Thursday, October 27, 2011

An Interview with the Artist: Kim Rempel

This is Kim. Lovely, awesome, kind, generous, talented (and did I say awesome?) Kim Rempel. :)

Welcome to another edition of Interview With The Artist! Today we have Kim Rempel, artiste extraordinaire.  When I first started my blog I was cruising around checking other blogs out when I somehow managed to find Kim's. I instantly fell in love with her buttery brushstrokes, rich colors, and striking yet simple compositions. I found her paintings of  sometimes quite ordinary objects absolutely gorgeous. And Kim is not only talented, but one of the warmest and most genuine people I know in the blogoverse.

To see more of Kim's work visit her website here
And her blog here

On to the interview! :)

(as a side note: this interview runs a little like a conversation, so I will be speaking in bold, blue letters like this. And Kim will be speaking like this.)

First of all, I love the name of your blog: “Eat, Drink, Paint.” How did you come up with that title?
When I decided to venture into daily painting I was a bit daunted by the "daily" part. It felt like a huge commitment. My thoughts went back to intense periods in school when you would eat, study (or paint), and sleep. It kind of felt like what I was about to venture into but I thought it needed a bit more of a pleasurable ring: hence Eat Drink Paint. Awesome. That's one of the best titles ever. :)

So, everyone wants to know how it all began. Can you tell us a little about your path to becoming the artist you are today?
Sure. I graduated from Sheridan College's Illustration program with a major in book illustration and a minor in illustration for advertising. After that I basically worked as a freelance graphic designer. When my second child was born I decided I wanted to leave the computer for the paintbrush and I began taking courses. That was about ten years ago. I'm still taking courses. You gotta keep learning!
Indeed you do! Learning is key, isn't it?

'Holiday Table (a flower for Richard)'
6" x 6" oil on panel by Kim Rempel

I’m pretty impressed with your ability to consistently produce beautiful work. You post almost every single day to your blog! That takes nerves of steel my friend. I’m curious about your motivation. What inspires you to create your art and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?
I began the blog purely for personal development. You always tell your children they need to practice to get better and I thought I should do the same. I wanted to see if I'd be able to see a marked improvement over time - if it really would work ; ) I'd been told you just have to log in the time - paint miles of canvas - to see yourself get better. And I took it to heart. Having the blog keeps me motivated for producing regularly because you can't back-date your posts! It keeps you accountable ; )

Egg Stash
6" x 6" oil on panel by Kim Rempel

I’m a huge fan of all your work. And I think that your small still life paintings are some of the most
beautiful I’ve seen. What is it about still lifes that keeps you painting them? And what projects are you currently working on?
Oh, thank you Crystal! For years the bulk of my work was plein air but when I began "daily painting" I took up still life because I wanted the comfort of an indoor environment. Just lately I was beginning to feel that the smaller works were taking away from time I needed to develop larger pieces, so I've recently decided to post everything I've been working on - run it more as a daily art journal as opposed to a blog showing only finished small works. Currently I'm working on experimentation. And I've got a few ideas for a series tucked away...

24" x 24" acrylic by Kim Rempel

Life as an artist is pretty awesome. But it’s not all glitter and rainbows. What do you think is the best part of being an artist? And the worst part?
Best: the daily opportunity to create something intriguing, beautiful, arresting. How awesome is that? I mean, really! Excitement, hope!
Worst: waiting for my skills to catch-up with my vision. Word sista. :)

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?
My immediate reaction was skill development. But after much thinking I would have to say my biggest challenge is not making a real income. The arts is a tough gig.

Cupcake Fever
6" x 6" oil on panel by Kim Rempel

What is one thing you want viewers of your paintings to walk away with?
I want them to be moved - to experience something in a new way.

Let’s talk about artistic influences. Who has been your biggest source of inspiration? Dead or alive.
The Group of Seven.

Spelt Chocolate Biscotti
6" x 6" oil on panel by Kim Rempel

Let’s say life as we know it is about to end and you’re in charge of creating an artistic time capsule for the aliens who recolonize Earth to find. What art - both classic and contemporary – would you insist on including?
I love your questions! The pressure! Okay - this question could take pages so I'll just do a very quick, off-the-top-of-my-head answer.

