Who is a Daily Artist?

What it means to be a "Daily Artist"

     Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." When Fiona Davis, our director of ceramics, told me of this quote, I slapped my forehead and said, "That's what Daily Artists is all about!!"  A Daily Artist make a commitment to themself to simply show up every day, maybe for only 15 minutes, to focus on their artwork, to learn, to practice, to be creative. 15 minutes might become 15 hours, when the inspiration finds you! 

     The "Daily Painters" group at Artistree was started by J.J.Overstreet 10 or so years ago, partly based upon some ideas from "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. Cameron suggests a daily "automatic writing" exercise, to clear the mind of worries and distractions and open up to the flow of creativity.  Many Daily Artists choose a similar discipline - a quick watercolor or drawing/day, a photograph of the same spot, a pinch pot (one of my favorites was a fiber artist who knit two rows every day "in the color of the sky") - nothing necessarily leading to a "finished" piece, more like artists' exercise! 

     The way you structure your Daily Artist practice is entirely up to you. I use what I call my "studio journal", which I write in my studio for at least 15 minutes each day. (*full disclosure - doesn't happen every single day). I write and sketch ideas, mostly, and then I can go back and flesh out the good ideas when I have more studio time. And if I have nothing to write or sketch that day, I'll clean my studio or source materials. Often, next thing I know, I've been at work for 4 hours and I've made several pieces.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

      The Daily Artists group meets about 12 times/year, as a way to connect with the other artists who have also made this daily goal and commitment to their work. We share our work, our ideas, our techniques, our successes & frustrations, in a welcoming and supportive environment. The group welcomes all, whether you've been a working artist for years or are taking your first art class.

      There's only a couple of rules - Never allow the thought or say the words, "I'm not a real artist." (Everyone is an artist, if they just give themself the space and time to be creative!) Don't say anything like, "I'm not good enough to be a Daily Artist." (Can you make marks on paper? You're good enough and will make tremendous progress by working every day!) Never say, "This is a stupid question, but how do you...?" You'd be amazed how many times one of the artists sharing their work will reveal a trick of the trade that you never even considered.

     Sometimes, we get into deep aesthetics discussions; other times, we'll share books we've read, or report on an exhibit we saw in the city. Sometimes we'll go on a studio visit and get to play with a medium we might not otherwise have the chance to try. Often, our meetings are potlucks, and we get some delicious nibbles to enjoy while we learn something new. Always, there's something to inspire and encourage you in your creative endeavors!

- Deborah Goodwin, Artistree Exhibits Coordinator

The Daily Artists of 2022 exhibit ran Jan. 13 - Feb. 11, 2023.

Join the Daily Artists 2024! 

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Unsure? You can come to our kick-off meeting to learn more about the program.

February 3, 2024 3-5 pm in the Gallery.