Realist artists Camille Engel describes herself as a wife, a mother, somebody who is struggling through this life trying to find out who she is, why she was put on this earth with an artistic gift, and who she is supposed to touch with her gift.
How It All Began:
Engel is an amazingly gifted artist. Give her a paint brush, and watch the amazing things she can do with it. It’s hard to believe that she has only been painting since November, of 2000, and said, the past 16 years, have been an amazing ride for her career. "It has been wonderful, challenging and scary.” Most people who are artists, were always artists," said Engel, during an interview with World From Here Magazine. As a child, Engel always drew and colored. She said, her parents knew that she was an artist, but did everything they could to keep her from art. "My mother was an accountant, and my father was an attorney. They did not want to raise a starving artist; they wanted me to have a career. So, my mother tried to steer me toward all kinds of possible carrers."
"In the third grade, I received my first Bobbie doll box, and realized there were drawings on the Bobbie doll box; not photographs. That's when I realized, I wanted to be an artist, and that I could make a living at it. So, I tried to figure out how to earn a living with my art--even as young as in the third grade." But, Engel grew up and became a commercial artist. She spent 30 plus years working as a graphic designer. In the year 2000, Engel was challenged to pursue her dream when her pastor at that time said to the congregation."If you have a dream burning inside of you, and you have had it for a while; it could be a dream that God gave you, and I want to encourage you to pursue your dreams."
"I've always been someone who could not sing, but when I paint, it becomes such a place of deep worship for me. I know that God gave me this gift for a reason. My challenge is to find the reason. Every time I start doubting myself--thinking, why am I painting fruit? Why am I painting flowers, birds, and things of that nature? I find myself asking God, how can I glorify Him with the subjects that I choose to paint? Then someone will come up to me at one of my art shows and say: 'I don’t mean to offend you, but there is so much God in your work.'"
Engel always felt that someday she would have to put aside the things in her life that distracted her from her art, and learn to paint. So, she found herself an art teacher-- went out and brought paint brushes, paint, canvases, and started painting. Consequently, that day became her someday. "By my fourth painting, I started realizing that painting was the place I loved to be in. It was the thing, I believed, I was called to do." As a result, Engel received an invitation to submit some of her paintings to a local art show. The overwhelming response to her work gave her the confidence to consider painting for a living.
"I have always been someone who learns more by experience than by reading. I’m influenced by any creativity: dance, music and art of any kind--especially visual creativity, which can be abstract, impressionistic, or expressionistic. I have always gravitated towards the arts, and I have lots of books by different artists who I have been influenced by all my life."
"When I travel, I try to go to different galleries and museums. I get so energized by other artists and their creativity, and most of the time it’s art work that‘s unlike my own. I am realistic in my paintings, and I love being influenced by people who are not realistic, as well as, people who are realist."
"I consider myself a contemporary realist artist. What separates me from other artists is my attention to detail. I love to capture detail on canvas. It’s like working on a puzzle for me. I try to capture a deeper detail than I can actually see, and I want a more interesting depth underneath the painting than what I actually see on the surface.”
In explaining the different styles of painting, Engel said, “there’s a contemporary realist, and there’s a traditional realist. My realism tends to be unlike what you would see in traditional realist type paintings. I paint realistically. I recently painted a new series called, the Trespassers series, which is a series based on what if birds trespassed, and came into my home, and started building their nests in my house. One of the paintings in that series just won an international Best Wildlife Award of Palm Springs."
Engel is a self-taught realist painter, known for her passionate oil paintings with rich lighting, colors, textures, and intricate detail, Engel works in the indirect layering style of the Dutch Masters to create her art. Pursuing the aims of the realist movement with remarkable passion and skill, her paintings are accepted among some of the world’s top artists into prestigious museum tours and art exhibitions from Santa Fe, to New York City, winning numerous awards along the way.
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For Contemporay Realist Artist Camille Engel: Someday Has Come
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