3 Questions Digital Series

Carolyn Damstra

An interview from Art in Embassies 3 Questions Digital Series with Carolyn Damstra, who speaks about her creative process and artwork.

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Full Transcript

My name is Carolyn Damstra, and ah, I’m a landscape painting in Michigan and I do acrylic paintings of the lakeshores and landscapes of Michigan.

A large part of what I do is I go out and hike and take photographs and then use those as reference photos back in my studio, and I do a lot of that in the winter months. But I love to play everything as well, and I think that painting has really helped my studio paintings a lot and

loosening up and bringing a freshness into my creative thinking. Because you’re observing directly and painting right there on the spot and with Premiere paintings, those are usually done in just a couple of hours. And oftentimes they don’t go very far from my car.

And if it’s freezing, this happened. I had a hatchback car so I can sit in the back of my car under the hatch in my car. That’s that’s fun. It’s sometimes unsuccessful and sometimes I’m not. But it’s always a good day because you’re outside painting and you can just really exhilarating seeing even more than just locking your

height. Usually, that always sounds cliché, but I am just inspired by all the natural beauty of this Earth for me out west in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a while and started hiking out in the mountains and seeking out mountains and just transforming Michigan especially inspires me again and again.

In summer, it’s really green and blue water and everything so green, polished and then the falls are amazing, and they may rival New England with bright colors and foliage. It’s just amazing. You know, as an artist now, I’m just appreciating the light in the wind and just the feeling and beauty of it, especially water colors.

The light and looking allows me to just live in the present. It is kind of like a meditative practice for me. It allows me to just be grateful and live this great life and you just enjoying the natural world again.

And so there’s also like an ancillary thing that I try to do with my artwork and feedback on my career is to encourage others to enjoy the natural world, to get out into the city of the world and get out, you know, go hiking, go walking or just enjoy looking and in the moment and meditate and see

that is a healing practice in their life. I don’t want it to look like anything else, I do look at realism as a stepping off point. So I’m trying to capture some of the new energy of a scene in my paintings, so I’m trying to transform what I see through my paintings.

The color is key, so I use primary colors. I never use flash, so I make my own darks even to the point of almost black writing you black in nature. It’s part of creating a harmony, too.

If you’re mixing it most two colors primary, formulas create harmony within itself. So when you mix them together, you’re going to get different elements of those primary colors throughout the whole painting in the sky, in the water, and it’s going to get little touches throughout the.