Conversations with Anne Spivey

I recently met with artist Anne Spivey, an emerging talent inspired to capture a variety of different subjects, including some lovely landscapes with pastels.

Anne lives in Alberta, Georgia in America with her husband and so we scheduled an afternoon her time, to meet over Zoom and discuss her work and journey as an artist.

It was great to hear Anne’s philosophy when it comes to using quality products and entering competitions as well. I came away feeling inspired and determined to tackle a rather large box of brand new pastels, and a old tupperware box full of bits and pieces I inerhited from one of my favourite Aunties. I will pack them up and take them with me on my next ‘en plein air’ trip, I just need to go and get some good paper, such as one of the brands mentioned by Anne.

There are lots of good tips along with numerous names of some of the top pastel artists in America that have inspired and encouraged Anne mentioned in both videos, so I hope you enjoy as I much as I did, listening to this down to earth generous and naturally gifted artist. It was a great pleasure hearing her stories, seeing her embracing her work with such committment and exploring her website as well.

Storytelling in Watercolour

Recently, I met with a very humble, talented and powerful story telling watercolour artist called Paul Subhajit. Paul lives with his family in Assam, India and agreed to be interviewed by me in a two part series sharing some of his work. In our first interview Paul graciously shared a little of his journey and background about why he started to learn to paint. He talked about his winning an art competition at a very young age and how that and other influences in his life, cemented his passion and commitment to learn more.

Paul is naturally curious about his painting subjects and aligns his philosophy for living a happy and stress-free life, embracing both simplicity and honesty. Inspired to paint a variety of subjects, Paul also enjoys the challenge of painting water, rivers and waterfalls. He paints every chance he gets, venturing out mostly on weekends on his motorcycle to the countryside and nearby villages/States.

In part 2 of my interview with Paul, he shared more of the story behind his paintings, explaining how he injects the spirit and the culture, traditions, people’s lifestyle and their hardships. I hope you enjoy these two interesting and fun interviews with Paul, one of the most passionate watercolour artists I’ve met, one worth following!

Conversations with Australian watercolour artist Heidi Willis

I recently learnt a great deal about the special and talented Australian born natural history watercolour artist and tutor, Heidi Willis. ‘The ‘Earthen Artist’

Heidi demonstrated her incredible dedication, discipline and focus needed to complete many of her highly sought after, painting commissions for botanical illustrations and birds. It was a joy to meet Heidi who was extremely generous, down to earth and knowledgeable in her sharing her work. After spending many hours researching her subjects, she always applies a ‘beginner’s mindset’, seeking to improve each and every stroke in her exquisitely detailed paintings.

Heidi shared her personal journey and how she follows her passion and dedication for illustrating native and exotic plants, flowers, fruits and seed capsules, as well as spectacular bird life around the world. Her work both inspires and offers great insights into the natural world as she experiences it. Hope you enjoy this interview and as I have take away some great thinking and new learning.

Passion for Chasing Paint – Conversations with April Rimpo

My latest interview was with the wonderful contemporary artist April Rimpo in her studio, in Dayton Maryland USA. Dayton is about three and half hours drive south of New York City. April shared her story of becoming an artist and watercolourist along with some fantastic tips on how she prepares and plans for her unique paintings. In this interview, you can pick up some great tips for how to work with watercolour and fluid acrylic paints, particularly how to capture movement and emotion in your work. Every artist is unique in how they approach and tap into their creativity and April is a master at taking a fresh approach to each subject. April’s painting subjects are also “all over the map” given her natural curiosity, interests and great skill in capturing story in her work.

During this period of Covid 19, April has been busy working in her basement studio, which to me appeared super organised. If you look closely at the video you will see how April uses her space wisely with good light, and importantly some good storage for her many paintings, both on the walls and also packaged neatly ready to go to a new home.

