Phew! So once deciding to jump on board for painting a new painting everyday for the month of September, I turned my attention to developing my surfaces. After much though I decided to go with maple panels. Even though they are a bit pricey due to their high quality, as compared to other artist boards, they came in the perfect sizes and even had a little key hole hanging system already built in. This charming element allows the finished work to be hung directly against the wall, either with or without a frame. Once I saw them I knew they were perfect for this project.
Even though I have only 30 days to paint, my type-A nature steered me to go ahead and prep 40 painting surfaces. The extra number gives me the flexibility to edit, and make the best dimension selection when adding a new painting tothe series. Of course this means prepping 10 extra panels, but the peace of mind is worth the work.
The panels come as raw (gorgeous) wood that must be sealed and then primed with oil ground. For the wood sealer I chose GAC 100, a clear Gamblin product that protects the wood while letting the grain show through. Since I was planning on leaving the back as untouched as possible, this clear protection was a great solution. I applied two coats of GAC 100, sanding the area with a fine grit paper before each layer. Following these protective coats I applied two layers of oil ground. This is the most luscious, buttery surface ground, and I absolutely love working with Gamblin’s Oil Ground. It’s like buttah! The ground sets up your painting for success right from the beginning. Goodie gumdrops!
The 30 in 30 challenge is right around the corner. I am busily prepping all of my surfaces, and hoping that I’ve budgeted enough time to complete the tasks leading up to September 1. In order to get ready for this paint-a-thon, I need to think through these items:
Theme - For these works I’m looking to build a bold body of work with small paintings, my working theme is “Lucky Paintings” and I'll get more into that later. I plan on having some serious hits of pink in the work, odd little trinkets and close-ups of women I j'dore, including Maria Bamford, Joan Rivers, Hillary Clinton, Honey Boo Boo and Nene Leakes. There will be still lives of ridiculous trinkets as well, giving off good luck, with a sticky sweet sense of humor.
Medium - Will this message resonate most clearly with oil, egg tempera, acrylic, ink, gouache, or watercolor paint? Oil paint is so luscious, and classic. For these locket photo-like paintings, oil is my medium of choice, with the caveat being that I’ve never worked so quickly with oil, and am wary of how this medium may hinder my efforts. We shall see!
Surface - Am I going to make the surface myself? Prime the surface myself? What does this involve? After much research and debate, I’ve decided to purchase pre-cut high quality maple panels and treat them myself. They have a lovely little keyhole for hanging on the back, and I thought the keyhole matched the “locket/ good luck charm” vibe. The panels are cut finely, and realizing my skills are not in this area, outsourcing this effort seemed the best choice for the work. I have to decide how to best spend my time, and for this it was on the actual painting portion.
Dimensions- Between 6” square and up to 12” square is where I’ve landed for the dimensions of the work.
Supplies- I have not yet done an inventory of paint, but did pick up some oil ground with the panels so I should be fine there. Off the top of my head I’m sure a tube of white (always handy) would be good.
Limits (internal + external)- Because this project is everyday for a month I will need to focus on my time management skills, and since I have a full-time job this may mean that I will only have a precious few hours per day to paint. Having only a few hours a day to paint is nothing new, it’s actually finishing a painting in a day that I’m a tad anxious about. Anxious and very excited. My goal is to finish a painting everyday, but even if I just get to paint everyday I would be happy with that as well. Whatever gets me to the studio.
With the panels arriving just recently, I’m hoping to go through the four layers of gesso speedily so that I will have everything ready in time to begin the project. Wish me luck!
Recently I heard about a group of artists out of southern California that paint for 30 days straight during the month of September, with the hopes of making 30 paintings during that time. This struck me as such a fresh new way to approach working in the studio, and so I thought this September I will give it a try. My goal is to make 30 paintings!
Having never worked this quickly in oil before (with my faboo day job it is likely these will be two-hour paintings) I’m curious to see the results and expect my faculties to be pushed to the limit. You never know what will happen, but I’m willing to try something new and fail miserably the first time around. That’s part of the fun!
My new works will be on square panels ranging from 6x6” to 12x12” with a loose theme of “good luck charms.” "Delightful" facial expressions and a variety of little fem trinkets are to adorn these small works. These paintings will wish you good luck as you pass them by, with knowing looks from famous ladies we know and love. More on this to come later, I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
Join me on this month-long adventure either by following along on here on my blog, and Instagram. Members of GOODIE GUMDROPS (my brand new newsletter) enjoy a discount on these 30 in 30 paintings during the month of September in addition to other updates and freebies. Of course you can always join in and pick up a brush to paint for 30 days too!
Ingrid Victoria Wells lives and works in San Francisco. Her studio practice centers around oil painting.