Early daily paintings:
Recent Daily Paintings:
I am part of the daily painting movement. I ‘ve heard mixed things, that it devalues the work, that it’s selling out and that it’s a great way to build skills and get a lot of work out there. I agree and disagree with all of these statements.
Before I even get started, I must say that I am a full time artist and I do paint one small painting a day and I also work on paintings that take me up to a year to complete.
There is room for all creative expression. In my opinion, unless you’re hurting someone, there’s no right or wrong way to go about making art. However, if you’re completing a painting each day just to make money, you’re going to burn out very quickly. Creativity is fueled by passion and inspiration, not by mass production. I feel that whenever you are painting only to make money, there’s something inauthentic about it and, for me, that is what devalues the work.
Having said that, I know so many very creative people who want to start painting “some day”. Challenging themselves to complete a small painting a day, not caring about what the finished product looks like, is an excellent place to start. For the people who have trouble getting started, just spending time putting paint on canvas sparks something; it builds momentum. When you want to create a masterpiece and you’re afraid of what the finished product will look like, that can paralyze you.
My favorite thing in the world about completing a painting every day though, and the reason I think it is an extremely useful habit to develop, is because there is NOTHING that will build your skills and your confidence faster and better than painting every single day. Yes, you can paint everyday by working on one painting for a year too, and that is useful. However, limiting your time forces you to make quick decisions about composition, color, values, etc. It’s the quickness of it that helps you to develop not only confidence with a brush, but also “intuition” for a lack of a better word, about what is important and needs to be emphasized and what needs to be eliminated in order to create the best finished product.
In my very humble opinion, completing a painting each day will do more to improve your skills, confidence and intuition than any book, class, video etc. This practice has been incredible for me. You can see above how much I have improved over the years, and I attribute 99.8% of this to the daily paintings.
I still have time to dedicate a few hours a day to my larger pieces. That adds up to a long day between the daily paintings, the large, detailed paintings, marketing and networking, but I don’t mind, it’s my lifestyle.