Saturday 31 December 2016

One Year of Daily Painting!

I have committed to daily painting for a year!

Last Christmas I received the book called Daily Painting by Carol Marine. I hadn't heard of this term and it means to paint as often as possible usually small and in one sitting. 
I wanted to write about what I have learnt and my experiences of daily painting...

Daily painting is difficult!
I found it very hard to 'paint daily' it was usually 3-4 a week, but just having the mind set of small and often made me paint so much more than I did before. To give you an idea in the 2.5 years before last Christmas I managed 35 paintings. This year I have painted 151!

Painting often
Means I have improved massively, I have experimented with subjects, colours, techniques more than I have ever done in the past. I've painted subjects that I wouldn't have thought I'd enjoyed painting like shoes, food and jugs…I now see a painting subject in so many more things. I feel proud of the large and diverse collections of paintings in my studio.

Painting Small
Means I experiment more because the time invested is short so it doesn’t matter so much if it doesn’t work out. Experimenting leads to discovery, keeping it fresh and lively and always developing.

The Blog
Means I have interacted and had lovely comments from people plus had great numbers look in on my work (24,000 this year!). It is a blessing, although hard work to keep it going, but worth it :-)

The downside of ‘daily painting’
I did worry if I hadn't painted enough or couldn't post for some reason. At times it has felt a pressure to 'perform'. Also experimenting and having uncertainty on how a painting will come out and yet knowing I need to post something and show it publicly is very hard too! Plus prioritising whether to paint or be with friends and family.

Plein air
Up until this March I had a fear of plein air painting - painting outside. I didn't think I could do it and had a block around it. Facing this has been a blessing and now it's actually my favourite way of painting, which still surprises me! The second half of the year I moved away from still life painting as I enjoy landscape painting more. Although I learnt a lot from the still life observation in my studio - colour mixing and tonal work. 

Every plein air painting there is a little adventure and the unknown of how the weather will be, who I will meet, what I will actually paint, and how it will turn out...quite a mix of excitement and trepidation. 
But again having done a few plein air paintings my learning curve has been massive, with things like how to apply the paint, translucent, thin, thick, translating the complex landscape subject into a 2D painting in 2-3 hours….I know there’s still lots to learn and looking forward to it!

What’s next...
I have decided to take down the term daily painter from my blog which will take the pressure off. But still paint as often as I did this year. I will be concentrating on plein air as it’s what I love and have a passion for. 
I will be continuing the teaching once a month and also working on my own painting skills. 

I hope you will continue to follow me and I would love to hear your comments on what I do. (people think they have to be qualified somehow to comment, not at all! Just say something simple :-)

Wishing you all a Great New Year & happy painting....


  1. One year on...... an exciting year of discovery for you in your painting career and some masterpieces to boot! Also, you have prepared to teach others your skills which is no easy task, needing a deal of teaching talent to do that. I look forward to seeing what you will produce in 2017 and I am still crossing all bits for January and the acceptance of The Barn for exhibition :-)

  2. What a milestone and it's so interesting hearing about your experiences, Clare. I feel like I'm learning alongside you, not learning as much obviously but at least I'm in the warmth and comfort of home! You're an inspiring art friend and you have some lucky students to be learning with you as their guide. Learning and growth, the best feelings! Onwards and upwards in 2017 x

  3. Yes! Masterpiece! I'd say you're entering a new phase!

    Doesn't matter if the wheels took all day, it was time well spent! Look forward to more like this that demonstrate your ability.....

  4. Well done for completing the year and I think the developments to your painting and confidence really show. A tremendous achievement plus you have passed on the benefits to your pupils. I feel more confident painting now than I did in the beginning. I hope The Barn does well and either way I feel 2017 will be a great year for your painting.

  5. Ebbybow, Caroline, Jack & Pat ... WOW! Really thankful for your lovely comments, they make me smile and happy.
    It's so good to have you and others along side me in this painting journey :-) Best wishes, Clare

  6. So much admiration for you completing your year. It's been a privilege to track you on part of your journey. Ironically, I bought a copy of Carole Marine's book lately, having seen her work referenced on someone's Facebook page. Will be looking out for you in 2017! Best of luck!

  7. Hi Yeside, Thank you for your kind words. Let me know how you get on with Carol Marines book and if you do some daily painting, you can just set a time on it like daily painting for a week... Best wishes Clare

  8. Thanks for taking the time to reply and for a suggesting a realistic target of one painting a week. Have started but find it difficult not to go large. Discipline is good! Love your new website btw. ��

    1. Hi Yeside, That's great you having a go! Going bigger is tempting, but the reason for small is to keep the time frame shorter, bigger takes too long, and to do a 'daily' painting its got to be doable! But keep going and let me know how you get on :-) Clare