01 October 2006

Painting a Day

Since this is 1 Oct and a Sunday (can't begin any new plan on, say, a Wednesday!), I'm going to try something new. Namely, I'll be trying to complete a painting a day for at least 2 weeks, if not longer.

The reasons for this are three-fold:
  1. To quit obsessing about details. I know I'm somewhat known for my detailed drawings, but when it comes to painting, I often get too caught up in the details. I will make corrections upon corrections for a lot longer than I really need to. In fact, I sometimes ruin a painting by making too many corrections. So, if I only have one day to do a painting, I can't spend days piddling with it. My style of oil painting will get more free, I hope.
  2. To get more work for eBay and shows. Right now, I only have a few botanical watercolors to sell. Fewer still lifes. And almost no animal art. Well, I would like to list something almost every day on eBay, but to do that I need stuff to list.
  3. To get my hourly wage in line with my prices. If I spend 4 days on an 4x6" oil painting, I can hardly list and sell it on eBay for $200. Not even a gallery could get that much for it! But if I can get that 4x6" painting down to 4-5 hours and then list it at $40-50, I'd have a shot at selling it. And at $10/hr, I have a chance to be self-supporting.

So there are my reasons for trying this. There also so should be the bonus that my looser painting style will more quickly develop.

Now, this doesn't mean that I won't do the very detailed drawings or portraits. They will be something I do from time to time, because I want to do them. My portraits will still be very detailed and I will be working on finishing the commissions I have as soon as I can. (Not all my day paintings will take 8-10 hours, so I will have time to do the portraits and get caught up.)

My biggest concern is coming up with ideas. Right now, I can think of a few paintings that I want to do, but I have this fear that after a week, I'll run out of ideas. The rational part of my brain says this is stupid as I do so many things that I will never not come up with ideas. But who said artists are totally rational?!

A related concern is the amount of energy it takes me to commit to a new piece. This works like this. I come up with several ideas and mull them over. Finally I pick an idea and really think about it. After sometime, I then commit to the idea and start working on it. While working on it, I become emotionally attached to my "baby". And when I'm done, especially if it's successful, there's kind of an "ahhh" feeling and a bit of fear that the next painting won't be as good. I'm hoping that painting a new piece each day will short-circuit some of this emotional business and I can get into each painting quicker and leave it quicker to move on.

I will try to post each new piece as I get done with, but since I'll be using oils and I don't want oil paint on my scanner, it may take a day or two before I get oil paintings up.

So, off I go to paint today's painting!

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