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Art 365 by Ellen Cornett

March 23, 2020

I believe that a daily art practice is good for our brains and bodies and souls. For working artists, it helps keep us from getting stuck. If you are drawing every day, your mind is automatically turning to the next thing. And if you’re not a professional artist, there are still abundant benefits to daily art practice. It can still the mind and provide peace and comfort from stress. Or it can provide some excitement in a dull and fallow period. 

Jenna Jablonski Marian Wiseman

Like a snake oil salesman, I have been trying to sell this to my students forever. Approaching what sounds like a banner year, 2020, I thought maybe I could get folks to sign on to a year of daily art-making.

Bettina Aten Colin Finan Dan O'Brien

A life drawing student, Megan McGregor set up a Google group for us, and named it Art 365. Though we are well-aware that this is a leap year with 366 days, we think and hope this might take wings and continue past 2020.

I invited students from The Wednesday Studio—advanced watercolor and pastel students, and the Thursday evening Life Drawing class to participate. Along the way we also picked up a couple other friends, and are now about 25 in number. 

Eileen Leahy Linda Norton Ellen Cornett

The rules are pretty simple. Everyone try for a minimum of 15 minutes of art creation daily. If you fall off the wagon for any reason, dust yourself off, and hop back on when you can. I ask that people share their images to our Google group by email when they are inspired to, and if possible at the beginning of each month for an archive I am building. I want to share the saved images with all of us at the end of the year so we can see how a daily practice has improved our skills, and how seeing the work of our group has inspired us all. 

Tara Hamilton Megan McGregor Lindsay Ballard

With the pandemic shutdown, not only are members sharing their drawings, but also online art resources—links to art-related television shows, and virtual museum tours. And I am seeing (feeling sort of like a minor god here, watching it all unfold in front of me), that students from one class are now commenting on the work of students from the other. They are sharing tips, and after seeing the drawings done in Procreate on the iPad by Jody Pratt from Life Drawing, there is new interest in digital art in The Wednesday Studio. A community is born!

Ari Davis Jody Pratt Liz Carter

I had thought to try to bring the entire group together at the end of the year to meet in person, but now want to move a party to whenever we are out from under the pandemic. I look forward to seeing all these people who I admire and like so much come together to actually, rather than digitally, embrace each other and their shared adventure.

Martin Rundle Stephanie Morse Carolyn Rondthaler Nancy Arbuthnot