Lines and Colors art blog

“Painting a Day” Blogs (Round 5)

Duane KeiserI will often, if not always, try to mention Duane Keiser in my posts about Painting a Day blogs, because he started the idea back in December of 2004 (followed shortly by Julian Merrow-Smith). I originally posted about Keiser in October of 2005. Keiser is still at it; he has allowed himself to be more relaxed about his schedule after keeping it faithfully of over two years. He still keeps painting and posting at close to a painting a day, however, and now has a second blog called On Painting, in which he comments on the process and the phenomenon that he started as well as covering topics of interest to painters in general.


Jeff HayesI’ve posted about longtime painting blogger Jeff Hayes and his blog State of the Art before, here and here. Jeff has been posting his immediate, intimate and often theatrically lit still lifes for some time, as well as small landscapes.

To my eye his still life paintings are becoming increasingly more refined in the application of color, in particular reflected color bounced between objects and their surroundings. He has pushed his output up a notch and has been doing a painting a day since August. It is also worth going through Jeff’s site for his commentary on painting techniques.


Hall Groat IIHall Groat II, who has been a working artist for 20 years and is also an Associate Professor at Broome Community College in New York, has been posting his small paintings, as well as larger works, in a blog titled Painting Eight Days a Week.

His subjects include the small still lifes of fruit, eggs, vases and other traditional still life subjets as well as brightly colored candies, mixed drinks in stemware, musical instruments, antique jewelry and perfume bottles. His colors often move away from natural color to brightly pushed expressionistic hues. He uses textures both to define objects and as painting elements in themselves.


Susan Martin Spar has worked for 20 years in graphic arts, but her gallery style paintings reflect her interest in Dutch and Renaissance painting. Her A Painting a Day blog showcases her small daily paintings of still life and landscape subjects.

I particularly enjoy her fascination with reflective objects like vases, jugs and tureens whose metallic surfaces reflect fruit or other objects in her still life arrangements, or even an image of the artist herself, reflected as she paints.


Texas based painter Carol Marine is a relative newcomer to the painting a day ranks, starting in October of this year with her blog Carol Marine’s Painting a Day. Her work stands out, however.

Her subjects are often the still life staples of fruit, dishes, jars and vases that lend themselves well to small immediate works, but her handling of them is striking, with strong painterly textures and bright, pastel-like colors, at times contained in Cezanne-like bits of outline. Her bold compositions and daring sense of color contrast make her a painter to watch.


Daily Painters BlogBlogger and painter Micah R. Condon is attempting to collect many of the Painting a Day bloggers’ images each day and aggregate them on his Daily Painters Gallery, which features small images from each of the listed painters each day, linked to their sites. Condon also offers a Yahoo! Widget that displays the daily painters.


A Note: One paradigm I’m not fond of is the tendency for some painting a day artists to arrange their blog posts so that the link from the posted image is not directly to a larger image, but to their eBay store, from which you must often click on another preview image to get to the larger image. (Even Duane Keiser does this, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.)

A suggestion: if we have to go through that process every time we want to look at an image closer, we may get tired and click away to another site. You may also make people feel like you’re “pushing” them to buy. Have a clear “Click here to bid” or “Click here to buy” text link, but link the thumbnail to a larger image on your blog. Hook us with the full size image, then take us to the store.

More to come. I have many daily painters and not quite daily painters that I would like to feature on lines and colors, but these “painting a day” features are more work intensive than even my usually loquacious posts, so it may take a little while to get to them.

Addendum: After going back and forth with a few painting a day painters about my comments above, I’ll proffer the following advice to painters who are offering their paintings for sale on their blogs; take it as you will.

Supplement the image posted in the blog with a larger one. Offer clear and consistent text links to both the larger image and the purchase or bid link (eBay or whatever). Link the blog image itself to either (though I recommend the enlarged image). My thought about the size of the larger image would be to provide something that is large enough to see the painting in detail, but that can be viewed inside a browser window at the most common monitor resolution of 1024×768 without scrolling, i.e. a maximum of about 980×640.


