I invited fans of my Facebook page to ask me anything. Here’s what they wanted to know!
1. Your art is eclectic…space scenes, fantasy, fractals, people, Loki, nature etc…do you have a favourite genre to paint?
I do enjoy exploring different genres! My interests are diverse as well, so it’s not surprising they bleed over into my art, but if I had to pick one it would be fantasy. Fantasy is a broad genre. It can have elements of Myth, nature and wildlife, people but all with the elements of Fantasy. I particularly love animals and creatures but also portraits. You can expect to see more of a focus in those areas.
2. If you didn’t paint or write, what do you think you would be doing instead?
As I mentioned in the previous answer, I have diverse interests. If I didn’t have any health issues I would love to work in archaeology/geology. See. Even now I can’t pick one! While at university I took Geology, Zooarchaeology, and The Geology of Archaeology. I could see myself digging up the remains of the past.
3. If/when you get “artist’s block”, how do you handle it?
I do sometimes get stuck and I’ve found that most of the time it’s because I’ve lost the inspiration for the painting. Forcing myself to keep painting only makes it worse. I’ve found walking to be the best solution. It helps to get outside, clear my head, enjoy the little things. Then I go back to the painting and think why isn’t this working for me? What needs to change? It usually works!
4. What has had the biggest influence on your work? Is it a particular artist? a genre? some personal insight?
I paint what I love. It’s that simple. As a child I spent an enormous amount of time outside, wandering the woods, drawing, collecting rocks and bits of nature, drawing, riding horses every weekend, dreaming up imaginary worlds and people based on the movies and stories I read. And of course, drawing. Not much has changed!
There are also a few artists that stick out who definitely left seeds of inspiration in my mind. Georgia O’Keeffe is the first artist I consciously remember. My mother kept a book of her art on our coffee table. John Waterhouse’s iconic images weave history, mythology and fantasy into rich worlds. Last, Michael Parkes. I saw a framed print of his painting Gargoyles back in the mid 90’s (in a print shop I’d later work at) and instantly fell in love with the magic.
5. What are your own personal artistic goals?
My main goal is to become a professional illustrator. I’d love to be painting covers for science fiction and fantasy novels, middle grade books, maybe even picture books. I’d also love to create art for card and board games. I’m determined to get there!
6. What are some of the best resources you used to learn and still use to create your digital art??
ImagineFX and deviantART. Digital painting involves most of the same skills as traditional painting but I did have to learn how the brushes function and how they can be manipulated in Photoshop. Those two resources were and still are invaluable.
7. Are you ever going to come north for a craft show or the like??
Yes! When? No clue. But it will happen.
8. Some artists (Not me) Say that Digital art.. isn’t “real” art.. What is your response to that?
I laugh. Because nowadays painting in Photoshop and Painter is incredible. It’s just another medium. If you can’t paint/draw with traditional mediums, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to in those programs. You use all the same skills and more.
9. Were you artistic as a child and what training have you received as an artist? Were you classically trained or only trained in digital arts?
Yes, I was artistic as a child. I have a creative mother and she was the first person to inspire me to draw. I’ve had a passion for drawing and art since I was at least 9 years old. My training as been less exact.
Middle School Drawing, 1989
When I was in middle school I unfortunately had an art teacher who demeaned students without any artistic ability. She also used those with ability as an example to belittle other students. I didn’t like being used and it angered me that a teacher could be so cruel. I avoided art classes for a while.
I was an art student at university for a year. I took two drawing classes, a sculpture class, and several art history classes. But I didn’t stick with it out of fear. I kept drawing and painting but finished my Bachelors in another field.
Later, after moving to the United Kingdom, I took a year long course in Creative Painting and Drawing at Kensington & Chelsea College. It was the first time I had to attend a portfolio review as a part of my application. I was accepted and it was one of the best courses ever!
Study drawing from National Gallery in London, 2006
I only began digital painting about a year ago.
10. Matisse said: “Creativity takes courage.” What has been your greatest struggle re: your art?
Painting what I want to paint and not what I think will sell or what’s expected of me.
To enter leave a comment on this blog post and be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you’re the winner. This time around I can only ship to the US, sorry international fans!
What will you win? I’ve made a fancy collage of four paintings below. You can choose one of those paintings and I’ll send you a 5×7 inch print! You can get a better look at the paintings choices in my deviantART Gallery.
I will pick the winner on Monday, November 25th while I’m drinking my coffee.
There were seven entries, but only one could be a winner today. I assigned everyone a number, from the first person to leave a comment to the last. The winner, according to Random.org is number 2, Sherry Key!
Sherry, get in touch with me via Facebook or email and let me know which print you’d like from the choices above.
Thank you all for entering!