Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Art Of Carol Marine - An Interview

She makes the mundane come alive. With bright colours, and broad, loose brush strokes, precisely applied. And by her choice of titles, she makes the cups, the tomatoes, the shoes and other “still lives” that she paints the heroes and heroines of the moment.

Carol Jean Marine of the Daily Paintworks fame paints every day. Little paintings, on boards 6” x 6” or thereabouts. And yet, little drops of water make the mighty ocean...And a successful career as a professional artist. Truly one of the tech-savvy artists of the times, Carol sells most of her paintings online, from her blog. Carol has written several books on her art, and lives in Oregon.

Besides her delectable still lives, she also paints landscapes, cityscapes, people, and even some 'therapeutic' abstracts.

Q.  Describe your typical working day. 

A. My days are all very different. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I ask myself is – am I excited to paint? If no, then I ask myself why? Is it because I’m scared to try something new? Then maybe I will paint anyway. If it is because I am out of ideas, and I’ve been painting a lot lately, then I do something else – take a break and let my creative well re-fill.

On the days that I decide to paint, I work just as long as I’m inspired. This may be 2 hours, or it may be 10. I am lucky enough to be in a position that I can always and only paint what I like. I no longer take commissions or work for anyone else, and this makes me very happy. When we do what we love, not only are we happier because of it, our love shines through in our work. And when we love our work, other people will too.

Q. Why did you choose to be an artist?
 A. I don’t think I chose to be an artist, I think the universe chose it for me. Art is what I’ve always been drawn to.  And even after major blocks, when I haven’t been able to paint for months, I always come back to art as my primary love.

 Q. What is your goal as an artist?
 My goal as an artist is to create work that makes me happy. It doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it’s a slog. But every painting is a new opportunity, and a delicious challenge. Additionally my goal is to make a living doing the thing I love, and to help support my family.

Q. What inspires you to paint/create every day?
 A. I get inspiration from everything around me. I am especially enamored with light and shadow, and all the fun colors that dance around in each of those. I see this in landscape, still life, on people’s faces, etc.

I am also inspired by what other artists see and the art they make. This includes paintings, sculpture, music, books, movies, etc.

Q. How do you choose your subjects? 
A. I choose my subjects based simply on whether or not I get excited about painting them. And as I said before, to me it’s all about the light, and there’s light on everything!

Q. How do you think your art serves others or yourself?
 A. The process of doing art makes me happy. People buy the art I create, and say nice things about it, so I suppose it makes them happy to look at. I think that’s the most I could ever hope for!

Q.  Do you paint for yourself or with any particular person/audience in mind?
 A. I try to paint only for myself. I feel there is unnecessary stress when I think too much about what others might expect/want. Now, there are some things I would be interested in painting that I know wouldn’t sell. For example, I would love to pick interesting faces and just paint them, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t sell as well as apples and landscapes. That doesn’t mean I won’t paint those things – I just won’t try to sell them. And for now I still need to make a living, so mostly I paint within the realm of what I know will sell.

Q. Are you happy being an artist?
 A. I am happiest being an artist. That is not to say there aren’t times when it is hard and I want to quit. But at the end of the day, art is my greatest passion.

Q. When do you have the most fun?
 A. I have the most fun when I am completely in the zone with art, have no distractions, and can turn the judging part of my brain off. As soon as I ask myself, “Is this any good,” the fun ends.

Q. How has being an artist changed you? 
A. I’ve always been an artist, so I can’t say that it’s changed me, because it is me. But art has taught me SO much! One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that our expectations rule our experience. If we start a painting with the expectation that it will be great and that doesn’t happen, we are sorely disappointed. But if we expect nothing except the joy of creation, the outcome doesn’t matter nearly as much. And so it is in life.

Q. If you weren’t paid for it, would you still paint/create? 
A. Absolutely, though if I had to make a living some other way I wouldn’t have nearly as much time for it.

Q. What advice would you give to the aspiring artists? 
A. Besides, “Make art every day,” my advice would be to do what you love, and question every bit of advice you’ve ever gotten. : )

Q.  What have been the important turning points or influences in your artistic journey? 
A. The biggest turning point for me was joining the “daily painting” movement in 2006. I went from being in galleries and making less than a “living,” to selling a painting each day online and making enough to support my family. It is not an extravagant amount, but it is enough to be comfortable and happy.

 Q. Which are your favourite mediums/colours? 
A. My favorite medium is oil. I’ve worked with it for so long now that I am very comfortable with it. But I love to experiment with ALL other mediums. 

My family and friends will tell you that my favorite color is green, but I love all colors. There are an infinite number of them, far more than you can name. I find I am more enamored with particular color relationships, but even those preferences change with time.

Q.  What is art for you? 
A. Art is the best way I know to express myself. I can say things with art that I have no words for.

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