Artists Benefit From Online Community

The Best Of 30 Squared (daily painters)

Surprisingly, the best of new things are often born out of the worst of times. Art is no exception. Last winter was brutal, with snow covering our landscape for months. But, like a ray of sunshine, a team of local artists joined creative forces making excellent use of those indoor studio days. To do it, they joined-up in a challenge to paint 30 paintings in 30 days, and named their motivational adventure 30 Squared. Each brought their own rationale to the game, from trying new painting surfaces, different subjects, to making art a higher priority, to just boosting their creative force. They didn’t even all know each other when they started out.

Plugging into an online community, this group of 28 artists pushed themselves to paint daily, and then they shared pictures, struggles, feedback and observations each evening. Painting in an art studio at home can be a lonely affair- artists know this and it’s often a good thing. Spirits were boosted and this new camaraderie in the bleak days of winter produced a variety of personal and artistic benefits.

30 Squared challenge was the brainchild of local painter, Aubrey Grainger. She says, “Many of us paint outside and we really couldn’t this winter because it was such  a challenge weather wise. Instead we painted in our studios and set up flowers, pitchers, bottles, fruit or anything else that could keep us producing.”

Oil painter Pam Thomson was surprised. “It was a discipline that pushed me into painting every day, which is something I haven’t done in years. I hardly cooked or cleaned for a month, which wasn’t the best thing but perhaps I am more appreciated now! I was so happy to have support and feedback from a whole group of people. Painting is a very solitary pursuit, and to not be alone for that month was wonderful. And perhaps next January we can do it again. Excellent company!”

Lynn Matsuoka, artist, observed, “This was a perfect challenge to become more focused on working daily. It helped me work with a more targeted goal, and with more of a dedication to getting into the studio despite other distractions. “The valuable  and encouraging observation of the other artists, and just having a ready and interested audience out there who gave the new work a minute of attention!”

It did become the perfect marriage of art and technology. A first chance to see some of this art: BEST OF 30 SQUARED opens June 18th at the Gallery at Water Mill Museum. On through July 12th. Many of painters will have numerous works on the walls stemming from this creative and motivated time. Send me your questions and feedback by clicking on ‘contact’ up top…