Q&A with artist Dreya Novak
• What inspired you to become an artist?
“I have wanted to be an artist since I was a little girl. I observed the world around me in a different way to my friends and saw interesting stories everywhere… in clouds, tree bark, the vineyards near where I lived, and especially in books. Painting gave me the opportunity to express my imagination. My first serious piece of art was when I was 10 and won my first art award…I haven’t really stopped since then!”
• What do you love most about being an artist?
“Being an artist is not just a career; it’s a lifestyle, a way of living. When you’re not enjoying what you’re doing I think you have to break out and do what you love. For me, being an artist was a decision that happened very naturally. Being an artist means being able to share feelings, emotions and beauty by expressing yourself. ”
• Where do you take your inspirations from when creating a piece?
“My artworks are like love letters about things that I care about. My inspirations come from what is around me: I am constantly curious and try to bring to life the beauty that I see – whether it’s a vineyard, a scenic view, beautiful face or stunning architecture. I come to the canvas with a desire to make something beautiful and this time is no different.”
• Where do you see yourself 15 years from now?
“In the future I would like to keep working on a larger scale – creating more elaborate compositions and bigger pieces to create real impact. Large artworks can transform the room; adding energy and truly setting the mood. For me it is the continuous dialogue between the viewer and the painting makes the art timeless. My goal is to create an opportunity for viewers to find various meanings in my paintings and have that true dialogue with my painting.”
• What do you love most about painting?
“Making art lets me express myself. It’s a way to translate ideas and messages, connecting the inner and outer world. I see painting as creating change, creating something truly unique and making a comment on that time and place, just as I see it.”
• What steps do you take to prepare for the creation of an oil painting? Where do you start?
“Every painting begins with an idea. The first thing I do is to create a sketch; working out the composition and getting most of the major details of the subject down. I sometimes make a colour sketch on paper but by the time I am ready to paint, I have a really strong idea about how it is going to look and the direction I’m going to take. Then it’s over quite quickly, as I finish the composition and get to reflect.”
• How do you select the colour palette / mix the paint?
“My colour palette is an emotional combination based on intuition and feelings. Many colours end up in my work intuitively, but some pieces are also more calculated reflecting my viewpoint, the atmosphere or the attitude of the piece. Depending on the story, I bring dose of vibrancy to my paintings with powerful warm tones of red, orange, and yellow.”
• How do you prepare your canvas?
“The first step is to cover the white canvas with one solid paint colour, simply diluted with a lot of water. Sometimes I use two or three ground colours but after this first layer, I use pastels to make a quick sketch and start layering more colours.”
• How much do you experiment when painting a piece of artwork? In what ways do you experiment?
“It is important for me to create a balance between colour, shape and texture within the work, something I think happens intuitively. I like to think of my paintings as musical compositions, made up of layers, dynamics and harmony. A painting is finished when there is nothing left for me to add and I am content for it to tell its own story to a fresh audience.”