Thursday, December 19, 2013

SURREALISTIC WORLDS OF JEFF FAUST - An American Painter (Interview)

A few months ago, as I was sitting in Books-A-Million at Columbia Crossing MD, enjoying my Caramel Macchiato and peacefully browsing through a glossy artsy magazine, I came across an image of a painting called "Song of the Coast" by Jeff Faust. I was thunderstruck by the beauty of it and could not get that painting out of my mind for days. Finally, worked up some courage and decided to contact the artist (and demanded an explanation of disrupting my peace). I had the information noted down on piece of napkin so I googled his name up and like magic I was led straight to his website. So, I shot him an email that I loved his painting and if I could write a blog about it.  Even though his paintings are out there literally in the mist of clouds, the painter himself is as down to earth as one can be. He gave me the permisson to use his image for my blog post and that blog http://americanartreview.blogspot.com/2013/08/song-of-coast-painting-by-jeff-faust.html was later featured on Speaking on Art (November issue) https://www.facebook.com/SpeakingOnArt?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser . At that point I wanted more from him -- an interview with the man, the myth and the legend. He agreed and here it is for all to enjoy the amazing paintings and an awesome interview of Jeff Faust -- the Cloud Voyager. 




1. When did you decide to become a Professional Artist? At what age you knew that you enjoy art?

I had started painting at an early age around 10 or 11. My parents  had a nice art library and they always had various supplies around. When I was a freshman in high school, while waiting for my English class to start one day, I made the decision that art was what I wanted to do with my life. Never looked back from that point on. 





2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?

It's been a solo journey for me. I never went to an art school and a loose definition of my work is what I call subtle surrealism. It's a realistic approach but I give myself the freedom to create my own worlds.


3. What is your favorite color and why?  Your favorite music? Do you listen to music while you paint?

I can't really say what my favorite color is. I fall in love with a new color with every change of the tide. I use greens and blues a lot so those are the ones I probably think of most but favorite is tough when there are so many choices.  

I listen to classical music all the time when I paint.  Thank goodness for KUSC -- sometimes I'll listen to Pandora and listen to a variety of stuff but not nearly as often as classical.





4. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the artwork?

I have sold untold numbers of  paintings.  I don't tend to keep a track of actual number of pieces I have sold so far so I don't know.  The sales out of the galleries now are typically by size. Perhaps I'll change that soon.


5.  Do you have a designated Art Studio? Do you have this studio in your house or do you rent it? The address if someone wants to send you correspondence?

I have always worked at home. I love being around my work all the time.  This way I can run in and out to get something I need.  The best part is having no commute when I get up as the studio is right down the hall. I can look at something just before ending the day and I love that.  My website address is http://www.jefffaust.com/





6. What past experiences (good and bad) have influenced your work?

One of the main concepts of my work is how fragile life is. That can mean actual breathing life, friendships, a marriage.  Years ago a good friend was killed along with his daughter, mother and an unborn child in an automobile accident. His wife was the only survivor.  Over in an instant! From that point on, the fragility of life has always been near my work. But good also.  A leaf blowing in the wind has a huge emotional appeal to me.


7. Who are your favorite Artists? Which Artists have influenced your outlook and work?  Who do you identify with the most?

As a youngster, I was astounded by Miro more than any other. Then Magritte, Dali, Picasso and a lot of the regulars. That was my education. Looking at the books and reading art biographies. Now, I don't pay much attention to the art world but I still get tremendous value from looking at works of art even though most of the artists have been dead for many years.





8. What is your favorite media (Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors)? Which brand and why you choose this specific media?

I have always used acrylics. I used oils once for about half an hour and I knew right then that it was not for me. Acrylics let  me paint the way my mind works -- changing my mind constantly about the piece. I am always rewriting my paintings. Always. Acrylics are good for that kind of thing and the paints available these days are great. 


9.  Is there something that you would like to share about yourself with a potential Art Collector?

Not really. It is either there in the work or it isn't .





10. Your nationality and Birthdate? Languages you can communicate in?

I am an American. I was born in New England on October 30th, and raised in California. I speak American English but can order a beer in Spanish.





