The New Starts Collection
For many years now, I have been participating once or twice a year in 30-day challenges. I attribute lots of my growth as an artist to these deep committed dives into my painting. Without any doubt, every time I do it I learn, not only about painting as one piece feeds into the next one, but also about myself. How I handle stress, how I manage my time, and many more aspects of daily life. This time around, I think one of the most valuable lessons for me was to not be afraid to just delete and start from scratch and to make any necessary changes to a piece if it's not working as a whole. Sometimes we think we can "fix" things but it is often so much easier to just start from scratch!
I kept switching back and forth between studio and plein-air work, a decision that was determined not only by mood but also by weather! In the studio, without really planning for it, I ended up going into a dried flower theme, mostly with poppy seed pods and the hydrangeas I keep in a trifle bowl in my dining-room. I really enjoyed allowing these themes to flow without any preconceived plan or judgement. I also was inspired to paint snowdrops which are always a surprise as they seem to show up in the yard much sooner than expected.
This time around I allowed myself to freely play with watercolours. It's so interesting for me to see how the oils inform the watercolours and vice versa. I notice I tend to apply the first pass in oils in a very "watercoloury" way, if that makes any sense and I wonder if it's the going back and forth between the two mediums that influences that part of the process.
This year, I joined the Strada Easel Challenge which happens every September and January. The premise is that every day you must paint something from LIFE, not from photographs. That's the part that gets hard somedays but it's probably the one that teaches me the most. You are allowed to work on the same piece several days in a row if you so choose to. Overall, during this past month of January I created over 30 pieces. This doesn't mean they are all successful paintings but they all taught me something. I am showcasing here 22 paintings that kept me engaged, busy and curious during this past month of January.
I'm excited to share them with you. I have kept some pieces behind . They were either not good enough to be "seen in public" yet or I may saving them for a special show I am working on for the latter part of the year.
Please enjoy and don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!