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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice...Makes Perfect!

Quite a while back a trend started when a group of painters challenged themselves to paint one painting every day.  Not just to start a painting, or to work at painting, but to complete one a day.  Most of the work was in the 8 x 10 or 5 x 7 size and therefore affordably priced.  Word begin to spread and smaller groups sprouted up accepting the challenge.  To no one’s surprise the work of the participating artists improved exponentially!   Two of my painting buddies were savvy enough to catch the wave and join Daily Painter Originals which posts the work of daily painters on-line .  They employ incredible discipline and commitment to keep up with the daily ritual of finishing a complete work.  To find out what drives them, I chatted with Carmen Beecher and Carol Schiff:
Leap for Joy, Carmen Beecher, oil
Ladies, just what is a “daily painter?”
Carol:  As the name implies, it is someone who tries to paint most every day.
Carmen:  In our group we commit to doing three to four small pieces each week, minimum.
Why did you decide to join this group?
Carol:  Several reasons: I wanted to put myself on a schedule to paint daily to increase my production, to advance my skills and to bring new readers to my blog where I post the work.  I have been retired several years and I felt it was time to put a little pressure into my life.
Carmen: I’ve always admired others who had made the commitment and I wanted to see if I could meet the challenge.
How has this affected your art?
Carmen:  In very positive ways.  I have a new tempo, I’m painting faster and I look forward to a new one each day.  The group is inspiring because they do high quality work and everyone is very supportive.  My dream is to meet them all in one place someday.
Carol:  In addition to a much larger inventory of paintings available, I have really improved my skills.  My brushwork, color knowledge, composition skills and so on are on a much higher level than when I was painting less regularly.  Just like Mom said about the piano: practice, practice, practice!

Carol Schiff's Green Onions
Do you sell these pieces?
Carol: Yes, I have two sites on Etsy: and
Carmen: Yes, I am also on Etsy at and you can also connect to me at the daily painters site:
Do you paint other works as well?
Carol:  Recently I have been experimenting with some abstract work using lots of texture and mixed media as well as trying out some collage.
Carmen:  Yes, I have done several large pieces in the past year inspired by a trip to the Everglades.  I do try to take a break now and then and paint something larger.
How long are you going to be a ‘daily painter?’
Carol: Good question…I have no idea!
Carmen:  When I get really busy I ask myself the same thing!  But I have to admit that I am really hooked.  It improves my work and I like the discipline.  I’ll just see where it leads me.

Both artists invite you to visit their blogs where they post their daily paintings with commentary.


  1. Good interview Cindy, this gives you a good idea about how artist's set goals and doing is how you get better. It seems no matter how skilled an artist is they always want to improve and learn.

  2. Daily practice has to be beneficial unless self imposed temporal deadlines are followed which may lead to the establishment of sloppy habits, detrimental shortcuts, etc. In my world of woodturning, I find that the more time I spend at the lathe practicing certain cuts, the better my skills. However, I have learned to shut down when I no longer feel "sharp" or when I am tired and facing the critical steps in what I am fabricating. I'll come back the next day and have no difficulty completing my work; whereas, if I had been forced to complete my item when tired and not as attentive to details as I should be, the product would suffer.

    Hemmingway wrote, usually while standing up, 1,000 words a day. He would start early and some days he got his 1,000 words by late morning and then spent the afternoon fishing and drinking wine. Other days, he toiled well into the night getting his 1,000 words. That regimen worked for him -- daily discipline, but with a potential reward built in. Not sure what this story has to do with painting or woodturning, but there may be something there for someone.

    Uncle (via email)


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