Monday, July 30, 2012

Classic Beauties

"Classic Beauties" 5" x 10" original watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller
Hi Everyone,

Today I'm sharing my sepia version of my pear painting.  Painting in sepia is a great way to really understand values and make sure you are getting your darks, dark enough to make your lights pop.  I started this exercise in the workshop I taught earlier this summer and just now finished it up. I love painting in sepia and when I first started painting in watercolor I painted only in sepia.  I really think it helped me get where I needed to be when I started adding color into the mix.  Sepia also has such a beautiful "old world" feel.



And here is a work in progress I'm working on for one of my favorite people in the art world:)  I'll have more work in progress pictures on Wednesday.

I've been watching the Olympics this weekend.  The stories of these amazing athletes has inspired me to push myself.  All of these Olympians are following their passions and pushing their limits further than they ever thought they could.  I want to do the same with my art and career.  This is my dream and my passion.  I have even more commitment and dedication.  I'm going to push my limits.  If they can do it, so can I and so can you!!  We have to "just do it" :)

See you Wednesday:)

Carrie


Friday, July 27, 2012

Best of Friday Feature: Prabal Mallick

Friday Feature: Prabal Mallick

Hi Everyone,

I met Prabal Mallick through blogging.  He is a self-taught watercolor artist living in  Bangalore, Karnataka, India.  His works are beautiful and always take me away to his exotic locale.  He paints fantastic landscapes in his own unique style with amazing atmospheric perspective .  I always look forward to checking out what he's up to next.

Check out his blog here 
Untitled by Prabal Mallick watercolor 22 x 30
How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

Carrie, first of all it is a great pleasure being interviewed by you. Thank you.
I was drawing as early as I can remember. My father is a musician and he encouraged me a lot in my childhood. Then in high school my teachers and friends thought I was good at painting and I got a lot of encouragement there too. I had two wonderful art teachers who guided me there. But art was never a serious thing for me that time. Then I went on to do my engineering and painting took a back seat.  After engineering I got back to painting, but somehow the relationship was not working anymore. By the way I had been doing oils all this time. Then about four years back by some random coincidence I came across watercolor works of some wonderful artists and the rest as they say is history.

Where were you born?

I was born in Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha in eastern part of India.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Somebody said, “its not the place, but the company that matters.” But yes I wont mind a secluded village somewhere in Goa. J
"Chilika Stills" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

No points for guessing this. Landscapes it is. Especially the country side. Nature’s beauty has never fails to inspire.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I try to break up a painting into major washes. This part is very important for me because I do not glaze over a lot. Then come the smaller washes. And finally it is about making statement with minimal brush strokes. And yes I also rely on watercolor to paint itself like most watercolor painters.

I love all of your landscapes.  Do you paint from sketches, life, or photos or some combo?  Could you expand on this?

Thank you Carrie. It is great to know that. I love painting outdoors the most. But it is not always possible. So in that case I work from sketches done on location. In case of photographs too I make sketches first and then I work from the sketch.
"Chilica Stills III" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x22
How did you arrive at your current style?

I think 90% of the style comes from the personality of the artist. It is always there. The rest 10% which is about the skill set and outlook keeps changing with time. But this 10% is actually very important and one needs to keep working on it for the 90% to present itself clearly. I think I have just started working on that 10% and it will take some good time for my style to get defined on paper.

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Oh there are many. Van Gogh is my all time favorite artist. Among contemporary watercolor artists Milind Mulick, Charles Reid, Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet are my favorite to name a few. Milind sir’s paintings were the reason I got inspired to do watercolors.
"Plein Air Museum" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 11
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

To have faith….. When you decide to embark on an artistic journey, you are telling yourself that this will be a never ending and lonely journey which will keep testing you all the time. And the only thing that will carry you ahead on your path is faith.
"Plein Air Tipu's Summer Palace" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
Do you have go-to paints/colors and brands, what are your favorites?

