I have an extensive library of reference and instructional art books. I use online classes too, but if there’s a book in the offing, I’m buying it. Single handedly keeping Amazon afloat.
My latest purchase is called Daily Painting by Carol Marine. I love Carol. If I moved to Oregon, where she lives (and believe me, I’ve considered it – the landscape is stunning), I would make her be my friend. Not because she’s an artist, but because she’s genuine. And funny. None of this “I’ve been painting since forever, I’ve just always been able to do it, it’s a gift” crap, from Carol. Noooo, the artist struggle is real and she articulates it so well. Her honesty made me recognise my own struggles are normal. Ok, perhaps not normal, but common among creative types.
One of the the key messages from her book for me was this: paint every single day. Every day. Not twice a week. Though perhaps, realistically not 7 days a week. The point was to make it a thing you just did, preferably daily, like cooking an evening meal. The reasons for this approach are myriad but include: getting better quicker and not investing all of your expectations (and ego) into the one painting that you’re doing that month. Because tomorrow you’ll be doing another one. And you’ll forget about the one you did today. Each painting is just a stepping stone to the next.
Well, after going around in circles, this is a break I need. So, daily painting it is for me.
Interestingly, this is not the first apple I painted. Below is an exercise I completed aaaages ago along side one of Will Kemp’s free tutorials, and I rather love it, though painting something from a photograph is very different from painting from life. My apple above is more painterly I would say, but there’s something about this one I love. Besides, it gave me confidence to carry on. I also painted the cherry courtesy of Will Kemp too, so thought I’d add it in here too. Honestly, these two paintings were pivotal for me in beginning to understand what sort of art I might be favouring.