New Paintings

[To see my Paintings for Sale - click here].

100 Paintings 1 Day

UPDATE: The Aftermath
The event is over. None of the paintings will be sold without checking with their respective photo owners first. You can now see all the paintings and the story of their creation

The Idea
To do 100 paintings in 24 hours, each painting based on a photograph supplied by 1 of 100 people on twitter during the 24 hours

In a 24-hour period tweet @eolai and/or with hashtag #100paintings1day a photo of yours and I’ll try and do a painting based on it in about 10 minutes. I’m aiming to do this for 100 people.

I like seeing what can come out of such challenges, of what they spark in me creatively. With having so little time for a painting I’ll be forced to make decisions very fast. I’m interested in what those decisions will be - over and over again. And I expect it to be fun.

The 24-hour period I’ve chosen is from 6 p.m. on Friday, November 15 until 6 p.m. Saturday, November 16, 2013 (10am PST Nov 15 - 10am PST Nov 16)

Is 100 paintings in 1 day even possible?
I’ve no idea. Most likely not, I imagine, but I want to find out. I do know that I see no point in attempting something I am certain I can do.

Can I watch it?
I hope that some bits of the 24 hours can be captured on video and streamed live, possibly via a Google Hangout-on-Air and/or JustinTV, but there should at least be a few Vines and the like, as well as a solid stream of photos.

How will you chose the 100 photos?
The ideal plan is to paint them as they are tweeted to me. It’s likely I’ll do them out of order if I think in the moment that it facilitates overall speed.

Can I send you lots of photos?
I’d like people to only supply one photo so as to allow the maximum number of people to participate.

Can I send you a photo before the 24 hours start?
I only want photos sent to me during the 24 hours of the event - because if I see a photo before the event begins then I’ll be painting it in my head and not truly doing the whole thing in only 24 hours.

Can I send you any photo?
Given that I’m going to produce a work based on the photos I’d like the photo you send to be a photo of yours i.e. one that you own copyright to and are happy for me to create a work based on it. It’s cleaner if I do this rather than risk infringing a 3rd party photographer’s rights by copying their composition or image.

You’ll retain copyright of your photo, and I’ll own copyright of whatever work I create.

Can I send you a photo by Facebook, Email, Google+, ADN, etc.?
I’ll only be using Twitter for this project because there won’t be time to check submissions by multiple channels. Also, the project is designed to take place in the open so that everybody can see as much of the process as possible. Using twitter facilitates this best. (see comments for more)

Can I point you at a photo?
If you do I probably won’t see it as I plan to just have twitter open. It’s all going to be rather frantic - at least in my head. So I’d like every submitted photo to be sitting in my stream or the stream with the hashtag. If I spend a minute following a link to get to a photo then a ten-minute painting becomes an eleven-minute painting. If this happens 10 times then I’m down a whole painting.

What if enough people don’t send you photos?
Then to make up the shortfall I’ll come up with some formula to randomly choose from my own photos.

What if too many people send you photos?
Then I’ll try and go with first-sent first-painted, but if the day gets that busy - online as well as offline - it’s possible I’ll grab them from my twitter stream almost randomly at times, or as suits the eye or the moment.

How long will you spend on each painting?
Well if I sleep, or otherwise don’t paint, for 4 of the 24 hours it will give me 12 minutes per painting, so in the region of 10-15 minutes is the target but there will also be minutes spent on taking photos and tweeting them.

What kind of paintings will you do?
Ones that don’t take very long. I’ll let the photos that people supply dictate the subject. They can be indoor or outdoor, landscapes or streetscapes, trees or flowers, people’s faces or full figures, pets or other animals, anything at all. Ordinarily I mostly paint streetscapes and landscapes (and birds on wires!). My guess is that photos of buildings will yield the best results, but maybe faces will. While I don’t paint people’s faces very often I do draw them all the time. However please be aware that a realistic portrait of your child in a few minutes is not likely.

What will a painting done in 10 minutes look like?
I don’t know. I’m guessing some will be very painterly, expressive even, or gestural, while others might be very simple compositions of shape, and others again might be somewhat abstracted or even decorative.

What size paintings will you do?
The materials I have in the studio will dictate sizes, but I expect a variety of sizes with the smallest being approximately 23cm x 18cm (9in x 7in) on mat board, and the largest being 60cm x 40cm (24in x 16in) on paper.

