As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about the challenges and rewards of taking on the practice of doing “a painting a day”, the hardest thing about doing one small painting every day and then posting it to a blog is, of course, making the time.
All of us are pulled in various directions and maintaining a schedule that allows that kind of dedication is no small thing. The commitment, however, is part of the reward. Like exercising physical muscles, exercising our self-discipline gives us more control and, ironically, more freedom. There also seems to be no surer cure for “painters’ block” and the hesitiation that sometimes comes from confronting a blank canvas.
I’ll follow up on this topic in the coming weeks and look at some artists who are trying to pursue this course in smaller doses, perhaps reaping fewer benefits, but still adopting a regimen that requires dedication and commitment to a schedule. Some are doing paintings on a less frequent schedule, some are committing themselves to daily drawings or sketchbook entries, and sometimes a mix of the two.
Today, here are four more of the intrepid painters who have gone the “full monty” and embarked on the course of doing a painting a day.
Justin Clayton is a painter from California who studied at the California Art Institute and the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Arts. He started his Daily Paintings website (not arranged as a blog) on January 1st of this year. He paints in oil on masonite panels of 5×5 or 5×7 inches. His site includes a time-lapse video of the process of creating one of his small paintings (requires Quicktime 7, which you should have anyway if you like high-quality web video).
New Mexico painter John Conkey has created a fascinating variation on the painting a day process. His painting blog, Themeworks, is a journal of daily paintings that are based on 12 monthly themes, chosen on the first day of each month. His stated goal is to pursue this for one year. Conkey’s primary website emphasizes landscapes and portraits and he differs from most of the other artists working in the painting a day framework by showing a much wider variety of subject, from plein air landscapes, birds, butterflies and other wildlife as well as small household objects, and is one of the few to include small portraits.
New Zealand artist Paul Hutchinson has been pursuing his Postcard form Puniho painting a day project for several months. Initially his paintings were only offered for sale to other New Zealand residents through a local online auction site, however he has started to offer the ability for people from other countries to buy them directly through the site. His work often exhibits distinctive brushstroke textures that form an integral part of the overall composition. Hutchinson’s main website has galleries of self-portraits, nudes, landscapes, hands, still life, portraits and works in pastel and encaustic wax as well as silkscreen prints.
Sarah Wimperis has worked as a muralist, set designer and teacher. She has also done illustrations for publishers like Collins, Penguin, Random House and MacMillan. She has a main website Sarah Wimperis Illustration, personal blog Muddy Red Shoes and painting a day blog called The Red Shoes. In the latter, she posts her small daily paintings that are often of the countryside, farms and villages of her adopted home of Brittany, France. Unlike most of the other painting a day painters, Wimperis paints in watercolor rather than oil. Also unusual is the scale of some of her paintings. Many are the more or less characteristic size of 6×4″ (15×10.5cm) or so, but some are 3×2″ (7.5x6cm) or smaller. The very small ones are sometimes painted on ivorine, a synthetic material made to replace ivory, which was a traditional surface for the painting of miniatures. The Image shown here is 3×2 1/2″ (7.5c6.5cm) on ivorine. Her clear, fresh watercolor technique features nice contrast of dark to light and strong use of textures created from paint strokes.