Thursday, November 29, 2007

The painting a day movement

There is a recent art phenomenon called the painting a day movement. I believe it was started by Richmond artist Duane Keiser. Currently you can find hundreds of painting a day blogs and hundreds of ebay listings of small sized paintings by these artists. Most of the works portray photorealistic small everyday objects, mini still lifes of everything from old bottles to wrapped candies.

I have browsed many of these blog sites and would say that about half are really good, meaning either in technical achievement and creative expression. Neil Hollingsworth is one of the best. It is difficult to make a mundane object in such a small format powerful, yet he does it so well.

It seems that many of these artists jump on board because they want a disciplined way of making work. Most are not full time painters and struggle to find time to paint, so producing a post card size work daily makes creating doable. They have realized that size is not everything.

My issue with these works is that they are mostly void of any creative juice. I’ve said this before of photrealism. If I look at a painting and I am impressed with how much it looks like a photo I usually come away feeling a bit empty. I might even venture to call this sort of painting a craft instead of an art. Eventually for me they lose their staying power.

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