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Burning the Midnight Oil – 100 portraits in 100 hours

Painter Milé Murtanovski will put himself in art quarantine for a little over four days creating portraits of his friends…and their friends…and their friends.

“That’s 100 paintings in 100 hours. No sleeping. No kidding,” says Murtanovski, who many know as “that man on stilts” at many County celebrations.

The theme of the project is connections and community based on Facebook “friends” lists. Milé asked 33 of his Facebook friends if he could paint their portrait.

“The only condition was that this person had to choose one of their own Facebook friends to be painted, and then that person had to choose one of their friends to be painted. Other than the first 33 people, all other subjects had to be strangers to him, yet all 100 are interconnected through relationships on social media.”

The final painting will be a self-portrait.

His ‘Burning the Midnight Oil’ project will produce 100 14” x 17” ink paintings which will be for sale for $100 dollars each. Half the proceeds will be donated to the inaugural Firelight Lantern Festival, a not-for-profit community art event coming to Prince Edward County in spring 2013.

The marathon starts Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. and finishes Dec. 10 at 9 p.m.
at Small Pond Arts, 337 Clarke Rd. Picton. Throughout, there will be regular updates on Facebook, Twitter (@mmurtanovski) and the project’s blog, The paintings will be on display at Small Pond Arts Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Milé began painting nearly 25 years ago using watercolours, and painting the human figure has been a life-long love. In 2010 he left Toronto, relocating to a 160-year old farmhouse in Prince Edward County, Ontario, where he founded Small Pond Arts with his wife, playwright and puppeteer Krista Dalby. Small Pond Arts is an artist residency centre and art gallery, and host to numerous creative community events throughout the year.

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  1. My 100-hour painting marathon is over (q’pla!), but you can still watch much of it recorded in blocks at the following address:

    And the finished paintings can bee seen here:

  2. Great article in The Star, fully capturing the humour of the marathon:

  3. Krista Dalby says:

    Milé has been painting LIVE for more than 15 hours and has completed 23 portraits so far. Check it out!

  4. I’ll be broadcasting the marathon live for those who are curious enough to watch a guy paint for hours on end…and for medics to keep an eye on my condition.

    You can tune in to the live stream at any point from 5PM on 6 Dec to 9PM on 10 Dec by going to my Ustream channel:

  5. Sorry, folks, that should read SUNDAY 16 December (NOT Saturday).


  6. Krista and I would like to invite you to our holiday Open House at Small Pond Arts, Saturday 16 December from 11am to 5pm.

    Drop in for a bite, a bevvie, and a chin-wag! View the 100 portraits that I painted in 100 hours during Burning the Midnight Oil and warm up by the blazing wood stove and let Krista regale you with tales of her recent trip to Ghana ( Plus, there will be a massive sale happening in the gallery, with all paintings being between 25-50% off…and a selection of finger puppets that make great stocking stuffers.

    All are welcome! Stay for as little or as long as you’d like. Hope to see you then!

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