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

EUPHORIC PAINTINGS OF SANDRA (KIKI) THOME - An American Painter (Interview)

Through Facebook, I discovered yet another delightful artist Sandra Thome. Her paintings make me feel joyous and euphoric each and every time I look at them. Each one of her paintings shouts out "I am not an accident, I am created with love". As for me, I am in love with her style and composition and I believe that goes without saying. The world that she creates is joyous, warm and beautiful. I really want to be a part of it. How about you?  "And I think to myself what a wonderful world...what a wonderful world". 



 1.When did you decide to become a Professional Artist/Painter? At what age you knew that you enjoy Art? 

I have never really considered myself a professional artist. I have just always been doing it. It is my therapy and escape. I grew up in a house surrounded in art --mostly subdued pieces I think I developed my love of color in contrast.




2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?

I consider myself a colorist. People often ask me what my style is and I tend to ramble out some sort of incoherent answer. I paint what I want and let it evolve on its own.


3. What is your favorite color and why? Your favorite music? Do you listen to music while you paint?

All color! No favorites. Favorite music is also an open question. I prefer instrumental so my thoughts can wander. I do sometimes paint with music but I like my mind to be immersed in my painting and music does tend to sway my thoughts and control my emotions. I also enjoy silence.




4. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the artwork?

Not sure how many -- my initial instinct is less then when I really think about it...about 25. Unfortunately, with the economy being so poor size and time are no longer a factor. I price to sell. (Interviewer's Note: This may be a great opportunity for collectors to make those purchases NOW.)




5. Do you have a designated Art Studio? Do you have this Studio in your house or do you rent it? The address if someone wants to send you correspondence?

I work from my comfy, sunny living room in NJ when nobody is home but my furry companion Bear. I can be contacted at: kikithome@gmail.com




6. What past experiences (good and bad) have influenced your work?

Many of my older pieces like the Florals were commissioned. Now that I am older, I am painting versions of my childhood memories. I enjoy art that evokes happy feelings, dreamy feelings and a sense of deja vu. So I guess you can say "Good Experiences".






7. Who are your favorite Artists? Which artists have influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify the most with?

Hands down Van Gogh. I love the old impressionists, the Scottish colorists and the Group of Seven. 


8. What is your favorite media (Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors), which brand and why do you choose this specific media?

I dappled in Oil in my twenties and then when I was pregnant with my son, I switched to acrylics to avoid the toxins. I have never gone back. Love the color I can achieve and the fast drying. I use mostly Liquitex due to it's affordability and availability but do try other acrylic products here and there.





9. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with potential Art Collectors?

It is always nice to sell a painting of course. However, I mostly paint for the reward it gives me. I paint because I have to, and I can.


10. Your nationality and Birthdate? Languages you can communicate in? 

Originally Canadian, now a naturalized American. I was born on February 20th, 1970. I can communicate in English. 



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NOSTALGIC PAINTINGS OF JOHN PAYNE - An American Artist (Interview)

The summer past is when I came face to face with John Payne's painting "Crossing the Thames" in McBride Art Gallery located in Annapolis, MD. What a sight to behold to say the least. I have seen thousands of photo-realistic paintings and drawings throughout my artistic career. What separates Payne's paintings from the rest is how he combines vintage photography and modern day color in his crisp, painstakingly detailed and evocative paintings that teleports the viewer back in time as if the viewer has already been there in his or her past life. The experience is intensely mesmerizing and nostalgic. He has taken photo realism to a whole new level and it is wonderful. Welcome to the realm of John Payne.




1. When did you decide to become a Professional Artist? At what age did you know that you enjoy Art?

I decided to become a professional artist when I was still in high school. I went to MICA and majored in Illustration and Graphic Design, as I believed that it would allow me to create art and earn a steady paycheck. I was employed as a illustrator with Riggs National Bank for five years. At the same time, I was freelancing and advertising agencies in MD, DC and VA areas. I started to dislike doing illustration work because the image was used only once in the advertisements and then disposed of. I yearned to paint images that would be appreciated for the long term. I have been self employed as an artist and selling my work in galleries for over fifteen (15) years.

I was in kindergarten when my fascination with art began. I loved to draw, and it always came naturally to me. My classmates would egg me on to draw images for them. I remember being surprised to learn that drawing didn't come easily to everyone!



2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?

The subject matter that I choose to paint is vintage scenes. I feel it creates a nostalgic feeling and produces good memories of moments in time that strike a chord in many  of us. The artwork I create ca be defined as a visual recalling of these moments and how wonderfully wholesome they were. As an artist I strive to rekindle in the minds of others what I deem as fascinating.