1. Kathe Kollwitz - Widows and orphans
2. Klimt - Fulfilment
3. Tom Thomson - In Algonquin Park
4. Van gogh - The Artist's Room
5. Peter Doig - Ski Jacket
6. Louise Bourgeois - Maman
7. David Alexander - Japanese Rain no. 2
8. work from a 4-year old child.

Excellent choices! I love Kollwitz too. And the last one, the work of a 4 year old child is the BEST. But, I'm unfamiliar with some of these works. Off I go to google. . .

Any tips or words of advice for artists who are just getting started in their career?
Marry a marketer! I kid. . . Have support. Look at everything. Go to galleries. Check out art books. Take courses. Don't take short-cuts. Tackle what needs working on.

Fletcher Creek
acrylic by Kim Rempel

What do you like to do when you’re not painting?
Read, bake, play cards/speed scrabble etc. Hang out with my family ; )
Reading, sugar, time with family. . . you are a woman after my own heart!

How do you maintain a good balance between family time and creative time?
That one's easy. My children are in school full days so I get to work from 9-3.

6" x 6" oil on panel by Kim Rempel

And finally, where do you see yourself in ten years?
I'd like to be more established and to be doing a bit of teaching.

And now for a random bit of fun we have a. . .

Dawn or dusk?

Sweet or salty?

Winter or Summer?
Can I say Fall?
I suppose. But only because you're awesome. And now as a penalty you must overnight me a cupcake. :) Kidding. . . kinda. :))

Zombies or Unicorns?
Zombies! Except kind of artsy ones that roam around looking cool, not the kind that would actually eat your brains. Well chosen, well chosen indeed.  :) 

Dine in or eat out?

All-time favorite book?
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Oh, I love that book too!

All-time favorite movie?
"Sound of Music" but that sounds so darn sappy. My second fave is "Lars and the Real Girl".
Nothing wrong with a little bit of sap. :) Or a lot. :))

All-time favorite food?

Housework or yardwork?

Strong heart or strong mind?
Strong heart. 

The Extra Mile
6" x 6" oil on panel by Kim Rempel

Thank you so much Kim! You are the best! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tricks and Treats - SOLD

Tricks And Treats
7" x 9" watercolor

Lately I have had a big fascination with shiny or reflective objects when it comes to painting. It all started with that dang glass of apple cider I did. I had SO much fun painting all the different colors and details. There's something kind of magical about really seeing what happens to shiny stuff (for lack of a better word) in the light.

I wanted to paint something Halloweenish (have I mentioned that Halloween is my favorite?) so I spent some time in the candy aisle looking at all the fun treats. And, lo and behold! I found these pretty little foil-covered chocolate bars. Which I then stacked up next to good old Jack here to find some kind of composition that caught my eye.

When I saw those little spots of reflected color on that silly looking pumpkin I almost did a villainous laugh. Seriously. I was pretty happy. The only problem with this painting? Painting the candy before the four menfolk (and one womanfolk, who has a serious sugar weakness) in the house ate up all my props/treats!

Now,  onto some random Halloween fun. :)

Favorite Halloween movie: "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", or "Igor" (which technically is not a Halloween movie, but, it has Igor's in it for goodness sake! 'Igor!!! Pull the switch!!!' :)

Favorite Halloween book: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh (Edgar Allen Poe spookiness abounds!) or The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy (very, very creepy, in a good way)

Favorite Halloween treat: My mom's popcorn balls. She makes these to-die-for super soft and gooey, buttery caramel popcorn balls that are totally worth all the stickiness you WILL get on your face after you eat one.

Favorite Halloween song: Thriller by Michael Jackson of course. :)

Favorite Halloween costume I've worn: For the last two years I have been a pirate because at least one of my boys has been too and it was fun to be pirates together. Also, because then I can channel Captain Jack Sparrow who is the best. pirate. ever. Savvy love?

