The Times of Our Lives:
September 11, 2006-September 10, 2007


I subscribed to the New York Times in the summer of 2006, mostly for its comprehensive arts section, but I found myself moved by images on the front page. They are dramatic glimpses into the state of our world.  I became excited to see what the next day's images would hold and began to wonder what kind of statement all the images together would make. From this, the idea of painting each day's images developed. I conceived to paint an image from the front page of the New York Times each day for a year.  


I chose a 12-inch square format because the size was manageable, and the square format would allow for an efficient arrangement of the paintings. The paintings are all oil on canvas and for each one; I built the stretcher, stretched the canvas, gessoed and sanded at least twice, transferred the image onto the canvas and painted it. 


Each day, there are usually one or two main images on the front page of the New York Times. I decide on an image and then appropriate it from The New York Times website into Photoshop. I focus in on and extract a square portion of what I consider to be the most poignant part of the image.


I began painting on September 11, 2006 because of its prominent date in our country's history, and also because it was the first Monday after the kids went back to school. I finished on September 10, 2007.


Derin Smith is an artist and educator living in Seattle.