"365 Days", 2005
Collection of the Artist
Mixed media on archival museum board, 3" x 3" each
Click on the selected painting for an enlarged view.
Beginning January 1, 2005, I began a 'painting-a-day' project choosing subjects only visible from the vantage point of my front window (or any window available when away). Using small, 3" x 3" acid-free boards and a variety of media (watercolour, acrylic, pen and ink), I dedicated myself for a year to exploring the visual truths that observation releases into art. This commitment proved to be a study in discipline, however the experience was also necessarily imaginative. Seasons changed, plants budded, bloomed, decayed and my insights as a painter awakened through the act of observation. The process also documented some unexpected personal stories in my life. A European vacation, as well as a surprise cancer operation, both provided content for the visual history of my world in Alberta's centennial year.
To create each artwork, I set four rules for myself that were maintained throughout the project. First, the painting needed to be completed before midnight each day. Second, each painting was done from the same front bay window of my home. If I wasn't located at home (travelling etc.) I painted what I saw from the window of the room where I was staying. Rule three: each piece of board had to become a finished product; no throw-aways or start-overs. The last rule was that if I wasn't able, for whatever reason, to complete a painting within the above set of rules, it must stay blank with the reason or excuse printed on the front.
The completed series - 365 Days - exists now as 12 panels (January - December), measuring 30” x 40" where artwork is arranged in columns and rows in the fashion of calendar days. There are only two blank boards: the first, early on when I was overwhelmed by a long work week at the onset of the project, and the second left blank the day my cancer diagnosis was confirmed. I was able to continue creating a painting-a-day throughout my hospital stay and indeed, those are now some of my favourite images. Through this experience, 365 Days became both an observational celebration and a celebration of life.