Starla Michelle Halfmann’s beautiful paintings are full of emotion. She combines impasto style with mixed media making her work three-dimentional with rich, thick layers of paint. Her strong brushstrokes create bright, colorful patterns that seem to move and flow across her canvas. I love that her subjects often include lots of flowers and animals such as peacocks, rabbits, owls, and deer. I find her work both strong and delicate at the same time due to the intensity of her technique and her color palette (it often includes a variety of pastels). Thank you Starla for sharing your thoughts on your life as an artist! -eden
Where are you based?
Has your childhood had a significant effect on your work? If so, paint us a picture of what your childhood was like in words? (If you have an image you would like to share, please do.)
I grew up on a farm in West Texas and played in pecan orchards, fished in our pond, and chased butterflies. I most definitely think my paintings reflect that.
Have you had a formal art education?
I graduated with a BFA in Design Communications from Texas Tech University.
Was there a specific moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist?
At 4 years old I would get out the P Encyclopedia and look up paintings. I remember looking at all the paintings and thinking “The people who made these have got to be so happy!!”. I just couldn’t imagine how they wouldn’t be happy if they were able to create such beauty.
What was the first piece of art that you sold?
Zinnias Before the Storm
Tell us about what inspires your work.
My faith, nature, beauty, friends, whatever I’m going through in life. Each painting is like a page from my journal.
Each painting is like a page from my journal.
When you feel a lack of inspiration, how do you find it again?
I go on long walks in nature and I’ll pray and ask for inspiration.
Approximately how many pieces of art do you typically create in a year?
I would say 50 large and small.
How do you make money through your art? (For example: selling originals or prints online or in galleries, doing commissions, working with major brands, etc.)
Originals, prints, commissions, working with major brands
(Anthropologie has sold limited editions of her work.)
Do you “make a living” as an artist? If not, how do you primarily support yourself?
What have you found to be the most successful way(s) to market your art?
How would you describe the “business” of being an artist?
A mix of chance, faith, talent, dreams, and the wherewithal to use it all.
What is your favorite thing about being an artist?
Working for myself doing what I love.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
What piece of advice would you give other women who are pursuing careers in art?
Really pray about it and make sure you have a good support system, business plan, the talent, and the energy to devote to it. It is a beautiful path but it isn’t easy.
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