Daily Painting Challenge, January 2015, Day 8

January 8, 2015











Je suis Charlie: l’oignon et l’ail.

oil on canvas panel, 8×10″

Today I set aside the scheduled Project 8 from Arthur Stern’s exercises in colour mixing and palette knife technique. The learning curve of the last week has been very steep. Monthly art challenges are always tiring, though the logistics of my daily painting improve every day. I’ve been working every day, not, as some do, painting a week’s worth of ‘daily paintings’ all weekend then spacing them out for Facebook and weblog purposes mid-week.












I thought I’d give myself the “day off” by painting something for myself, something apart from Arthur Stern, so I adopted a similar setup to yesterday’s. Some 6×6″ panels are on order but I dragged out an 8×10″ canvas panel from my stash for today’s work.

Onion and garlic seemed appropriate given the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris today. A similar terrorist incident occurred here in Sydney just a few weeks ago, so I’m surprised how de-sensitized I feel today. News has come through that a friend of friends was killed – the founder of the annual travel sketchbook festival in Clermont-Ferrand, a town I know well having spent a year working there. It comes a day after the publication of Houellebecq’s latest novel, Soumission, and this incident is doubtless revenge for Marine Le Pen’s success in the recent European Parliament elections.














Here’s the first statement in acrylics of Project 8 I did yesterday as preparation for today. I’ll come back to it when I feel up to it – I need to widen the strip of yellow at left.

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, January 2015, organised by Leslie Saeta (http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.au).

The feedback on my work from other challenge participants has been gratifying, especially since no-one came to see my work in an end-of-year student exhibition last month. Twenty works were selected and hung. I would have liked at least one member of my family, or one friend or acquaintance, to see what I’ve sweated blood over for the last twelve months, but alas, no-one came. I don’t want to become hard-hearted but I now appreciate that steely, cold look I see so often in other artists’ eyes.

Three colleagues’ work worth checking out:

http://nithyaswaminathan.blogspot.de/2014/06/glowing-green-original-still-life-in.html – Nithya mails to Australia.

http://ginnybutcher.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/day-7-of-30-paintings-in-30-days.html – I like Ginny’s use of lost edges.


I’m reading with interest about PAD, the Painting A Day movement. It has many parallels with the daily sketching movement, establish around the same time; Duane Keisier seems to be the painting equivalent of Danny Gregory. Both movements exalt the representational and the everyday. Local art critic Andrew Frost listed “E” for “Everyday” in his series The A to Z of Contemporary Art for ABC television and the retreat from the cerebral to the familiar and mundane is very powerful today. The everyday is very comforting, a refuge from strife as we all live in the long shadow cast by 9/11. The horrors of the current Islamic Reformation will play themselves out, Christians having gone through their own Reformation five hundred years ago. Still life as a subject of art was triumphalist in 17th-century Holland, but in the 21st-century, still life is more about refuge and retreat from the real world.

Reference: Stern, Arthur. How to see color and paint it: a series of projects designed to open your eyes to colors you never saw before. New York, Watson-Guptill, 1984.


3 Responses to “Daily Painting Challenge, January 2015, Day 8”

  1. I do so admire your efforts, accomplishments, and successes….yes…successes. Thank you for including the text titles…I usually look them up locally…and purchase…so thanks. Yes, sadness abounds over recent terror attacks. It is all about fear…and the making of.

  2. mclamp Says:

    I am so glad that I’ve found your blog through the 30 in 30 site and I’m sorry no one came to your exhibition. Don’t let it get you down – I think your work is fantastic.

    • rodbyatt Says:

      following your own daily paintings with interest! And particularly appreciative of your being upfront about your aesthetic decision-making as you go

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