Daub du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. More of which can be seen at my website, 'MariannePlumridge.com', and also my main Blog, 'Muse du Jour'. These sites are in the links section of this page. This site began life as a painting a day blog in 2007. However that project has now passed, but I still find myself painting in that way. So this site will now be the showcase my new paintings as inspired by those previous efforts.

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Location: New England, United States

Thursday, January 4, 2007

INTRODUCTION...Painting a day

I’ve been watching my husband, Bob, creating a painting a day now for the last 20 days or so and helping him post them on his new blog – Bob’s ART du Jour. And I’ve been asking myself, ‘why can’t I do that too’? Over the last week I’ve looked at my painting table in the studio and been telling myself that I can produce a painting a day too – just a lot smaller. I’ve had a long-standing fear-hurdle of painting from life, and shied away from working on life studies or still life subjects. With the onset of the New Year, I decided to face down that fear and deal with the fact that whatever I produce might not be polished, but it will help discipline my work routines – or should I say, current lack of.

Fear of ‘the blank page’ or fear of ‘the blank canvas’ is something that causes a lot of creators to falter when starting a new project, quite often not starting at all. ‘It’s too hard’, ‘I’ll fail’, or ‘I’m not good enough and it’ll look terrible’ are among the main barriers that I face. And quite often I won’t start a painting or illustration because there’s a heap of reference to get through or I can’t find the right reference or model photo that’s exactly ‘it’. And too often, ‘Life’ gets in the way. Or I’m interrupted at the height of painting fervour and the painting stays on the easel for months waiting for that last lick of a brush to carry it to the ‘finished’ line. So in the last year, I started experimenting with non-genre subjects on a very small scale. Say, 6x8”, 5x7”, and smaller. Now I intend to amp up the ante and produce one a day.

To get the ball rolling and past the procrastination stage, I spent time using up oil paint left over on the palette by creating ready-made ‘backgrounds’. I take a big brush and daub different colours onto a board until I cover it and get a combination I like, then I take up one of my favourite brushes – a big fluffy blending brush – and whisk it lightly over the surface. This blurs and smudges the paint, and looks mysterious. In doing this, I have a backlog of painting surfaces that I can use as a mid-ground for starting a painting – and not have to face the ‘blank white canvas’ fear. The colour combinations tweak my painting senses and I forge ahead. Quite often the background gets painted over completely, but sometimes I work it in with the colours I’m painting with and the ground colours show through. It creates a depth I’m really happy with, especially when painting foliage.

Which brings me to flowers.

While I will experiment with painting objects from life, I will also work my way through about a zillion photos I took of flowers last year. For some reason, I have found that painting flowers, particularly roses, to be very soothing. I’m not sure why. But I rather enjoy painting ‘wet into wet’ in a single session using flowers as a subject. The painting of the yellow Brandy Tea Roses above was the first I actually painted in this fashion – a year ago. Now I’ll be using that technique to carry on with the current daily project.

So check in occasionally and see what I’ve been up to. You’ll be most welcome.



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