After having moved all over the world, raised a family and worked several jobs, now is the time in my life when I can finally devote my energy and time to painting. This is a renewal and reinvention for me and certainly a surprise to be working so hard at this point in my timeline.
After college, I initially painted in oils and then moved to watercolors because the cost was so much less prohibitive. Then I moved on to pastels, but became weary of the dust and the whole "under glass" problem. So now I am back in oils and work in the relatively new water based oil paints.
I am in love with landscapes and simply want to paint whatever I see as beautiful. I agree with the Renoir quote which puts it best, " A picture should be something that is pleasant, joyful and pretty, there are enough unpleasant things in life to dissuade us from producing still others."
First Time Creating
I don't ever remember NOT coloring, making, painting, or creating. It was just always there. My desire to MAKE influences everything I approach - cooking, arranging flowers, gardening, writing, sewing all stem from the same place that my artwork comes from.
Do you listen to music while painting?
Funny you should ask... Painting without music is like trying to work in total darkness. Music is the light that switches me on in my work. I love Gotan Project, classical guitar and music that is invigorating and upbeat, which covers all kinds of stuff.
How do you find inspiration when uninspired?
I have learned to discipline myself and keep a file of ideas/sketches/notes of things I want to do. Whenever I am ready to start something new, if I don't have an idea already itching to come out, I use my go to file.
What do you do in your free time besides art creation?
Just about everything that I do is somehow related to my art. When I travel, I sketch. When I am cooking, I take pictures of the food. When I arrange flowers in a vase, I photograph it for possible use later. When I have lunch with friends, they are other artists and we talk art. I am consumed.
What painting are you currently creating?
I just returned from 3 weeks in Northern Italy and am working on a series of paintings from Lake Como and Lake Garda.
Do you have a best artwork?
Ha! I haven't created my best stuff yet. Only in the last 5 years have I been devoting myself to my art full time and I can see that I am getting better with each new painting. I can look back at some of my stuff and think that it is just okay, but could be better.
What is the role of artists in the world?
Different artists are destined to play different roles. Some are here to awaken and alarm, others to soothe and create beauty. The roles that they play are as unique as the artists themselves.
Have you sold much of your art?
I am happy to report that I have done okay. I have sold stuff from the internet (my blog), from where my studio was, and from various galleries.
How do you market your paintings on the internet?
Other than my blog, which I feel is more informative than a sales medium, I don't pursue too much online. I don't have the time or the desire for it. I may be making a big mistake in not doing more, but it's all I can do to keep up with shows, commissions, and other various venues I am currently involved in.
My environment. When I lived in Europe, I painted what I saw there. Now that I am in Tidewater, I paint the marsh, beach and farm areas that are nearby. Things and people that I see day to day are also what I paint.
Do you have any favorite artists?
Mark Rothko is one of my favorites. His stuff is just so remarkable and evocative. Everybody knows his art, so I don't need to add more.
Please tell us about anything from your life.
Living in Europe for more than 10 years has influenced me in ways that I am still discovering. Returning from my latest visit just last week, I long for the less frenetic pace that one finds there, rather than the American craziness that happens here.
What is your future outlook for your art?
Better, smarter, more abstract, and better known are all of my goals and I hope to achieve everyone of them. But I have no illusions about all of the above, it is going to take a tremendous amount of hard work.
Advice for Artists
I know a number of talented artists that don't push themselves in their work. They paint a little here, dabble a little there... if they don't feel like working, they don't. You have to work. Everyday. You have to become relentless in the pursuit of your passion. And, you have to have passion or it won't happen.
Laura Tovar Dietrick - So Many Paintings... Not Enough Time