Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Monday, December 30, 2019
Panel Prep... 9"x12" Centurion Universal Primed Linen and SourceTek 1/8" hardboard primed with Lascaux 'Gesso'. 31 days of painting x 3 panels(at least)per day x 2 painters = 186 painting panels (minimally) needed.
In two days we will begin a painting adventure that will mean that every day of January will be a day spent outside painting...'no matter what'! And I can't wait to get started! If any of you where reading my blog back when this was the way I communicated socially with artists and others who decided to follow it, you may recall that in April 2009 I first began doing these month long painting 'marathons' by painting 4 little 5"x7" paintings every day of that nasty month, up where I lived in Minnesota. I know it's hard to imagine, but that was before we were all on Facebook, don't think I even knew what that was, and the blog was The Way. The reason I started this one had a lot to do with Duane Keiser's 'Painting a Day' blog, where he became incredibly well known, and collected, by painting one little piece per day. That sounds like nothing new now, but in 2004 he began it and in 2009 it was becoming a huge deal.
Like so many other artists who were aware of Duane's blog, I wanted to take on a challenge myself, something that would push my painting skills and knowledge, and that would be fun to put 'out there' for other's to follow. Part of the following along is the educational side of doing this, but it's also about the human interest, especially the interest from other artists, who are intrigued by something that they also might like to try, or can't but want to be there, vicariously. However, I'm very aware that it's to easy to find something of interest as an artist, that another artist is doing and having success with, and get too close to replicating it.
I didn't want to do that... sooooo... I thought that since I am a landscape painter, at the time primarily working outside from life, that a daily painting project outside would make the most sense. Especially since it was March when I was thinking about it, and the weather in Minnesota had kept me studio bound for quite a bit. One painting a day outside didn't get me too excited, there's nothing very challenging about that, so I decided why not try for four a day? Two in the morning, two in the afternoon would be my MO. Little did I know April would be Very nasty that year, it was. It turned out to be very successful for me (I finished), and I sold a bunch! On May 1st, I decided that it had been a good idea after all.
That was quickly followed by a 2 painting per day 'Nocturne Marathon' that made it until September 29th when I hit a very large Minnesota white tailed deer that did $8000.00 damage to my truck and put the painting on hold. Then I did something I called March Madness in 2012, again in Minnesota painting 6"x8" paintings, but could only get most of the way through the month because of some teaching/travel obligations. The last one I did was when I lived in Colorado, 'A Leap Into February', where I painted four 8"x10" paintings a day. The first of February it snowed 12", which lasted until almost the middle of the month when the temperatures dropped down into the double digits below zero range for a couple of days. The snow did finally melt, but then the winds from the mountain slopes picked up and mostly caused me to have to either chain down my easel, or hunker down behind my van.
Back to the "why" one would want to do this...
First, it's one hell of a lot of work, and I don't mean the painting. Most any painter could go outside daily and paint a painting, even three or four paintings. Many do now on a regular basis. The work is what follows the each day's outside work is more time consuming than the painting time. All work is first photographed, edited, and saved. Then there is descriptive writing, about the day and the work, that is all posted on blogs, websites, Instagram, Facebook, etc.. In our case, Dottie and I both have personal blogs and websites, our Salt Marsh Studios website (where the paintings will be displayed for sale), and a Salt Marsh Studio blog (where we will be posting all of our days work and other 'interesting' news). We're going to try to keep Newsletters going as well. So you see that getting the paintings done is only half of the work, or less. Now, imagine that for 31 days that's all you have time to do... all that you can do or your project will fail. Meaning that when household, auto or familial events arise, you can only hope and pray that they can be dealt with easily and quickly so that you can stay on track. So that's the first reason, the challenge of it all.
Secondly, as a painter there is nothing that is more of a self help than a serious dose of concentrated work, for both the mental, and the practice side of who we are... ie... painting without distraction. How many of us have that in our lives daily? For a month at a time? I know that unless I specifically decide to do something like this sort of a project, I don't. That is the second reason, a selfish self help month.
Thirdly, each of my previous painting marathons, this one included, I had hoped would make me more familiar with where I lived, and put me more in touch with the area or time of year that I was painting. I learned fast how to find nocturnes in the September Nocturne Marathon, how to create ways to stave off snowfall by using a tarp off of the back door of my van in Colorado, and more. Mainly, I found out that I could stay within a few miles of my home, in all of those locations and times, and find anywhere from 112 to 120 paintings to paint... in a month! That was personally the biggest advantage, learning how to "see" paintings where ever I was painting, when all I really wanted to do was to go inside and drink some hot chocolate. The third reason, personal growth as a painter.
Fourth, but not necessarily last, is the discovery that many other artists, and non-artists, loved following along as I went through the daily trials and tribulations of this sort of a project. To this day people tell me that they found out about my paintings via one of these marathons of the past. It's an education for me for sure, but I also found out that there are many others who also get something educational, and entertaining, out of it. That's the fourth reason to do it, that it's an art event that can help inform and entertain others along the way.
So on this Wednesday, January 1, 2020, Dottie and I will begin something together that only accents what our lives have become over the last year and a half or so as we joined them, together. We absolutely love where we live, love painting here, love just being together. Like everyone else though, our studio can capture us in it's comfort, our daily 'needs' for all else other than painting can take us away from being out in the landscape, painting, which is such an integral part of life for us both. We are both very excited to be in a place in life where we are able to do this, and to share it with anyone who wants to follow along as we take on the challenge. I hope that you find it an interesting look into our daily adventures here on Tybee Island and the surrounding coastal area, and that the beauty that has so captivated us is recognized by you in what we do to put it down on canvas.
If you're interested, you can follow our Salt Marsh Studio blog to see how we do. Wishing you all a blessed New Year full of love, happiness and peace, but mostly full of the beautiful gift that life is!
Sunday, December 29, 2019
JANUARY 1, 2020 to JANUARY 31, 2020... 3 paintings a day from life, outside!!!
Saturday, December 21, 2019
I'm very happy to be a part of this showing of members plein air paintings at the Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, GA. The Opening Reception is January 16th, 5-8pm, the show remains on view through March 8, 2020. So happens that this is the 20th Anniversary of PAPSE. The invitation features Dee Beard Dean who is the founder of the group.
This is the painting I have in the show...
"Bonaventure Blooming" - oil on stretched linen, 12x16.
It was painted last March on location in the cemetary.
I have yet to get to the Booth to see what I hear is an incredible collection of art of the West, and more. However, I will because I am going to be teaching a workshop there, along with artists David Boyd, Jr and Bill Farnsworth, in the fall of 2020. The dates are September 28 - October 1, 2020. This is a 4 day workshop with a limited number of spots available. The three of us will be teaching as a group and individually, along with lectures and demonstrations. It's a great deal, and should be a great time too! The information about signing up is on this flier below. I hope to see you there!
Wednesday, December 18, 2019