Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Daily Painting

I have struggled to get back to my studio and some painting. Playing catchup with day to day commitments after a pretty intensive month of daily painting in January.

I use up any left over paint on my palette to get some colour, shapes, marks etc down on pre-cut papers and have a variety of starts to choose from. I am finding that I like some of the shapes and pattern that are in the first layer(s) of paint but eventually most of it gets painted out. I am going to experiment putting more of these patterns and shapes in later as I'm painting, but I don't want to become constrained by them. I went back and looked at some of the work done during January and there were a few things I was neglecting to do and some things I should have been doing more of. Was finding the foregrounds were very 'white' (light!) - needed more paint, texture and neutrals, glazing would create more depth and richness in the paint layers and being bolder with my mark making. If you don't push the boundaries painting these I feel things will become 'safe' and 'boring' and moving on to larger more finished work will leave me wth a strong feeling of dissatisfaction.

So here is the start and where I am going to end this painting. The finish seems somewhat disjointed, - with the large dark shape on left and lighter area on right - but I am happy to be getting back into a more thoughtful and experimental mindset.


Thought it was done. Added some glazing and 'cleaned up'
the neutral area on the right hand side and reintroduced
line work and some coloured pencil

10"X8 1/4"
Acrylic mixed media on
140lb hotpress watercolour paper

In the weeks ahead I will (or hope to!) be experimenting with neutral mixes and glazing and seeing where that takes me with my daily painting. Neutrals are so important and I really need to be more confident in mixing and using these. Enjoy your day wherever you are and whatever you are doing!


  1. Wherever I am is indoors in my cozy Massachusetts home waiting for our first bona fide snow of the season to come barreling on in. Just looked up at the skylight and it looks like we might be starting with a bit of rain.

    SO wonderful to see your post! I continue to be mesmerized by your process, and I'm so glad for the photos that show a bit of the journey. I'm also so glad for your writing about process. You consider elements that never cross my mind, and I love getting bite-sized bits of information to chew on. Thank you!

    Your finish doesn't feel disjointed to me. Contrast and shape immediately catch my eye, so I come in closer where there are so many places to enter, to investigate, to wonder.

  2. Good morning Dotty - so good to hear from you. So many things to think of when painting. I am reading (not for the first time!!) about Design Elements and Principles. These were first presented to me in a workshop 3 years ago by Canadian artist Brian Atyeo. So much to think about but trying to take it one 'element/principle' at a time. I will send you an email with the book he recommended and link to some of his work. Sounds like you are in for a bit of weather - stay safe and warm!

    1. I never know whether it's beneficial or not for me to THINK when I paint, but since I'm not consistently capable of thinking while I paint anyway, in balance things probably work out just the way they are meant to in my development as an artist! I'd love the book title and a link to the artist.

      We managed, uncharacteristically, to keep out of weather's reach this winter until now. Now we've had our first big (well, biggish, anyway) snow of the season, something to insulate the ground. Thursday's snow has been followed by more overnight last night and into today. I think we're slated for another something tomorrow. And a bigger something again on Monday. Thus far, I have stayed safe and warm.

  3. Dear Janet, like you I find it difficult to return to a daily practice. And today, reading your post and looking at your art, I am really impressed and wonder how you get all those wonderful marks and the beautiful composition. Abstract landscape, neutral colors, so far from my own art but so intriguing!
    Looking forward to follow your art journey!

  4. Hi Martine - so good to hear from you. You are very generous with your comments and they are much appreciated. I will post a picture of some of my favourite go to mark making tools - you will have a good laugh when you see some of them. It is so nice sharing this 'art journey' with you and being inspired by your paintings! Take care and happy painting.

  5. Love this Janet! Love the balance of warmth. The glow of the hearth so to speak. I am lookiing forward to learning more about neutrals from you, through you. Happy creating :)