One of the things that art does at its best is to let us see the familiar as new and the ordinary as extraordinary. This is why I often like simple scenes of everyday things painted well enough to open your eyes to them. I also tend to like work that is immediate and “painterly”, in which you can see the artist’s hand in the form of visible brushstrokes.
When I did my post on “Painting a Day” blogs, I found that the conditions of painting a small painting each day make an immediate, painterly approach and the depiction of convenient everyday objects almost a prerequisite. As a result I discovered several painters at the time whose work I like for just those reasons; and I continue to find that true as I discover new artists for my follow up post on “Painting a Day” blogs, part 2 (coming fairly soon, I think).
As much as I like all of the painters I included in the first post, (in addition to the remarkable Duane Keiser, who started the practice), I found one new painter in particular whose paintings I enjoy very much.
Karin Jurick’s work exemplifies all of those things that I find so appealing in those small, quickly done paintings. Her paintings are bright, fresh, colorful, painterly, direct, and full of the textures and light of everyday life. When I went from her “Painting a Day” blog to the galleries on her regular web site, I was delighted to find the she carries those traits over into her more fully realized work .
Her daily painting subjects are generally small objects – flowers, jars, cheeses, fruit or other items found in the kitchen or studio. It would be easy for an arist to treat quick paintings of these humble objects as a simple study, but Jurick’s confident approach turns them into a statement.
One of the nice things about her Painting a Day blog posts is they are usually accompanied by a small bit of writing. She often gives her comments on the piece, why she chose the subject or made certain color choices; or just gives her observations about life in general, which, like her paintings, are direct, to the point and often charming.
Although I think she works from life for some of the smaller subjects that she can find or place in her studio, most of her larger compositions are painted from photographs that she composes on location, and works from later in her studio.
While there are occasional paintings that have a “from a photograph” look, most transcend it because of Jurick’s approach to simplifying he composition, abstracting the shapes, “pushing” the color and handling the paint. In many cases the only way you can tell she is referencing a photograph is from the subject matter, which is often of subjects that would be obviously difficult to paint on location – street scenes viewed from the middle of the street, airport waiting lounges, restaurant interiors, and a series I particularly like of gallery interiors.
She has a number of wonderful paintings of patrons of museums and art galleries interacting with and reacting to art on the walls. In these she not only captures the flavor of these spaces that are so familiar to many of us, but often gives her interpretation of the work being viewed in the course of portraying her subject interacting with it.
Jurick’s blog starts here, but her adoption of the practice of a painting a day starts here. The current page has only names and links no preview images, but once you click into an image they are conveniently linked by “Previous” and “Next” navigation. There is also a nice thumbnail gallery of the Painting a Day paintings (don’t miss page 2).
Her main web site has a “Still Wet” section of her most recent work as well as more extensive galleries of “Past Paintings“. In addition to selling her work directly through eBay, she is represented by galleries in Atlanta and San Francisco. There is also a selection of older work on an archive of her previous web site.
There are many things to be said for the practice of doing a small painting every day, not the least of which is the clarity and brevity of expression exemplified by Karin Jurick’s “of the moment” paintings.