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An Interview with Paintdrips

Updated on November 28, 2020
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise has been studying and teaching art and painting for 40+ years. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her art and design.


It seems strange for me to interview myself but I was inspired by a writing challenge that went on almost two years ago. So I wasn’t around for the original challenge but I am here now and I am intrigued.


Why Paintdrips

To start with, why Paintdrips as a nom de plume? Actually I wanted Dancing Paintbrush which is the name of my website and my alter ego… but that was taken. Paintdrips really describes me because I am always painting or drawing or dripping. The family story I hate most only because it keeps coming up even today, is about me spilling ink on my parent’s tan (almost white) living room rug. I loved working with pen and ink back then. You know the kind? It involves a nib and handle that you have to dip into an ink bottle because there is no ink actually in the pen. I love the old fashioned feel of the ink and scratch, scratch of the nib on paper. My bad habit involved spreading out on the floor in front of the living room TV to watch and create at the same time. It was a disaster asking to happen, but I was only 12 at the time.

To tell the truth, my parents hated that carpet and wanted to replace it but were waiting for enough extra money. My ink spot only hurried the situation along. That year my siblings went around singing, “I’m gettin’ nothin’ for Christmas, Mommy and Daddy are mad. I’m gettin’ nothin’ for Christmas, cause I ain’t been nothin’ but bad.” Remember that song? Well, I do. They emphasized the part of the song about “Spilled some ink on Mommy’s rug, somebody snitched on me…” They thought they were so funny. Every time someone came over, they were sure to get a tour of the place I spilled ink. No one even mentioned that I won an award for the picture I created during that disaster.

The next year they replaced that carpet and I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally it was gone and the proof that I had been careless. Yes? No. That was not to be. To this very day, 50 years later, it will invariably come up at some family get together about the spilled ink on the rug, or someone will sing the song and look over at me. I shall never live it down, I am convinced. So Paintdrips suits me for a handle.

Me with my famous paper mache Capricorn.  I made this in high school in the 70's.
Me with my famous paper mache Capricorn. I made this in high school in the 70's. | Source
I even got my picture in the paper because of this Capricorn creation.
I even got my picture in the paper because of this Capricorn creation. | Source

Why interview myself? I have a few reasons. I love to tell stories and this is the perfect venue. However, I have been here at HubPages for a year plus now and only know a handful of people well. I was over a year at the “other” place writing too but many of those writers are gone on to other things. I feel this is a good way to get to know more of my fellow hubbers.

The Challenge

Actually, another writer here on HubPages – Jennifer Arnett (aka Availiasvision) -- suggested these self-interviews as a writing prompt, as a way to introduce ourselves (or re-introduce ourselves) to other hubbers and build our community. Here’s her original challenge hub here:

Interview Yourself: A Writer's Challenge

Great Idea

Great idea! The original challenge was motivated by Inside the Actor's Studio, where James Lipton interviews famous Hollywood stars in front of New York film students. He asked the same questions of each person on his show and got some fascinating answers. I am here utilizing those same questions.

  1. What is your favorite word?

Antidisestablishmentarianism. I feel so smart just typing it. It is the longest word in the dictionary and although it doesn’t come up often in sentences, I love that I know it.

2. What is your least favorite word?

Masticate. It isn’t a bad word but it just sounds so creepy to say. I would say Hate or Jealousy or any racist words, but those are already taken but greater minds and writers than I.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Music. I love classical violin especially but any soothing instrumental music puts me in a creative, happy place, filled with birds and butterflies, sweet breezes and loving thoughts. My favorite violinist is Joshua Bell, closely followed by DSharp. I also adore the piano music of Helen Jane Long.

4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Loud harsh noises and voices. We live near an airport and occasionally I have to stop everything I’m doing to let the plane pass because it is so uproariously loud, it pulls me out of my happy place.

5. What sound or noise do you love?

Children laughing. Oh, and my husband laughing. I get so tickled just to hear him laugh out loud! His voice is as smooth as butter and I could listen to him talk for the rest of my life!

6. What sound or noise do you hate?

Children crying. Or my husband upset about something. I’d rather take a bullet than to hear the pain in his voice.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

Poop. I don’t use it too often but when I do, the family runs scared.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Ballerina. I wanted to dance when I was young. That ship has sailed, I’m sad to say. A ballerina usually only dances for a total of 40 years before the wear on the joints is too much. But I used to dream about dancing, now I draw and paint dancers. It’s still in me, I think.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

An Accountant. I can’t think of a worse purgatory for an artist than to have to live life with numbers alone.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

She’s here! Someone set up the easel and paints next to Da Vinci and Mucha.

