No Mail Today – Karen Winters Daily Painting

No Mail Today – 8 x 6.25 – watercolor sketch

I painted this little vignette this morning as a way to get some art practice no matter what the rest of the day would include (chores, an art association meeting and demo, car-shopping, housework, etc.) I’m very disciplined about making sure that I paint daily – and now I know why. At yesterday’s Watercolor West demo featuring Elaine Harvey (watercolorist) she said it’s essential to practice frequently because painting is not just an intellectual activity – it’s a physical activity. If you don’t paint for awhile she says, you lose some of your dexterity in brush handling, color mixing, just the way you move your hand and move paint around. I hadn’t really looked at it that way but I can see the wisdom in it and will continue making time for at least one painting or sketch a day – more if I can afford the time.

This little sketch is a bit of a fantasy based on a little picture I took last summer of a country road. It looks nothing like this in real life but it does capture a little bit of a peaceful, cheerful country feel, in a completely romanticized way. Every now and then it’s sort of fun to escape from the mud and muck of reality. Like, during the US election season, you know?


  1. Katherine
    January 14, 2008


    I absolutely agree about the practice. Whenever I’ve had to have a break from drawing I find I’ve lost flexibility and dexterity when I start up again. I guess if I tried painting every day I could one day learn to love brushes again! ;)

  2. wendy
    January 14, 2008

    Paint every day! What dedication. Yes, you are right, and blogging for me makes me get up and go – but not every day! Piano playing is the same. At one stage in my life I had no piano – for a few years and I had to catch up eventually. Writing is the same too. Dlon’t put it off for another day.

  3. Shea
    January 14, 2008

    I love it. It’s so free.

  4. Rhonda
    January 15, 2008

    I never thought about painting being a physical discipline but it makes sense. I like your dedication to paint every day, too. I’m enjoying your oils and your watercolors.

  5. n.b.
    January 16, 2008

    Charming! And yeah, I know what you mean about wanting a little escape……

  6. Joanie
    January 22, 2008

    Wow, Karen….this is a lovely and charming painting. Love how you name your pieces, too….The colors are vibrant and the whole composition so inviting.

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