Thanks for replying! See my answers below. And Thank YOU for being interested. I look forward to seeing your article.
What is your art/craft and how long have you been doing it? Fine art, painting. I started painting in 1992 by taking an oil painting class at The Old Torpedo Factory turned art center in Alexandria, Virginia. I was in the US Navy at the time and needed a diversion from the stress of the job. But I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.
What got you started? My mother taught art classes and always had a ton of reference materials in our home. My father also entertained "the troops" by drawing elaborate cartoon stories. The first time I remember drawing myself, I was about 7 or 8 years old. My brothers and me made a game of drawing cartoon animals. I remember especially liking the bunnies. In my teenage years I switched to horses and people, especially pretty faces of young women. I illustrated a Horse Club pamphlet when I was twelve. I had a friend in junior high and high school, Pam Hardell, who also liked to draw. We would take our sketch books to the park and draw the people and animals we saw. I think we were pretty good then. I wish I still had the sketch books.
Are there any other arts and crafts that you would like to try your hand at? If so, why? Yes, about a million. But my budget doesn't allow it. Ha! Actually, I have begun to really admire encaustic works of art. Encaustic is painting and/or glazing with wax.
What are your favorite materials to use? I paint in oil, watercolor and acrylic. I simply cannot decide which is my favorite. They all three have their advantages and limitations. What I paint with on any given day is mood dependent. I teach watercolor classes because I like to surround myself with older (50+) ladies, and they tend to gravitate to watercolor. Plus my studio classroom is also my showroom, and watercolor is not as damaging to my studio environment as the other two media.
What and/or who inspires you? I have many inspirations. I love to people watch and I adore communing with our fellow furry, scaled and feathered inhabitants. I also enjoy investigating anything that grows in my husband's garden and/or flower pots. So I guess my theme for art is "Life in Bloom." It kind of covers all my "go to" subject matter.
The painters I study and admire are many, but briefly: I follow a blog by artist, Kathy Weber, of Rhode Island http://weberstudio.blogspot.com/. She paints in oil. I like her figurative and architectural works. I am taking a workshop this fall from LA artist, Jennifer A McChristian http://www.jennifermcchristian.com
I really admire Thomas Schaller's http://thomasschaller.com watercolor paintings as well as the exquisite flower paintings of Lian Quan Zhen http://www.lianspainting.com. My local mentor are oil painters, Melodie Williams, http://www.melodiewilliamsart.com, and Bonnie Posselli, http://www.bonnieposselli.com, of Salt Lake City, Utah. I'm still searching for an acrylic painter. I actually bought a book by a wonderful acrylic painter, but I can't find it right now, and I can't remember his name.
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/colleenrartist