recent piece before delivering it to her client. Can you blame her?
I mean, it's difficult to believe it's a painting and not a photograph! Personally, I love hearing about the experiences of other artists and learning what they really enjoy about their work. And, since I already know her so well, I thought I would ask her to answer some questions for you guys! Here's our little interview:
How long have you been painting?
I did my first painting, in acrylic, my junior year of high school in 2012. I painted one or two more in high school but really focused most on graphite drawings. Since my first painting I have done 5 in the last 5 years in acrylic as photo realistic pieces. More recently I have attempted oils for the first time in a more impressionistic style, which I really enjoy!
Are you self-taught or did you go to an instructor?
I really consider myself to be both self and instructor taught. When I was about four, I would wake up early by myself, prepare crayons and paper, turn on the TV and draw with Bob Ross and other featured artists. I have since always had a passion for creating and have learned a lot just through practice. I did, however, have an amazing art teacher in high school from whom I took four classes over four years. She was so encouraging of her students, which I think is what I needed most. She taught us how to see and then how to represent that on paper or canvas – with light, shapes, perspective, negative space… everything. I did not paint much in high school, but, regardless of medium, I really think it is all about learning how to see first and then second how to represent that through the movements of your hand as you create a piece. A lot of what I do though I do not think was taught or learned – I truly believe it is just in me. People ask me all the time how I did pieces or certain aspects of my paintings. My answer is always the same… “I don’t know, I just do it.” I have heard it described as an artist’s language – like how you talk and the certain words you use. Some of what you say is learned from what is around you but at the core it is just YOU. This is how I feel about my art. It’s a piece of me and I don’t think all of it was taught.
If you could describe your style in a sentence, what would that sentence be?
If I had to describe my style in one word even, I would say it is “evolving.” I started in photo representation or photo-realism but have more recently fallen in love with impressionism. I can’t say I have one particular style yet – I am still trying to figure out which one I want to pursue and which one connects and speaks to and for me more than the others.
What is your favorite medium to work in and why?
I love paint… any kind of paint. I like acrylic because of the detail but I also love oil because of its lack of detail. I guess that means my favorite medium depends on what I want to create in that moment.
About how long do you spend on each painting?
The time I spend on each piece varies significantly. It depends on how much concentrated time I can give it each time I sit in front of the canvas, it depends on what subject matter I am painting, but it also depends on what style I am pursuing in the piece. It really ranges from 45 minutes to 80 hours. However, I like to think though that every piece takes as long as I have been alive to create because with each piece I am building on everything I have learned – creatively but also personally.
When painting or drawing, do you have a specific type of music you like to listen to?
The music I listen to completely depends on my mood and what I am painting. Sometimes I listen to pop music or movie soundtracks, but my favorite go-to playlist is Ben Howard Radio on Pandora. The music is so creative and for some reason really connects to me and brings the most creativity to the canvas.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
I find inspiration in a lot of things. I think we all are inspired by things we connect to emotionally based on our past, current situation, dreams, fears, etc. Because of this, when I look at something and think, “I just HAVE to paint that,” I know I have connected to it somewhere within me and that the possibilities of what I could create from that connection could be really special. Specifically, though, I absolutely love light and how it moves on, through and around objects or nature. I think it catches my attention the most.
What are some new techniques and mediums you would like to try or learn more about?
I have A LOT of learning to do, and I am very excited about it! I really have not painted all that much so I just want to spend as much time with a paintbrush in my hand as possible. Right now I am really trying to learn about oils and Plein Air painting, so I can practice being freer with my brushstrokes and colors as I try to develop a more impressionist style.
As you can see, she is incredibly talented at what she does! If you would like to contact her to purchase a professionally made print or commission an original, here is her contact info:
Acrylic and Oil Painter
This interview is a first here on my blog, so if you really like it, please let me know so I can be sure to post more like it!
- R. S.