In brands there are no favorites as such. I use an Indian brand called Camel. I am quite used to it by now. In colors I use 3-4 varieties of primaries. And in secondaries I have an orange, a magenta and two greens.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

In no particular order
  1. Get much more painting time
  2. Study under my favorite artists
  3. Go on a painting world tour
  4. Grow as a person
  5. Improve my skills at least a 100 times over
"Plein Air Lalbaugh Flower Show" by Prabal Mallick 15 x11
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

An artist’s journey has no destination. It is the journey that has to be enjoyed. There is no alternative to practice, which will improve the quality of this journey. Keep reflecting to check whether the direction is your own. And most importantly have faith.
"Plein Air Ulsoor Lake" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 11
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

This probably is the simplest, but most profound words of advice I received.

“In art no one else can solve one’s problems. One has to find the solutions oneself. One has to find one’s own path. That is when a painter can become an artist. So just keep at it.”

"Princess Khairi" by Prabal Mallick watercolor 15 x 22
SPEED ROUND!
Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Hmmmmmmmm.. I think mountain retreat wins with a very small margin out here..

Book or movie?

Book

Favorite author?

Devdutt Pattnaik

Favorite movie?

‘Leaving Home, life and times of Indian Ocean’, ‘Lord of the rings series’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’
Romance or comedy?

Comedy

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Mango, Black currant

Night owl or morning person?

Strictly none. But I love to get up and see sunrise, though I don’t do it.

Cake or Cupcakes?

I love cakes. So both.

Prabal thank you so much for your interview.  I love his answer to the best advice for an artist.  Very insightful:)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bottled at the Source Work in progress pictures

Hi Everyone,

Thought I would share my work in progress pictures of my newest painting "Bottled at the Source".



"Bottled at the Source" original watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller

"Fat Bottomed Girls" original watercolor on 260lb Arches 5" x 10" with a 1.5" white border
"Fat Bottomed Girls" is being auctioned at Daily Paintworks, Click Here for Details

Have a great week, see you Friday for Friday Feature:)

Carrie

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bottled at the Source

"Bottled at the Source" original watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller
  Click for Price Information
Hi Everyone,

I trust that you are having a wonderful summer!  It is hot, hot, hot here, and I think most places in the U.S.  We are in a severe drought and in dire need of some rain so I guess the Cook/Waller challenge this month is timely.  Crystal came up with the theme of water.  Now, confession time, this challenge was due a while ago but yours truly has been crazy busy.  I think Crystal has been pretty busy also with commissions and summer with the kids.  But I have finally gotten my act together and created my first painting in our new home.  I took the photo reference for this at our old home in Alabama.  I set these water bottles up pool side.  I loved the contrast of the abstractness of the bottle against the abstractness of the pool.  And I love, love, love blue and turquoise, so this painting was right up my alley.  I did change quite a bit from the photo reference.

Check Wednesday for the Work in progress pictures of this painting.

To see Crystal's answer to the challenge click here.

Sammy and I celebrating:)
My fabulous art bag for transporting framed pictures.  (Please ignore my half closed eyes:)
 Also this past Saturday was my hmmmm hmmmth birthday so we had a nice little celebration at home.  My Mom and Grandma had been here the week before so it's been a family filled month.  My Mom made this fabulous art bag for me.  I saw someone at an art exhibit bring in their framed works in bags similar to this and took a picture and asked my Mom to make one for me.  She went above and beyond and reinforced the bottom with a very sturdy fabric and made the hand super durable and it even has a velcro closure.  This will make lugging around framed works so much easier.  It also pads and protects them while being transported.  I already put in a request for an even bigger one:))

"Fat Bottomed Girls" Bid Now--being auctioned at DPW
I also got a little better photo of my painting from last a couple of weeks ago.

I hope you are staying cool and creating lots of great works.

Carrie

Friday, July 20, 2012

Best of Friday Feature: Martine Alison

Friday Feature: Martine Alison


"Duck a l'orange" original by Martine Alison
Hi Everyone,

It's Friday again:))  Today I have something new, my feature is in 2 languages:)  Thanks to our French feature Martine Alison, she has her answers in French and English-so considerate of her:)  For all my English readers I've put that in green and for all the French friends check out the purple. Martine's work whimsical and fun.  I was not shocked to read that Paul Gauguin was a favorite artist of hers.   

