Monday, January 16, 2017

January Challenge

This past summer I met artist, Ann Lombardo. Our serendipitous first meeting led to others. We ran into each other at plein air painting sites and art gallery openings. Ann kindly welcomed me into a painting group on Facebook, It is Ann that I have to thank for this month's learning experience. The Facebook group was founded by artist, Aubrey Grainger. Aubrey issued the first challenge: create a painting a day for thirty days. She christened the group: Thirty Squared. The group recently began their third annual challenge.
The group members include a number professional fine artists that I have long admired. Would I just watch from a distance and "like" their works as they posted images or would I take up the challenge as well? I did feel intimidated. These were real artists after all. 
I decided to go for it. It is a nice change from my usual New Year's resolutions. Hopefully by the end of the month I would see improvement. Next question was what materials to use. I am not always able to get to my oil paints. I decided to make it my goal to do some kind of art daily. Even if it were just pencil on paper. We are halfway through the challenge. Here are a few of my efforts.
Georgica Beach
Winsor and Newton Watercolor and pencil
Holbein Drawing Book F3 9.5" x 11"
Cedar Island Light
Winsor and Newton Watercolor and pencil
8" x 5" Cotman Water Colour Pad
My hair appointment came up and I was wondering how I would fit in my daily art challenge.  I've never had the discipline to sit still and try a self portrait. Sitting in a chair in front of a mirror for twenty minutes waiting for my hair color to process was the perfect time to try one. Funny, no one in the hair salon asked me what I was up to.
First Self Portrait
pencil on 5" x 8" Cotman Water Colour Pad
April's Marsh
Turner Artist Water Colour Gouache
Strathmore Watercolor paper cold press 9" x 12"
White Sloop
Turner Artist Water Colour Gouache
Strathmore Watercolor paper cold press 9" x 12"
I've been fortunate to be able to do most of my still life and landscape paintings from life. During this challenge I'm using a combination of inspirations. Georgica Beach and Cedar Point Light are inspired by photographs that I've taken. The White Sloop is inspired by an Irving Ramsey Wiles painting of the same title. The recent beautiful Wolf Moon inspired me to create my first ever imaginary landscape painting. A night where I felt desperately blocked caused me to start doodling with pen and the result was Jazz Bouquet.
Wolf Moon
Turner Artist Water Colour Gouache
Strathmore Watercolor paper cold press 9" x 12"
Jazz Bouquet
Faber-Castell 6 PITT artist pens, brush basic
Strathmore Watercolor paper cold press 9" x 12"
Trying to paint a still life set up using watercolor gouache was a new challenge. Gouache comes out of a tube so it initially has a bit of the same feel as oil paint. Unlike oil paint, once you go dark it is nearly impossible to get the tone lighter. First effort, too dark, second effort, too light but learning. Third effort, oil paint! Ahhhhh. The oil paint seemed so much easier after wrestling with gouache.
Turner Artist Water Colour Gouache
Strathmore Watercolor paper cold press 9" x 12"
Turner Artist Water Colour Gouache
Strathmore Watercolor paper cold press 9" x 12"
oil on canvas
8" x 10"
I finally took down my last still life set up of turkey feather and lady apples. Two of the apples where shriveled to nubs. I didn't let that happen to my most recent still life subjects. The pear was perfectly ripe and quite delicious. To see if I can complete this challenge follow me on Instagram and let me know what you think. Better yet, join me in the challenge and start your thirty days of creativity today.

5 comments:

  1. What a wonderful challenge for the New Year, and such a more motivating word than the old standby, resolution.

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  2. Bravo Gail..how fun to be so inspired and meet kindred spirits..All your work is beautiful and you are a REAL artist..I have enjoyed seeing your projects on IG:)

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  3. Gail! What a wonderful report and tribute to our efforts this January. We are all in the same boat, struggling against the clock and other priorities to put color or pencil to paper. It's fun, it's learning and sometimes it's hard... but the group Aubrey has gathered keeps us motivated!
    Now, I have to go paint....

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Thank you for your comments!