3. What is your favorite color and why? Your favorite music? Do you listen to music while you paint?

My absolute favorite color is turquoise. The greenish-blue shade connects with my soul. If I had to view the world through one color lens, this would be the color I would choose.

The favorite music of my youth is Steely Dan. Currently, my favorite musical artist is Chuck Wildes Liquid Mind. This sound has a soothing meditative vibe. My body instantly relaxes once I start listening to this music. I recommend it to anyone for stress release.

I used to listen to music while I painted. The last seven years I have been listening to audio books that I borrow from local library. I enjoy having someone tell me a story while I paint. I always try to listen to an audio book that relates to the subject that I am painting.




4. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the painting? 

I have sold over 100 paintings to date. The price place on a painting is determined by both size and by the time I spent painting it. An average size painting of 28"x36" would take three to four weeks to complete. (40-50 hours without factoring in the research that is involved).


5. Do you have a designated Art Studio? do you have this Studio in your house or do you rent it? The address if someone wants to send you correspondence.

My studio is my home. I have rented commercial space in the past, but found that I had more distractions and got less work done. My studio/home address is 7 Donagh Court. Timonium, MD 21093 should anyone want to send correspondence to me.




6. What past experiences (good and bad) have influenced your?

I remember being a child growing up in a row home in Edmonson Village in Baltimore County. We had a back alleyway where we would build go-carts without engines that we would race. We also had a milkman, Good Humored ice-cream man and a colorful horse drawn carriage (an Arrabber) that sold fresh fruit and vegetables. I fondly recall these memories and they are happy and comforting. They reflect the uniqueness of my youth and this type of imagery is depicted in my art.


7. Who are your favorite Artists? Which Artists have influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify with most?

My favorite artists are Norman Rockwell, Boquereau, and Thomas Eakins. Norman Rockwell has had the most influence on my art. I identify with him and his art because of the way he concentrates on people interacting with one another. Rockwell enjoyed capturing those moments in time that strike a chord in our hearts. His art is wholesome and genuine.




8. What is your favorite media (Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors)? Which brand and why do you choose to work in this specific media?

Hands down, Oil on canvas applied to a fine tooth canvas is my favorite medium. I prefer Winsor Newton brand mainly because of it's slow drying time. I have all day to blend the paint to achieve that realistic look that I want the viewer to take in.

The very fine tooth canvas I use has the perfect surface for my imagery. I like the way that particular texture of canvas grabs the paint off the bristles of the brush as I paint across it's smooth canvas surface.

An average tooth canvas does not allow me to achieve a realistic look as it is too bumpy on the surface. Painting on a smooth panel is just too smooth.




9. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with potential Art Collectors? 

As an artist who paints documented photographic images from the past, I would like the art world to know that I often use a number of various photographic references when creating a single composition. The photos I use are almost always in black and white and are diffused and grainy. A lot of my time goes into researching colors and details as well as deciding what to add and what to remove.

In some cases, I decide not to alter or remove anything as it would only take away the historical accuracy of the image I am painting.

I also accept commission work that includes a variety of subject matters. Word of mouth keeps me busy doing portraits. Painting portraits has always come easily to me. I enjoy portrait commission work but my passion remains to paint Vintage Realism.

Following galleries exhibit my work if you are in the area and want to experience it:

McBride Gallery  215 Main Street, Annapolis  MD 21401
Chasen Gallery  3554 West Carey Street, Richmond  VA 23221
Gallery on Merchant Square  440 A Duke of Glouster Street, Williamsburg  VA 23185

My website johnpayneartist.com


10. Your nationality and Birthdate? Languages you can communicate in?

I am an American. I was born in Baltimore, MD on October 13th 1962. I wish I was bilingual, but I only speak English.
NOTE: I love to travel and am married to a Flight Attendant which allows me to travel often. I have enjoyed touring museums and historical cities mostly throughout Europe. I believe this has helped me grow as an artist and become more open minded about history and humanity.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

GRAPHIC ART OF MLADEN OLJACA - A SERBIAN GRAPHIC ARTIST

I came across Mladen Oljaca on Google+ connections. I looked at his cartoons which to me looked like stunning graphic illustrations so I investigated further. Usually I am preoccupied with painters and like to seek out creative Painters in general whose artwork I believe to be of high caliber especially where creativity is concerned.  However, Mladen's cartoons not only made me laugh but they made me think and wonder which was kind of a new experience for me. That is why I decided to do this interview with him as there is much more to Mladen and his cartoons than what meets the eye.





