Jade Plant in Orla Kiely Mug

Daily painting is a grand experiment for me. It’s a time to try anything and it’s a freedom to give a go to anything you ever thought of painting but couldn’t for fear of failing, I suppose. The idea that you can’t possibly paint for one hour between chores or “what’s the point of one hour when that masterpiece that is due soon from my very hands needs at least three weeks of 24/7 dedication”

The daily promise that you will stand in front of an easel and put paint on, come what may, has been, not quite a revelation, but a confirmation that the idea of putting paint on frequently, frequency being the only rule, can only develop your practice and broaden your outlook.

Here is one I had to squeeze into an hour, to paint , photograph and post. There might be a correlation between speed of execution and likeability! It’s a small sample in statistical terms to back up this theory but there is something in it!

8″x10″ oil on board

Alstroemeria in Bell China Jug

Alstroemeria in Bell China Jug

8″x10″ oil on board

I’ve been painting along with hundreds of others in a Daily Painting Challenge set by Strada Easels. Paint from life every day in January and enter a prize draw for a Strada Easel.

It’s a great motivator to commit to such a thing. I was given a Strada for christmas and it’s a great easel. I’m loving it. It’s too cold for a lightweight like me to go outdoors with it yet but as the days pass I’ll be obliged to use it as it should be!

Meanwhile I’m enjoying using it indoors on my still lifes.

Still life Arrangement

Still life arrangement. Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm

An attempt to move on from my typical single object (usually flowers) in the middle of the composition. A fairly randomly placed, disparate set of things painted with a no.8 flat brush. The use of one brush throughout is a limitation, a restriction, to avoid familiar ways of working.

A Peony Trio

A Peony Trio 12″x10″ oil on board

I’ve been painting lots of flowers this year. Every one is much the same composition. Object in the middle, plain brushy background. Background being either very dark or very light.

It’s time to explore how they can be visualised differently. I’d like to paint larger scale and introduce a setting. I do expect to have the same or worse hit rate! I bin around one in two attempts. I guess one in three will be a decent rate for development. Sacrificing some boards is nothing to the rewards of change. Merry Christmas folks and here’s to an experimental new year.


I have a tendency to paint from one composition. Single object in the middle. This is no different really, but the fact the primulas were in a not good looking pot forced me to slightly change the crop. Now it’s a low down in the middle composition.

“Pansies” oil on board 10″x10″