Paint, Pencils, and Healing: Meet Artist Veronica Winters
For Veronica Winters, the road from Russia to Naples, Florida, was rocky yet fruitful. This prolific artist studied classical art traditions at three schools (earning a BFA and an MFA), using art to process her emotional journey. Along the way, she learned how to handle creative blocks according to their root causes.
Secrets of the Universe
Today, Veronica is an artist, instructor, and author who takes viewers to a mystical realm as she aims to paint stories of healing that capture the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. For example, in her “Divine Spirit” shown above, a 24” x 36” oil on canvas panel, Veronica seeks to reveal a supreme intelligence that we may not see in our daily lives. Her other medium of choice is colored pencil, a time-consuming process that produces exquisitely detailed, vibrant drawings, such as her “Omnipresent Mind” shown below.
Clean and Simple Framing
“Omnipresent Mind” was juried to the 30th annual international exhibition by the Colored Pencil Society of America in 2022. Because the show required unembellished framing, Veronica chose Frame Destination’s Wood Frame Profile 502B in white, a versatile frame that evokes a gallery vibe. For glazing, she selected our Tru Vue Reflection Control® Acrylic Non-Glare. “I like the clean look of the frame,” Veronica tells us, adding, “The non-glare acrylic allows people to see my art with no reflections.”
See More of Veronica’s Work
Veronica’s website showcases her work, art tutorials, instruction books, a podcast, and a blog, where she writes on topics like “Best Brushes for Oil & Acrylic Painting.” On Veronica’s Instagram, you’ll find art blended with meditations on life, as well as a walk through her book titled “The Colored Pencil Manual” (see 7/15/23 post). To discover how she handles creative blocks based on where they’re coming from, see my Q&A with Veronica below.
Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Veronica Winters…
- What is your background; how did you get started?
When I graduated from high school in Moscow, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I relocated to the U.S., introverted and without a clear direction, attending art schools to fill the gap I felt inside me. When I turned to painting in my early 20s, I had already earned a college degree in business administration, but I lacked big aspirations or plans for myself. I couldn’t imagine working in an office, performing tasks, and crunching numbers. I had a different calling. I took some art classes at a local community college for the fun of it. My immediate goal was to learn realistic drawing. Because classical art education was almost nonexistent 25 years ago, I spent years learning the craft by going to various art schools. A few years later, I turned inward, painting stories rather than objects. I began painting stories in portraits and figures to process my emotions. A lot of my art reflected my search for “self” and my lack of belonging. I spent years in an internal search for validation or reasons to live, finding it hard to connect to anyone or anything that would give my life meaning. I had a few breaking points that changed my understanding of reality. It’s vital to find the unique connection to yourself to arrive at a deep state of peace and balance. I want to bring feelings of joy, peace, and inspiration to your heart. Through my art, I wish to create a more loving world without violence, judgment, and fear.
- What role do you think the artist plays in society?
Why do we always look back at human history in terms of art? Early excavations, Renaissance masters, modern art, and so on. It’s because art isn’t created in a void. It reflects, comments on, and juxtaposes various points of view mixed with emotion. Art is the depiction of feelings we often hide, suppress, or don’t even think about unless we encounter art. It’s also a tool to express political and economic glory. Art is a visual language that’s often taken for granted because it’s all around us. But if we removed every picture, poster, cover, book, and song just for one day, we would experience a profound lack of beauty, thought, and inspiration.
- What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
I've been working as a professional artist for over two decades and one central lesson that I've learned is this: To bring in consistent business, you must be socially engaging with as many relevant people as possible to generate interest in your art, your personality, and your offerings.
- In what ways does your work reflect your personality?
I’ve always painted what I wanted. So, my art is a direct reflection of my thoughts and emotion expressed in color, symbols, and figures. I paint visual stories and concepts that interest me — like the idea of being at a crossroads of body, mind, and spirit. I'm curious about the depiction of the secrets of the universe and how it all coexists and functions.
- Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
Yes, I do get the blocks sometimes. To overcome one, I try to understand the reason I’m having the creative block, because they're all different. Some of them happen because of complete burnout doing something that doesn't work. So, I try to relax and reflect on my failures; then I can learn from them and pivot if needed. Other times, the block happens because of a deadline. If that's the case, I break down a big task into smaller ones and make myself do small tasks daily. Finally, there could be a creative block because all my ideas are seemingly gone. There's no interest or satisfaction with the work. I don't like anything and I see no reason to continue doing it. When this is the case, I take a break and do something else creative, like looking at other artists’ work, reading, or even walking. Over time, these activities rebalance me and I feel inspired to create again.
- What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
I must have my large monitor in my studio. It's by HP and it’s 27 inches long! It allows me to see lots of detail and color shifts that are impossible to gather looking at a large photo. My Nikon D500 is a useful tool because I do figurative art painting from my own pictures for the most part. But ultimately, my imagination is the most valuable tool; without it, creating is impossible.
- Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
I want to establish and run an annual art contest for talented high school students. However, I find it overwhelming to do in terms of marketing and financials.
- What is your favorite color to incorporate into your art?
I'd say its pink and turquoise with a gold or silver accent.
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT? Simply respond to the questionnaire here to apply to be included in an upcoming Artie’s Eight Spotlight.
Last Updated November 28, 2023