Feel free to share your favorite's with me in the comments or in your own blog post and I'll come check it out!

Have a great day everyone. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


7" x 9" watercolor
photo reference used with permission by Steve Evans (babasteve on flickr)

I belong to a small portrait group and this photo was our challenge for September. This is the first time I've painted dark skin tones and I really enjoyed it. There were some gorgeous, rich colors that I loved trying to figure out what color mixes I should use to paint them with.

I loved the model's wide, expressive eyes and the shape of her lips. (Which was unusual for me as I find lips one of the hardest parts of a portrait. What was that John Singer Sargent said. . . there's something a little bit wrong with the mouth? Yeah, lips are tricky.)

And I think fall has finally come to Utah! Huzzah!! The weather is perfect and the mountains are almost completely red from all the leaves turning on the trees. I drove near the mountains yesterday and had to remind myself to keep my eyes on the road because all I wanted to do was stare at the gorgeous color all around me.

Pretty, yes?

In other words, I am feeling super inspired lately and can't wait to try out some new painting ideas I have. Huzzah!!

*sigh* Now I think I'll go have some apple cider. After my hour-long, torturous P 90X workout that is. Huzzah???

Have a great weekend everyone. :)))

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Portrait Workshop Recap!

This was my demo. :) Didn't get very far.
watercolor work in progress 10" x 14"

Well, the portrait class is over and it went very well! Thanks for all the good luck wishes and tips you guys gave me, it helped a lot!

I decided to paint a step by step and stop in between each step so that everyone could follow along on their own paintings. I had every one use the same photo reference because I thought this might be a more effective way to show my techniques in such a limited time period (it was only three hours) instead of everyone painting something different. I think it worked out pretty well. 

me painting the demo
(thanks so much to Patricia Christensen for sending me these photos of the class! I brought my camera only to realize I had left the battery at home. D-oh!!) 

I was so nervous for this class. I have never really taught painting before, I've given a few demonstrations, but never actually taught so I was worried that I would be very incoherent about how to actually use my techniques.

This is what I was afraid would happen:

Student: "So how exactly do you do that??"

Me: "You just, sort of , like, put paint on your brush and then kinda move it around the paper. . . "

Me again. :) And some lovely, wonderful, talented students. :))

Everyone was so great, really passionate about watercolor, with lots of talent, and willing to learn whatever I had to share with them. They were a very cool group. I mean, they even laughed at my lame jokes! :)

Here they are hard at work.

And more of the class! I was really excited because fellow Utah Daily Painter and blogger Patricia Christensen was there! (That's her in the blue shirt in the back) I instantly felt more at ease knowing I had a friend there. :)

And here's the whole class. Except for the two men who somehow managed to slip away when we announced 'Group Picture'. Next time Mike and David, next time!

It was a lot of fun and a great experience. Teaching this class really helped me understand why and how I paint the way I do, and also how to articulate that for others to understand (hopefully!). And it's been good practice for that how-to portrait book I've been thinking about doing. 

I think the class had a good time too because they asked me to come back. Huzzah!

Until Thursday my friends. Have a great week! :)

P.S. I talk a lot on this blog about being true to yourself as an artist and painting what you love so I thought I'd direct your attention to two fantastic posts that I read in the last week about the very same thing.

Sandra wrote a beautiful post that you just must read. If you don't know Sandra hurry on over there because she is not only a truly talented artist, but one of the loveliest and kind hearted people in the world. Literally. :)

And the always inspiring Carol Marine wrote about how she feels about her most recent project. Inspiring stuff for sure.

K, bye for reals now. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Interview With The Artist: Carrie Waller

Today I'd like to feature an amazing and awesome artist on  my blog: Carrie Waller. I first met Carrie through blogging early last year and I've been consistently impressed not only with her beautiful and sensitive work, but also with her dedication to her craft and her warm personality that is always looking for ways to help and uplift others. I'm honored to have her as a friend. :)

Carrie says, "I am a Mommy/Military Wife/Artist trying to keep her creative side intact in a world full of diapers, spit-up, and toddler conversations. I am an artist with a background in Interior Design on a mission to refine my skills and create beauty with my watercolors."