Challenge Questions

In the spirit of Inside the Actor’s Studio, there is a list of challenge questions to answer and I have decided to answer them here also.

In the film version of your autobiography, who would you like to play yourself?

I simply love Sandra Bullock. Okay so I don’t look anything like her but I love her work and think it would be so cool to have her play me in some biography someday. She could pull it off because she is so sweet.

What quality or talent do you wish you could cultivate?

Ballet. Okay, so I said this before but I know it can’t happen. I used to be able to do the splits, lay both hands on the floor while standing, grab my heel and straighten my knee pulling my foot straight up, but those days are gone. After arthritis in both hips and 2 hip replacements, I’m doing good to walk, let alone dance en toe. But I can dream, can’t I?

Who is your favorite fictional character ever?

Anne of Green Gables. That girl had a lovely attitude and sweet spirit. She lived through hard times and silly mistakes and took it all with grace and humility. I thought she was the kind of girl I wanted to be. Our heroes, live or fictional should bring out the best in us, don’t you think?

My illustration for the cover of Anne of Green Gables.
My illustration for the cover of Anne of Green Gables. | Source

Have you taken the writers challenge?

See results

If you could have the career of any author, who would it be?

I admire Jack London because he did a lot of things, went a lot of places and then wrote from real experience. Actually, I have a real attraction for this author’s books because of something that happened when I was only 13.

I had a vision problem that went undiagnosed for many years. No one realized I couldn’t see and I was 12 going on 13 when I finally got glasses. Before that, I hated books. Reading gave me headaches because I had to hold the book so close to my nose and squint. By 13, I was pretty far behind in reading and comprehension so I had some catching up to do, but I still equated reading with pain. One day my dad threw a book at me. What’s this? He said he saw it on the shelf and thought of me. I have to say I was stupefied. First of all, my dad never bought us presents, and if he did he never played favorites. We all got something or none of us got it. So for him to buy me a book, me, just me. A book. It was Call of the Wild by Jack London. If my mother had gotten it for me, I may never have read it. It was because my Dad got it. The Dad who never bought me anything. How could I not read it? It was a struggle at first but I managed to get into the story of the dog dognapped from his comfy home in California and stolen away to Alaska as a husky. I love that book and I began reading other books after that. But that was the beginning and I will never forget the surprise, elation, and confusion of receiving that first book at 13.

What inspires you?

I often get a lot of inspiration from looking at other artist’s work. Even photographers inspire me. I love the fine art photography of Brooke Shaden and Aaron Nace. I love to look at digital artist’s work like Tyler Jacobson and Jason Engle. And then there are the classics: art by Jan Vermeer, Alphonse Mucha, and Maxfield Parrish. Not to mention, there are the great children’s book illustrators that I admire, like Beatrix Potter, N.C. Wyeth, and Maurice Sendak. I could go on and on because a lot of art inspires me. There are days when I don’t feel up the challenge of even hoping to be great as any of them. Then there are days when I know I’m good enough and will make my mark as well.

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. Writers are like Hemingway and Jack London, not me. However, I have always been a storyteller. It gets me into trouble often. People usually want me to get to the point and I want to tell the whole story with embellishments. My husband is constantly telling me to get to the bottom line and finish the story. I don’t want to get the bottom line before I’ve set the stage and built up the suspense. Perhaps that is what a writer is after all: a storyteller who writes it all down.

Illustration for the Mr Sticky book.
Illustration for the Mr Sticky book. | Source

Still, I am an artist. I paint. I paint anything and everything in a representational manner. That means I’m a realist and not an abstract artist. I prefer to paint and draw the things of creation as they were created but I have found a little bit of fantasy art to be a fun occasional diversion. I’ve learned to create fine art photography pieces where people float, have wings, walk the bottom of the ocean, etc. Those are fun. Mostly I want to continue being a children’s book illustrator. I love children. I love children’s books. What better than to illustrate for children’s books? It has long been my dream and is only recently becoming a reality.

Fallen Soldier.
Fallen Soldier. | Source

Your Interviews

Here are just a few of other fun self-interviews. Check them out.


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