To see more of her work check out her blog

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

Je suis autodidacte et je peins depuis l’adolescence.
Lorsque j’étais enfant, je prenais beaucoup de plaisir à peindre avec le thé resté au fond des tasses. Je peignais aussi avec de l’eau boueuse !
Mais avant tout, je dessinais. Je ne pouvais pas me passer de dessiner. Je n’avais pas comme la plupart de tous les enfants des crayons de couleurs, seulement un crayon graphite. Je rêvais d’avoir une belle boîte de crayons. Chaque jour en allant à l’école, je m’arrêtais devant la vitrine du marchand de couleurs et je collais mon nez pour regarder de plus près les magnifiques boîtes qui s’y trouvaient…
Je savais déjà je crois que je ne pourrai jamais me passer de dessiner…

I am self taught and I paint since adolescence.
When I was a kid, I took a lot of fun to paint with tea remained at the bottom of cups. I also painted with muddy water!
But first, I was drawing. I could not live without drawing. I hadn’t like most of all children colored pencils, graphite pencil only. I dreamed of having a beautiful box of crayons. Every day going to school, I stopped in front of the window color merchant and I pressed my nose to look more closely at the beautiful boxes that were there ...
I already knew I think I could never do without drawing ...


Where were you born?
Je suis née en France à Saint-Etienne dans la Loire. Une ville qui se situe dans le centre de la France à environ 1 h de route de la ville de Lyon. C’est une ville qui est à la porte de l’Auvergne.

I was born in France in Saint-Etienne in the Loire. A city that is located in the center of France about an hour away from the city of Lyon. This is a city that is the gateway to the Auvergne.

"Face to Face" by Martine Alison

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
Il y a tant d’endroits où j’aimerais vivre… Je sais que j’ai besoin de lumière, de soleil et de calme. J’aime le sud de mon pays où j’ai vécu des années heureuses. Mais je pense que je pourrais facilement m’adapter si ces trois raisons étaient réunies. Il est vrai qu’il est parfois difficile pour un français de quitter son pays pour vivre ailleurs, mais en réfléchissant, cela ne serait pas un problème pour moi.

There are so many places I want to live ... I know I need light, sunshine and calm. I love the south of my country where I spent happy years. But I think I could easily adapt myself if these three reasons were met. It is true that it is sometimes difficult for a French to leave his country to live elsewhere, but on reflection, this would not be a problem for me.


"Combining Exhilarating" by Martine Alison
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
J’aime peindre des petites femmes… peut-être parce que je me connais bien en tant que femme mieux que s’il fallait peindre des hommes. (J’ai peint une seule fois un homme ! pour une cliente qui possédait plusieurs de mes toiles et qui m’avait demandé de faire une exception…)
Je fais apparaître aux côtés de mes petites femmes des animaux.
L’ensemble de mon travail laisse transparaître la priorité au dessin. C’est la base solide de mes compositions même lorsque je crée des bouquets.
Créer et peindre des petites femmes est pour moi mon mode d’expression. Mon interprétation reste dans le domaine de mon inconscient et le résultat est l’écho de mon état d’âme du moment. Mon monde est semé de rêves à la limite du naïf et il m’entraine vers une sensualité délicate.

I love to paint little women ... maybe because I know myself as a woman better than if we had to paint men. (I painted once a man ! For a client who owned several of my paintings and asked me to make an exception ...)
appearing a long side of my little woman are animals.
All of my work leaves reflected the priority drawing. This is the foundation of my sketch even when I create bouquets.
Create and paint little women for me is my mode of expression. 
My interpretation is in my subconscious and the result is the echo of my mood of the moment. My world is fraught with dreams on the edge of naive and which leads me to a delicate sensuality.
"Apples of love and rose Cider" by Martine Alison
 Could you talk about your painting techniques?  


