Vintage Indie would like to welcome Carol Schiff as our featured artist.
Carol in her studio.
WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED MEDIUM? When I first started painting I ventured into watercolor and pastel,and experimented with acrylics, but when I found oils, I fell in love and have stayed pretty faithful to that media. I love the feel of the oils, their texture, the way they blend. I prefer to show brushwork and texture in my paintings and oils are perfect for this.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I have always had a desire to paint or draw, but from childhood I told myself I had no talent. In the 70's I opened a needlework shop which eventually led me to designing my own line of hand painted needlepoint. My lack of drawing skills was an obvious problem, so I started taking drawing lessons. Eventually I gathered the courage to study pastel painting, which I did for eight years. Finally I found oils!
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Well just about everything! The light on an object or scene, the shadows, the colors, anything that catches my eye. Lately I have been experimenting with abstract works, which I find really difficult because the inspiration comes from my mind. Before starting an abstract, I have to think of a composition, determine what colors I want to use and what media. There is no way to know where it will go and I have a high failure rate.
There are so many wonderful artists that inspire. The internet has made it so easy to find incredibly talented people around the world. I spend many hours every week, viewing others' art.
At the moment Andre Kohn is one of my favorites. He is fabulous and I love his lost edges, lose brushwork, everything he does. Another favorite is Lynn Boggess. He has influenced my work with palette knives. He is one of those brave souls who takes giant canvases up the side of a mountain and paints with a trowel. His work is unbelievable and must be seen in person to really be appreciated. He has a totally unique look to his work. I get excited just thinking about it!
WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO GET INTO THIS MEDIUM? Almost every town has an artist willing to give lessons in the basics. Do it because you enjoy it, don't become discouraged, and try to paint several times a week. Use the internet to find artists who's work you admire and study their work. Practice, practice, PRACTICE!
DOES VINTAGE PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR ART OR LIFE? Yes, I love vintage and find it impossible to pass up an antique store. We have a small second home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and I furnished the entire house in vintage. I had so much fun refinishing tables and collecting items I remembered from my childhood. I feel such a connection with vintage items and find it impossible to dispose of them, so I have to be very careful about what I bring home.
I am in the process of refinishing an old dresser into a bathroom vanity at the moment and last month I purchased the metal stand from a Singer Sewing Machine. My clever husband made a beautiful cherry top for it and now it is my favorite little table.
When we are in North Carolina, I spend a lot of time photographing old barns and homes, as well as still life items with that vintage feel. When we are in Florida I paint from these images.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR WORK? I would like them to know that each and every painting is special to me. I sometimes agonize for hours over a very small painting, getting it just the way I want it. I like texture in my work and want you to touch it. I like drama in it and try for lots of contrast. I want it to evoke a feeling in you, maybe a special memory of a place or item or even a flower.
The exciting thing about being an artist is that you never stop learning, your work evolves from week to week. Recently I have moved into palette knife works. I enjoy the texture, I want the viewer to reach out and touch....a big no no in galleries! I work hard to improve the quality of my work every day. I have developed a few painting techniques which helps to make my art unique, and I have been fortunate enough to license my work with three companies.
I love knowing that my art is in homes from Australia to Alaska, that you no longer have to be an art expert or invest a fortune to own original art. The internet has made this possible.
I feel like I am in competition with myself each time I step up to the easel. I try to make each work the best one I have ever created.
Thanks so much Carol for the interview! It has been a pleasure getting to know you.
Please visit Carol's Etsy Shop Carol Schiff Studio
Her Blog Carol Schiff Daily Painting Studio
Follow her on Facebook: Carol Schiff Studio