Here is my daily painting complete with an Easter cocktail. We went to my husband's parents' house this past weekend and it was two days filled with good conversation and amazing food (seriously, my mother-in-law Pam is an incredible cook). It's the kind of weekend you need occasionally before you come back home and dive into the next project.
This month I’m moving away from the painting-a-day. The daily piece has become a heartbeat to my practice but working that way for 90 days also helped me understand the limitations of my approach*.
Daily painting makes sure I show up. It makes sure no matter how I’m feeling (and weekends were especially tough) I go into the studio and I finish a painting. Occasionally I’d finish one and start the next one but rarely did I get into that rhythm.
Daily painting also lets me work through problems. I realized I didn’t know how to blend acrylic paints and so I started work on that very thing with the roses. I worked on it further with the halo daffodil series.
But there are also things I can’t explore in a 24 hour period.
Some artists choose a word or phrase to help guide them through the year. So sure, they have a goals list but they also have a way they want to look at the big picture. I came upon this idea a few years ago and it never quite resonated until this year.
This year: Focused Abandon
One of my goals for this spring and summer is to build up a catalog of flower reference photos. Since I’ve started painting flowers, I’ve found some good free resources (both in copyright and monetary terms) for references but I learn so much when I spend time with the flowers themselves.
Photos lie or at least can play some serous tricks. Spending time in the same room as the flowers helps me understand how everything is put together so that when I do go back to my references, I can translate what I’m seeing.
In January and February, I painted every day. Seven days a week. Evenings and weekends. I worked ahead very little and at some point each day, I went into my studio and sat down to paint.
And it burned me out. Wait, that’s now what I‘m suppose to say. I’m suppose to say I discovered myself and grew as an artist. And yes, these past few months have also been powerful on the growth front.
But daily painting: When do you do the dishes?