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I am a mother, a grandmother and a contemporary realist painter currently living in Montana. I was encouraged to be an artist when I was younger due to some sad events in my life. Through this experience I started to learn and understand how much of an impact being an artist and the art world in general could have on a person if given a chance. Later, I wanted to be a seascape painter and went to school where I received my Associates in Fine Art/Humanities (2007) and have been able to continue my artistic education through books, the internet and personal experiences. Today I do not just paint the ocean but I paint anything that inspires me. Through my artwork, I want to encourage happy thoughts, happy memories and positive perspectives in order to stimulate a happy heart within my viewer whether it be from a nature scene to something as simple as a favorite coffee cup. - Frankie Stockman 2021

Please continue down for more information, interviews with artists and some painting tutorial and ideas! ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Frankie Stockman - Learning That It is Okay If It Isn't Perfect


Frankie Stockman - Sometimes It is Okay If It Isn't Perfect


- Can you please share a little of your background? For example, where you are from and how your artwork ties into your culture or where you live.

Mt. Whitney, Oil On Canvas by Frankie Stockman
 I am originally from California. I grew up in the In-yo Valley. The only time that my paintings really tie into my past or where I grew up is when I am painting certain scenes in the area that remind me of home. I have even painted a still life of Apricots because when I was a kid, me and my cousin thrived off them in the summers. Her parents had a huge tree in their yard. Cousins really are the best.


- Which situations or experiences have helped you evolve as an artist? For example; what makes you who you are?


My grandparents and my mother are very creative people. My grandfather was a writer, jewelry maker and even made arrowheads. My grandmother crocheted some of the prettiest things I have ever seen and she was a master on the sewing machine. My mother is a poet but she wouldn’t tell you that about her. I grew up around people making things constantly but never knew why until I got older. Then it all made sense. I wasn’t born wanting to be a painter. I wanted to be a fashion designer or a writer.

- Does your work carry a message? If it does not, then can you tell me why you make it?

My work does not carry a message. I always want it to because I always feel that it is supposed to. I try to come up with secret messages, but it never works. I like to tell people that I paint to keep my feet on the ground. It helps me focus and keep my mind straight through the details of the paintings. It is like meditation at times. I forget that the world exists, and I forget that sometimes life is hard. When I am focused on the drawings or paintings, I am free.

- Who are your biggest influences? Why?

When I think of artists I think that my biggest influences are Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Thomas Moran and a few more. I seem to always look to them for answers.

- Do you have a current project that you are working on?

I actually have a couple projects that I am working on. I wrote a children’s book a couple of years ago and have not finished it because I am really having a hard time with the illustrations. Other than that I just do what I want when I want. I am also trying to get The Troubled Artist up and running strong. Soon I would like to be able to teach art and teach the pros of being an artist.

- What has been your biggest challenge as an artist when it comes to your work and/or career?

Mentally my biggest challenge has been to accept that I am a real artist. To accept that not everyone is going to love what I am working on and to keep pushing forward even when I don’t want to and to love my own work.

- Do you actively seek out opportunities or do you just go with the flow? Why? How is that working out for you?

I have not in the past and I know I should at some point. But there is always that excuse in the back of my mind; “I am not good enough to be in a show” or “I don’t have many pieces that I’ve done” and let us not forget, “I don’t want to sell most of them because they are for me.” There is always something. I then complain about not making money or getting recognized but, you get what you give, and I don’t really give much.  However, I have shown my art in a couple auctions, gift shops, libraries and even coffee shops. I did actively seek them out for myself. I have also had a few commissions through friends and family.

- Do you find it difficult to price your work? Why?

Yes. You have so many people telling you one thing and then others telling you another. I have heard that I should price by the amount of hours I put into. I have heard that I should price it by how much I would pay for it. I was told once that if you sell a painting for a certain amount, that is what your value becomes for later paintings. I don’t know how much truth is in that. At this point, I just price it by the size and if there is a frame that comes with it.

- Which pieces are you most proud of? Why?

I am super proud of the copy that I did of Paulus Potter’s “the guardian” because it was one of my first paintings and also my pomegranate and lace. I did a really good job on those!
Pomegranate & Lace, Oil on Canvas Paper by Frankie Stockman

- How do you feel after completing a project?

I admit, sometimes I cry. The pride that I feel for myself makes me so happy. Plus, the energy that you put into a piece of art is so intense and when It works out for the best, it is one of greatest  feelings. I can't explain the self-gratification. It’s addictive! I can’t live without that feeling anymore.

- How has art changed or challenged your life?

Art has changed me and helped me grow by making me feel more confident and creative in all other areas of my life. For example, dealing with how I deal with problems or even how I communicate with others. It has changed how I look at myself as well. Sometimes when I am struggling I can always remember that I am good at something. I do have something that not everyone has. I have my talent and I have my art. Before I felt like I was just, here.

Art has challenged me by teaching me to keep going even when I don’t want to. It challenges me when it “tries” to teach me that it’s okay if it’s not perfect. 


You can find more information about Frankie and her recent projects and paintings here: 

Facebook Fan page: Frankie's Love of Art
Twitter: Frankie On Twitter
Pinterest: Frankie's Pinterest


Jael Hoffmann - Art As a Reflection of Life

Jael Hoffmann - Art as A Reflection of Life


 - Can you please share a little of your background? For example, where you are from and how your artwork ties into your culture or where you live. 

