The Painting-a-Day Phenomenon

Broken Egg, Duane Keiser

DAILY MUSE | Since I posted yesterday The Daily Paintings of Jeff Hayes, I’ve done a little more research regarding the Painting-a-Day phenomenon. I’ve found that it’s a distinctly new and different internet art trend which began a few years ago. It unites an artist’s practice of daily work (nothing new in and of itself) with the combined technologies of online auctions and blogging. If done consistently and succesfully it allows artists a steady stream of income by generating a consistent stream of small works. Daily blogging provides a framework for self-promotion. Then the online auction technology takes care of the sales.

I personally find this to be a significant development. A few years ago I was primarily doing art. I’d found eBay, which at the time seemed to be a significant place for unknown artists to generate a steady stream of income, as long as they were consistently producing small scale works. Artists were becoming known within eBay (and some beyond) and working their way up in popularity, sales and price over time. All with a little bit of patience, dedication and of-course talent.

Unfortunately, just as I’d bought into the eBay thing and geared towards that end, eBay made a significant change in how they listed and displayed their auctions. Previously a basic auction fee would allow one to have some face time on the ‘newly listed’ and ‘ending soonest’ pages. This was the key for the unknown artist’s success on eBay. But that mechanism just disappeared one day. Suddenly, eBay’s default pages displayed 14, 16, sometimes over 20 pages of Featured Plus Auctions (with their $20 listing fees) in front of all the regular auctions. Now other auction categories did not have a problem with this, as FP listings in other categories were not that popular. However in the Self-Representing Artists category– the most important eBay arts category– FP listings were quite popular. Irony of ironies the FP listings were mainly being used mostly by previously unknown artists who had made it up through the eBay ranks in the way I described above.

After the change, unknown artists were –poof– gone from view of the significant majority of browsers. Only savvy buyers, who knew the system change, could find unknown ‘discoveries’ anymore. No longer could regular auctions be self promoted simply by having a few hours face time on the ‘new listed’ or ‘ending soon’ pages.

So needless to say, I fell flat on my face with my brilliant eBay-will-save-the-day scenario. Defeated, I saw no way to promote my auctions powerfully anymore without signficant cost or monumental effort beyond my means. I see now, had I seized on simple blogging technology and the paint-a day angle (which I was sort of doing already) I could have gathered more leverage and done better in my artist-as-capitalist desire.

Apparently, the first artist to acheive success with the painting-a-day trend was Duane Keiser, who’s work I show above.

Here are a few links regarding Duane and the Painting-a-Day phenomenon.

Duane Keiser, Painting-a-Day Blog
Duane Keiser on eBay
Videos of Duane painting
USA Today article on Painting-a-Day
Times Dispatch Article on Painting-a-Day

Another Paint-a-Day artist link:
Karin Jurick


5 responses to “The Painting-a-Day Phenomenon

  1. I just bid on his daily painting today. I’m going crazy!

  2. BTW.. I was out bid within a few minutes. It’s up to $305 dollars already with 4 days to go on the auction.

  3. I found some other very good daily artists here:

    Duane seems to have influenced quit a lot of artists. Just doing a search on “painting a day” or “daily paintings” brings up a number of different artists.


  4. I’ve found it difficult to win one of his works on ebay. I guess it’s because what I love others seem to love as well.
    Duane does post the occasional oddment (approx 2.5×3″) on his site as well. And I am not sure if he will restart his found project but that was fun as well.

    Best of luck on your bidding

  5. Hi,

    was interested in trading links. Here is a link to my site if your interested.

    thanks, Jessica

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