To see more of Carrie's work visit her blog here:
and her website here:

Now, on to the interview!

Anticipation by Carrie Waller
watercolor on paper 23.5" x 32"

Tell us a little about your path to becoming the artist you are today.

It all started in 3rd grade. My art teacher entered a collage I did in school into the Texas State Rodeo and I won 1st place. Before that I wasn’t really interested in art. Since then I’ve always enjoyed making things and the creative process. I got a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and briefly worked for an Architectural firm as a Designer, before getting married and moving to Germany with my military hubby.

In Germany I really had to create a job for myself. I couldn’t use my degree so I decided at that point if I was going to follow my husband around I would always have a creative job. I decided to start teaching art. I taught art to kids through the Boys and Girls Clubs, I became the art teacher for the home school group in the area and I began teaching adult watercolor classes. The funny thing is I had no formal training in watercolor, I just remembered enjoying watercolors in high school. So I picked up a How To book did a few paintings and started teaching. I ended up meeting a ton of great friends and teaching the entire 3 years we lived there. I’m still friends and in contact with several of these lovely people.

After that I did a brief stint painting murals—in Germany I had been commissioned to paint murals throughout the Child Youth Services bldg in Landstuhl—when we moved to Charleston, SC I started working with a lady doing faux finishing, and custom murals. I’ve also worked in a custom framing shop and had 2 little boys along the way.

About 2 years ago we moved to Alabama and I started to paint in watercolor again. I watched the movie “Julie and Julia” where Julie blogs about her journey cooking Julia Child recipes and I thought what I could write a blog about. So I started my blog January of 2010 with the idea that I would complete a painting a week. For the most part I have done that, I got my nerve up to enter some shows and won 1st place in my first exhibit, so I decided to keep on plugging away. Since then I’ve won several more awards, and started a website, and selling my art-online and in a few other venues.

Illuminated Pumpkins by Carrie Waller
watercolor on paper 20" x 24"

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

Still life paintings are my favorites so far. I had a light bulb moment when I painted my first still life with glass in it; I fell in love with painting glass. I’ll admit when I saw paintings in the past with glass, chrome and other shiny stuff, I thought the artist was just showing off :). But after my first painting with glass in it I was hooked. For me it’s the challenge of it, the puzzle to making it look like glass, and there are so many abstract moments in glass and chrome that I just love it!

Which of your paintings was the most enjoyable to paint? Which was the most difficult?

I’ve found joy in almost each painting. I think they are all jumping off points for the next creation. I think the most fun for me has been the journey. I’m really enjoying the inspirations for the paintings and the prospect of where that will take me. I’m not sure that any one has been more difficult than another. A few I have wished I could finish faster, I get a little bored with receptive detail, such as the petals in hydrangea blooms. I’d say the paintings with the hydrangea blooms I was thrilled to complete.

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?

I think those moments where I question my talent. You get a few rejection letters in the mail from exhibits and you start to wonder “Why am I doing this again”. But then you have some great things happen and it all balances out.

How do you maintain a good balance between family time and creative time?

I try to incorporate my boys in my painting time. I want them to love painting as much as I do. I also end up burning the midnight oil painting while my boys are sleeping. Fortunately that’s my most creative time of the day. My oldest son started school this year and that has put a whole new dynamic into my life so I’m still trying to balance it all out. My husband is also deploying to Afghanistan soon so that will be another challenge to get through. I try to roll with the punches and sit down as often as I can to paint. I will say that I have my painting area set up in the dining room. It is centrally located in my house I can see everyone and what they are doing, so this enables me to sit down and catch an hour of painting here and there.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I’m not sure that I have a biggest inspiration. I think I find inspiration everywhere with everything. I do marvel at the beauty of our World and I think that God is an amazing artist. I really think about that a lot especially when I see clouds and the ocean and so many beautiful colors everywhere. It is really amazing!

Carrie's creative space. Where she creates her amazing watercolors. :)

Do you ever get artist’s block? And what do you do to overcome it?

