About About Underpaintings.com

Underpaintings Magazine is an online periodical which celebrates excellence in Representational Art – Past, Present, and Future.

Subscriptions to Underpaintings are $24 a year.  That is just $2 a month – much less than what most of us are willing to pay for a single cup of name-brand coffee.  Please consider joining, so together, we can promote our wonderful art-form.

A Letter from the Editor, Chief Cook, and Bottle-Washer.

When I began writing Underpaintings in 2006, it was – in part – a reaction to a dilemma I was facing.  It was just a few months before the expected birth of my second son, and I knew that with his arrival, my art career – for all intents and purposes – would be coming to an end.

My wife and I had always expected that having the family we had always wanted would require sacrifices on both our parts.  And though I had known for some time that the upcoming end to my painting career was unavoidable considering our circumstances, it did not make facing my departure from painting any easier.  The state of emotional turmoil I felt at the time was just awful:  I was devastated that the separation from my passion was imminent, and I was also guilt-ridden that I could not feel the full joy I should have been experiencing while welcoming a second, healthy child into our family.  I felt selfish and lost and not very good about myself.   There was, of course, so much in my life to thankful for, and I knew that after retiring from some other occupation there was still the possibility I might pick up the brush again, but such placations and far off promises did little to improve my feelings at the time.  I simply did not want to say good-bye to art, and yet I knew I had to.

At about the same time I was dreading my art-free future, a friend of mine who was unaware of the difficulty I was experiencing, suggested I start writing a blog.  She had just begun her own about painting, and she thought that I too might have something to contribute to the blogosphere.  I had my doubts, but, I decided to give it a try.  It would be my personal, one last dip in the artists’ swimming pool.

Choosing a target audience for this new blog was easy;  I decided to write it for my younger self.  Like so many of my generation, I had attended a university looking for an art education, only to be disappointed by the lack of practical training.  After being graduated, I spent years teaching myself the actual practice of painting through reading, study, and as much practice as I could fit in.  But by the time I was almost feeling capable of creating the art I had always wanted to make, I also found myself at the premature curtain-call of my career.  So when I began to write, I chose to share the knowledge that I wished I had learned in college, but had had to learn on my own.  In so doing, I hoped that I might be able to reach out and help young artists who were still in school and who were feeling as frustrated as I had been when I was in their shoes.  It was my sincere hope that by sharing what I had gained in the intervening years since art school, that I could give younger artists a leg-up.  I hoped that when these students were older and possibly considering families of their own, that their art careers would be further ahead than mine was when I had faced my own career crisis.

I had anticipated publishing about a dozen posts, and that by the last one, I would be at a loss for topics and exhausted from writing.  The blog, I assumed, would then remain on the internet forever, and – if over the course of time – it helped a couple-of-dozen people, I could at least say that I had done my part in giving back to the art world.

I never expected that so many people would discover Underpaintings, nor that so many would find something of value in it.  I also never expected that I would find myself enjoying creating the articles as much as I do.

From the start, I made a commitment to myself and to the reader, to make Underpaintings a reliable and good source for information.  But to be able to create something of which I am proud takes a lot of time.  Between generating ideas, gathering material, doing research, and actually writing, I spend hours and hours per day working on content.  Unfortunately, over the course of the first half-decade of writing it became more and more difficult to allocate the time that I felt was so necessary to the creation of  Underpaintings.  Obligations to my day job, responsibilities to my family, and the need to sleep at least four hours per night, took up the majority of each of my days.  At a time when I felt like the blog should have been expanding, it was instead shrinking due to the decreased time I was able to dedicate to its maintenance.

After seeking out much advice, and deliberating over my options for more than two years, I decided that my best chance to keep Underpaintings going was to monetize it as a subscription service.  This was not an easy decision for me to make.  It had never been my intention to ask anyone to pay for the information I provided, but it became a necessary evil;  without remuneration, I would not be able to buy back the time from my schedule that was necessary to continue publishing Underpaintings.

I decided to offer subscriptions to Underpaintings for $24 a year.  That is just $2 a month – much less than what most of us are willing to pay for a single cup of name-brand coffee.  The proceeds from these sales go toward things like replacing the outdated and damaged equipment I use to do my work, and to pay for services like high-speed internet service and online data storage, as well as for things like babysitting, which occasionally provide me with a few more hours per week so that I can write.

For all of you who have read Underpaintings in the past or in its current form, you deserve my many thanks for your support and encouragement.  I am truly grateful that you helped me to find a way to remain in the arts at a time when I had seen no such possibility in my future.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Matthew D. Innis