J’aime travailler l’huile. Je pense qu’elle me correspond bien car je travaille lentement.
Lorsque mes enfants étaient petits je pouvais ainsi laisser mon travail en suspens et le reprendre plus tard.
Ma technique n’est peut-être pas celle qui m’aurait été enseignée si j’avais reçu des cours. C’est en faisant des erreurs que j’ai appris et que je continue d’apprendre.

Cependant j’aime fabriquer mes huiles en utilisant des pigments de la marque Blockx que j’achète déjà broyés mais que je continue de les écraser à la molette de verre. Parfois je broie un pigment durant une année. Plus il est broyé finement plus j’obtiens une grande luminosité après l’avoir mélangé avec de l’huile d’oeillette et de l’ambre. Les dosages et « mes recettes » me sont propres.

Que ce soit une toile de petit ou grand format je travaille uniquement avec de petites brosses de martre de chez MANET 2 et 4 ainsi que des pinceaux 0, 00 et même 000.
Sur une toile d’un format 50 x 50 cm je passe environ 1 mois à 1 mois et demi de temps, entre la création et la peinture.

Je suis très exigeante sur la qualité de la toile.
Je peins sur des toiles de lin extra-fin sur lesquelles sont enduites 6 couches de gesso. Entre chaque couche, la toile est passée sous un rouleau qui écrase les fibres. Ce procédé évite à la toile de subir des modifications.

Après une élaboration lente de mon croquis, je l'achemine vers un univers rempli de couleurs...
Je peins de gauche à droite, comme on écrit, sans presque jamais revenir sur la partie peinte. Je dis de gauche à droite, car dans le sens contraire, ma main risquerait de brouiller le travail exécuté. Je suis droitière ! Toutefois, je parviens aisément à utiliser aussi ma main gauche...
Je ne veux pas essayer de peindre en couvrant toute la toile. Je crains de trouver mon travail déprimant...
Je peins en transparence, sur un dessin établi et achevé, pour que mon trait ne disparaisse pas.
Autrement, je perdrais le trait de départ sous la couche et il me faudrait revenir constamment sur mon dessin.
Je peux peindre en transparence 5 ou 6 couches sans que vous puissiez en deviner le nombre.
Chaque peintre a ses petits secrets !... Je peins comme je cuisine... à l'instinct.

I enjoy working oil. I think it suits me because I work slowly.
When my kids were little and I could leave my job on hold and resume it later.
My technique is perhaps not one that would have been if I had been taught lessons. It is by making mistakes that I learned and I go on to learn.

But I like making my oils using pigments Blockx brand I buy already shredded but I go on to mash with a knob of glass. Sometimes I grind a pigment during one year. Finely grind the more I get more high brightness after mixing it with oil of poppy and amber. The dosage and "my recipes" are my own.

Whether a small or large format I work only with small sable brushes from home MANET 2 and 4 as well as brushes 0, 00 and even 000.
On a canvas of 50 x 50 cm I spend about 1 month to 1 ½ months of time, between creation and painting.

I am very demanding on the quality of the canvas.
I paint on linen cloth extra fine which are coated on 6 layers of gesso. Between each layer, the fabric is passed under a roller which crushes the fibers. This prevents the fabric subject to change.

After a slow development of my sketches, I move towards a world full of colors ...
I paint from left to right, as written, almost never return to the painted area. I say from left to right, because in the opposite direction, my hand might confuse the work performed. I am right-handed! However, I am able to easily use both my left hand ...
I will not try to paint covering the entire canvas. I'm afraid I find my work depressing ...
I paint in transparency, drawing on established and completed, so that my line does not disappear.
Otherwise, I would lose the line of departure in the layer and I would need to reposition themselves on my drawing.
"Garance" by Marine Alison

How did you arrive at your current style?
Je me rappelle avoir toujours dessiné et peint dans ce style avec bien sûr moins d’assurance qu’aujourd’hui. Je ne sais pas si le fait d’avoir visité et admiré les œuvres de nombreux artistes de tous styles confondus dans de différents musées ou galeries a influencé ou non mon propre style. Je pense que nous sommes des éponges. Nous emmagasinons des formes et des couleurs dans les petits tiroirs de notre cerveau. Puis, elles rejaillissent dans notre travail inconsciemment. Toutefois en ce qui me concerne, je dirais que mon style est mon écriture.