I live in the high desert of California, with view of the Sierra mountain range and vast expanses of desert floor. My artwork doesn't tie in directly with the environment, as my sculptures mostly represent inner states of being, but the raw natural setting of my habitat does cater to a comfort from which ideas spring. 

- Which situations or experiences have helped you evolve as an artist? For example; what makes you who you are? 

Great question. I don't think it's the experiences themselves that helped me evolve as an artist, but how I decided to go about dealing with them. Art is not separate from living, so living well has been the basis for an inner state that can receive ideas and figure out how to make them happen.

- Does your work carry a message? If it does not, then can you tell me why you make it?

Yes, most of my metal work is symbolic of inner states we either struggle with, or struggles overcome. Some is political in nature, depending on what external circumstances reverberate strongly. I use humor as a tool to ease access to self. My jewelry work is mostly playful and satisfies a yearning for aesthetic balance.

- Who are your biggest influences? Why?

I didn't know anything about sculpture work, when I started working in metal, so there are no individuals or art movements that influenced my work.

- Do you have a current project that you are working on?

Yes, I am re-imagining the biblical story of Eve. 

- What has been your biggest challenge as an artist when it comes to your work and/or career?

A big challenge for me is working under less than optimal conditions. My workshop is not temperature- controlled, so summers are very hot and winters very cold. I also have to pull-start a generator (as I live off-grid) to use large tools. 

- Do you actively seek out opportunities or do you just go with the flow? Why? How is that working out for you?

I have a sculpture garden off highway 395. That's my exposure. I don't actively seek to display my work anywhere else, as I'm too busy doing work. It suits me to live in a bubble.

- Do you find it difficult to price your work? Why?

Not at all, every piece screams its value at me. 

- Which pieces are you most proud of? Why?

My last piece 'Tzu Jan -constant change' has had a strong effect on others. It is describing the internal and external sameness in the face of constant change.

Tzu - Jan by Jael Hoffmann

- How do you feel after completing a project?

Relieved, as the sometimes very challenging process of giving birth, is over (temporarily, anyway).

- How has art changed or challenged your life?

I've learned (or am still learning) to step back, when things don't work out as planned, or desired. 

Art is enhancing my experience of being alive, as it keeps me engaged and on my toes.

You can find more information about Jael and her recent projects, jewelry, Sculpture Garden and more on her Website: Jael Hoffmann



    

Kate Bentley - Painting What She Sees

Kate Bentley - An Animal Lover & Her Journey With Art

Poppy, Oil on Canvas by Kate Bentley

- Can you please share a little of your background? For example, where you are from and how your artwork ties into your culture or where you live.

I'm a country girl at heart, from the South-East of England.  So I would say it's only natural that having grown up around animals and nature it would become the focus of my work. 

- Which situations or experiences have helped you evolve as an artist? For example; what makes you who you are?

Art is in my blood.  I'm something like 5th generation arts (that I know of) on one side of my family and the other side we're very creative too.  I didn't stand a chance haha!  

- Does your work carry a message? If it does not, then can you tell me why you make it?

My work doesn't really hold any hidden meaning, I paint what I see, in a way I like.  There's a lot of pressure in the arts world culture to paint abstract or loose paintings, but mostly paintings with some hidden altruistic meaning, and a stigma to the more traditional or commercial style - with a suggestion that you're "selling out" if the latter is your thing.  I really don't think meaning is required or that it's been the focus for many artists in history.  I'd say money has guided most in their decisions, and just the need, the burning desire to create. 

- Who are your biggest influences? Why?

I'm not sure that I consciously have any.  I was the girl at school who would do anything to avoid the art project about copying a piece by another artist.  And the ones where I had to show my thought process and preparation work.  I've always been more about just getting on with it and painting what I want. I actually (practically) failed my art A'level.  I got a D.

- Do you have a current project that you are working on?

Yes.  At the moment I'm mostly working on dog portrait commissions.  I have one on the easel at the moment. 

- What has been your biggest challenge as an artist when it comes to your work and/or career?

So it took me the longest time to accept that being capable of producing work that's viewed as being "cute and cuddly" and a bit commercial doesn't make me any less of an artist.  I even tried to change my style.  Now I just accept it, life is in the details they say.  And so it would seem is my work!  
It's just the way I paint. 

- Do you actively seek out opportunities or do you just go with the flow? Why? How is that working out for you?

I've done both, I actively seek them now because I focus on commission work - pet portraits.  I use social media, and you still can't beat a simple poster on a dog walking route. 

- Do you find it difficult to price your work? Why?

Pricing is so hard, because art and its value are so subjective. The only way to do it is to have a look around at your competitors and see what sort of prices they're working to and pitch yourself somewhere near.  My top tip is that it's easier to start out lower and increase your price than start too high and find you have to drop them.  

- Which pieces are you most proud of? Why?

Always the last one I made, because I learn something new and hone my technique with each one and that is incredibly valuable. 

- How do you feel after completing a project?

Ready for the next one. And probably a bit tired too. 

- How has art changed or challenged your life?

Art has shaped my life, it's made me the person I am today.  I'm not sure what sort of person I would have become without it.  More frustrated perhaps? 




You can find more information about Kate and her recent projects and paintings on her Facebook Fan page: Kate J. Bentley - A Rural Canvas
 

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