Nick Jainschigg is a teacher, painter, and illustrator.
These pieces are the products of an ongoing exercise in oil painting. In 2004, after an extended period of working digitally, I decided to get back to painting with traditional media. The idea was slightly nerve-wracking, despite the fact that I'd been a professional painter and illustrator for almost two decades (but understandable, since I also wanted to break away from the highly detailed, ultra-realist techniques that had characterized my work as a book-cover illustrator). So, acting on a suggestion from my friend Rick Sardinha, I decided to do a timed painting a day, and set myself some strict rules:
They are executed on 8 X 10 inch or 9 X 12 inch canvas-board or masonite. I chose to set my timer to a half hour, since I can almost always find a half hour somewhere in my day to paint, and it would force me to concentrate on big shapes and not detail.
They are executed in precisely 30 minutes from when the paint is squeezed out to putting the brush down, measured by kitchen timer. When it goes off, I can use up what’s on the brush. No cheating—no overpaints or corrections after that period, even if just a little more would make it a finished piece.
Any subject matter is allowed, but will often be of objects from around my studio or from photographs.
Although one a day, every day, is the goal, vacation breaks will be allowed, but a number of pieces must be either executed in advance or afterward so that 365 days = 365 paintings.
I also decided to post them on the Web so my friends could check on my progress and give me a slap on the wrist me if I slacked off. The idea worked, and I stuck to it. The first piece was posted on August 23, 2004.
A Bit of History
This project was conceived for my first sabbatical at RISD. I so much enjoyed doing these painting and learned so much from them that I decided that I would continue them as part of my daily routine. Over time, I settled on a standard palette of five colors (ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow medium hue, cadmium red medium hue, and permanent green) plus white, known as the Stobart palette, after the marine painter, John Stobart, who uses it a lot. It's very versatile, and forces you to think on your feet about color relationships.
As might be expected, rule 4 was impossible to keep. In summer of 2005, due to some long-overdue home renovations, my studio was off-limits to me for some months, causing me withdrawal symptoms and a break in continuity here at painting-a-day. For while I played catch-up with posting and getting back into the rhythm of daily painting. Then, in 20XX, the software I used for posting the work was discontinued, and the only alternatives were so cumbersome that posting became impossible if I wanted to keep my day job, and the project collapsed.
I am happy to be able to resume it.
These paintings are often as much exercises in thought (mostly about painting) as they are about the painting itself. When you click on a thumbnail to bring up the image, you can then roll the pointer over the image for a description of the subject, the challenges or techniques of the piece, or totally random observations of the day. NOTE: I’m currently porting the old website content into the new site, and the text accompaniment has to be done manually, so it will be a while before all the images are reunited with their diary entries.
In early 2006, Domino magazine was kind enough (prescient enough?) to do an article on "Painting-A-Day" blogs, and to include me in it. I hadn't realized that's what I'd been doing, but it seems as good a description as any for this. Anyhow, the response to the article was a little overwhelming and very gratifying. Later that year, the New York Times also ran a piece on the idea. I suddenly had to take into account that people might want to purchase these paintings, rather than just address myself to a small (I thought) audience of friends and occasional visitors.
If you're interested in purchasing a painting, just send me an e-mail and tell me what day number you're interested in. The day number will be in your browser title bar when you have the image on your screen. The paintings that are no longer available for purchase will have a small red triangle on the lower right corner of the thumbnail. I will then set the painting aside, mark it as sold, and tell you where to send the check. I'm selling them on a "first-come, first served" basis so as to be as fair as possible, so there is always a slight chance that a painting has been sold and I haven't been able to change its thumbnail. If there's any problem, I'll let you know immediately.
NOTE: I haven’t yet devised a system for tagging these as “Sold” on the new website, but feel free to inquire. I'll be continuing the project for the foreseeable future, so if a piece you want has been sold, I think you could safely anticipate that I'll come 'round to the subject again. I want to keep it interesting though, so no guarantees that I'll handle it the same way every time, but that should be part of the fun for you as well as me.
Thanks for looking in!
They are all $125. I can't figure out a price for each one individually: I'd waffle around based on how much I like it or not (which isn't really the point, is it?), or what level my mood-o-meter was at that day. So for fairness, rationality, and ease of accounting, I've decided to set a flat price. That would include "shipping and handling" (I find that phrase disturbing). It's probably best to consider anything in a page I've labeled "Archive" as sold, since they've been out there a while and pretty thoroughly picked over. The newer stuff I'll be putting up will try to incorporate some sort of "Sold" or "Available" notification, though.
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