A day in the life of an artist: Week 6

Nov 12, 2022

Welcome to my new weekly blog posts documenting my first 100 days of being a full time artist. I am running a daily diary on my instagram stories and this weekly blog post of what I've been up to, what have been the challenges, the surprises, what I've learned / discovered etc.

This is my sixth week and I have fully immersed myself into painting a collection for an exhibition early next year.


So what's happened?

So as soon as we were back from our holiday in Scotland it was straight into painting for my solo exhibition with Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick. Having done some planning whilst on holiday I was determined to get stuck in especially as I knew I had a full 5 days of painting without any interruptions.

This week I set myself a goal of painting three 60 x 60 paintings and although these are still a work in progress I am pleased with how they work together. Next week I will be scaling up slightly... I'm seeing next week's paintings as a warm up to the mahoosive painting I am planning on tacking the following week. I have a big old 90 x 120 cm board waiting for me and boy half the problem with these bigger ones is the weight of them! Gonna have some big guns by the time I'm finished with this collection!!


Paula Dunn Artist work in progress 


Paula Dunn Artist work in progress


Paula Dunn Artist work in progress


Back to walking to the studio and I've realised that we have been so lucky with the weather as each of the photos of the woods over the last 6 weeks have had beautiful bright days which gloriously show off the autumnal colours. It is so warm though. How crazy is that? Still no winter coat, just boots getting muddier and muddier. I wonder whether we will get any snow this year?

I've had a quick look at the photos of the woods over the last 6 weeks and I can see the very slight changes. 


Paula Dunn Artist in Hirst Woods


The challenges

Some of you may have been following me when I was doing the 100 day project back in 2021. I know a lot of you were really intrigued by the spreadsheet I'd created for keeping track of the various stages the paintings were at. When you have 100 paintings all of which need mounting, signing, varnishing, photographing... well you get the idea.

I'm not quite at that stage of creating a spreadsheet but when I am putting a collection together I do grab myself a scrap of newsprint and draw-up a grid so I can easily see where each painting is at. Helps in terms of keeping on track, especially when you have deadlines and you need to make sure you prioritise those jobs that are going to need more time but it's also as satisfying as ticking off a to do list. When you have big projects and lots of work it can be quite overwhelming so having this little grid helps me see that I am moving (albeit slowly) towards the end goal.


Painting production line with Paula Dunn Artist


What I've discovered

Well it's a bit weird but because I have so much work on the go I am starting to wonder whether my studio is big enough. Yeah I know... just going to leave this here and ponder on this one for a while!


Paula Dunn Artist work in progress


What next?

Next week I will be continuing my painting marathon for my exhibition with the Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick, visiting a new gallery in York and prepping for my open studio early next month. 

Check out my daily posts on my instagram stories for some sneak peeks.

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