daily art

working small

Olympia's Childhood's End Gallery owner Richenda has often urged me to "work small." There are many benefits to creating small artworks. One advantage is that the work is completed sooner, bringing satisfaction. Completing many smaller works also allows an artist to more quickly try out a variety of styles, techniques, and mediums. This cultivates skill and creates opportunities for discovery. Another bonus is that small artworks are more affordable for buyers, and they fit on walls in homes and apartments.

Working small in the studio (kitchen), I like the simplicity of watercolor on paper.


beginning on my fiftieth birthday...

Nearly falling asleep after a day of celebrating life, I sketched an apple on a 4 x 6 notecard with a mechanical pencil. A notecard is certainly small, right? Not fancy, but small, it was my attempt to begin intentionally cultivating my artistic senses and skills in this season, and maybe ongoing for life.

day one

So here is the first sketch. I'm shy to share it here as it's not very impressive (at all). It's a drowsy doodle. But here's to starting...

day two

On the evening of day two, I set out paints and brushes to create a 6 x 8 inch painting of a pear on Arches cotton paper. I had fun. And the pear painting exceeded my expectations.


day three

Day three found me in Fred Meyer's produce section, hand-selecting Gala apples to model for a 5 x 7 watercolor.

5 x 7 inches, two Gala apples, painted in watercolor on Arches natural cotton cover, Valentine's Day, 2017


day four

I returned then to the pear, but now having gained skill and an eye to see what I missed the first time. Notice the transparency, layering, light over dark to make the background recede, dynamic shadows and reflected light. Same object, different approach.


Surprised at the finished paintings, I find myself staring at them in admiration with a twinge of disbelief. I honestly wonder how they come to be. During the process of art making, the painting looks terrible...until the end. There is a point where the illusion becomes visibly real (if successful). Not unlike life, art is a great mystery to me when it works well.


Removing the border tape reveals the finished work.

Watercolor is all about transparency, fluidity, softness, and vibrancy. 
This painting, to me, feels right.



The plan is to frequently create something small and full of beauty. I have already learned and grown much by allowing myself "permission" to paint often.

A bonus is that small artworks can be more affordable than larger works. While my larger commissions in silk and glass necessitate higher price tags, small original artworks can remain more affordable for friends and peers and anyone with a tighter art budget. (Art budget?) After all, it seems that art is for everyone.



artificial fruit

Click here or image right to see more daily paintings.

Continuing in the discipline of painting almost daily, these still life paintings depict lifeless fruit as visual metaphor.