Of course, I think we all do. Sometimes I take a break and do something else. Do an art project or craft with my boys. Other times I force myself to show up and paint. Sometimes you just have to paint through it until you get your mojo going again.

Do you have any funny painting habits or quirks that we should know about?
I paint from right to left, not sure why. I also will completely finish one area of a painting before moving from that spot. I never really thought it was different than how anyone else painted until I was in a workshop with James Toogood and he pointed it out to me. He told me he knew another watercolor artist that painted that way, but I don’t remember who it was.

What is one thing you want viewers of your paintings to walk away with?

Beauty and maybe have it conjure up a happy memory for them. I’ve been painting objects from my childhood memories lately and I love when the resonate with someone else

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years?

This is a loaded question :) I did a goal sheet last year and I’m pretty sure I’ve reached all my goals this year but some were not the way I expected. I found that interesting.

I would love to be:

Teaching workshops

Accepted works in to AWS, TWSA, and NWS

Painting everyday

Really painting pieces that have deep meaning to me

Have a financially viable art career

Shabby Chic by Carrie Waller
6" x 6" watercolor on paper

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

I feel like I’m just getting started. But what I know so far is that you need to paint everyday or as often as possible, it’s easy to find reasons not to paint but you really have to show up and paint and paint and paint, it’s the only way to evolve and get better. Make your life easy and set up your painting area in a location that makes it easy to grab half an hour any time you can. Listening to Artists Helping Artists is one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. They have the best free information about marketing, it is invaluable!!

What five things can you NOT paint without?

My Daniel Smith Quinacridone paints

My kolinsky sable brushes

My Schmincke pans and the metal palettes they’re in

Artists’s Helping Artists blog radio show on my Ipod—seriously, not sure I’ve painted a painting without listening to Leslie and Dreama.

My digital camera and printer

And now just for the fun of randomness we have a SPEED ROUND!

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat? Sunny beach

Book or movie? Both

Romance or comedy? Romantic Comedy

Pirates or Ninjas? Probably Ninjas

Night owl or morning person? Definite night owl!

Cake or Cupcakes?  Is there a wrong answer :) Cake in any form please!

Thank you Carrie! You are an inspiration and your work is stunning! :)))

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Masquerade (SOLD) and Three Things That Have Made Me A Better Artist

Masquerade SOLD
4" x 10" watercolor

Lately I've been thinking about what has helped me grow the most as an artist and I've narrowed it down to three simple things.

1. I have always kept a sketchbook. This is by far what has helped me the most. I remember when I first started getting serious about art again how frustrated I was with how ugly my first sketches and paintings were and then feeling amazed when I looked back and saw how much my skills grew simply by drawing a lot. Maintaining your artist's eye is exactly like exercise, if you don't use it you lose it. 

2. I have a superhuman power to be able to face rejection and failure over and over again (followed by weeping and cupcake eating) and then pick myself up and try again with a FIERCE resolution to learn from my failures and overcome them.

This is crucial to any artist's success.

You have to believe in yourself and what you can do SO much that it won't matter to you what anyone else thinks about you or your work. Let them reject you from their show or make snide comments about your excessive use of pink but don't let them see it get to you. Learn from the criticism what you can, then smile and return to your easel with your head held high and a renewed determination to try again.

Let your failures turn into a driving force to improve and not be defeated.

3. I always have and ever will absolutely love to paint and create. It's who I am. Without this love, this passion (or obsession some might say) the first two simply don't matter. This is why we are artists.

Huzzah! :)))

(I feel like I'm repeating myself because I know I've said something along these lines lots of times before, but I've been thinking about the upcoming portrait class I'm teaching and what I want to tell the students and these three things came to my mind and would not leave. :)

(And yes. . . that's me in the mask)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Of wizards, three year olds, and Halloween

Young Wizard in Training
10" x 14"

Three year olds make wonderful models.

They are more than willing to put on a variety of costumes and interact with all sorts of props (although edible ones, especially candy is preferred).

