4 Comments

  1. Martin Figlinski
    January 10, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    Jeff,

    I would love to hear more about your mixed feelings on the painting a day concept.

    Since you put a lot of time and effort into your paintings, I would suspect you probably feel the same as me. There are far too many people hacking out low quality paintings just to say they do one every day.

    In fact, I got rejected twice when applying to the “daily painters” website only to learn that it was because I don’t post frequently enough. Too bad, since there is are a lot of artist posting there that would benifit from do slowing down and doing higher quality work, that will actually sell. But hey, that’s just my thoughts.

    Martin Figlinski

    Reply

  2. Jeff Hayes
    January 11, 2009 @ 7:31 am

    Hi Martin,

    Yeah, that’s basically the crux of it. I should say that the painting-a-day concept has a lot of great things going for it; it certainly helped me when I practiced at, and I think a lot of other artists would say the same thing. And no matter how often one actually finishes a painting or updates a blog, I’m a firm believer that painting every day (or being somehow involved in the process daily) is extremely important.

    That said, I think painting-a-day can be a double-edged sword. There simply don’t seem to be that many people who can consistently produce high-quality work quickly enough to do one every day; fewer than a dozen that I’m aware of. Everybody produces lousy paintings now and then. However, my concern would be that people who pressure themselves to finish a painting every single day are at risk of sacrificing quality. No artist should ever work in a way that institutionalizes bad habits, and that’s the inherent danger of painting-a-day.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with people wishing to adopt a practice like this with a specific goal in mind, say, to try to loosen up their brushwork. I think it’s most likely going to be valuable in that sense as a limited project; say one that somebody does for three months (I did it religiously for about that long). However, when people are doing daily paintings just for the sake of cranking another one out that day, then my feeling is they should consider slowing down and paying attention to some other aspects of the craft.

    A lot of people saw the financial success Duane Keiser was enjoying and wanted to jump on board. That’s completely understandable (I was well aware of it myself), and I’m always happy to see the entrepreneurial spirit in action. The fact is, though, it’s really, really, really hard to do what he did, both from an artistic and business perspective. So… I think people should try painting-a-day for a while. If they’re not honestly and absolutely thrilled with the quality of work they’re doing, they should then go back to producing 1 or 2 outstanding paintings a week. Having a closet full of mediocre paintings won’t be of much benefit to anybody.

    Simply my opinion; other peoples’ mileage may vary.

    Reply

  3. Pierre Raby
    January 11, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    I totally agree Jeff- that’s my opinion too. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with honesty
    and humility.
    -Pierre

    Reply

  4. Jeff Hayes
    January 11, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

    Thanks Pierre; my pleasure. I will also work on trying to be less wordy 🙂

    Reply

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