1. When did you decide to become a Professional Cartoonist or Graphic Artist? At what age did you realize that you enjoy drawing cartoons?

I decided to become a Graphic Artist/Cartoonist during my school years. In College, I took courses in Mechanical Engineering but dropped out before completing my degree in 1988 when I was presented with an opportunity as a Newspaper Illustrator (Cartoonist and Comic-strip Writer). I can confidently say that I never regretted dropping out as my heart was not in that field. I was around 5 or 6 years of age when I knew I enjoyed art - especially comics and illustrations. I have often dreamed about becoming a Cartoonist someday. 


2.  How would you like to define the art/cartoons you create?

I personally don't consider my cartoons "art" but rather "craft".  I take the job (the text or scenario that is to be illustrated), read it, and then contemplate about it - how to present it graphically. It is more like a job I believe not much "art" in my opinion. To answer your question of what kind of art I create, I would say illustrations, cartoons for comic and caricatures. I enjoy drawing for Children's Books and relish in illustrating the images in a fun and humorous way.  Humor is my prime motivation - even in art (smile).





3.  What is your favorite color and why? Do you listen to music when you work?  What is your favorite music?

I don't have a favorite color come to think of it.  However, I do like the dynamic combination of Black, White and Red.  For years I only illustrated in black ink for comics.  Colors came in later.  Yes, I do listen to music fairly often when I am working. It keeps me going and energizes me when I am feeling tired.  My favorite music is Rock, Hard Rock and some Punk (Rock). 

4. How many illustrations have you created and sold as of today? How do you go about doing this business?

I have not kept an exact count since I have been working as a Graphic Artist for over fifteen years.  I have produced over 4,000 images which includes illustrations, caricatures, comic strips and panels for clients of all walks of life. I do not have an accurate statistics on that (laughs). 
I sell illustrations which is different than selling paintings in a way because I sell them in quantity (of images created). Each job is different and sold in accordance with how much time and effort it took to create the whole project.





5. Do you have a designated Art Studio?  Do you have this studio in your house or do you rent it? The address physical or email if someone wants to send you correspondence.

No,  I don't have some special place where I work. I work in my house and do not have an Art Studio. If someone wants to send me correspondence, they can do so by sending me an email at: oljacaml@gmail.com.


6. What past experiences (good and bad) have influenced your work? 

Well, I can say that everything that has happened to me, around me, things I saw, heard, read etc. have influenced my work. I don't live in isolation. Everything around me has some meaning and significance of course. I was born in Serbia - former Yugoslavia which as we know is disintegrated now.  We lived through a horrible civil war that lasted for almost 4 years. That experience has influenced and marked all of our lives permanently. The art we create naturally has that influence in some shape or form. 




7. Who are your favorite Artists/Cartoonist? Which Artist(s) has influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify with the most?

I don't have any particular artist that I can say "favorite".  However, throughout my life I saw many different artists and their works that I liked.  I suppose that has influenced my work I am sure. I would like to add that there is no bad art or artist. Every single piece of art one can learn something from I believe. I don't like any kind of idols and don't like to identify with one. Every artist has something unique to offer and we should respect and support that.


8.  What is your favorite media (Oils, Acrylics, Markers, Watercolors, Computer). Is there a specific brand you like and why?

I started out in Pen & Ink (Black Ink).  I used to make pencil drawings first and then go over with the black ink. Later on I moved to computer 100%.  I can draw in ink and fill it in with color by using Wacom tablet. I like it because it is faster, cleaner and it provides me with possibilities to temper with in many ways without the fear of ruining the drawing.


9. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with potential clients? 

Well, if someone wants to know something about me, it is all over my drawings/cartoons. Everything is written there (wink) for the world to see.


10. Your nationality and birthdate? Languages you can communicate in?

I am Serbian. My nationality is Serb. I was born on January 31st, 1970.  I can communicate in Serbian and English.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTS OF SUNITA KHEDEKAR - A BRITISH ARTIST (Interview)

Sunita and I connected on Facebook a few months ago. She is one of the most expressive and versatile painters I have gotten to know so far. From traditional South-Asian style to Contemporary to Geometric Abstract. Her work is authentic and original to say the least.

