One week ago I challenged myself to create 30 works of art in 30 days. Immediately after I posted my intentions I thought to myself – “no way I will complete this”. I started formulating ways to put a twist on why I couldn’t finish. There were birthdays, holidays, weekends, and all other kinds of obstacles. But then the more I thought of these obstacles; the more I realized they weren’t obstacles after all. They were just little things that made up the big thing called life. Now what I needed to do was make creating art one of these little obstacles! And that’s exactly what I did. I treated art as one of those things that just had to get done. I stopped thinking about it and just went into my studio and worked on a little art each day. Most of the week I spent concentrating on landscapes. I have an almost endless reserve of photos I took at Yellowstone National Park. Each one offers a different and unique view of the park. I chose one and painted it three times, each time changing some part of it and trying to improve upon it. I also worked on a gerbera daisy and a few abstracts. At the end of the seven days I had nine paintings. It was a pretty amazing week and I managed to overcome some of the doubts I had. Looking back at the week I learned a few things out about myself. One, by putting this challenge in writing I am motivated to hold myself accountable. I really have no excuse not to finish and not finishing would mean giving up. Two, I don’t spend enough time in the planning stage. When I started the first painting I spent more time on the how and why of the painting and the results were more pleasing. I need to remember this. And lastly, I found out that I really do love painting and all the challenges it involves. If I put my mind to it I can conquer the challenges.
All in all, week one was a pretty productive one. While some of the pieces may not make the final cut, the learning experience was not lost in the process. I think I am finally narrowing in on the style and subjects I am truly moved by. Heading into week two of this challenge I plan on slowing it down a bit and focusing on the planning stage. Spending more time really thinking about the subject, perhaps limiting my palette to reduce the challenge of color. Wish me luck! I still need it.