I remember always drawn and painted in this style of course with less assurance than today. I do not know if having visited and admired the works of many artists of all styles in various museums and galleries has influenced my own style or not. I think we're sponges. We stock shapes and colors in the small drawers of our brain. Then they unconsciously come in our work. However in my case, I'd say my style is my writing.

"Let's dance the nasturtium" by Martine Alison
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?
J’ai plusieurs artistes préférés. Il est difficile pour moi de les dissocier. Je répondrais  que j’aime les oeuvres de Paul GAUGAIN et Jean COCTEAU.

I have several favorite artists. It's hard for me to separate them. I would say I like the works of Paul Gauguin and Jean Cocteau.


What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?
J’adore cuisiner. Je trouve que la cuisine est un art complémentaire à la peinture.
Je suis aussi une contemplative. J’aime rêver et  m’étonner dans la campagne… J’observe et conscientise l’abondance de la vie qui m’entoure et je m’en inspire pour en créer une œuvre au même diapason, c’est-à-dire un acte de type presque théâtral où l’imagination peut propulser la scène.

I love cooking. I find that cooking is an art to complement the painting.
I am also a contemplative. I like to dream and surprise me in the campaign raises awareness and ... I observe the abundance of life around me and I am inspired to create a work on the same wavelength, that is to say an act almost like theater, where the imagination can propel the scene.

"Manaia" by Martine Alison
Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
J’aime les verts qui n’en sont pas… Les couleurs m’ensorcellent ! Cependant je n’aime pas le brun !

I like greens that are not ... The colors bewitch me! However I do not like the brown!

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
-      Ouvrir mon atelier-galerie où je pourrais faire du « food-feeling ». Pour faire court, faire découvrir une assiette réalisée à partir d’une peinture. Une sorte de communion ou d’échange avec le visuel, les saveurs, les couleurs et le goût…
-      Avoir la chance de faire de belles rencontres artistiques.
-      Trouver du temps pour faire de la terre. Autrefois, j’ai fait un peu de sculpture sur pierre mais c’est beaucoup trop physique pour moi.
-      Sauver et soigner les animaux.
-      Continuer à voyager.

Et pour se faire, apprendre peut-être à m’aimer…

-Open my studio gallery where I could make the "food-feeling". In short to discover a dish made ​​from a painting. A kind of communion or exchange with the visual, flavor, color and taste ...
-Having the chance to make beautiful artistic encounters.
-Find time to make the earth. I once did a bit of stone carving but it is far too physical for me.
-Save and care for animals.
-Continue to travel. 

And to do, learning perhaps to love me …

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
Rester authentique. Travailler le plus régulièrement possible et croire en ce que l’on fait. Laisser aller son pinceau au rythme de ses émotions.

To stay authentic. Work as regularly as possible and believe in what we do. Let go of his brush to the beat of his emotions.
"Never let me go" by Martine Alison
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Continuer de peindre tout ce que j’aime, sans me préoccuper de ce qui se fait ou pas en restant moi-même. Il ne faut pas chercher,  il faut ÊTRE moi.

Go on to paint whatever I like without worrying about what must be done and staying myself. Do not search, I must BE.

SPEED ROUND!
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolat vanillé…

Chocolate vanilla ...

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?
Sunny beach,  lorsque les plages sont désertes.

Sunny beach when the beaches are deserted.

Book or movie?
Livre et film

Book and movie


Favorite author?
Livres autobiographiques

autobiographical books


Favorite movie?
Harem avec Nastassja Kinski et Ben Kingsley
Et le film danois, Le festin de Babette avec Stéphane Audran.

Harem” with Nastassja Kinski and Ben Kingsley
A Danish movie, « Le Festin de Babette » with Stéphane Audran.


Romance or comedy?
Comédie

Comedy


Favorite ice cream flavor?
Vous touchez à mon point faible en parlant de crème glacée… Elles sont mon péché mignon !  Il est difficile pour moi de faire un choix ! Un seul parfum !!... Puisqu’il le faut je dirais menthe avec des pépites de chocolat.

