March 1, 2010 – Painting A Day Project…closure

Painting a Day Project—coming to an end. 

Yesterday was the last day for the “Painting a Day Project”.  The project was to paint a 6” x 6” canvas each day for the month of February.  The grand finale if you will, will be the display/sale of the little “gems” at the Framin’ Place located at 118 Four Seasons Ctr. in Chesterfield, MO.  There will be an opening reception and artists meet and greet on Saturday, March 13 from 1PM to 4PM.  The exhibit will be up until the end of March.  I hope to see you at the reception.  If you can’t make it, try and stop by during the month of March and view all of the participating artists’ endeavors and maybe take a little piece of art home with you.  

There were several artists participating from our club, Mid-Missouri Fine Arts Society.  My personal goals which I hoped to attain during this project were; to get into the habit of painting consistently, improve my sketching/painting skills, and to improve on capturing a subject or location quickly.  

With working full time, being the mom of a couple of teens, and being active in other hobbies as well, painting consistently was quite a goal for me….well, I did it!  There was a week or two when I got behind by a couple of paintings but made myself catch up on the weekends.  This was a good dose of discipline for me.  This got me to stop and think about my time in front of my easel or lack thereof and make dates with my easel.  It made me make a decision to go to my easel, tired or not.  I have to say, most times, no matter how tired or “not in the mood” I was, the easel time was therapeutic and left me feeling glad I kept the date! 

Improving my sketching/painting skills was a no-brainer.  I figured this goal would go hand-in-hand with consistent paint time.  What better way to improve than to get more brush mileage??!! 

My final goal, to improve on the capturing of a subject or location quickly…decide what I wanted to paint and “git er done” –so to speak.  This goal was meant to help me improve my plein air (to paint in plain air or on location) skills.  When painting en plein air, you must capture your subject quickly, before the lighting changes and things look entirely different.  It forces you to pay more attention to the key parts of the subject, how the light is hitting them, and to pay attention to composition and make a quicker evaluation of what it is that speaks to you about the subject and then get it down on paper or canvas.  Each of these little paintings took me anywhere from 1 to 2 ½  hours to complete.  I set myself a limit of 2 hours and only twice went over that, to me, that time frame was acceptable…..I think mission accomplished on this goal!  That is one question I’m asked a lot when people view my work, “How long does it take you to paint that?”….well, I don’t normally keep track of time because I paint when I can…taking up to a month to finish a painting because I’m strictly painting an hour here and an hour there.  I think this exercise has not only forced me to speed up my process but has also given me a good idea of where I stand on time.  It has given me a better idea of how long it takes me to call something “done” and proven to me that I can say the same thing without constantly piddling!     

I hope you enjoyed the process and checking out my “thoughts for the day”.  I plan to keep the momentum up…not by posting a small painting daily but something possibly weekly, so, please keep checking back!

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