Thursday, November 8, 2007

A sideways look at 'daily paint'


Oh, oh, it’s opinion day. And here it comes!

Daily painting—have you googled that lately? I did just a minute ago, and google gives you 32 pages of 10 listings each, 320 daily painting references. Yahoo does it even better. Maybe they are just a bit repetitive? 100 pages of 10 each, 1000 daily painters!

For all you inquiring minds that want to know, and even those of you who don’t: daily painting refers to the practice of ‘a painting a day’. That means start it in the morning, finish it before beddy-bye. Actually if you are a purist, you finish it far enough in advance of that golden hour, that you’ve got time to photo it and upload it onto your blog.

Is it good news or bad? I’ve read the online epistle of the original daily painters, and have a lot of appreciation for Duane and crew. They seized something that was good for them, and went for it. But what about the copycats roaming the streets now? One quick google trip finds you daily painter sites with membership fees, commission rates, rules and regulations enough to try even the most patient of souls. What is their motive?

The vast majority of work listed on daily painter sites has some notable similarities.
(1) size---most daily painters restrict themselves to less than 12 inches.
(2) simplicity of subject matter

At this point let’s interject that the Cooper blog DOES have some entries titled “daily paint”. I’ve chatted with other daily painters regarding the question how do you finish one EVERY bloomin’ day? Their answers always lead back to the aforementioned items, size and simplicity.

So now it’s time to cut to the chase and ask the question I’ve been dying to get an answer for. Does the compelling nature of that ‘must upload a painting to my blog yet today’ cut into the quality and progression of an artist’s work? Does that same mantra cause us to ‘paint something-anything-no time to think’ just to stay in the game?

I will be the first to insist that daily painting is essential for getting you where you need to go, but is it the completion of a painting every day or the practice of painting every day?

And will the Cooper blog have future posts of ‘daily paint’? It seems most likely. If there’s a big idea cooking on the easel, you might get it in stages. And if I am gone for a day or too, that just means I’m contemplating the next paint layer. Daily painting, in the name of practice, I’m hanging in there.

Thanks for listening, Cooper


Mary Connealy said...

I definitely set goals daily for writing.
Mine is 300 words.
I picked that because it's really easy to attain and because opening the document is what's hard for me. Once I type that first sentence, then I can really go.
I have written 1000 and 2000 words most days. But I've had 5000 and 6000 word days, too.
It's the first word that's hard. So maybe the 'daily paint' is just to get you to START then you can go for however long you're having fun.
A painting is only finished when it's finished, right? So who can judge that but you?

Helen Read said...

For me, its the practice of painting every day - and - thus the completion of several paintings a week! For many of us whose lives are torn in various directions (full time job, children, home, etc.) it is a very laudable goal. So, I'm happy to do several small paintings a week, right now - who knows, maybe that will change at some time in the future??