Three year olds don't think they're too "cool" to model for their artist mother nor do they break down into uncontrollable giggles when I inadvertently spell the word s-u-P-P-l-y out loud ("P P!! You said pee pee!! hahahahah!" This is what happens when you are the only FEMALE in your home. You miss the undeniable appeal of toilet humor.)

Their modeling fee is very, very reasonable. (see the candy note above)

Three year olds have the ability to turn everything around them into an adventure, and by so doing allow you to see adventure where you wouldn't have before. For example, this is not a boy in a wizard costume selecting candy for his Halloween bag. No, no. He is Merlin, or Harry Potter selecting the necessary ingredients for a powerful potion or magic spell.

And best of all, they are always around, being too young to go to Hogwarts just yet, always smiling, always happy. . . Except when you decline their request for candy bars before breakfast.

Then there is always the possibility that they might 'accidentally' turn you into a toad.


I love Halloween.

"And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art Books That Rock

It's no secret that I love books. Add in some beautiful art and I am in heaven. Seriously. (Me + books = 4ever!) And lately I have found some awesome ones that deserve to be talked about.

'Small Works'

'A colourful collection of some of the artist's favourite small paintings from 2009-20011. Enjoy!'

Kim is awesome. Her work is equally awesome. Her blog is one that I stalk daily because there is always something fun and happy that I find when I look at her paintings. This book just bursts with Kim's personality and vision. It's obvious that Kim loves what she does and her joy for painting is contagious. The thing I liked most about this book was that I was able to get a closer look at Kim's work. Brush strokes, texture and color are more visible. It felt almost like I was looking at the real thing. :)

a picture book for children published in 2008
by Helen Ward
Illustrations by Marc Craste

Once, the only sounds to be heard were the buzzing of bees in the grass, the murmuring of moles in the earth, and the song of birds in the sky. These warmed the hearts of those who cared to listen —- until the others came to fill the sky with buildings and the air with a cacophony of noise. With dramatically lit artwork and a spare, intriguing text, Varmints tells of a pastoral world in need of protection and of the souls who love it enough to ensure its regeneration. blurb taken from

While browsing the shelves of the book sale at my kids' school last week I spotted this amazingly gorgeous and epic picture book. I took one look at it (and the half off price tag, which, let's face it, sealed the deal right there!) snagged it off the shelves and had to restrain myself from petting it in front of the other parents. It is SO beautiful!

The illustrations in this book are more beautiful than any I've ever seen before. Seriously. It has an edgy, urban feel to it that I adore, and I love the huge scope of some of the page spreads; the huge skyscrapers and tiny creatures, great grassy fields and little bees. The characters are cute, without being overly so, and there's this whole conflict of dark versus light in the story and the illustrations so that there is this big, undeniable message of hope that is simply incredible.

If you don't collect picture books (like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter like I do) then see if you can find a copy of this at your library. You won't be disappointed I promise.  

'Working South'
by Mary Whyte

In Working South, renowned watercolorist Mary Whyte captures in exquisite detail the essence of vanishing blue-collar professions from across ten states in the American South with sensitivity and reverence for her subjects.
"When a person works with little audience and few accolades, a truer portrait of character is revealed." Mary Whyte

For a watercolor portrait artist this book should be required reading. Page after page of gorgeous reproductions of Mary's paintings featured in her Working South exhibit along with pages out of her own journal that chronicles who these people are and why she felt so drawn to tell their story in paint.

This is my desert island art book. If I could only take one it would be this one, because it reminds me of why I want to paint portraits. To showcase what makes each of us human and remarkable no matter who we are, how much money we have, or what we look like.

Mary is a master. Her work deserves every bit of acclaim she's received and more. I dare you to look at this book and not feel inspired to run for your brushes. No, wait, I take that back. I double dare you. :)))

And if you are lucky enough to live in the area of one of Mary's exhibits you should run and see it. Like right now. Check out this link for more details about this exhibit.

So, tell me what art books are your faves? Any undiscovered finds you simply must share? ;)

Huzzah my friends!

P.S. I am working on a Halloween painting that is SO fun. I'll be back on Thursday with a post about it. See you then!

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