Day 20. Big Paintings vs. Small Paintings


“One Step Forward” 36×36, oil on canvas [creativ_button url=”″ icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

The other day I was talking to a friend about this November daily painting challenge. I explained to her that my days alone in the studio are often difficult– I’m not sure what I want to work on or how I want to structure my day, what and when to post, etc.  There is no one particular driving force.

The 30 paintings in 30 days give my work life shape and purpose. I wake up and I have a mission, a task, and I plan my day accordingly. I am the boss of a company that is no longer in the brainstorming phase but has a clear and simple directive: make one painting, write one post (and then, if I’m lucky, celebrate that small victory with a glass of wine). 

But I’m starting to turn this whole thing on it’s head. Because that model doesn’t really work with big paintings. They often cannot (or should not) be completed in on sitting. Sometimes they need to wait. Today’s painting, I’ve been working on all week. It’s huge. I love what happened with it when I gave it some space and then came back to it.

But in order to fulfill the challenge mandate, I’ve had to paint smaller paintings when I rested from this one.

With 2017 fast approaching, I’m wondering if I’m discovering a new way to paint, a new way to structure my day– one teeny tiny warm-up painting every day and some bigger pieces weekly or biweekly or even monthly? Could I really paint a small painting every day for 365 days? An artist I really admire, Lisa Daria, does it. Her daily painting is the same as her morning coffee– she does it wether she is home or traveling, sick or well. Do I have that kind commitment? Should I have that kind of commitment? Is that just borderline crazy? Completely crazy? Would I give myself the weekends off?

I’m not saying I’m doing it. I’m just saying it’s on my mind. Your thoughts?


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Denise Hopkins

November 20, 2016

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