Daily Paintworks (DPW) | About DPW

Art, art, art. Does it matter what kind? It might make you mad

There are some who get very serious about their art and process, (much more talented than I), that may not like my foolhardy approach…but I think there is no limit really to the many different techniques and mediums available today; and why not try them all? And mixed media, yeah, love that too. I recently saw an artist using watercolor, colored pencil, gouache, all on the same piece. Cool!

Moving from medium to medium I realized was hurting my progress a bit because instead of working out a problem in a particular medium, I would move on to the next thing I loved. (And new supplies for new things hurt the pocketbook too!) Painting most recently, and cooking, photography, computer graphics, web site building (before you could find software everywhere to do it for you), ceramics, wood, cement, glass, jewelry, acrylics, oil, drawing, resin, never tried encaustic, always wanted to take a sculpting class! Aaak, see what I mean? I barely scratched the surface in most of them.

And that’s a small partial list and there are so many avenues in each medium, new techniques to try or to discover. Sigh. I could lock myself up in a room and not come out for a year.

BUT, although I think painting has been the most challenging for me, it’s what is fulfilling me and what I will stick with even if I flirt with other things from time to time.

How about you?

I know exactly what you mean about the need to stick with one thing and one thing only long enough to get really familiar with it, and conquer the challenges that come with it.

At the same time, I’d kill for a studio space (and bank account) large enough to facilitate constant, unbridled exploration of every medium and every artistic idea. That would be a great life…


And to make matters worse, when you have figured out that you need to stick to one thing (oil painting, for instance), there’s a list of what to do with it. Representational, realistic, landscapes, still life, figurative, figures in the landscape or in other environments, portraits, looser, more or less realistic, a painting a day, a painting until it’s done (days, weeks?), 30-minute paintings, social comment, just for the beauty/light/color/whatever caught your interest, focus on edges, focus on composition, focus on value, focus on color, painting knives, brushes, rollers, series of this, series of that, this workshop, that DVD, another YouTube video, on and on and on! Anybody else?

I’ve been reading a new book by Jessica Abel, Growing Gills, which I find quite helpful. One of her ideas is that a creative person should focus on one thing, and put the others away FOR NOW. Work sequentially, not bits of everything at once. I’m finding that, though it’s hard to figure out that one thing to work on, I am getting more done than before. I’ve spent the past 6-8 months flitting from this to that and feeling like a complete failure. I figure I can get down to work, do one thing, and perhaps master (well, at least become better at) that particular aspect of oil painting over the next however long. Not that everything else is thrown out the window (edges, composition, etc.), but it’s more than I’ve accomplished in the previous several months! A good book!

Exactly! I find I can be quite impatient with my skill level and the results…but I heard from an artist on a video that just means my brain/art eye has become more advanced than my hands. I liked that! Really just means what I already knew but said it in a comforting way. Haha.

I have to get painting and practice and less everything-else-I-can-find-including-art-videos! :smiley:

I too can relate to what you are saying here. I feel like a jack of all trades and master of none- EXCEPT- that with age this is getting better. I used to fight my cycle of art making. Now, I’ve embraced it. Over the course of a year, I will cycle through interest. Right now, it is oil painting. I will stay with oils until what ever it is that internally shifts and I move onto the next. I love watercolor, oils, paper crafting, collage and colored pencil. I cycle through these, focusing on each medium for a time. What I am finding is that each time I visit a medium, I have improved. I think the the whole process of art making helps. I am retired now, so I have the time to do as I please, so I do. I used to beat myself up for this, but no more. It seems to be my process and today I honor it. I am not a professional artist. I know several professional artists who feel ‘stuck’ in their medium because that is what they are known for and is expected of them. I understand that as well…one has to pay the bills. As my art is a hobby I am not faced with that. In my career I was a graphic designer for the pharmaceutical industry. I HAD TO CREATE on demand, the suits were not al all interested in my muse and where she took me! It was necessary to put her on a shelf and work… I am grateful I no longer have to do that!

Congrats on the retirement! (whenever that happened), my husband keeps waiting for me to make buku bucks at art so he can retire. Haha. It could happen. Hahaha.

I wish you many happy years of painting!

In your former life as a graphic designer, what was your medium of choice?

Wow, I was just having similar thoughts the other day as I was contemplating whether I should take some classes in pastel. My first love and what I want to truly succeed in is oil. However, in a drawing class I saw people drawing with PanPastels and decided to order some. Now I realize that this is a great second medium for me and I want to learn how to really do it right. I, too, feel that I could lock myself in a room–but eventually I’d have to go to the bathroom and that would end that! I hear people my age say they are bored and I simply can’t understand that. I’m never bored, but I do get overwhelmed with all the choices! And when that happens I find I can’t get anything done–except making lists of what I need to do. I am an accomplished list maker, AKA procrastinator.

I experiment with various styles and techniques, but I always come back to alla prima acrylic. I think taking a little break from my usual style is refreshing, and when I get back to it, I’ve learned a little bit about something, or maybe I have a better appreciation for my usual style.

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Me too! My sister says she’s bored but there’s not enough time in the day that i could get bored !! And i always wanted to try pastels, every kind! Hee hee. I think I may have a problem.

In 2013 I was all over the map. Not only did I buy one of everything, I had to buy containers to hold the supplies. I still have it all, but nothing beyond oil painting draws me in. Did I become more creative during that time? I don’t think so. But the year was extremely valuable for me in that I realized oil painting was my medium and in order to become more expressive with it, I needed and wanted to concentrate there.

I understand locking yourself up in a room. My life is in-a-way just that. I like focusing without the distraction of the chaos in the outside world. I am at peace and calm as a hobbit. I love the follow quote from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”


I love your phrase “calm as a hobbit”. :smiley:
And your quote.

When I started to paint in 2012, I was so excited about learning all the different mediums, I bought several different kinds and did a little with each one. At that time I had to try them a little just to know which ones I really liked and wanted to put my time into learning. I narrowed it down to acrylic and watercolor. So now I bounce back and forth between the two. I really can’t say which one I like the best at this point because I love working with them both. You can do such different things with each. Not only that, but I feel it makes my art experience more fun and exciting.

Me too!
I think I have artistic ADD but I am slowly trying to steer toward painting with acrylics in a colorist expressionistic style as my main production line. I’ve dropped so many other hobbies thinking I could only chase one rabbit at a time but I agree with you that it is good to try new techniques to see if they would add to my paintings.

I like to do a variety of styles too, and subject matter. I see many artists have a main theme…I don’t think I ever will.

I’ve dabbled with just about everything. In fact I do have a job to keep my hands away from new media and techniques; the restrictions of a small occupational pension are, however, useful for dealing with that! I tend to spend quite a while with one medium…say, pastel…and after a few months the work I produce starts getting stale. At that point I change to something else, like oils. These two media are now my main ones.
I do, though, tend to have a tight style and I’ve found pastel to be good for loosening up. Conversely, I get a real kick out of working ACEO size and close-to, with oils, watercolour or pencil…I really can’t get away from it.
In the end, I think you can’t fight your true nature…if you’re expansive and work large and broad, or more intimate and work smaller and detailed…then you have to find a medium to suit. Aiming pics for DPW has made me happier in many ways—irrespective of sales— the working of smaller canvases or paper and not feeling pressurised to create great yacht-sail sized works.