Suzanne Berry asked: "How old were you when you realized you had a gift and how did it make you feel?"
my answer: I honestly have never felt that I have a gift. I do believe that we are children of God and that he gives us talents and expects us to use them to bless the lives of others and our own life, but I have always had a hard time with the idea that I have a gift. I think it's because I have chronic low self-esteem :P, and there are so many truly gifted artists out there that leave me 'breathless with envy' that just do absolutely amazing work. And this is not just me trying to be humble, I really feel this way.
But I also feel that I have talent (in my mind talent and gifts are two different things), and I think I am realizing it more and more as I practice and study through the years. It makes me feel very grateful, humble and joyful that something that brings me so much happiness and fulfilment makes other people smile.
Michelle Teacress asked: Is there any one person who taught you what you know or did you discover things by trial and error?
my answer: Most of what I've learned has come through trial and error. I did have a high school art teacher, Mr. Crowther, who taught me how to make completely flat, perfect watercolor washes, using his technique of 'carrying the bead'. That lesson was invaluable, I swear we practiced it every stinking day for two years! Love ya Mr. Crowther! :)
But I've learned the most through studying paintings that I really love, reading a lot of books about art technique, and then practice, practice, practice.
Jane Minter asked: What will be the title of your first book?
my answer: Thanks Jane for asking this question because I have seriously been stumped for a title! You got me thinking about how I would answer it and I had an idea! The book I'm writing right now (a young adult novel) is going to be called "Incinerate." Heeee! I'm excited.
Meera asked: How much planning do you do before you start a painting?
my answer: Hmmm. . . That depends on how complicated the subject is :) For a basic portrait, just head and shoulders, probably thirty minutes or so. Most of that time is spent figuring out how I want the composition to look through sketches. Color choice is more intuitive for me, kind of a seat of my pants kind of thing, so I don't spend too much time planning that.
she also asked: How much time do you set aside as studio time every day?
my answer: I kind of just take whatever I can get :) With three kids and a husband and who knows what else comes up every day, I have to be flexible. Some days I don't get more than thirty minutes, others I have a couple of hours, and I get even more if I feel like staying up really late. But I do try to paint every day, except for Sundays, those are off days, unless I'm painting a gift for someone.
Kim asked: "Which artists are currently your favorites? The ones that make you sigh with wonder and inspire you? You know. . . if you got to browse in a book shop and purchase a few good coffee table art books who would they be of?
my answer: Oh jeez, it's hard to narrow it down! Right now the artists that are my favorites are Arne Westerman, Lesley Harrison, Dawn Emerson, Burton Silverman, Steve Hanks, Ali Cavanaugh, and Robert Barrett. And I have always been seriously in love with the work of Edgar Degas and Vermeer. :)
Nureeya asked: Were you educated at a university about art or did you learn to paint by yourself?
my answer: By myself :)
Carrie asked: Do you have a favorite painting that you have painted?
my answer: I think this is one of my favorites, it was the first portrait I painted when I thought "That's it, I've found how I want to paint." And the funny thing is that I had it in an art exhibit after I painted it and marked it for sale (because I was so sure no one would actually buy it!) and it sold! I was so sad! I actually asked the gallery owner if I had to sell it *blushing* they looked at me a little funny and said 'yes.' :) I seriously almost started crying.
"Just Right" watercolor
'Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.' Wyatt Earp
Carrie also asked: Do you have a favorite artist that you draw inspiration from?
my answer: Right now the number one artist that is inspiring me is Ali Cavanaugh. She's amazing!
And the winner for most creative question (he, he) is Sandra! Here's her question:
You are dressed for a very, very important function - it's the launch of your new book. As well as photographers, many other very important people will be there so it's important to make a good impression. You are wearing a stunning and very expensive cocktail dress with very classy accessories, and even if you say so yourself, you look simply fabulous! Just as you are about to climb in your taxi, your small child hands you a necklace to wear which he has made especially for you. It's made of giant sized dried pasta tubes, foil milk bottle tops and popcorn, all threaded on to a piece of fluorescent string! You know that your child will see the photographs in the magazine of you at the launch, so what do you do? Do you wear the necklace or not?
my answer: Absolutely and without any doubt, yes. I would rather look like a fool to the world than a failure to my child. Great question Sandra!
Thanks again everyone for the great questions it was so fun! I hope you all have a great long weekend!