Our story thus far: in October of last year I wrote a post about Duane Keiser, a painter and teacher from Virginia who, in December of the year before (2004), had committed himself to the excellent but demanding practice of doing one small painting a day.
Most of his daily paintings were about 5×7″, or the size of a common postcard, so he called them “postcard paintings”, posted them on a blog he called A Painting a Day, and began to offer them for sale over the web, and then through eBay.
Originally his postcard paintings sold for $100, which is still the minimum bid for them on eBay, but now they sell quickly and usually for many times that. All of this is in addition to Keiser’s regular gallery painting as featured on his main web site.
He continued the practice for two years, painting small household and studio objects and using a old cigar box as an easel. At the two year mark, Keiser “slowed down” a little to allow more time for larger projects, but he has continued the process with amazing consistency, still often using the cigar box easel that is the subject of one of his recent paintings.
In the meantime, other artists began to follow suit, taking on the practice of one small painting a day, an excellent discipline for any artist. I posted about 5 of them in a Painting a Day Blogs post back in April. (I’ll call that “Round 2”).
Most of the artists taking on the painting a day practice and posting them on a blog, usually with some comments abut their creation, were also offering them for sale directly to potential buyers through eBay. The daily painting routine has the potential to contrubute to an artist’s financial well-being as well as encouraging artistic growth and establishing strong working habits.
Since then, a number of readers have written to let me know about other artists that are pursuing the painting a day regimen and I’ve finally assembled and organized a post about some of them. I’ll feature three today (“Round 3”) and four more tomorrow (“Round 4”). This is not a comprehensive list, and I’ll continue to watch the phenomenon as it develops.
Louis Boileau was a commercial illustrator and layout artist for 30 years. Through all that time all he really wanted to do was be a painter and that is now what he’s doing. His main web site is Still Lifes Plus on which he has galleries of landscapes portraits and a bit of commercial style work, but the highlight, not surprisingly, is the still life paintings. Many of them are from his painting a day blog Little Paintings from Orangeville which he has been pursuing for about four months. I can’t speak to the reality of this from the artist’s point of view, but I personally feel that his recent small works show a level of accomplishment noticeably above his previous work. They are rich, colorful, and wonderfully painterly, with no-nonsense brushstrokes that help define the forms as well as carry the paint. His objects are also starting to display a refined use of local, atmospheric and reflected color.
Darren Maurer is an artist from Sioux City, Iowa whose A Painting A Day: Miniature Masterpieces site and painting project has been going since March. Originally his goal was to simply try it for a month. After succeeding at that, he decided to take a break and then push on, a month at a time, as he reported on this post, which marked the completion of the first month. Maurer’s main site is Darren Maurer Fine Arts which has galleries of his full size work as well as a bio of the artist.
Connecticuit artist Jan Blenclowe started a Painting a Day Project that “blossomed” into a Flower a Day Project (no longer a blog, now an online gallery) taking advantage of her focus on plein air painting and her own bountiful garden. In addition to those sites, Blenclowe seems to have quite a garden of web sites, including her main website, a Squidoo Lens, her Pen, Pencil and Paper sketching blog and her main blog, Art & Life, on which she posts both her small daily paintings and larger works.
15 Replies to ““Painting a Day” Blogs (Round 3)”
This is an interesting article and I would like to be added to you growing list of painters who are doing small paintings a day.
I spent a very long time on your blog and found it very intersting.
I enjoyed reading what you have said here. I am also going to try this. I paint every day, usually much larger and for various galleries, regional and national shows and just because I simply love to paint!
I think that this is an excellent way to get art to people who may not get to see it in the galleries. I speak from experience. I have a gallery in my home in a commercial zone in a little country town in Maine. The income of 90% of the residents here is such that they will not even consider coming in to my gallery. When they do they enjoy the work and the experience of meeting and talking with me. I have been selling small works in various shows and galleries but this blogging and Ebay allows me to get the prices I want without the added commissions. I like the idea. I do however see alot of very poor quality work out there now that everyone is “jumping on the bandwagon”.
I have been reading your series on painting a day blogs just now and was very interested. I actually started my own the day before the USA Today article came out, and had not realized they were so popular! I have been visiting several of them and have noted that the work I’ve seen on these (so far) has been mostly realistic, which is very different from my own. Do you find that to be true, and do you think that is a contributing factor in their success, or do you think this could be a successful format for other styles as well?
Thanks for your comments. I’m trying to get back to another round on this subject, although I want to branch out first to include those who have projects with daily drawing and slightly less frequentl painting projects.
I think this is a big part of the phenomenon, artists reaching buyers directly in a non-intimidating environment. I think there are a lot of people who feel intimidated by art galleries.
It does seem to be centered on direct, painterly representational painting. Perhaps this is because the exploratory aspect of painting from life adds to the appeal of the discipline.
I think the ability to reach people interested in buying art directly by offereing it for sale through the web may work better with representaional art. I think buyers are more comfortable with non-representational art in a gallery setting (although yours is somewhre inbetween: abstracted forms taken from real objects).
I recently read your article about paintings-a-day and am very interested in getting some information about getting started. I am an oil painter and would like to enter this scene. thanks, Grace Dallanegra
Throwing my hat into the ring…
David Lloyd Gallery
Thanks, David Lloyd
I am another painter who has weekly and daily paintings. I also give advice to plein air painters and studio painters who are just starting out.
Very interesting article. It was worth reading.
I read about Duane Keiser’s Painting a Day project in The Artist’s Magazine – September 2006 issue. Since then I’ve caught the bug too. Until then I had no idea what a blog even was, and now I’m painting and posting on a daily basis, and discovering how many other artists are doing the same. What a wonderful age we live in!
Great article! The more I’m visting ‘Painting A Day” blogs, the more intrigued I’m becoming to perhaps try my hand at it.
Duane Keiser has inspired a lot of people including me. The concept that an artist can connect directly with collectors is very exciting. Another thing that is especially interesting is how this approach enables an artist to connect with people around the world.
I live in St. Louis and my first painting was bought by a collector in the Netherlands. We are so lucky to live in such a world!
as some other painting i saw earlier, a very similar style and just as wonderful. very nice :)
wery cod side
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