Sunita Khedekar painting her Geometric Abstract 2013

1. When did you decide to become a Professional Artist? At what age you knew that you enjoy Art?


When I was in 4th grade, I participated in Rangoli competition (Dry painting with powdered colors). In Rangoli, I painted a swan with lotus in the water and won the first prize. It is at that time I realized that my painting stood out from the rest. I did not however decide to actively pursue painting till I graduated high school.  I got accepted in JJ School - one of the most prestigious Art School in Asia and earned my degrees in Fine Arts and Applied Arts.




2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?

My paintings are the reflection of moment and memory. Something that engages the viewer and establishes a memory that remains positive. It is timeless. It is like a bridge which connects to the past and the future. It summons the viewer to contemplate each time it is viewed.  It expresses the intensity of my experiences with nature, people and dreams.


3. What do you enjoy about painting and why is it the media of choice to you?

I love to paint. I am inspired by the whole concept of creativity. The idea that a blank canvas can be turned into something that someone will cherish is very exciting to me. I also enjoy the fact that a painting can mean different things to different people. I have been very content painting with acrylics for a long while.  




4. What is your favorite color and why? 

I love all bright colors but most favorite is Red. I like it because it is energetic and vibrant.


5. What is the music of choice for you? Do you listen to music while you paint?

Classical Indian music is my favorite perhaps because I grew up listening to it.  Sometimes I do listen to the music while I am painting but not always.





6. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the artwork?

I have sold over 300 art works to date. I usually price each art work depending on the amount of time spent creating it however, I do factor both - the size as well as the time.


7. Do you have a designated Art Studio? If you do, is it in your house or do you rent it?  Your e-mail address if someone would like to contact you or correspond with you directly.

No. I do not have any designated studio but sure would like to have one. Currently I work from home. I can be reached at sunita@khedekars.com  I have a website as well www.khedekars.com





8. What past experiences (good and bad) that have influenced your work?

Bad experience I would say dealt with my love for a brighter palette generated some strong comments here in UK as people favor and are usually more receptive towards pastel palette. However, over time my same bright palette is now in vogue so now it receives a much favorable reception instead of criticism. I did not change my style or palette because of how it was received by the public. In that regard nothing has influenced me.




9. Who is (are) your favorite Artist(s)? Which Artist has influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify with most?

People have told me that my style is similar to Paul Klee.


10. What is your favorite medium (Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors)? What brand do you use and why? 

I like Oils and Acrylics. I use Winsor & Newton Artist's Colors including lots of texture mediums like glass beads, sand, modelling paste and black lava. I prefer Acrylics because it dries fast and is best to create textures.





11. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with potential Art Collectors that they may be interested in?

I am born a dreamer, an idealist, an imaginative and a spiritual person. Akin to a sponge, I absorb emotions from my environment which always reflect through my colorful work. My paintings are sublime and have significance on multiple levels. They elucidate simplicity, peace, harmony, vibrancy and fun. My ideas originate from intuitive process and symbolic conceptual thought process. On this planet people communicate with words, but I feel fortunate to have this dialogue through my creations inspired by nature and environment. I believe that whatever one is looking for can be found inside of us and that peaceful feeling is what one can experience looking at my art. Please visit me at my website at www.khedekars.com  I have been passionate about music since my childhood  and now I am taking classical voice lessons which I believe are adding layers to my creative process and experience in the field of arts. I teach Art and Music to children and adults. I also host dozens of holiday workshops for children.


12. Your nationality and Birthday? Languages you can communicate in?

I was born in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India on February 23rd, 1970.  I am an Indian (Hindu) by heritage but a naturalized British. I have been in England for the past fifteen years. I can speak Marathi, Hindi and English.








Thursday, October 11, 2012

ROMANTIC ART OF JACINTHE (Jassy) RIVARD - A FRENCH-CANADIAN ARTIST (Interview)


1. When did you decide to become a Professional Artist? At what age you knew that you enjoy Art?


 I don't think I can call myself a "Professional Artist".  I consider myself an artist but I only just started painting regularly. I'm self taught and anything I learned was from trial and error and You-Tube. But I have always enjoyed drawing and creating! I had done a couple of paintings in the 90s but no more then that and I had stopped when my daughter was born... Now I'm back with a vengeance ;)

2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?

