Artist’s Regime – Duane Keiser

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One of the first online “paintings a day blogger” was Duane Keiser. Since 2004 I’ve received daily inspirational paintings. I was curious whether he exercised or how exercise may influence his paintings. I would have never taken him for a karate enthusiast. His practice serves his painting and endurance.


How did you develop the discipline to make a painting a day?

My painting teacher, Ray Berry, was also my karate teacher. I’ve practiced, quite intensely, a very traditional and rigorous form of Karate for around 23 years (Shotokan Karate of America). In a Shotokan practice, we will often perform a single, basic technique a thousand times. We try to make each technique the best we can make it until, one day and tens of thousands of techniques later, it becomes second nature to us.

These kinds of practices are incredibly demanding and they require that you make up your mind to finish them. Our personal practices often involve setting up a specific challenge for ourselves like, say, making a thousand punches every day for a month or making a practice of some sort every day for a year, etc. (Ray made a hard practice every day for 14 years and didn’t miss a day!) So by the time I attempted a painting a day, that kind of mentality was already ingrained in me. I’ve also been lucky to have been surrounded by people a lot more disciplined than I am throughout my life, so when I made up my mind to make a painting a day I did so with many examples of what real discipline is. I’m generally a slacker in comparison!”

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