I started the interview learning a little bit more about April’s creative background and heritage and very quickly started examining many of the stories behind her paintings and her journey as an artist, how she never looked back after finding the freedom and power of chasing paint in watercolour. I highly recommend learning more about April and her fabulous paintings either on this You Tube Clip or on her website, which I’ve listed at the end of the video. I’m really enjoying the journey especially after spending some quality time with the delightful April, a highly skilled artist and generous soul.

The Job of the Artist – Conversations with Ben Winspear

‘The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery”, Francis Bacon

Chatting to professional oil painter, watercolourist and more recently sculptor, Ben Winspear was intrigueing and fun. I had the good fortune of meeting with Ben and viewing his wide variety of painting subjects from hauntingly beautiful figures, landscapes to still life abstracts.

Ben is passionate about painting the Australian landscape and his paintings are powerful stories presented via a blend of representational realism and the abstract. What I particularly admire is Ben’s thinking behind his work using a sensitive approach to the treatment of light and dark ‘Chiaroscuro’ which combined to take the viewer on a journey of reflection and discovery.

Ben has been painting professionally for over 21 years and is a third generation artist. He works in his Melbourne, Australian studio and loves to paint outdoors. Ben is also an art teacher and he shared with me during this interview a few really good tips for students of art and also those budding art teachers out there. For example, one of a few great take aways I found in my conversation with Ben, was to remember to stop and look at my paintings early in the making and ask the question “Is it finished?” If it looks abstract that’s okay as it could be fininshed and possibly help to create some mystery.

One of Ben’s favourite quotes is by Francis Bacon, Irish-born figurative painter, philosopher and statesman who once said ‘The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery”. This and other quotes Ben uses to fuel and inspire his student’s creativity and thinking. So I hope you enjoy learning more about Ben and if you do, please don’t forget to subscribe and hit the like button. Enjoy the journey!

Studio Tour with Artist Catherine Sim

Catherine Sim is an Australian born professional artist who enjoys painting landscapes in oils and watercolour. Catherine is a graduate from the Sydney Fine Art College – Sydney University. Catherine studio is in Sydney and due to Covid 19 lockdown I met with Catherine via Zoom. She showed me around her studio which is a well lite space with many of her latest works displayed.

2019 Catherine was honoured as a finalist in the prestigeous Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize in the ‘Emerging Artist‘ category with her painting of the Monaro – 30 x 40cm on oil panel. I loved this brilliant work showing Catherine skills in capturing the Australian windswept landscape in the region between Cooma and the NSW South Coast region, where she likes to paint. This is a beautiful spot for many artists to ply their trade. Catherine mainly paints ‘en plein air‘ or outdoors and she talked about her paintings and upcoming exhibition as well. Cathine uses a small Guerrilla Pochade Painter box where she stores her paints and paintings safely when traveling, which I got see up close when Catherine came to visit and paint a spot I found by a river, which we both loved for a filming session , except for the icy breeze that day.

During this interview with Catherine, we got talking about artist residencies and Catherine’s recent residency stay at Kandos, NSW art retreat. (Image below). I really enjoyed chatting with Catherine and was inspired by her work, her bubbly energy and focus on her painting each day. ‘Getting on the artists metaphorical mat‘ which I need to do much more, and some simple things anyone can do to stimulate new thinking and be working, even if they don’t feel like picking up a brush, but they are researching looking at an art book or listening to a podcast on art. Catherine reminded me that it all counts. Another great and inspiring interview where I picked up lots of tips and ideas, so thanks to Catherine and I hope you enjoy this short video. Don’t forget to click on the subscribe button on my You Tube Chanel, so you don’t miss out on the next interview coming up.

Bewitched by Watercolour – Conversations with Artist Jeff Williams

I recently had the pleasure of meeting watercolour artist Jeff Williams. Jeff is a retired professor of architecture who now lives with his family in Oklahoma. Jeff has developed a love and passion for watercolor, having been inspired and encouraged by workshop leaders such as Tony Van Hasselt, Thomas Schaller and most notably Australian watercolour artist, Joseph Zbukvic. I Zoomed in to speak with Jeff and he shared with me a bunch of fantastic stories about his journey with watercolour, attending workshops and ‘en plein air ‘competitions across America.

