(This story was first published in the February 20, 2014 edition of the Vermont Standard.)
By Katy Savage, Standard Staff
BROWNSVILLE — Lynne VanNatta paints one painting everyday. Since the start of the year, she’s painted horses, her dog even the trees outside her window.
She paints anything she can think of.
|Lynn VanNatta of Brownsville is creating one painting a day for the rest of the year.
Nancy Nutile-McMenemy Photos
“I feel like I never run out of things to paint,’ she said.
Now, the artist who has been painting all her life, has invited others to make the same commitment she has.
About 30 local artists have signed up to be part of the daily painters group at ArtisTree. The artists post their work online on Flickr and meet monthly to share and discuss their work with other members.
Some are working with oils or watercolors, some do sketches and some are painting the same images over and over again.
“I thought it was important to make art a daily practice in the same way that we do many other things in our life,” said J.J. Overstreet, the operations coordinator at ArtisTree and a daily painter.
Overstreet works full-time, has an internship and is a student. She has a full-time life, but she’s managed to make painting part of her nightly ritual, spending a 45 minutes on a piece before going to bed.
“It’s my time to unwind,’ she said. “It’s a therapeutic process to sit down and have that creative process for myself everyday.”
Overstreet has begun painting a series of clouds — something that she’s struggled with in the past.
“I thought this was a nice opportunity to focus on different types of clouds at different times of day,” she said.
“We exercise and we read and I think art sometimes gets put on the back burner,” Overstreet said of the group. “It’s making it a daily priority and a daily practice and I think it’s a unique opportunity.”
But finding the time to paint everyday isn’t easy.
“I think those days when you’re challenged knowing that 32 other people are doing the exact same thing and have had busy days or maybe might be sick — they are fulfilling their commitment to the club.”
Some have found creative ways to deal with the time commitment.
Liliana Paradiso of Woodstock works with small canvasses that she can paint rapidly.
Being part of the group has widened her artistic ability. She’s experimented more with color and creating work that she wouldn’t otherwise.
“I think I have more patience and I think I know that there’s nothing else I’d rather do,” she said.
Other people who struggle with time alternate between sketches and paintings.
The group forces all artists to paint with regularity.
“I’m trying to be more disciplined,’ VanNatta said.
VanNatta, who also teaches art classes at ArtisTree, thought this would be a good group for the community.
“I wanted to have that feeling of being connected with this group,” she said. “That’s when I thought of the idea.”