The Daily Artists: Reflecting on Moving into Our 5th Year
It all began with a simple request from a good painting friend of mine, who asked me one day in the fall of 2013, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a daily painting group at ArtisTree? Like the ones they have on-line, but this one would be a real life community of painters.” Within a couple of months this seed had been planted in my mind and at ArtisTree, and began its humble beginning as The ArtisTree Daily Painters in January of 2014. The group begin with 20 people, who were all committed to making a completed painting each day for 365 days, and posting each painting to our group Flickr page to share with others in the group. Quickly though I realized I had misnamed the group, as photographers, jewelers and artists working in all different mediums began to reach out ask me if they could join the group, and of course I allowed them to join in. We wrapped up our year with our first of many culminating exhibits in the gallery to highlight each artists progress over the year-long commitment.
In 2015, in our 2nd year, I changed the name to The ArtisTree Daily Artists to include artists of all types and our group expanded to over 30 participants. This year participants only had to work creatively every day for 11 months of the year, and had to pick one month to create a completed piece of artwork each day. Additionally, we began to gather for Art Shares every six weeks, where three artists from the group would share their work and talk about their creative history and process. Instantly the Art Shares became an inspirational hit to the group, and a source of connection for the participants to have an intimate look into other artist’s creative life.
In our 3rd year, 2016, the word continued to spread and I had 45 participating artists. For the first time I had musicians and performers asking to join the group, so we expanded the group yet again to the include artists of all mediums. The handful of musicians would record and post songs or numbers to Flickr, and the performers would photograph or film their performances and post online. The group was again expanding, becoming more inclusive and our group was growing in its scope of artists and diversity.
In 2017, we entered our 4th year and the group stayed steady at roughly 45 participants. This past year was marked by a deepening group of committed daily artists, many whom had been establishing this daily discipline for 2-3 year at this point. In our culminating exhibit which is up currently in the gallery and runs from January 19th-February 3rd, I was in awe of how much progress many of the artists have made over these past years. I had one participant say how she truly now feels confident in calling herself an artist. Other participants reflected on how they are able to play and take their work lightly through the smaller steps of a daily practice versus the daunting expectation of painting a Picasso after a few months away from the easel. I hear this time and time again, there is an ease and a determination that comes when we approach our creative endeavors with a sense of play, curiosity and integrate it as a daily part of our experience.
As we move into our 5th year in 2018, my intention for this group is to use the daily art practice, in the same way we would for drinking enough water or eating a balanced diet each day. It nourishes our body, mind and spirit when we show up for our creative selves. I am truly privileged to be able to facilitate and hold the space for the ArtisTree Daily Artists to grow and unfold these past four years, and a look forward to many more years to come. If you are interested in joining the group (begins February 1st 2018) or learning more then click here.
Blog contributed by Jacqueline Overstreet