Fantasy Art

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Daily Paintings

Years ago I had an idea to do a small painting everyday before leaving for work.  I was still a full time sign painter and had places to be so the discipline was not to make myself do the job the discipline was to make myself Stop.  To this end I set a timer for 30 minutes and the painting was completely done when the timer beeped.  I did not allow myself that one final stroke or highlight to pull it all together.  The timer went beep and the brush went into the jar period.  (I was painting in acrylics.)

Recognizing my own predisposition to blow every idea enormously out of proportion I deliberately painted on materials that, for the most part, weren't archival.  This kept me from thinking I was going to sell this painting and therefore needed to take the extra time to make it worthy to sell.  If I was going to try to sell it at some point I'd obsess over them and try to perfect each one.  This would mean I'd keep going after the timer or return to the same piece day after day trying to get it right. 
To that end I painted on a big stack of leftover materials I had been keeping around the place.  I had all kinds of papers, cardboard, posterboard, illustration board, and wood.  I also chose unimportant subjects like common household objects.  (Somewhere in this set is a painting of a doorknob.) 

Some of them came out very nicely and many of them were just awful, but it was all terrific practice.
 It was beneficial not just in training myself to paint, and do it quickly, but also in training myself to let go.  To allow the job to be "good enough" and call it done so I could move on to the next one.   I learned not to become too enamored of a piece or of the time invested in it, when the exercise was over it was over.
In most cases the paper warped and buckled and the pieces were eventually thrown away.

These many years later I've decided to resume the practice of Daily Paintings.  There are societies of daily painters and some people making a descent living from it.  I'd like to be one of those people.  So lately I've been doing small still life paintings again.
This time they will be in oils and they will take more than 30 minutes, but hopefully not terribly long, and this time I will be trying to sell them so they'll be painted on better material.
I've wondered how to present all of this in a way that's not awkward and then I realized that everything I do is always awkward so why stop now?

More about awkwardness tomorrow.

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