If you are interested in learning more about Jeff and his wonderful watercolour paintings come and get bewitched by watching this video on my You Tube channel!

Introducing fine artist Nicolas Szuhodovszky

I first discovered the work of the Swedish born artist Nicolas Szuhodovszky on his Instagram page and recently enjoyed a short interview with him via Zoom video conferencing in his home in Budapest, Hungary.

Nicolas is a representational artist and his style comes from a classical figurative and realist tradition. Nicolas studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. Nicolas studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest.

In this video Nicolas shared a number of his paintings and told me that he also has a multitude of new works on the go as we waits for the layers of paint to dry. Apart from painting with oils for many years, Nicolas also uses pastels and in my view is brilliant at capturing the life quality of his subjects, the light that covers and surrounds them as well as the narrative behind each work.

From this introductory video, I also learnt a little more about Nicolas and his passion for painting a wide variety of subjects, including landscapes, portraits, still-life, portraits, fantastical, mythological and many other unique and original ideas. Please feel free to checkout Nicolas’ paintings on his instagram page @szuhodovart and if you enjoyed this video please remember to click the ‘Like’ button and the ‘Bell’ symbol for more ‘behind the scenes’ updates and interviews with artists around the world.

Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary with Watercolour

Recently I had the good fortune of meeting with Andy Evansen, the internationally recognised master watercolour artist and teacher based in Minnesota, USA. Speaking with Andy was an absolute pleasure as he was so down to earth and easy to talk with. After chatting for a little while, Andy shared that he had recently, been “painting up a storm” in his home studio, with his other Studio located in Hastings Street, where he both teaches watercolour painting and has around 30 of his paintings hung at any one time. I was thrilled and impressed with Andy’s sponaneous offer to give me a virtual tour of his well designed basement studio. A good size studio, bursting with an array of his recent watercolour paintings waiting to be framed and or shipped to a happy new home. I loved the studio space, particularly Andy’s designated areas for his watercolour paintings; his skeleton and medical drawings; a special table and lighting for photographing his paintings as well as another area for preparing his matt boards and self- framing. To top it all off, it appeared from my Zooming in from Australia, that Andy also has a decent sized studio kitchen where he can get a coffee.

In this our first ever introductory meeting, we also spoke about Andy’s recent trip to Catalina Island, which is about a one hour high-speed ferry  trip from Long Beach, California. Andy got to visit the Island before the Covid pandemic lockdown and managed to do what he loves most, to paint ‘plein air‘ for the upcoming annual exhibition being hosted at the Catalina Island Conservatory is the Sixth Annual Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, featuring the works of 10 nationally recognized plein air artists who have interpreted Catalina Island’s wildlands, Avalon and Two Harbours. Sharing some of his recent paintings from his trip, I couldn’t help but be blown away, with Andy’s impression of the boats, water and beautiful sunlight mountains, a painting entitled ‘Early Departure from Avalon‘.

This particular painting in my humble view, is a must see for any aspiring watercolour artist interested in capturing the light and colour in a landscape watercolour painting. This led me, naturally to ask Andy, how he decides what and where he will paint and what inspired him to pick the spot to paint this fantastic picture.

I came away feeling inspired and super excited as Andy agreed that I could accompany him virtually on his next ‘plein air’ trip, with more exciting ‘behind the scenes‘ insights into painting with the marvelous medium of watercolour.

If you are interested in acquiring an original watercolour masterpiece or learning more about Andy and his paintings, I highly recommend checking out my short You Tube video. If you like the video I’d love you to Subscribe and click the Notification Bell symbol as well. That way you won’t miss out on updates about the upcoming AWS FREE ‘plein air‘ event with Andy.