So it seems my 30 in 30 challenge took a nosedive. After Week 3’s set back I found I could not get back on track. I just couldn’t. I managed to make it into my studio but no paint came out of the tube. I did a little organizing, set up a still life, and sorted my paints and brushes. But the paint was still in the tube. I knew it would be a stretch to finish 16 works of art in 10 days. Each time I started to feel slightly motivated, the tragedy of week three got the better of me. I knew then it wasn’t going to happen. I made peace with it, packed the car and traveled to Houston to be with family, painting materials in tow. I still had thoughts of creating at least a few paintings, even if it wasn’t the 16 to complete the challenge. An upcoming show with Margaret Schwartz at Bookpeople in Austin, Texas needed my attention now.
Two paintings I was considering for the show were no longer available. As a last minute special request, I installed them at a friends business, Tarver Hill Salon. At the time I was confident I had plenty of time to create something new for the show. Little did I know that the day after I installed the paintings, tragedy would strike and our son’s dog Duke would be gone. In retrospect, the last minute request forced me to pick up the paintbrush sooner than I may have. In the final days of the challenge and the days before our show I completed a 24×12 calla lily and put the finishing touches on a few pieces for the show. All in all, I learned a lot during the 30 days of the challenge. Initially, I thought not finishing would mean failure. However I found out that was not true. Would it have been rewarding to finish? Yes. But in retrospect I realized I didn’t need to complete the challenge to find success. Just challenging myself taught me things about my art and myself as an artist. Things like time management, organization and artistic reflection. Looking back, starting a challenge that was ending the day before a new show opened might not have been the best choice. But I guess that’s part of the learning process too. We all encounter challenges and roadblocks on our journey. Sometimes the roadblock is so great that we just need to pause and wait. Embracing that which you love has no time limits or boundaries.