Have you heard of those daily painting challenges? It was started by Duane Keiser in 2004. The daily painting movement or “painting a day concept” is the practice of creating a painting a day during a certain time period.
Over the years, I have not paid much attention to these painting a day challenges because it did not suit my style of painting. It also seemed a tad overwhelming and I didn’t feel inspired.
Ta-da, things change! As I continue down my path of S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G my comfort zone (see previous blogs Abstracting Objects is a Brain Twister and Ever Painted with Only a Palette Knife?), I decided to combine my interest in learning how to abstract objects with this challenge.
A 30-day painting challenge requires thoughtful preparation before taking on the task. Because I really dislike the texture of canvas – I have never liked the mechanical and predictable feel of it – I need to prepare a multitude of canvases with a couple layers of gesso. Fortunately, I had a couple of boxes of small canvases and then I went and purchased more. The sizes run from 8×10, 12×12, 11×14 to 12×16.
With all of my paintings as you can view in my portfolios, whether board or canvas I apply 2-3 coats of gesso to create a subtle texture. Here you can see the canvases lined up ready for action. I like to use a large palette knife to swirl the gesso around. The gesso I prefer has a consistency of yogurt. Other thicknesses or consistencies are available, as well as colors. It is a personal preference.
After the first layer dries over night, then I apply a second coat.
Over the years, I have developed my signature texture, much like everyone has there own unique writing style. I want it to be organic and slightly texturized. In other words, not too bumpy. Notice in the photo below that I also avoid any straight edges; this takes some finesse because the palette knife loves to make straight lines/edges.Another overnight drying and these 20+ canvases as seen below, are ready for their first layers of paint!
For those who might be interested, it took 5 hours to apply two layers of gesso, in addition there is the drying time. Each canvas has a lovely organic texture just as I like it. 🙂 By the way, most artists I know who prepare their canvases do so differently. They like a smooth surface, which requires a different stroke with the palette knife or brush. They then sand the gesso in between the layers to achieve a silky smooth surface.
The BIG question is: What will I paint? Lots of ideas running through my head. Fortunately, I have a stock pile of references as well. At the moment, the painting a day challenge feels daunting and intimidating. I remind myself that I know there will be some valuable learning along the way. (It’s even a risk telling you about it before it starts, but that seems to be my M.O. these days.)
The 30-Day Painting Challenge begins next week on September 1st. It is sponsored and lead by artist Leslie Saeta. Bookmark her blog URL to join in on the fun. I believe there are over 800 artists worldwide participating. Whew! I bet you will see some knockout paintings!
Wish me luck! This will be a very interesting ride.
And, if I am not already pushing the envelope enough, I wanted to mention to you that I will be attending the Good Life Project Summer Camp for the first time. It is a summer camp for adults only and reportedly transforming. Nervous and excited. As you read this, I am on the airplane to upstate New York for three days.
What else is in store for me? What are you doing to push your comfort zones?
As always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it.
Thanks for your inspiration. love the still lifes in white!
Carol McIntyre says
Thank you Kay and glad to provide inspiration. 🙂 Carol