You touch my weak point in speaking of ice cream ... They are my guilty pleasure! It's hard for me to make a choice! Only one flavor! ... I would say it must be so mint with chocolate chips.

Night owl or morning person?
Je suis une couche tard et une lève tôt. Je dors très très peu.

I am a stay up late and up early. I sleep very little.

Cake or Cupcakes?
Petits gâteaux. Je trouve plus intime de déguster un ou des petits gâteaux avec une tasse de thé. Le « spectacle » est beaucoup plus organoleptique !

Cupcakes. I find a more intimate tasting one or cupcakes with a cup of tea. The "show" is much more organoleptic !

Thank you so much Martine!  Have a great weekend everyone:)

Carrie 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Work In Progress

work in progress 18" x 28" watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller
Hi Everyone,

I'm still plugging away on my water themed painting.  I have my Mom and Grandma in town so I'm squeezing some painting time in here and there.  I'm still struggling with the photos of my work.  I think I'm going to have to photograph in the mornings which really doesn't jive with my nightowl tendencies. Since I'm normally blogging with you at 3am.


On the home front Steven got to celebrate his birthday again with his "Gigi" (my Mom) and his Great Grandma Smith.  This time in addition to a jello mold we had cake too:)

Carrie

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Best of Friday Feature: Sandra Busby

Hi Everyone,

It's another edition of best of Friday Feature!  Today is one of my favorite blogging buddies, Sandra Busby:))  She is currently doing very well with her bear series, definitely visit her blog and catch up on her newest ventures, which involve a fb art page, pinterest account and twitter account.

I met Sandra through blogging:)  We became fast blogging buddies.  She is delightful.  Her spirit and fun come through in her blog and her art.  She has truly been on a journey and has come out on the other side painting her passion and it shows.

To see more of her work visit her blog

 How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

My friend and I used to draw all the time when we were little.
We’d make comic strips, draw people, make posters, collages... We would sometimes draw for hours!

Once I became a distracted teenager, my life took me in other directions and unfortunately, I didn’t pick up a pencil again until I was 35!
It was then that I realised how foolish I had been for not keeping it up.

A year later, armed only with the basic knowledge and an Artistic itch, I enrolled on an Arts Foundation Course, which I did from home. I completed it within a year and it was probably the best decision I’d ever made where my art is concerned. 

With a view to obtaining an Arts Degree I then enrolled on to the second year.
But unlike the foundation course, I soon began to feel stifled as though I was being held back rather than pushed forward.
I found it very difficult to paint subjects as dictated to me by the course and even harder trying to copy styles that didn’t come naturally to me.

After thinking long and hard about it, eventually I decided to withdraw from the course and that was probably the second best decisions I’d ever made where my art is concerned!
Free to paint as I liked, I began to discover how ‘Sandra Busby’ paints and quickly began to realise my own style.

Of course there are pro’s and cons to both going to Art College and being self-taught. Having done a little of both, I only know which suited me.


Where were you born?

I was born in the seaside town of Eastbourne, East Sussex on the South-East of England.
Now I live in a village just a few miles inland from there.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Hmm… that’s a difficult question!
I’ve had all sorts of romantic ideas in my life of living in a country full of sunshine and culture. The bottom line is I would miss home. So, I choose to just visit other counties instead. I LOVE travelling! :0)

If I could live anywhere in England, as long as my family could come along too I would probably choose somewhere like Cornwall. It is one of the most beautiful parts of England situated on the tip of the South-west coast.
If I could live anywhere abroad and take my family, I would choose somewhere like New Zealand.

One thing I could never live too far away from is the Sea. Though it is 16 miles from where I live, I can still ‘feel’ it. Any further away and I immediately feel its absence. For some reason it just has to be close.
"Single Malt, No Ice" by Sandra Busby
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

I seem to go through phases. I love painting glass – in fact anything that catches the light. I particularly love to paint these things against a really dark background, which really emphasizes the lights.
More recently I have been drawn to painting in a more vintage style with subjects and medium to suit. I’m quite settled on it to be honest.
I tend to bore easily though and so every so often I might decide to do something completely different in an entirely different medium!

