My drawing and painting life
Making birds for 101 days. Why do I do it? I do it for the same reasons I got into the 101 Art Challenge – that ended on September 10th. I want to get into a rhythm making a lot of art, both to enjoy the ‘making’ part, and while I am at it improve my skills and get better at finishing pieces (or leave them behind if necessary). Taking one subject is interesting because I may find out a few things about myself. Will it get boring? How do I take that? Will it lead to a better understanding of the subject ? I do think so. I am noticing it already. I get better at seeing a bird and getting it down on paper. I already feel more confident about it. I may still go wrong, I may fail completely, I may make wonky birds for days. But right now they flow out of my pen more easily.
I also do it to find out about ‘my voice’. What do I mean with that? I do a lot of art classes, I copy, I mix up influences from different artists, and sometimes I ask myself: what is the ‘me’ part in it? I just thought that doing a series of birds would be nice to be able to see it more easily – when Carla Sonheim suggested just that in a Life book 2014 assignment. Well, talk about coincidence! I love the assignment for it helps me to find out a little more about it.
A Bird Challenge group on flickr
I had only just suggested I was going on making art in the context of a Challenge, when I was joined by Kathrin Werner. She also joined in the 101 Art challenge – but joined about halfway – and also wanted to go on. At this point we decided to start a group on the photosite Flickr to be able to see the images in one place. We’ve also mentioned that in the 101 artist group – and by now we have a group of 12 people posting art work about birds on Flickr. And anyone who wants to join in is perfectly welcome.
What the group Bird Challenge is about….
It grew from the other challenge. We try to make up the rules as we go; but in essence there are only a few rules: share and be nice. The idea is to make it just like the 101 Artists Supporting Artists group (this is its full name) on Facebook: share, encourage each other, enjoy what everyone is making, be inspired. We make art work about birds, any technique allowed.
Some of us try to make 101 pieces in 101 days. Counting from September 1st, the challenge ends on December 10th!
Is there a prize? No. Yes. No. Well yes of course, the prize is in the doing, the fun of it. The fun of making art, whatever you experience making it. And the fun of doing it together, that sense of community. That’s it.
For some of us – including me – the reason for being in this group – as well as the earlier challenge – is because we like to grow towards selling our art. I’ve heard a few times now that I could sell some pieces – if not the originals, perhaps as cards or art prints. So I am taking some time to find out about that. Making a lot of pieces, creating a body of work is part of that path. For some of us the ideal end of this search is to even create a full time creative business. I am not about to ‘quit my day job’, stop working as a (freelance) fundraiser. But I do want to find out: can I sell my art? I don’t want to fill only my walls, or stack my art in the attic, where no one else can enjoy it. I like the idea that other people enjoy what they see, that art can make people happy. Or touch them in some way. (And sometimes that it doesn’t make you happy – but you want it anyway.)
Join the Bird challenge!
If YOU would like to join the challenge, you may just join to have fun. No need to make 101 birds in 101 days. Or sell your art. We are happy to have you if you just like to make a bird once in a while. Have a look at our flickr group, Bird Challenge.
Like it? It’s easy to join, just click the Join button.
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