Wednesday, 8 March 2023

100+ Small Paintings Challenge – Another Update

Back in January 2020 I decided to set myself a challenge of seeing how many small oil paintings I could produce in a 12 month period. By the end of the challenge I’d created just over 100 paintings (initially I thought about aiming for 1000 paintings but I soon realised that this wouldn’t leave me time for any other art projects, and might send me potty).

'Explosive Entropy', 2020, oil on board, Wayne Chisnall

Not wishing to overload my blog with photos of works from just this one project I decided to post about it in small chunks, over several posts. So far I’ve posted around 60 of them. And here’s a few more, from number 61 onwards.

'Hooded Hollow Dog With Hunting Hound', 2020, oil on board, Wayne Chisnall

My initial thoughts behind the project were that I'd knock out a load of quick oil sketches as a way or generating a few new ideas and trying out different painting techniques. Although some of them did end up being more considered and time consuming, most of them were quite spontaneous and painted relatively quickly.


'Death Loiters', 2020, oil on board, Wayne Chisnall

There is something quite liberating about just painting with little or no forethought. Obviously, much of the work wasn’t of any great insight or of the best standard (as I’m sure that you can tell from some of the weaker pieces), with many of them being little more than oil doodles or silly cartoon characters. But I did find that working at this fast and less self-conscious pace threw up a few gems; some that I felt could stand their ground as finished pieces and others that generated ideas for further works. When all is going well there’s something quite Zen about making art. In the right state of mind everything flows perfectly, but becoming aware that you’re in that state invariably pulls you out of it. Looking back at the pieces from this self-imposed painting challenge I can see the ones where I was in the zone, and ones where I wasn’t or where I was flagging.

'Hooded Hollow Dog Warrior II', 2020, oil on board, Wayne Chisnall

Apart from two or three, all of the paintings in this 2020 series are painted directly to the painting's surface with brush and oil paint, rather than being pencilled in beforehand. I really like the immediacy of this approach. You can often end up with a piece that has a vibrancy that you might not have got if you were being more considered and calculated.

'Stripy Striding', 2020, oil on board, Wayne Chisnall

The mini oil paintings/oil sketches that I produced during this project are mostly painted on small, wall mountable, plywood or chipboard plaques (recycled form pieces of  Victoria and Albert Museum packing crates), or on old book covers and recycled pieces of primed mount board (recycled from the V&A museum's Paper Conservation Department and from their Picture Framing Dept.).

No comments: