Every day in January I have finished a painting, 31 of them. Some are pretty good, others are not so good. But I went through the exercise of finding some thing or place to examine, set up a way to commit it to canvas, sketched it on the surface, then mixed up specific colors to describe what I saw. Some took as little as an hour, others were all day, pull-your-hair-out ordeals. Here’s what I’ve learned:
I’d rather paint in the afternoon than the morning.
Don’t use linseed oil as a medium for a painting that needs to be finished in a day.
Painting outside is much more trouble and much more rewarding.
Facebook feedback doesn’t always match my feelings about a finished piece.
I love the sense of accomplishment I feel every day, especially if I like the work.
When I have more time, the painting takes longer.
I’ve not yet settled on the best surface for my way of working. In the past I’ve painted on gessoed boards, followed up with clear gesso. Clear gesso creates a bit of grit on the surface which helps keep the paint in place when brushed on. I didn’t have enough surfaces ready for 31 paintings. So I used pre-made canvas boards. But I didn’t like the obvious texture, especially noticeable with this small size. So I applied molding paste, a sandable acrylic, to fill in some of the texture. But I didn’t apply it well enough and so I fought. I’m going back to boards and have quite a stack right now ready to go. Should have had them ready before I started this project. Next time!
Bottom line: I just love to paint! I never feel so at peace as when I am in the midst of figuring out how to solve the puzzle on my easel. When I am able to let everything else go I don’t even care if the painting comes out well or not. The process absorbs me. There is nothing I’d rather do.
This was part of the Strada Challenge. By completing a painting every day I am entered into a drawing for a new Strada Easel. Many painters completed this month’s challenge and it’s been wonderful and inspiring to see their work. Wish me luck!