So many of us start the New Year with resolutions, right? This year I found a great way around the "exercise" resolution: Painting Exercises! The biggest exertion involves your brain. Let me explain: in January, a wonderful artist and generous teacher, Mary Gilkerson, coordinated a painting challenge to all comers to paint every day, 5 days in a row, for only 20 minutes with the aim to paint more freely and loosely, make faster and better decisions, simplify and focus on the subject. (You can read more about Mary here)
I was familiar with the concept but had never tried it, so, since my 2018 art resolutions included all the above goals, I decided why not? My first two paintings were still life set ups next to my easel and the rest were from photo references (Oregon and Scotland). The way it works is preplan the subject, do the basic decision-making of composition, canvas size, color scheme, lay out the paint, put a simple drawing or sketch lines on the canvas, set the timer for 20 minutes and...go!
Trust me, there is no extra time to dinker around! You have to Concentrate! Your brain has to focus and choose and get it done. All the little voices in my head from previous instructors kept reminding me of the important things: values, edges, shadows, perspective. Nothing else occupied my mind except those 20 minutes of intense focus.
My biggest take-away from this exercise is that it is an excellent way to prepare for a bigger painting. The preplanning helps with all the important decisions and the limit of 20 minutes forces me to simplify the shapes and keep the painting loose and expressive. So these are the six little paintings I did over those five days and I hope to paint larger versions this spring of the Oregon coast.
Thanks for reading my blog!!
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...