Romantic beauty? I have no idea... I don't think I have a style, although I know I must.  It's like having an accent... you don't hear your own.  I guess I'll let others decide what my style is.

3. What is your favorite color and why? Your favorite music? Do you listen to music while you paint?

Ahhhh I like this question!!! Pink is my favorite color. I love painting in pink, all shades of pink and I have to stop myself sometimes not to paint every dress pink ;) 
I love painting to the radio, I mostly always have the local radio on.  When I "choose" what to listen, It's usually Jewel, Evanescence or Birdy. I love the song "painters" by Jewel. I cry every-time.

4. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the artwork?

I haven't sold any art piece. I've had offers but can't part with any of them...Plus I've only been painting for a short while. But this week I have made a decision to start painting on small canvas.  It's called Daily Paintings and I am totally in love with the concept!!! I joined this site: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/ and you will see my art for sale at auctions under my real name Jacinthe Rivard. It will be very affordable as it is a daily painting on small scale! So it's fun for me to just be able to show, sell and get comments on my artwork!

5. Do you have a designated Art Studio? [If so, can you please e-mail me a picture of you in it]. Do you have this Studio in your house or do you rent it? The address if someone wants to send you correspondence.

I have made myself a pretty little room in my basement.

6. What past experiences [good and bad] have influenced your work?

I've been to fashion school and I think that is what made me start painting.  I did not want to make clothes... just paint it and not have to think about the technical part of it.  Most of the time my teachers had to make me start over because although what I did was pretty... it was physically impossible to get into the dress as I did not include an ugly zipper in my picture ;)

7. What are your favorite Artists? Which Artists have influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify with the most?

 
I love John William Waterhouse. I also like Angelina Wrona. I love anyone who does "daily paintings" I love the way they can make us believe in just a few strokes! 

8. What is your favorite media [Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors], which brand and why you choose this specific media?

 

I only paint with oils... I usually use Pebeo. I adore the smell of oils, it's comforting and it just reminds me of always being happy when that smell is around!

9. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with potential Art Collectors? [This is a loaded question so think about it deeply and be as personal as you want].

I'm just a simple girl who paints because it keeps her alive.  If it makes someone happy then I'm happy!  I have the chance to paint for my own pleasure and not for money or approval.  I may never sell any of my paintings but I will always make them available for anyone to look at and when I'm gone... who knows.... Didn't Van Gogh become famous only after he was no more ;) I'll keep both my ears thought!

10. Your nationality? Languages you can communicate in? Your Birthday?

I am French Canadian, I speak English and French. But I'm mostly French... so I apologize for the syntax in my answers ;) and if you find any mistakes, feel free to keep them ;)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CONTEMPORARY GOTHIC ART OF ELISABETH KOPJAR - A German Artist (Interview)

As I was surfing the facebook, I discovered an amazing German Artist Elisabeth Kopjar. After having a few discussions with her about her work, I realized I was on to something big. My heart started beating faster with excitement, my mind running a thousand miles an hour trying to figure out what can I do to share the wealth of what I discovered.
It did not take me much long to decide that I should do an interview with her and share her amazing talent with the world. Her paintings are colorful, creative, beautiful and well executed to say the least and her rich imagination has no boundaries. She is a living Artist, a wife and a mother of four who is fluent in German and English. ~Roopa Rizvi Dudley~

1. When did you decide to become a Professional Artist? At what age you knew that you enjoy Art?

I didn't decide to become a professional artist. I just started painting again at the beginning of 2011 and looked for possibilities to show my work to others. The first time I consciously enjoyed art, was in the kindergarten. I still remember the smell of the colour pencils and wax crayons I used to paint with then. I LOVED it and just did it most of the time.



 2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?

The artwork I create is a result of
- my wish to express my thoughts and feelings
- the joy I feel during the process of painting
- what I have learnt and still have to learn about techniques and styles - having freed myself from caring about the opinion of experts. It's up to the beholder how she/he defines my work for herself/himself.


3. What is your favorite color and why? Your favorite music? Do you listen to music while you paint?

I have no favourite colour. Every colour has its own expression and beauty. I love playing with all of them. The only colours I really don't use are neon colours. It's very similar with music. I love music of any style and age, it often depends on my current mood what I would prefer at the moment. So the music I hear while I'm painting changes. The only style I don't like is techno.

