Last month was my third time doing a daily-painting challenge, and by now I’ve learned a few things. I’ve always had a theme and materials at the ready so that I wasn’t spending time thinking of what and how to paint each day. This time I took that preparation further to have a more cohesive group of work at the end.
I did this by choosing not only a theme (blue) and tools (palette knife), but also a mood. I started with snow scenes, and as I got into them I found that even when painting activity—sledding, skating—a quietness prevailed. Snow does that to the outdoors—even a city—and we like that about it. So, I went with it. When I didn’t paint snow I kept that feeling of quiet and calm in my still lifes. Using blue helps a lot. Besides thick swaths of many blues, I also used a neutral blue-gray to tint each panel. It made for a good start toward unity.
I always had a panel on deck ready for the next day. I made two a day when I could to take some pressure off of my and my husband’s (yes, both!) birthday weekend. The flu knocked me off my game even more, and since this is now the second February in a row that I’ve been afflicted by this angry virus, I may choose a different month to do this challenge next year.
Last lesson: I should not “hide” a box of Valentine chocolates in a drawer in my studio. They turned into second breakfast too many times.
Later is what?
After settling into various desk jobs, I always said I'd get back to painting later in life, and later is now. Again means that I tried once before. I decided to write about my painting endeavor, too, as a learning tool, an accountability tool, and to stay sharp in case I have to go back to a desk job. Again.
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