9 responses to ““Painting a Day” Blogs (Round 5)”

  1. Thanks for the round-up Charley – I’m always interested to see who you pick for each round. You’ve got two I keep a regular eye on (Jeff and Carol) and two I’m much less familiar with – but I’ll now go and take a look!

  2. Keiser does not offer an enlarged view on his blog. Nothing is deceptive. There isn’t an enlarge link that unexpectedly takes me to EBAY. He doesn’t even say go to EBAY for enlarged view. If you discovered an enlarge option at the EBAY store it is only because you followed the honest link “click here to bid.” Aside from simple curiosity, why would anyone click on this link if they were not interested in buying? Your concern that people might feel pushed to buy something is not consistent with reality.

  3. Katherine,

    Thanks for your comments. I’ll try to keep adding to the list of painting a day bloggers as I can.

    Other readers should check out Katherine Tyrell’s blogs and Squidoo groups: Making a Mark, Pastels and Pencils and Resources for Artists.

  4. Michael.

    You’re correct and I should try to be more specific. Many of the painting a day artists do as I describe and link to an eBay page on which there is a larger view of the painting. Keiser doesn’t do this, the eBay image is the same size as the image on the blog, perhaps because his reputation precludes the need to have a larger image to allow people ot judge the painting before purchase.

    However, Keiser does link the blog image directly to the eBay page rather than to a larger version of the same image. I naver said this was deceptive, simply inconvenient and perhaps annoying. By far the most common paradigm for images in blog posts (whether painting a day, or other atists sites) is for them to be linked to a larger version of the same image.

    My advice was not for Keiser (who hardly needs advice from me to sell his paintings on the web) but to the newer painting a day participants who are attempting to follow in his footsteps.

  5. I discovered the “Painting A Day” phenomenon through Julian Merrow Smith’s site which was forwarded to me by my sister and then I followed the link to Duane Keiser’s site. I was instantly taken by the whole idea.
    First of all there is an intimacy and immediacy to this process that resonnates with both artist and collector. I love that these artists take the time and discipline each day to create and develop.
    These paintings are like daily meditations that inspire my own work. I look forward to getting an e-mail with a painting in it.
    Sharing these small works feels like a one on one experience even though the audience is unlimited.
    I have worked in a small format for awhile because it was something I could dedicate myself to when my children were younger. I love everything about working small: the process, the tools, the size, and working from life.
    Working small on a daily basis and marrying it with the the internet for exposure and marketing is changing everything about the artworld in my opinion. Needless to say I have joined in, if for nothing else but to keep me painting.
    It is funny how hard it can be to do something you love. I am a college professor and teach illustration. I could spend all my spare time preparing for class to the exclusion of doing my artwork. I am not in a place to paint daily because I am finishing up my MFA i but I am doing it weekly. It is habit forming and satisfying.
    I love seeing all the new ” Painting a Day” painters and painters who simply enjoy working small.
    Speaking of small, Thomas Paquette is a painter who works really small. Here is the link to his site:
    In regard to Duane Keiser’s blog, I think it is great that he links to ebay. It is a much easier way to manage sales so there is more time left to paint. I have noticed it does take some time to manage your sites and ebay but at least it allows for total control.
    As for Julian, I respect that he has kept his prices low and tried to be fair to buyers. This encourages people to buy what they like at an affordable price.
    All of this brings new optimism to the arts. I am all for it.


  6. Linda,

    Thanks for your comments and your insights into painting on a weekly basis. I’m hoping to supplement these “painting a day” articles with mention of some of the artists who are keeping a similar routine, but on a less frequent schedule.

  7. Interesting subject Charley – whether to have a blow-ups or not. There could be the issue of misuse of those enlarged images by the unscrupulous who might wish to make prints.
    Certainly in Keiser’s case..
    A consistently interesting if not quite “daily” painter of oils, watercolors and drawings worth taking a look at is R. Chunn. He does have large blow-ups that don’t lead to his ebay sales..

  8. Thanks for the article and great links!


  9. You can still have an enlarged version that fills the screen, as long as it’s only 72 dpi. That way there’s not much danger of anyone wanting to reproduce it.