Interview: Judy Wilder Dalton

Judy Wilder Dalton

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NOTE:  In the spirit of inviting positive energy for a new year of all-things-art...this interview with Artists of Texas membership chairwoman, Judy Wilder Dalton, will be an expanded publication.  We greatly appreciate Judy making time in her busy art and life schedule to conduct this interview and to share so much of her wisdom and talent.  Here's to 2018 and a year of art-full joy for you all.    In-Joy; Enjoy!  Susie Kelly Flatau, AOT Interviews

As you look forward to the 2018 Creative Year, what is it you wish to accomplish this upcoming year in your Artist Life?

My goal for this year is to provide some online art classes that will be fun, and inspiring without taking a lot of time commitment to me or my students.

As you reflect back upon your Art Life during 2017, what would you say have been the top 3 art moments for you?  Why?

The top moments for 2017 were the invitations for a few solo shows and workshops in the Hill Country, Houston, Dallas and North East Texas areas. I love the opportunity to teach and meet artists. Getting to be around artists is always inspiring for me and I always learn when I teach.

You have a very vibrant and rich artist FB page and blog and website (thank you for your daily inspiration!!).  How do you motivate yourself to post to your art social sites on such a regular basis?  What guidelines do you personally follow?

I could do much better with a regular schedule of posting.  Something I will work on more in 2018. I think being a part of groups like Artists of Texas and Daily Paint  has been a motivator for me to keep my work on social media.  I love the feedback and it is very encouraging when selling online.  I try to cross post and encourage Facebook followers to visit my website often.

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What are your top three suggestions to artists on creating and maintaining an art presence on FB or any social media such as an art blog or website?

1.     When I post a photo of my art, I prefer to post it as a link from one of my             websites.

2. On Facebook, limit the number of post each day that you are “selling” your work.  Try to space those out and give your followers information and tell them about what you are doing in the studio.  In other words,  let them see more about how you produce your art.  Allow followers to get to know you as well as your work.

3. Do set up a professional art page on Facebook and lead your followers to your professional website.  I post all my art and art activities there on my professional art page and the then I will share that post each day on my personal page.

I don't use twitter or Instagram.  I know that both are also good, but I just use Facebook.  I use a newsletter and I only send it out a few times a year.  For 2018 I will attempt to send out one a month.

Promoting one’s art can often feel overwhelming.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed as you work to get your art out into the world?  If so, how do you overcome that sensation? 

Yes, of course. It seems to become a job that no one likes.  I'd just rather be in the studio and behind the easel. I try to think of it as sharing my work.  Sometimes it just feels like I am being pushy. 

It is understood that an artist portfolio is an important aspect of developing your artist life.  Your portfolio is dynamic and impressive.  What are some guidelines/tips that you follow for portfolio development?  (taking photographs of you art work, social media, online galleries, art website, workshops, etc.)

I make my art website the center of my portfolio and all other online galleries, and social media link back to the main website. 

I take photos of my work as it is completed. And I make sure I have a high quality and high resolution of each one. A small resolution for online galleries is also saved.  I save those images together on an external hard drive.  

I post each image to my main website and then link to the other online galleries or the brick and mortar galleries that is representing the painting.  I also mark any painting that is out to a show as “on hold” to avoid selling one twice.  That actually happened to me one time and I was so sorry to disappoint the second client and have to return the money that had sent.   It was a mistake that the wrong one had been marked sold.

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In the spirit of sharing, would you provide some of the art resources and sources (supplies, marketing, websites, etc.) that have been helpful in growing your artist life?  (online gallery and art auction)          (The mission of the Artists of Texas is to celebrate, advance and promote art in the State of Texas.   Artists of Texas is committed to providing art         education opportunities, scholarships, painting workshops, marketing and                 technological support, and encouragement to its members, at all levels of membership. Levels of membership include Master Signature, Signature and Professional, and members must be current residents of the State of Texas.)        custom frames and matting       Alyson Stanfield,  Art Coach                      Fine Art Studio Online, professional websites for artist

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Describe the time you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? How old were you? Who or what inspired you at the beginning of your art life?  Who or what inspires your art life today?

I can't remember the first time I realized that creating was what I had to do.  It was just what I always seemed to do. From a young child with a vivid imagination building pretend houses to a young adult, it seems I was always drawing, painting, sewing, crocheting and trying to see what I could make myself. I even chose the very creative job of hairstylist to give me time to study art. In my early twenties, I met a good friend that had the same interest in art as me.  We joined a local art guild that met once a month for demos and several art competitions each year. From there on, I took as many workshops and classes as I could and became a art book addict. Connecting with other artists and being involved in learning has inspired me to try many art mediums and to always challenge myself to accomplish.

Why do you make art?  What are you trying to communicate with your art?  What element(s) of your inner spirit is reflected in your art?

I create art because that is just my nature, I think.  I don't really try to communicate as I am creating art.  I am just expressing how I react to the world around me.  I do hope that my art shows that and will connect with others in some emotional or spiritual way.  But if it doesn't, it really doesn't matter, because the art is about connecting the moment and me while I experience it.

Is the atmosphere or design layout of your creative space/studio an important element in your creative process—why or why not?  Is there something—a keepsake, an inspirational quotation, a photograph—you keep in your studio for inspiration or motivation?

I love a big window!  For light of course, but most of all to be in touch with the outdoors.  I am not much of a plein air painter, but I have to see outside.

My art books always have a place in my studio.

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What kind of routines or rituals do you incorporate into your creative time? If you have one element or principle of art you enjoy working with the most, please describe it? 

Music playing in the background.

Currently, which creative medium do you work in? What, if any, other creative medium would you love to pursue?

I love working in pastels and also in oil.  I work in many mediums and love experimenting with new ones.  I worked in clay for a short time and loved it, but that was a medium I found needed much time devoted to it and I was not willing to give up color to pursue it. I think I might like to try encaustics some day.

What is your most important artist tool?  How does this tool factor into your art making?

My imagination.  Letting my imagination respond to shapes, colors and lines on the surface I am working on.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Making time for idle time.  I need time to myself and time to just let my mind begin to wonder.  Sometimes that is spurred on by simply cleaning the studio. Finding old work or unfinished work stuck away and forgotten can bring up old thoughts and plans.

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What one piece of advice would you give to an artist just getting started?

Spend time in galleries and museums, attend demos and workshops. Emulate others but never just copy. 

If you wish, please share with us any other aspect of your art life—professionally and/or personally—that hasn’t been answered in the above questions.

I hope that my art reflects how I see life, with great appreciation.

For what one thing would you like to be remembered?

Hopeful that I would be remembered for creating colorful and cheerful art.

Describe yourself in one word.




Susie Kelly FlatauComment