My drawing and painting life
With excitement – and a little bit of fear – I want to announce the theme for the first month of my Year of Daily Creating. The other day I made a list of themes and picked the five most favorite ones. I didn’t know what to choose. For days I was listing the pros and cons of each subject in my mind, making myself a little crazy. I figured the idea of choosing it by picking it from a jar or a hat started to make more sense each day. And why not? Whatever comes out will be OK. There will be fun times and harder times for any subject or theme.
I had about 10 options listed and picked the five that spoke to me the most. I put the five themes on a piece of paper, folded them, and in a bowl they went. Then I shook the bowl, took a piece out and ……picked: FACES. My first thought was: OH NO! Could I have chosen a subject that was harder than this? Should I just put the papers away and think it over? Should I draw again? And I did. I went throught the whole procedure – drew a piece – and out came: FACES! Haha, it’s fate! I can’t outrun it.
I guess if I did it ten times there would in the end be many more results, not just faces. But let’s not be driven by fear of a hard subject. Let’s see what a month of drawing and painting faces will bring! I will just see what comes. I can revisit drawing lessons, do all kinds of practice drawings, look at modern masters and masters of long ago. There is inspiration to be found everywhere. I can make it fun. I know how to do that. This will be fun.
It is good that the choice is made now. Since I made the choice for doing a year of daily creating and start on September the first I have been practicing. But then I thought: I’m doing this to get into the habit – but that was what the year itself is for, isn’t it? To learn, to grow. To find out what approach to daily creating will work, what media will work. I am going to give myself restrictions and will find out if they work.
A Year of Daily Creating – restrictions and motto
How I think of the organization of my year right now: I want to create daily. That’s the main part, to create a habit, a daily practice. It will help me grow, improve. I will create many pieces, some will be great, other will contain interesting bits, and some will be bad. Among the many some I will like, I can create series and doing that create a body of work.
To make it achievable I will set a time limit per day. Especially on busy days I want to be able to use only 30 minutes to one hour to make something. After all, I have a business to run too, and a family, I can’t just paint all day. (Oh, I wish!)
Any medium will do. I hope to use a lot of color. But when I feel like black and white, muted palettes or just drawing in one color, that’s fine too. I will probably run with a medium for a while. Or lay the art supplies out the day before, so I can start straight away.
Restricting the medium for a while may help to make choosing easier… or not. It might just as well block me. It may be good to have to push through the block. I will try different approaches and see what happens.
For about ten days I tried every day whether I could make the time limit work – make something in about an hour- and failed miserably several times. I just ended up taking longer. It probably was the medium and the technique I tried. I wanted to work wet into wet with acrylic ink. I found that it doesn’t work. It gets too wet to be able to work on and finish within an hour. It needs drying time in between. The only way to make it work, is when I I start two pieces on one day and finish both next day. So that’s a way out, if I like to take it.
Do I want to set a number of pieces to make? No, just the daily practice. But I will probably end up with at least 365 pieces. And at least a 100 bad paintings, but that’s just part of the game. After each bad painting, I will just try again the next day….
I’ve found my motto for the months to come: “There’s always another day!”
I will post a pic on the blog each day for the first 21 days. After that we’ll see.
Why September 1st? Why not now?
I practiced for more than 10 days already – and the thought came to me: but you’ve already begun. Why not announce it and go ahead? But no, September the 1st it is. Meanwhile I call the days before that ‘The Prologue to ….’. That allowed me to also try out different subjects and themes, just muck about for a bit. I tried out flowers. I tried abstracts started from intuitively made random marks in acrylic inks (not so sure that will work as a one hour project). Patterns and flowers and birds were the result, some fun, some weird, some ugly. And faces.
Here’s some more results of my practicing.
So I practiced. I tried just starting from the media and push the paints around and see what comes to me. Sometimes it led to some interesting marks or a background that I could try to add a focal image to later. Or I just made a wonderful colorful mess, to look at another day. For the moment about half of these are probably for the scrap heap. But there’s some that I really like, like the bird on a branch I showed earlier.
For the next few days I am going to play. I may go back to watercolor. We’ll see what happens next.
See you soon!
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