Daily painting. What a concept! Writers hear it over and over again…write every day. I heard it in college, I heard it in high school, I recall hearing my English teacher in middle school say it. And yet…I was an art student until my sophomore year of college and I can’t EVER recall hearing any of my art teachers repeating the mantra to paint every day. There was the “always carry a sketch book with you in case you see something or come up with an idea” but never the same push to do the work daily.
Talking with my wife about it (I was about to go out and purchase some art supplies), I recognized myself in some of the ‘traps’ that artists get themselves in to. First of all, I always felt that I had to produce something that was wall-worthy or sellable. Why is this? I think it’s because of the material investment. Good, even decent, painting supplies are not cheap. You can paint on anything, but watercolor paper will absorb the water the best and gesso’d board or linen will work better than some more common material for acrylics and oils. So…if I’m going to make the investment to buy better materials, I want to make the most of it. As a writer, sitting at my computer costs me not much but my time (I can use the computer for other things), and even when I worked on a typewriter or even long-hand, scrap paper and legal pads were fairly inexpensive.
So, the need (in my mind) to only produce great works has hampered me, as has my lack of finding subject matters. I know…funny. But fruit portraits (ie, still-life paintings) never really excited me. And since I was bent on making the ‘perfect’ painting, worthy of bringing in money, I had to have the ‘perfect’ subject as well. Kind of doomed to failure.
My first painting, a watercolor, upon reading this book.
In comes Carol Marine’s book, Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist, and in her brief book she manages to address some of the common problems artists face (such as the above) and she gives some very basic painting lessons with technique tips, including how to set up a still life (as she points out, setting up a still life can potentially take more time than the painting. It’s not just a matter of putting some things together.
My second painting, an acrylic -- a medium I haven't painted in since a high school art class (35 years ago).
Marine does more than just give some technique and design tips, she goes on to explain how best to prepare the paintings for web use, how to take photos of the art,and also suggests some web site alternatives for marketing and selling paintings.
And if this weren’t enough, Carol Marine’s ‘voice’ throughout the book is very relaxed and conversational and you get the feeling that she’s talking directly to YOU through the course of the book.
Make no mistake…a book, even as well written as this one, is not a truly suitable substitute for taking a class and getting personal attention from an instructor (many communities offer such art classes through a community education program), but this book is a really nice primer for the beginning artist.
Yes, this book has motivated me. I restocked up on some small painting panels and cards, re-supplied some paints, and in the two days since i finished this book, I’ve now done two small paintings (a watercolor and an acrylic [maybe tomorrow I'll try an oil]). Neither represent my best work, but I like the idea of painting every day and I will do my best to continue the practice. And why am I doing this? Because Carol Marine’s book has inspired me, and what more can you ask of a book than to become inspired?
Looking for a good book? If you’ve ever thought about doing any painting but keep putting it off or struggle with what and how to go about it, then read Carol Marine’s Daily Painting to get some tips and to become inspired.
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Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist
author: Carol Marine
artist: Carol Marine
paperback, 176 pages