When did you first become interested in art?
I would have to say I became interested in art as early as 2 years old. I knew all my colors including gray, tan, silver and gold, by sight and name.
The only toys I liked as a child required imagination, and my most prized toy by the time I was eight was an art kit. When I was in third grade I had my artwork hung in the school library and my art teacher would trade me acrylic paints for my watercolor paintings which she would hang in her living room.
What style of art do you use most?
I would have to say my style would be considered painterly, mixing realism and impressionism. I use really quick small strokes, and often use smaller brushes.
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
It has evolved but I have always had my own style. I actually have scrapbooks made up of all the art I made when I was little. I love going back and seeing how much I’ve grown!!
What medium do you use?
I work with acrylic the most, but also love watercolor and oils. I sketch also, using graphite, charcoal, colored pencils and pastels.
What made you choose that medium?
The reason I like acrylic is because I work really quickly and acrylic is fast drying. I also love the bright boldness I get with acrylics. Oils are great for the boldness aspect and watercolors are great for the quick aspect but acrylic has both. Can’t beat that!
Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
A little bit of both actually. It’s like dreams really, one part conscious, one part subconscious. Some subjects I get from life or my own reference photos and some come purely from my mind. Sometimes I just sit down with my paints and see where my brush takes me.
How do you choose your images and colours?
I don’t really choose them, they kind of choose me. I just sit down, and do what feels right at the time. It also depends on what kind of work I am doing, if I am doing realism then I will try to get the colors as realistically accurate as possible, if I am doing fantasy however, I often will push myself to be as crazy as possible with the colors!
Do you work in a studio?
I actually currently do not have my own space set out for my artwork. I lay out newspapers on the floor in the living room and use that as my work space. Just goes to show you work with what you have. I do this with my tools as well; it’s not uncommon to find me using strange utensils such as toothbrushes and q-tips!
Who is your favourite artist?
Going to have to go with Monet, I love his movement and colors. I also love how some of his works look like photos from far away and then up close you can see all his meticulous brushstrokes.
What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
I have so many it is so hard to say, but right now I really like my “New England Drive” because I love the depth, and color use. I did it from reference photos I took while traveling through the mountains of New Hampshire. I really love the play on light and the shadows of the trees on the road.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Just a few hours actually, I work really quickly and spontaneously, this also helps me produce a lot of work in a short amount of time, I currently have done 95 pieces this year and anticipate it being over 100 by January.
How well do you take criticism?
Criticism is a vital tool in learning, especially for self-taught artists but in time you learn to take the bad with the good, and also when people are really trying to help, or if they are actually speaking out of spite or jealousy. In the end you need to learn to be objective to your own work. I am my own worst critic. I take things in stride and listen to my heart. In the end I am just painting for myself and my own enjoyment. If others like it that’s a just a bonus!!
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
I give myself breathing room and time for reflection, usually at night when in bed. That’s where I get a lot of good ideas. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of sleep that way but it comes with the gift.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
It’s usually a feeling I get. Though as an artist it is hard to ever be satisfied. I will look at a painting a year later and see something I might have done different. But I also don’t like to overwork my paintings either as that is harder to change later then if you just left something out.
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
Not as of yet. But I haven’t really tried either. I’ve been focusing more on the online community.
Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future?
No plans yet, we will see what the New Year brings!
What are you currently working on?
Nothing right now, I have a couple of ideas brewing and tomorrow is a new day! I just finished did two paintings yesterday so today I am taking the day off!
What are your plans for the future?
And my aim in my life is to make pictures and drawings, as many and as well as I can; then, at the end of my life, I hope to pass away, looking back with love and tender regret, and thinking, “Oh, the pictures I might have made.” -Vincent Van Gogh
I think he said it best 🙂
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
That’s a really hard one. I haven’t had a lot of advice so much as lessons learned. And the best lesson I think I have learned, not only as an artist but as a person, is to be yourself, being one of a kind in this world is what gets you remembered after you are gone. That and a stunning piece of art!!
What advice would you give new artists?
Always challenge yourself. Never give up, if you have a passion, or talent, don’t neglect it. It is your right to pursue what you love, and you will never regret it!!!
Have you done any courses to help you?
I did the Art Instructions fundamentals of art program through the mail. But I didn’t get into that until high school; it was more of a refresher course really. It helped with some basic skills, and taught me a few “rules” that I hadn’t learned as a self-taught artist. I still considered myself self-taught as that program didn’t teach technique, just a few guidelines.
What do you do to market your work?
Word of mouth works great!! I also have a Facebook fan page; I’m on fine art America, and Zazzle.
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Are you available for work (commissions)?
Yes I am, I love trying new things and getting custom requests is a great way to do that!
Have you got hobbies?
I like making jewelry and other crafts, and I am also in to paranormal studies. I like all things spooky, and have a great interest in the afterlife.
Where are you based?
I’m based in the U.S. Pittston Maine to be exact.