I almost always prefer to paint subjects that I feel some sort of connection too.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

Hmm… Okay – let’s talk about oils then, since that is the main medium I am working with at the moment.

So, I work in layers. Firstly, having stained my canvas with a dilute wash, I transfer my basic outlines to the canvas. Then, I will start with a monochrome under-painting. This establishes my darkest areas and allows me to see in advance if something’s not working.

Next, I work from background to foreground, beginning with my darks. This is where I try to make the most of lost edges. Sometimes I can get the effect I want in just one layer, but other times it needs several layers. Sometimes I need a layer to dry before I add the next and sometimes I work wet in wet, depending if I need to blend areas or not.

I try to work transparently as much as possible, i.e. without the use of white. I don’t know why – somehow I feel that the painting looks less ‘chalky’. Of course white has to come in to it in some areas, but because I don’t use it much, it really sings when I do use it.

So, the lights come next and then once the whole painting is dry I might add further glazes in certain areas to bring more depth of colour.
Finally, I add detail and the brightest highlights.

My best friends are Liquin, Glaze medium and my Fan Brush with I couldn’t do without!
"Sherlock Wilson" by Sandra Busby
 You seem to really enjoy your bear paintings, could you talk about the personal significance?

Well, who doesn’t love bears? ;0)
It all started with a list of things that I wrote, of things I wanted to paint. Bubbles, glasses, marbles…
On this list was my Dads teddy bear, which he had kept since he was four.
It was coming up to Fathers Day and I decided it would be a lovely idea to paint the bear in a portrait style as a gift to him.

Whilst I was thinking about it, I decided that it would be nice to paint the bear in a vintage style, like the Old Masters used to use to paint portraits. I suppose I thought that this style would suit the bear’s age.
So, I painted him against a really dark background with a third of him disappearing in to the gloom.

I fell in love with the style as I painted and so decided to paint a whole series, which is currently in progress. Each bear is painted in what I consider to be my own take on the vintage style, with a contemporary edge - and I just love surrounding them with interesting objects :0)

How did you arrive at your current style?

Well, having withdrawn from the course, I quite literally rebelled!

I had spent a couple of years being told to ‘lunge’ at the canvas, to ‘throw’ paint around... I was so sick of the word ‘loose, loose, LOOSE!
I had begun to feel that so much emphasis was being put on imagination and ‘looseness’, and so technical ability came a very poor second!

Don’t get me wrong – I love loose paintings. I mean, who doesn’t love the work of Jean Haines and Shirley Trevina? But, that is their style. Try as I might, it just doesn’t come naturally to me.

I began to feel that I was being urged to follow a fashion – a trend. We were all trying to follow something that someone else had started.
The way I see it, with that comes the danger of becoming lost amongst many Artists, all doing the same thing. Fair enough, if it does come naturally and it is who you are, then fabulous! You will stand out regardless! But I was most certainly one of those who were lost.

When I withdrew from the course, I began painting things from my list of things ‘I’ had wanted to paint in the way ‘I’ had wanted to paint them. I began with glass.
I loved the freedom of being able to paint as neatly as I liked.

From that moment I have never felt the need to loosen up. This was just something that I had been made to think I should feel as an Art Student.
By Sandra Busby
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Well, yes I do. Rolf Harris!

I suppose it is because he has been around since I was a child. He was a TV entertainer and he used to paint with a huge paint brush on a wall. His catch phrase was ‘Can you tell what it is yet?’  I was totally in awe of him.
Of course he does fine art too and more recently he did a lovely painting of the Queen.
Not just that though – he seems to be a lovely, genuinely good man – and oh, his lovely Australian voice!
He is in his 80’s now and is still going strong.

