Day 1 Daily Painting

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 watching....it'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 sandwich....food, 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 www.dailypaintworks.com. Maybe I should post there too? Whoa! Hold on! One day at a time.

Draw, Paint, Meditate

-Danielle

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