Keiser had committed himself to painting one small painting each day and posting it to his blog. I commented at the time that I thought this was a terrific idea, and lamented that I didn’t have the time and discipline to follow suit.
I watched with interest as other artists took up the practice, one of whom was Texas painter Carol Marine, an early adopter who started her painting a day practice in 2006. I wrote about her in early 2007.
I continued to follow the idea, as “painting a day” grew into a genuine internet phenomenon — part of a fundamental change in the way artists world-wide interact with their audience. (And, years later than I should have, I finally joined in.)
In addition to taking note of new artists taking up the practice, for which “painting a day” became too narrow a term and “daily painting” is more widely applicable, I’ve also watched some of the earlier adopters continue to make progress (which is, after all, the primary goal of the practice).
Marine, in particular, has become noted not only for her small paintings, with their inventive compositions, geometrically strong forms and bold colors, but as one of the primary proponents of encouraging others to take up daily painting — thorough articles on her blog, a series of online tutorials and in-person workshops.
In addition, Marine and her husband, programmer David Marine, established Daily Paintworks, which has become a very popular group showcase and auction system for hundreds of daily painters.
She has also published a few books through online sources, but has recently published a book dedicated to the subject of daily painting through Random House, titled: Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist (Amazon link).
I have to admit that as much as I enjoy Marine’s work, I expected a book on this topic to be somewhat lightweight, filled with lots of her appealing paintings, and a bit of breezy commentary about the practice of daily painting.
I was wrong.
I received a review copy of Daily Painting, and I was delighted to find it extensive, well thought out, beautifully designed, and dense with information.
The book actually succeeds on three levels: as an introduction to the practice of daily painting and a detailed guide to following it; as a coach-like encouragement to follow through, keep on track and overcome problems like artist’s block; and as a basic guide to the fundamentals of oil painting.
In addition to topics related directly to daily painting, such as choosing subjects, photographing and posting your paintings to a blog, promoting your work and selling small paintings online; she also does a fine job of covering painting basics like materials, composition, proportion, value, color mixing and brush work.
Marine’s primary subject matter is still life, though she also paints landscapes and figures, and the book is rich with photos of her work; but she also draws on the work of other daily painters, such as Karin Jurick, Belinda Del Pesco, Qiang Huang, Michael Naples and a number of others, to add variety in subject matter, medium and style.
Woven throughout the instruction and information is the core message of the book — and a valid and valuable one it is — summed up in the book’s subtitle: “Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist”.
She states in the initial chapter that painting small and often: minimizes emotional involvement in individual paintings, reduces fear, encourages experimentation, provides structure and promotes rapid growth as a painter.
I agree wholeheartedly; and for anyone interested in taking up the practice, I highly recommend Daily Painting.