During the summer of 2010, I became interested in the works of a number of artists who create a painting every day, and post it on the internet.

Duane Kaiser started the movement, and I had been aware of his efforts for some time. I was very much impressed by his work when I first saw it, and I still am. Over time, I became aware of several others. I found the idea quite interesting, but thought I could never do such a thing.

Then, with the advent of digital photography, I began taking my own photography more seriously, separate from my research for paintings. In an effort to better understand who I was as a photographer, I started posting a photograph every day. I didn’t know how long that would last, but, before I knew it, I had been posting for over a year, and had developed a very desirable habit.

Meanwhile, my painting had slowed to a crawl. I felt I had painted my self into a corner with my horse paintings, and began remembering fondly my time painting watercolors fifteen or twenty years before.

I remembered how much I had enjoyed the freedom to paint any subject that happened to grab my attention.

I’ve always painted more than just horses, of course. There have been still-lifes, landscapes, people, all sorts of other things. But for some years, horses had dominated my output. Essentially, my work had consisted for several years of major pieces, commissioned or not, of horses, with occasional bursts of smaller horses, or even smaller paintings of other things, including, of course, my Kachina paintings in both oil and watercolor, which have served as a sort of pressure-relief valve.

Then, one day, while browsing the web, I was reminded of those artists who were still active in the field of daily paintings. The works of artists such as Duane Keiser, Julian Merrow-Smith, Edward B. Gordon, Carol Marine and others thrilled me with their freshness, diversity of both style and subject matter, and the fact that, for the most part, they were turning out such good work on a daily or near daily basis.

I decided to try my hand and see if I could make such a commitment and stick with it. Well, I did it for over four years, and had  the time of my life. I had not felt this enthusiastic since my early days of painting at Greasewood, on the Navajo Reservation, more than forty years ago. And, like the Photo a Day, I quickly found myself habituated.

Best of all, I let all those Genies out of their bottles. Paintings I had wanted to do for years, but just couldn’t seem to get around to doing, or couldn’t justify the commitment to, I could at last attack with feelings of freedom and exuberance. And they were all finished in a day. So I could move on to the next idea.

The continuity of daily painting also serves another purpose. Each painting progresses technically from the previous, without the often times long, and disruptive spaces of time between paintings; a nuisance that has been haunting me for most of my career.

But what to do with all these paintings? I noticed that Many of the artists’ paintings were being offered by way of a silent auction. I looked deeper into how it works, and realized that this was something I wanted to do.

The response was overwhelming and so fulfilling. I thank all of you who became Farnsworth collectors or added to your already existing collections from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks, also, to all of you who have become followers of A Farnsworth A Day, and all who have liked, shared and commented. Your support has kept me going.


The time has come for some changes.
As you have probably noticed, I am no longer doing the daily paintings. I stopped for a short while to catch my breath and to think about all the other things I wanted to do. Things like larger paintings, more photography, more drawing and sketching, video and writing, tutorials and demonstrations, etc.

That short while has become a rather long while. Posts have become irregular in theIr timing. Other matters have crept in and taken over my time since letting go of the discipline of daily painting and posting.

I am working toward a goal of combining all these other interests with a return to that sense of discipline.

First of all, I am going to begin by posting something every day. Even if it’s just a sketch or a thought.

Somedays, as has been the pattern lately, I will do a longer post, a post about my travels, or a larger project I’m working on, or… who knows what?

I’m also thinking of breaking this blog into six or seven individual blogs, one for painting, one for watercolors, another for drawings. Others might be for sketches, photographs, or travel.

This would make it possible to sign up for just the ones that appeal to you. Posts would not come as often, unless you chose to sign up for all of them, but I would still be comitted to creatIng a daily post, spread over multiple blogs.

I hope that makes sense to you. I’m trying to get my head around the concept as I type.

What do you think? What would you like more of?

I welcome your comments, ideas, and suggestions.

Please tell a friend.

John Farnsworth

6 thoughts on “History

  1. Hi John, I am just sending you a note to say how pleased I am with all the work you have been doing to make this new blog. The paintings are great!

  2. I think this is a great way for my Farnsworth collection to grow! Thanks for always doing something new. You inspire me to grow and not be afraid of change.

  3. I love your work and will sign up for your feed. Regarding your auction, did you consider setting a minimum amount? Do you ever end up with a bid that’s insultingly low? Just curious.

  4. dear john and thea..

    you are two of the most interesting people i have ever had the opportunity to meet and i miss seeing you so much in santa fe. there have been so many times i have thought i will just walk up canyon road and see what john and thea are doing….it’s definitely not the same without you!!!

    i love that you are getting around to painting all the images that you have been carrying around in the brilliant head of yours john. it does sound like you are having a blast and i can tell thea is excited as well. i am happy for you both and hope to see you sometime in the next few months in taos.

  5. John, This is so amazing. I LOVE these little gems, and envy your committment!!
    I am a lazy slug and need a swift kick. Maybe I too could do a little piece every day!? or even one a week would be good. Not painting for the first time in years (for over a month now, and asking for more time at my so-called “real’ job), but you have shamed me into action. Will let you know how it goes. Hugs to both.

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