ENCINITAS — A little idea that sprung from the mind of artist Carol Mayne has proven to be a big win for local artists, small businesses, charities and the public.
Mayne launched the Daily Painters Project a year ago, a group effort among eight artists to produce one painting a day.
The results of the challenge titled Eight Artists, One Year, can be viewed at the Encinitas Civic Center Gallery through March 7. A Talk with the Artists reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 8.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I could paint every day and doing small paintings made that possible,” Mayne said. “Working on big paintings each day doesn’t give you the same sense of completion.”
Mayne opened up the project to other established artists as well as her students, who shared the goal of producing a small (6-inch-by-6-inch or 8-inch-by-8-inch) painting each day.
“A lot of women had been painting with me for more than 10 years and really needed to take this quantum leap to share work with the public,” she said.
Mayne said her daughter, graphic designer Chelsea Mayne Main, told her, “If you want to do this, why not come up with appropriate themes for local businesses and take your idea to them? Then people will say, ‘What are these women going to do next?’”
Mayne took her advice, and with her fellow artists, agreed on a common theme relevant to the specific business hosting what would become known as Gallery-on-the-Go.
They worked the theme into paintings they produced each day for three weeks. They also blogged about the experience on their website, dailypaintersproject.com.
On the fourth week, they set up a portable gallery at the host business where shoppers and art lovers enjoyed discounts on products or services and purchased affordable art.
Themes included: Shades of Blues at Sbicca Restaurant and Grill; Gardens and Gnomes at the Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour; Let Them Eat Cake at Detour Salon; Five Course Love at North Coast Repertory Theatre; Taste of Encinitas at Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association; From There and Back at Nativa Furniture Store; and Savor the Flavor at Baker and Olive.
“The artists painted Italian and French landscapes, and still life paintings like a bowl with pears,” said Marion Johnson, owner of Baker & Olive, a gourmet food store. “We set out food and customers looked at the paintings and talked to artists. It was a great mix of people.”
She added, “At the time we had barely been open six months, so a lot of people hadn’t had a chance to visit yet. The painters brought their clients in, and they’ve become loyal customers.”
Jared Harms is a partner with Kirk Bell in Detour Salon. The theme for the evening there was a tribute to Marie Antoinette titled Let There Be Cake.
“We really had a lot of fun with it,” Harms said. “It was an opportunity to meet new people, and challenge our hairdressers to think outside of the box and translate the hairdo worn by Marie Antoinette into hairstyles and makeup of today.”
Although it was a lot of work for everyone, it hasn’t deterred the group from doing it again this year.
“When you paint, you’re by yourself,” said Darlene Katz. “Exhibiting with other people is fantastic because it really puts you out there.”
“It’s the camaraderie and opportunity for those of us who hadn’t displayed our art before to do so,” added Linda Volz.
“We are not selling a lot these days, but these things sell,” Mary Ann Nilsson Bloom said.
“Art is priced between $100 and $200, making it more accessible to everyone,” Betsy Blodgett added.
In addition, about $500 was raised for charities including Feeding the Soul Foundation, Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour Fund, Rancho Coastal Humane Society and Arts Bus Express.
The first Gallery-on-the-Go event for 2012 will be at the home of Cris Weatherby, one of the eight artists, as part of the San Dieguito Art Guilds’ Annual Mothers Day Garden and Art Tour. Tickets are available at offtrackgallery.com.
Businesses interested in hosting Gallery on the Go! should contact Mayne at (760) 822-7384.
For information about purchasing a painting at the Encinitas Civic Center Gallery, contact the artist directly via the group’s website DailyPaintersProject.com.