Day 1 Daily Painting

December 1, 2016

I have thought about doing this for years and I know it will be good for me but...I am scared.  Scared about not having the time.  I tend to over commit, procrastinate and take on too much.  Daily painting takes commitment and with a business, family and graduate school I must be crazy to add something.  So here's my logic, being a better painter helps my business, painting makes me happy (happy me makes a happy family) and I am going to intertwine this daily painting journey into my thesis.  I am studying art as a moving meditation for stress reduction.  So what is my strategy? How did day one go?


I decided that for the most part somewhere around 9:00 am is a good time for me to paint.  My husband is usually headed to the gym then.  Some mornings I will have to shift but I plan to keep the paintings small with simple compositions.  I will be painting in oil.  I have been painting with acrylic and watercolor for 28 years.  I have painted with oil on and off during those years but it never stuck until six months ago.  As I begin this daily painting adventure I want one medium that will hold my interest.  In some ways all paint is the same and in another way this new medium is exciting and I need that to get me going each morning.  This morning I hit record to save the Hallmark movie I was's Christmas time and as cheesy as they are I get sucked in every time.  


I entered my home studio this morning right at 9:00 and I had to clean up from an acrylic painting I had competed two weeks ago.  I have to get more organized or this is not going to be fun.  I wondered around the room for two minutes and decided painting what you know and love is a good start, art supplies and food.  I grabbed a tube of ultramarine acrylic.  I decided a 5x7 vertical orientation was the best set up.  I like painting in a limited or complementary palette; I set out my paint and brushes.  I set my phone to do not disturb and put my head phones on.  Painting to music helps me get going and I chose my violin playlist hoping it would relax me.  On the window sits my inspiration, a small painting I purchased from artist Craig Stephens.  He is a daily painter that I follow on Instagram.  It is a 5x7 of a peanut butter and jelly, remember?  


I primed my canvas with orange acrylic then blocked in the tube with oil burnt sienna.  Once I got started it flowed like any other still life painting.  I felt calm and while I do believe I was in a good flow state and very content I wouldn't call it meditative.  Art making as a meditation is the focus of my thesis.  I have experienced a mediative state during other forms of art making, similar to when I practice yoga.  I completed the painting in about 45 minutes and made a mess as usual.  At one point I dropped my paintbrush, apparently I didn't get it all cleaned up.  Later I was cleaning paint off the bottom of my barefoot and half the studio floor.  All in all, I am pretty happy with day one.  I am going to take this day by day.  No pressure.  My goal is to complete a small oil painting everyday.  I will write when I can, so please follow me!  


 For more information be sure to check out Carol Marine's book Daily Painting.  I purchased this book in January and it sat on my shelf until I ran across Craig Stephens' work.  It is such an amazing resource.  Carol has a daily painting website Maybe I should post there too?  Whoa! Hold on! One day at a time.

Draw, Paint, Meditate



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