 4. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the artwork?

  I have sold four paintings, by size.

5. Do you have a designated Art Studio?  Do you have this Studio in your house or do you rent it? The address if someone wants to send you correspondence.

I have a room in our house, in which I paint. (Fotos at the next opportunity.) My email-address: elisabethkopjar@yahoo.de



6. What past experiences [good and bad] have influenced your work?

When I was young I painted always and everywhere. My parents supported me in doing so. Until the end of primary school I was regarded as quite talented, so afterwards I attended a so called 'musisches Gymnasium', where the subjects Music, Art and German have high importance. Then I studied for three years to become an art and German teacher. During all those school and university years I really learnt a lot about art history, techniques and styles. I had to try any techniques and to imitate or alienate famous artist's works. Sometimes I was allowed to have my own ideas and imaginations. But always a teacher or lecturer looked over my shoulder and criticized my work. So slowly but surely I lost my spontaneity, my inner freedom to paint just following my thoughts and feelings, my real creativity. More and more I hesitated to paint at all, because I had started to analyse my own work even before I had started doing it at all! I interrupted my studies for personal reasons. I married and I brought up four children. For almost three decades I didn't paint at all, excepted little things for my children for example. Two years ago, things changed. I started thinking about my life. That's a very natural process for a woman of my age. You remember your own childhood and youth and you put into question the development of your life. You suddenly get the feeling that you may have missed something important. I found out that one of the most important things I had been missing was painting. So I took a brush and started just doing it. The teachers now were far away, and I realised that I really didn't care anymore about what they might think about my work. I was freed from that fear.




7. Who are your favorite Artists? Which Artists have influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify with the most?

There are so many artists I admire. Each one for me has a certain extraordinary quality. I appreciate craftsmanship, aesthetics, impression, expression and entertainment in artworks. I couldn't say that I am a fan of anyone though. I feel respect for the old masters and for naturalistic and realistic art. I like it when I find humour in art. I enjoy art that provokes interesting thoughts. I LOVE art when it touches me. I don't mean effects like the 'scheme of childlike characteristics'. What I mean are deep human feelings and atmospheres made visible by the expression of a face, by the posture of a body, by the choice of colours and/or symbols. The simpler the way that happens the more authentic  it feels for me. Yet I don't identify with anyone. I'm on my way to myself and nobody else. But I don't deny that I study the works of artists and try to learn on and on.


8. What is your favorite media [Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors], which brand and why you choose this specific media?

At the moment, I paint with water soluble  oils (to avoid the smell of turpentine in our house). I like their flavour and I love their softness and naturalness. Also they give me the possibility to change things for a very long time. That's good for me, because often enough my imaginations change. Also, each colour has its own painting quality regarding consistence, application and coverage. It 's always exciting to see the result of several layers of colours in the end. That's an endless playing field for me. When I was young I was afraid of painting with oils, it seemed too complicated and difficult to me. Now just this is the main reason why I enjoy it so much!



9. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with potential Art Collectors?

Thinking about human life and watching people around me images come to my mind. They are treated by thoughts and associations. They change steadily. At one point I start to paint. During the painting process things change again often. The beings I paint become independent sometimes, they seem to have their own imaginations what they want to be. So I never know at the beginning how the result will look in the end. Sometimes I recognise exciting details in my paintings days after they were finished. I seem not to have painted them consciously. So painting for me is filled with a certain magic and with sensuous pleasure anyway. Sometimes it is a struggle for a while. Often it's like a dialogue about a certain question, when you want to form your own opinion. When I have the feeling that I have talked and listened enough, my painting is finished. That doesn't mean that I have found an answer to my question, but I have made a progress. A progress in freeing my thoughts and enjoying the power of my own imagination. Now others look at my painting. Possibly they continue that dialogue in their own ways. It doesn't matter when they don't like that painting. But it is amazingly beautiful for me to see when it is able to touch a string in someones soul. To sell a painting is a kind of affirmation and it allows me to buy new colours, brushes and canvasses. It feels like giving my work to its new home, where it is in good hands. That's really wonderful. But in the same manner I enjoy sharing my work with people who just look at it, think about it, talk about it and feel with it.


 10. Your nationality? Languages you can communicate in?
  
I'm German. I can communicate in German and English language.