Will the paintings be for sale?
My focus is on doing the thing, getting the paintings done, seeing what is possible, and what comes out of it creatively. Money is not the object. That said, if I think any of the paintings are of a good enough quality I will offer them for sale - for €25 to the person who supplied the photo the painting is based on, and for €35 to anybody else. I will not be surprised if very few, or indeed none, of the paintings are good enough to offer for sale.

Will you expect me to buy a painting if I submit a photo?
Absolutely not. I see the whole thing as a kind of collaboration where people prompt me to paint - that’s what I want. If there’s anything remotely sellable at the end of it all then I will try and sell some things but that’s not a motivation or an expectation.

Is it for charity?
No. For two reasons. One, I don’t want the pressure of the paintings having to be of a quality fit to make money for a charity; I want to freely risk them being rubbish. Two, painting is what I do for a living but that living is a paltry one where I earn little more than the rent on the studio. If even. So, from my painting I earn only the ability to paint. Others feed me. I’m currently working on 2 paintings for charity, but this event will have nothing to do with charity. If it makes any money - I could use it.

Can I help?
Not in the studio - I’m sorted there, thanks. The actual painting will be fast and intense so I’ll be keeping distractions to a minimum to give the whole thing every chance. You can help by supplying a photo - especially in the early stages of the event to get it rolling - and by telling others about it.

Isn’t this just silly? I mean, even if you get 100 paintings done, won’t they be so rushed, so bad, as to render the whole thing as pointless?
You’re probably right.

How long do you normally take to do a painting?
Most of my paintings are on the go for months. Some of them have been on the go for years. In 2011 I did a painting tour of Ireland where dozens of paintings were done in 1 or 2 days each. But then I also started some others on that tour of which I’m still working on over 2 years later. Here are some examples of time elapsed to do paintings:

I’ve been thinking about this for 2 years. Last year it was postponed due to problems accessing my former studio.. I’m now settled in my new studio, and last week finally got glasses so I can return to painting at night. The event may well flop, but I think it’s worth a go.

Why don’t you do xyz or abc?
I don’t want to. Even if it’s a better idea.

So you’ll be flooding my timeline for 24 hours?
#100paintings1day - I’ll try to include this hashtag on all related tweets so you can follow or filter out as you prefer, but I’ll probably forget a few times. Also, I’m hoping to be painting most of the time so you will be spared for chunks of time.


  1. martha says:

    What a cool project! Only, I don’t know how to tweet a photo, can I send an email?

  2. E gan F says:

    Hi Martha. Thanks. Sorry, but I’ll only be using twitter for the source photos. There’s 2 reasons for this.

    One is that I want the entire project to only take place within the 24 hours and given what I’m attempting to do in those 24 hours there simply won’t be time to check more than one channel of communication. That’s why I’m not taking photos by email, text, Facebook, Google+, or other social media - there just won’t be the minutes needed to check those channels. Any minutes not painting or pulling photos from twitter will be spent on posting photos of completed works on twitter and indeed for toilet breaks.

    The other reason is that the whole project is a public one, and doing it through twitter means that everything happens in the open in one place. So when someone tweets a photo for me to use everybody is able to see that photo without me having to do anything.

    There really isn’t too much difficulty in sending an image via twitter - once someone has an account (which takes seconds to create) - they click the compose a tweet button and there’s a camera icon which when clicked prompts the selecting of a photo.

  3. Laura says:

    Is it ok if I send you a tweet with an external link to a blog? I have a photo that is not on my phone, but I can put it on the blog and you should be able to see it just fine on the phone.

  4. martha says:

    Thanks! I’ll try to figure it out, and will be looking out for a possible live stream.

  5. E gan F says:

    @Laura - I’d prefer not - because while I’m sure it would only take a second or so to click out of twitter and onto a blog, I’d be afraid of lots of people doing something similar and directing me at images rather than supplying them in the twitter timeline, which could get confusing and time-consuming.

    If you can put the photo on a blog you should be able to put it into a tweet no problem - from whatever device the photo is on?

    At my end I’ll be looking at probably on desktop, laptop, and/or my tablet.

  6. Wine Harlots says:

    Would that be UTC-8 for the Untied States Pacific time zone?



  7. E gan F says:

    @ Nannette - yes, UTC-8 for US Pacific. I’m out of practice of talking American time zones.

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