My favorite of the Old Masters is Monet. I just love his paintings :0)

As for who has been my inspiration, well I get inspiration from SO many people!
Of course I get it from my family who are constantly re-assuring me that I am good enough! But I also get masses of inspiration from the blogs I follow.
Often, if I am having a confidence melt-down or an unproductive week and I feel bad about that, I will find that several other people have posted on that very subject.

I have learned so much from other people’s blogs; we all seem to feel the same insecurities about our work from time to time. We all make mistakes and we all struggle with sharing work that is not our best. I have learned that it’s normal to feel this way, it is normal to make mistakes and that is what has stopped me from hanging up my apron.

What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

Hmm… Well, music!
Though sometimes on a sunny day I can feel quite happy just listening to the birds singing, most of the time I listen to music. It keeps me painting for longer.
Also, I seem to be much more productive during the spring and summer. I always feel happier and more positive and of course the days are so much longer.


More recently, I have started to sketch at least one simple thing a day.
Because I can spend a long time on just one painting, it can sometimes be weeks before I pick up a pencil. So, I decided that this is a great way of stretching my creative muscles and exercising my drawing skills between paintings.
Honestly – now I have started this – I don’t know how I managed without it! I have suddenly woken up to how quickly we can become rusty and how important sketching actually is and I don’t intend to stop any time soon :0)

Do you have go-to paints/colors and brands, what are your favorites?

I like Winsor & Newton paints. I used to use cheaper brands thinking it really wouldn’t make any difference, but once I signed the contract with a Gallery, I thought it was only right to move on to a better quality paint.
Now I have tried them, I realise that there really is a difference (though not in all pigments). And though I might try an alternative brand of the same quality, I wouldn’t go back to using the cheaper paints. It is true – you do get what you pay for.
"Ted's Bear" by Sandra Busby
 What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

Hmm... well, some are big and some are more realistic – At least then in five years I can look back and see I have reached some of them! ;0)

Assuming you mean all art related things:

  1. To have a solo exhibition – HUGE dream :0)
  2. For my bears to be displayed on a Gallery wall and to sell! WOOHOO! :0D
  3. To enter a competition and not necessarily win, but to do well in it
  4. To fill up lots and lots of sketchbooks and lose the fear of sketching in public
  5. For my husband to strip out my art room and re-design it with me - HUGEST dream, lol ;0)

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

·                     First of all, don’t expect to be good right away. It’s like riding a bike – at first, you fall off! It takes lots of practice, so don’t get disheartened when you make a mistake. Just learn from it! I still make lots of mistakes and I still learn from them – as do even the most accomplished Artists. It took me a while to get that!
·                     Try to draw something simple every day. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can see an improvement of hand to eye-coordination!
·                     Never throw away old work. It’s a good way of judging your progress :0)
·                     And most importantly - NEVER see an unsuccessful painting or drawing as a failure – but rather as another valuable lesson learned. And most definitely don’t see it as a waste of time.
by Sandra Busby
 What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

Don’t be afraid of the dark! And by that I mean darks.
If your darks aren’t dark enough then your lights won’t sing. It’s interesting that the darker the darks, the lighter the painting can seem!
I used to be afraid to be bold, but paintings can too easily look wishy-washy without wonderful, rich shadows!

Oh, and sketch! Something I have only recently embraced :0)
"Codi" by Sandra Busby

SPEED ROUND!

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla – YUM!!!

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Sunny beach! There is no place I’d rather be other than under the sea :0)

Book or movie?

Both – except I don’t get enough time to read, so it will generally have to be a film

Favorite author?

Helen Fielding and J K Rowling! I love comedy and I LOVE magic!

Favorite movie?

Bridget Jones – Hilarious! And what woman can’t relate?
Harry Potter – Just magical in every way!
Grease!!! Classic! And John Travolta is just gorgeous!!!

Romance or comedy?

Comedy – No contest!

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Haagan Daz Pecan Nut and Caramel. Mmmmmmmm…

Night owl or morning person?

Neither! I need my sleep!
But - I am trying my hardest to train myself in to becoming a morning person!

Cake or Cupcakes?

Either!! If it’s yummy, sweet and it’s likely to give me a heart attack, then YES PLEASE!!!