Monday, January 1, 2018

Daily art for 2018

I've been doing daily art for almost 20 years, in which I determine a rule at the beginning of the year and then follow it every day.  In the past I've made quilt squares, sent postcards, taken photographs, made collages, done drawings and hand-stitching.  In all of these projects the rules have determined the format of the daily work -- all the quilt blocks would be five inches square, the drawings would go sequentially into sketchbooks, the photos would be posted to my blog. The format was set, but the subject matter was totally open.  That approach made it easy to keep track of the work, and made it easier to get started every day, because I knew pretty much what the finished product was going to look like.

But this year I decided to try a new approach, and choose a theme rather than a format.  In effect, it's the traditional rule turned inside out.  Every day's artwork must involve a map, but any format or medium is OK.

When I started thinking about my next daily art project, in October and November, I was a bit apprehensive about this approach.  Was it too loosely defined?  Would I be afraid to work without the net of the strict format?  Fortunately, the minute I heard myself think that last question, I realized that was the dumbest thing I had thought in a long time.  If at this point in my artistic career I couldn't work without a net, I didn't deserve to call myself an artist.

As I was contemplating, I thought of many different ways that I might choose to do a map a day.  I would probably want more than one sketchbook, one for each size and theme.  And I would absolutely require a master book in which to record what I did each day.  But having been away from home for 10 days over the holiday, and sick for a week before that, I have not yet been to the art store to get the requisite books.

When we returned from our vacation on New Year's Eve, I found a package on the front porch: a calendar from my friend Rosemary Claus-Gray.  Illustrated with pictures of her art, it's intended as a permanent notebook of birthdays and anniversaries, but the second I opened it I realized it would be the perfect master list for my daily art.  Clearly the universe is smiling on this project.

On Day 1 I worked on a collage/assemblage piece that's covered in a map, and here it is recorded in the master book.

You can look at the last eight years of my daily art on my daily art blog HERE, and I'll be posting the daily map work too, every week or so.


  1. Looking forward to this series!

  2. I’m looking forward to it too. Maps are so fun to work with, so evocative. Also love the idea of challenging yourself to work without a net.