Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meet oil painter Deborah Grayson Lincoln

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Deborah Grayson Lincoln was the September 2010 featured artist on Cow Art and More. Her Texas ranch full of horses and cattle serve as the inspiration for her original oil paintings. She obtained an art degree in college, but temporarily left painting while enjoying the joys and challenges of raising a family. She was able to pick up her painting again in 2005 and has enjoyed experimenting with her style.

Why do you paint?

Artists don't see the world as others see it and words cannot describe the "visions". So I vainly attempt to use paint as descriptive phrases. (And if I'm lucky, I come close once in a while.)

How did you get interested in creating the art of farm animals?

I LIVE with farm animals! And we recently built a chicken coop so I expect chickens will become the next familiar subject.

What is your technique?

Get inspired by something (anything), take a million photos, take piece(s) from several, reconstruct using thumbnail drawings, paint a small version to get color and composition, detail drawing on larger canvas, block in lights and darks usually using neutrals, come back over with color. Sometimes I stop before I put in too much detail, and sometimes I paint every hair. Depends on my mood.

Where did you learn your technique?

I have refined my basic technique after attending classes with several different artists - John Poon, James Spurlock and John Pototschnik

How do you decide what to paint?

First it must be something I am familiar with (cowboys, cows and horses) and it really needs action to keep my interest. If I start on a "static" painting, I sometimes cannot finish it. There's not enough to hold my interest.

How long does it take you to get the average painting?

58 years! Next year it will take 59! Seriously though - from photo, to doodling to small painting to finished large one - minimum 40 hours.

What would you like to do more of in the future?

Take a photography course to better help me "capture" what I want to paint. Digital cameras have made me lazy, though. I can take 1000 photos for nothing and usually find ONE good one!

Do you ever have work you don't like?

Always - I have stacks of unfinished and BAD stuff that should be burned! My husband won't let me, though. Sometimes I just paint over them, but most of the time, I remove the canvas from the stretchers, store it flat and re-stretch a new canvas on the empty frame.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Paint every day if you can. Practice makes perfect. And venture into techniques you think you would NEVER use - you will learn from them even if you don't continue using them. BE BRAVE!

What else do you do besides your art?

I have a huge garden and I love putting up vegetables and fruit. Sewing used to be a passion, but now I confine it to making just an occasional quilt. I still ride my horse every once in a while, and I will begin training her filly offspring this fall - for my granddaughter who is due in December. I would love to learn to make soap and how to weld. There just isn't enough time to learn it all, though!

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