I follow a lot of art blogs online but one of my favorite blogs belongs to artist, Carrie Waller. I discovered Carrie's art after listening to a podcast on Artists Helping Artists
. She was doing an interview with another artist I admire, Crystal Cook
. I was awestruck by her paintings. I had never seen compositions that looked so realistic - and the way she captures light in glass just blew me away.
Fortunately, the said 'yes' when I asked her if she'd answer a few questions for my blog. Check out her work - I think you'll fall in love just like I did!
How did you get your start watercolor painting?
I graduated college; got married and moved to Germany all
within a few months of each other (my hubby is in the Air Force). I quickly realized that it was going to
be difficult for me to find an Interior Design job in Germany so I taught
myself how to paint in watercolor.
I checked out every watercolor book I could find at the library and
experimented. I eventually started
teaching classes in watercolor. I
chose watercolor because we had cats at the time (now pets and kids) and I
wanted something that would be safer around them.
How do you make time for your art with such a busy home life?
It’s a constant balancing act. I make a concerted effort to get brush to paper every
day. It doesn’t always happen but
I really make it a priority. Once
I made the decision that I was going to make this a career I treated it as a
job. With my little boys at home I
paint at nights, on the weekends and miss sleep often. My oldest is now in kindergarten so he
has school hours. My youngest is
in preschool, he goes to school twice a week. I’m still working with my new schedule.
How do you choose your subject matter?
I’ve been working a lot recently with childhood
memories. I’ve taken objects that
I remember from my Grandmother’s house and have set them up to bring out their
beauty. I’ve even acquired objects
from her home, her old wash tub chair, a set of blue ball jars that I can’t
wait to paint, crystal doorknobs, etc.
My most recent works are for an exhibit and the themes have come out of
research for that exhibit.
You do an exceptional job using light in your paintings. Are there any
techniques that you use to help create the illusion of light?
spend a lot of time focusing on my composition.
Having a degree in design really helps.
I want my still life subjects to be lit
I only use natural
light so I have to rely on a sun shiny day.
I follow the light around like a crazy lady some days.
It’s been fun observing the light from
the sun at different times of the day and months of the year.
Sometimes I want cooler light and other
times I want more golden light, I take these things into consideration.
I will warn you that one time I was
using a crystal ball in my still life and I had it all set up waiting for the
I kept checking
periodically and at one point I noticed smoke rising from the set up.
The crystal ball acted like a
magnifying glass and when the sun hit it just right it set the fabric it was
setting on, on fire.
So be careful!
How would you classify your "style" and how did
you find it?
I don’t know if
I really define my style. I really
don’t put much emphasis on a “style”.
When I first started painting there were so many artists that I would
talk to obsessed with that, that I felt it was hindering their
progression. I just decided to
paint what I wanted to and see what would come out of it. We are all evolving as people why
wouldn’t our styles just evolve right along with us.
What tips, websites, books, etc. do you recommend for improving techniques?
I read every watercolor magazine I can get my hands on.
I also love to read and look at art and
design blogs, there is a ton of great information out there.
As far as improving techniques I would
say take a workshop, you get so much out of them.
I’ve only taken a couple but I learned a lot not only from
the instructor but also from the other artists in the class.
Also teaching has helped me learn
things about myself and my own style.
You really have to analyze your own techniques to teach others.
Which artists inspire you most and why?
I have so many favorites it would be a
novel to list them all. I would
say that blogging and the artists I have met blogging has been one of the
greatest inspirations. I have met
some fabulous people. It’s such a
great support system.
If you could give advice to a new artist, what would it
Paint every day.
You don’t have to complete a painting but make yourself sit down and put
brush to paper/canvas. Get in the
habit; it will only make you a better artist.
Start a blog, can’t say enough about the positive things
that come from this.
Do painting challenges if you lack inspiration, Daily
Paintworks has a weekly challenge and start there.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite artists.
I have done this and become friends
with some of the coolest people.
Carrie will be hosting Artists Helping Artists in October and I know it's going to be awesome. I hope you willl all tune in. You can learn more at http://artistshelpingartistsblog.blogspot.com
Thanks again, Carrie for taking the time to answer my questions...you are truly amazing!
Labels: Artist Spotlight, Carrie Waller