Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Guest Artist ~ Kimberly Kelly Santini

Kind of a chilly, wet day out there. I'd left Monster outside but she woke me up when the rain started, yelling at I got up a little early to bring her in, fed all the horses and came back to the house for breakfast. The vet is coming out for some work, so most of them would have been in anyway!

I've been excited about all of the guest bloggers, but today's artist played a big part of my decision to try and do a modified daily painting project. Kim has explained about her journey in her post, and be sure to visit her website and blog to enjoy more of her artwork! Comments are always welcome and hopefully this post will inspire some good discussion!

The Ugly (and Not So Ugly) Truths About Daily Painting

Kimberly Kelly Santini

I was especially tickled to follow Linda's daily paintings last fall when she first committed to the routine. I was even happier to hear that she had been bitten by the daily bug and has pledged to paint daily for several chunks of time during 2009. And what an honor when Linda approached me several weeks ago about being a guest blogger.

You see, I am a daily painter as well, having been hooked since October 2006, practically 750 paintings ago. That's a lot of paint, wasted and well-spent, and a lot of blog entries.

Working daily takes diligence and will power, since life insists on getting in the way. The key to a successful daily (or regular) routine is structuring it so that it is not a chore. That can get complicated though, if you are on foal-watch (like Linda has been) or merely have a sick child (like I am occasionally blessed with). It is of primary importance that you set up your daily routine so that you are not penalized when these sorts of things happen (because they will).

It is also key that the daily routine itself provides you with a reward, hence the positive reinforcement you need in order to maintain the pace. For me, the process of making art is mental health time. If I go several days without time at the easel, my mood shifts. I also am the sort of person who thrives under pressure. The process of creating a painting while the world seemingly falls apart outside the studio door (or so my kids often think) builds great confidence. That snowballs into the next painting/the next tough day.

I'll agree that the demand of a daily creation process is not for everyone. Those considering the commitment should do some serious soul searching, and if they are ready, next build a program to fit their personality, their skill set, their work routine, and their lifestyle.

If you think you can hack it, dwell for a minute on the rewards:

1. A greater knowledge of your materials.
2. A greater number of opportunities to work out ideas, merited or not.
3. A greater number of pieces to market to your clients (and potentially a greater number of sales).
4. A greater number of topics to address in your blog (that is, if you blog).
5. A greater ability to discuss your work (that is, if you blog or write in some fashion about your daily works).
6. A greater number of examples to share with potential clients (if you do commission work).
7. A greater confidence when you stand at your easel (or sit at your desk/wherever you work).
8. A greater variety of experiences to draw upon when deciding ideas/compositions for future works.
9. A greater ability to recognize your strengths and weaknesses.
10. The perfect platform to address both strengths and weaknesses.

These are just a few thoughts that come to mind, but the list could go on and on.

I would love to hear your thoughts on daily work and how it has benefitted you personally or someone you know. Or if you have concerns prior to committing, what they might be. Feel free to comment below or send an email to me ( Perhaps Linda will be kind enough to allow for a follow-up post should there be enough interest.

Beginning the dialogue, however, is the first step towards discovering a program that could change your work all for the better.

It has mine.


Karen McLain said...

Wonderful work Kelly! I really like the painting a day commitment, insight and productivity. I was able to do that until a family emergency occured. I paint horses from life each weekend, and on those days paint 2-3 pieces. That is a huge help in my weekly productivity. Super guest post!

Miriam Hughes said...

I love your work and your commitment. I work with dogs and try to do a drawing a week, but my level of commitment is not there yet. I am hoping by following you and Linda, I will get inspired and do more work. And more writing!

Linda Shantz said...

Make sure you check out the extent of Kim's committment on her Dog a Day blog. I do believe it is addictive - I know at the end of the first month I did, back in November, it was a real letdown to not *have* to do a daily painting! The momentum carried so that I finished a couple of my larger paintings - I actually felt like I had all kinds of spare time, so what else would I do but paint? It's pretty cool to have your "work" not really be "work."

Kimberly Kelly Santini said...

Karen and Miriam, you both HAVE committed already to a schedule that works with your given workload. And you're a couple steps ahead of the game, because you are wanting to carve out MORE REGULAR opportunities to create. (sorry if it sounds like I'm yelling - I'm just excited!) That means that the process is fun and rewarding, and yes, like Linda said, not really work at all. Keep it going!!

and thanks for commenting, too!

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