How Daily Painting Can Help You Grow as an Artist

Two artists undertook major projects that involved daily painting. How did this affect their work and their approach?

 

"Santa Barbara Pink Sky" acrylic on paper, 8" x 10" by Chelsea Weisel. See her work at www.ArtsyShark.com

“Santa Barbara Pink Sky” acrylic on paper, 8″ x 10″ by Chelsea Weisel

 

Daily painting groups and challenges have been around for a long time. These artists took the practice further, working within themes that created compelling series that expressed their interests and experiences. Although they focused on different concepts, both agree that they gained immensely from a committed practice of creating art on a daily basis.

 

"Green Roads through Idaho Dust Storm" acrylic on paper, 8" x 10" by Chelsea Weisel. See her work at www.ArtsyShark.com

“Green Roads through Idaho Dust Storm” acrylic on paper, 8″ x 10″ by Chelsea Weisel

 

Artist Chelsea Weisel recently completed a year-long trip traveling the U.S. in a small wooden trailer with her husband. While on the road experiencing a different landscape each week, she wanted to find a way to capture the diverse scenery in her art.

She explains, “I crafted a small painting every day, using something that I saw on the road as my inspiration. I challenged myself to do this for 100 days. I use small paper and created a traveling paint set, which makes me more likely to paint every day. I am living in 94 square feet, so I can’t be discouraged by not having a studio. I just paint wherever I can so that I can capture the beauty around me and remember this amazing trip.”

 

"Dune Buggy Day on the Oregon Coast" acrylic on paper, 8" x 10" by Chelsea Weisel. See her work at www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dune Buggy Day on the Oregon Coast” acrylic on paper, 8″ x 10″ by Chelsea Weisel

 

This commitment wasn’t easy, and was a catalyst for change and growth in her work as an artist. “I struggled with listening too closely to my inner critic,” she says, “This project didn’t give my inner critic time to speak up. I simply found an inspiration, created my painting, and then looked forward to the next day. As a result, my paintings in this series appear more free and expressive, which has helped me hone my style as an artist.” She also participated in the #100dayproject on Instagram as part of a group creating daily art and sharing their progress.

 

"Moose, Celebrate Canada Series" acrylic, 12" x 12" by Yvette Cuthbert. See her work at www.ArtsyShark.com

“Moose, Celebrate Canada Series” acrylic, 12″ x 12″ by Yvette Cuthbert

 

Artist Yvette Cuthbert took a different approach, planning a series of paintings that reflected life and culture in her home country. She recalls, “Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday, and being a proud Canadian I thought it would be interesting to create 150 paintings of Canada, doing my best to represent it’s many different facets. This included landscapes, and very Canadian experiences like shoveling snow and making snowmen, skating, skiing, and even being challenged or curious to see what happens when you stick your tongue on a frozen metal pole.”

 

"Tongue Frozen on Metal Pole, Celebrate Canada Series" acrylic 12" x 12" by Yvette Cuthbert. See her work at www.ArtsyShark.com

“Tongue Frozen on Metal Pole, Celebrate Canada Series” acrylic 12″ x 12″ by Yvette Cuthbert

 

She tied the series together visually with a common size, medium and color palette, and used stencils, inspired by her love of public art and graffiti. Her process involved different stages for each piece. She usually created six backgrounds at once, then worked on two or three with stencils to avoid getting tired of one type of activity. She says, “It kept me fresh and not feeling like it was a job.”

 

"Trains Connecting Canada Coast to Coast, Celebrate Canada Series, acrylic, 12" x 12" by Yvette Cuthbert. See her work at www.ArtsyShark.com

“Trains Connecting Canada Coast to Coast, Celebrate Canada Series, acrylic, 12″ x 12” by Yvette Cuthbert

 

What did she find after getting into the project? “The benefits of working on a large body of work like this was becoming extremely focused. I started out thinking that the images would be kept quite simple, but the more I progressed, the more detailed they seemed to get. It was a great way to train the eye on picking out highlights in an image.” She also learned a lot about Canada, as she chose images that would best represent Canadian life across the country.

Her suggestion for other artists undertaking a similar commitment? She recommends, “Set an initial goal, and then break it down into what you think are doable chunks for timelines, knowing that life is unpredictable. I would plan at least a couple weeks in advance as to supplies needed and images to be found.”

Have you undertaken a daily painting practice? What have you gained as a result?

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. Jennifer Willimott says:

    so going to do this!

    • Jennifer, Do you think you would work in tandem with other artists to keep each other motivated? These two painters did the project themselves, but it is a lot to take on.

  2. This is a great idea, I recently attended a class in expressing your emotions and practise everyday even though I am better known as a photographer and find the practise every night very helpful to distil all the things that happened during the day and; ideas come of the road trips at home and away.

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