Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Daily Painting by Carol Marine

The concept is simple. Live what you love every single day. Artist Carol Marine loved to paint. She loved it so much that she started to find distractions so she didn't have to do it. Any creative person has been there. You work hard on a project, give it your all, and then...nothing. No huge sales, no big break. It's just you and your piece of art. Now, what?

Carol had done big gallery shows, created beautiful pieces of art, sold a few here and there, but never really was able to create a living by it. She became the infamous starving artist. She sought out advice from well-known artists and over and over again, she was whispered the same thing: do some art every single day.


You mean I have to sit down and actually create something? Haven't I already done that?

It can be discouraging to be an artist and find yourself with a trunk full of creative endeavors and no where for them to go. Sometimes, you don't want them to leave. Sometimes, you can't have them leave by way of the garbage fast enough. It's a passion-pursuit, artistry, no matter if the medium is oil, acrylic, or words. Writers face the same dilemma.

Carnival by Carmen Beecher, 8x10, pen and ink on paper, 2013

But, as it has always been said: we do what we do because we love it...and for no other reason.

This doesn't mean we don't want to eat.

We do.

We really do.

But, again, we have to face why we offer what we offer. For the love of creation and to see what we can come up with. It's just pure fun. Doesn't mean there isn't hard work associated with it, but why not love the work you do?

That's where Carol's book takes us through the twists and turns of a career as an artist. This book is a treasure trove of interesting things. Not only does it go through the basics of painting (materials, value, composition, color mixing), but the artist-author shares her secrets to becoming a successful artist.

She and her programmer husband created an unique website,, where non-juried artists (read: you don't have to prove your talent or be selected by a committee) post their daily works. Whatever you create can become part of an auction, an online sale or something to just admire. And because the pieces tend to be small (that's how you get one piece of work done every day or as often as you can), they tend to be less expensive, overcoming one of the most common hurdles to artistry. Big, beautiful paintings are wonderful, but not everyone can afford $10,000 for one piece of art.

Carol tried to keep painting as she had before - big art pieces. But she found herself frustrated, even painting every day. She would spend weeks on something and then just wipe the slate clean if she wasn't happy.

All artists and authors understand this.

But, with a small project - a 6x6 canvas - you can play with lots of different mediums, textures, concepts, what-have-you and no matter how it comes out, tomorrow is literally a new day.

Dragon Cat by Diane Hoeptner, 10x10, oil on wood, 2013

This book is brilliant. It showcases Carol's talent, as well as a myriad of others, and shows you the nuts and bolts of being an artist. The final chapters shed light on how to sell your art online, where to go, and how to stage it for photographs. It's a small, concise book that packs a punch. Well worth every penny (if I had paid for it - and I would have, twice over).

*This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. I honestly really liked it.