Artist Profile - Greta Michelle Joachim
Where do you live?
Trinidad & Tobago
What is art?
Difficult question since everyone will view art as something different. For me art is my voice. It's the emotions that overwhelm that can't be put into the physical;it's the expression of creativity; it's technical: the employing of technical skills with paints, pencil,etc to create a pictorial image. Art is the eye that sees things no one else sees that turns the mundane and ordinary into a piece of interesting history.
How did you learn to create your art?
I believe that my abilities were God- given. Before 1998 I had no inkling or thought of pursuing an art career. I was already a teacher of English. this year saw me given an opportunity for which I'll be forever grateful. From 2000 I desired to become an artist and tried to find courses, I read religiously, and I practised and practised.
How do you describe your artistic style(s)?
My style is Impressionistic. I sometimes paint in the realist style but prefer the loose styl of the impressionist. I prefer to think though that we all have my own style.
What media and tools do you normally use to create art?
Oils is my pigment of choice. I also use acrylics sometimes or pastels. For adventure I dabble with watercolours and mixed media.
What method do you follow to create your art?
I mostly work alla prima. I like the adventure of going straight to the canvas.
Where do you create art?
I paint au plein aire. (Outdoors)There are so many unexpected events and stories that you come across when outdoors. I only work inside if I'm forced to because of safety or time constraints or for portraits.
What inspires you to create art?
I love the land. I grew up in the country and had a close affinity with the land. You always know where you stand with it. I am also reminded keenly of my love for God when I am painting outdoors: the sound of the wind through the trees, the roar of the ocean.
How do you feel when you create art?
Free. Painting is like a marriage. It's two 'people' getting to know each other and getting to the point where you are so comfortable that you finish each other's sentences. It's tough going sometimes but when you weather the storms you end up with beauty. It's a privilege to be able to be part of that experience.
How long does it take you (on average) to create an artwork?
On average 2-4 hrs, depending on the subject and the size of the painting ground. If I have to I will go back another day when the conditions are the same as when I started.
What are your favorite subjects for creating art?
Land, sea, earth., Only now am I getting into the idea of including people in my work.
What are your favorite artworks?
Works from the Impressionist and post Impressionist eras
What suggestions do you have for new artists?
Keep at it. It may get tough in the beginning but don't give up. Listen and learn as much as you can from the professionals who have been where you are. Read, Soak it up like a sponge, but remember who you are and be true to that. Be humble; you didn't give yourself that talent so you have a responsibility to it and the One who gave it to you. Develop a disciplined and professional work ethic. You can't become successful if you do nothing.
Who are your favorite artists?
- J.M.W Turner
- Claude Monet
- John Singer Seargent
- Winslow Homer
- Georgia O'Keefe
- Lori Putnam
Who influences your art the most?
- Lori Putnam - I really admire her style and work ethic.
What is the first thing you think when you look at your art work from 1-3 years ago and how has your work changed since you started creating?
I have grown and changed a lot. Still very far to go.
My work has moved from me doggedly copying photos that I took to being looser and freer. I still find that I can be a little tightly wound but I am learning to let go of the brush and use a knife sometimes, let some of the ground show, I am gaining an appreciation for glazing and I have totally moved away from sketching first. I have also learned not to be so hard on myself and allow myself to make mistakes and learn from them.
Do you live off of your art income?
You can say that since I teach art now and live off that. I would like to become a full time artist and live off the income of that but that hasn't happened yet.
If you've sold art to people other than family and close friends, what marketing did you carry out to obtain those sales?
Actually none. I entered work in the Art Society's show and they were sold. A colleague (not a close friend) commissioned a painting for someone going abroad.
What do you do when you aren't creating or marketing your art?
Wife, mother, I write, blog, teach,experiment with foods (I also love the culinary arts), sing, and read art books and a few other books like The Holy Bible.
Do you have any regrets as an artist?
That I didn't start this earlier. That I didn't doubt my work so much. Fear is crippling and because I allowed myself to doubt my work I didn't take advantage of all the opportunities that came my way.
I'm only just opening myself up and putting myself out there.
Where to find Greta Michelle's art
Facebook Profile: http://profile.to/gretamichellej
Facebook Fan or Group Page : http://artist.to/gretamichellejoachim