Challenges

I still can’t quite get over that I finished 30 paintings in 30 days (actually in 28 days because of starting a little late)! I completed the collage of my work, then proceeded to add a border with text around it in one of my photo programs. That wasn’t my idea-it was available on the PicMonkey site, but my computer is too old and has inadequate memory to be able to handle that part of the collage procedure. Below are two versions; one with all 30 paintings and the other with the ones of which I am most proud-twenty of them. What a journey it was! Would I do it again? YES! Especially if I find myself slacking off and not devoting time to my art!

 

Collage-all challenge paintings with border redone2-smaller to post

 

Collage-best paintings with border redone2-smaller to post

 

Challenges

I spent three hours on Friday morning/afternoon drawing for painting number 30, not to mention how long I spent on Thursday deciding on what to paint and redoing the design until I was pleased with it. Then I worked out, stopped at the grocery store, fixed and ate dinner, rested for a bit and just spent another nine hours finishing up the drawing and getting a good amount of the painting done. I finally had to face that I couldn’t finish it until Saturday-darn! But since I started three days into the challenge, I guess finishing one partial day late isn’t so bad, especially when it’s still January.

Since I have no new painting to share yet, I’ll post another of the September paintings from my first attempt at the 30 in 30 challenge. This one is my version of a Wetcanvas photo of the East Channel Lighthouse, Lake Superior on Michigan’s upper peninsula.

IMG_20140930_234330_495-lighthouse-croppedPS-smaller to post  “East Channel Lighthouse”   Sept. challenge painting

Challenges

IMG_20150129_232600_375-Lindy-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Lindy”   Day 29 painting

This is my sweet calico cat, Lindy, curled up in the bathroom sink several years ago. I have always thought this photo was just fun and knew that someday, when I got really brave, I would paint it. Nowhere near perfect-that’s for sure. But don’t judge too harshly since it’s my first attempt ever at painting a cat-and sure, I had to try a calico for the first one!

Lindy was a young adult that we got from a local rescue agency, Partners for Pets, almost 10 years ago. She had been with them for quite a long time and was a quite a depressed kitty. We decided on her, partly because she deserved to finally have a home she could count on and partly because she was just so pretty. She is one of our four rescued pets-three cats and one dog. There are just always so many wonderful adult animals needing a good home!

Challenges

IMG_20150130_121720_546-roses for Debbie-newest photo  “Roses for Debbie”   Day 28 painting

Yes, another floral! I had the center rose drawn for days and kept putting off painting this. I finally tackled it late Wednesday evening, adding quite a bit to the drawing, and actually finished it about 2 AM Thursday, the 29th. I was driven and simply couldn’t stop until it was completed. It’s a very special, personal painting to me, as I named it for someone I lost a long time ago whose birthday was January 29. The painting is much prettier in person – this photo simply does not do it justice. I left the background white, with the exception of the blue wash surrounding the flowers, just to keep it very soft and simple.

Challenges

IMG_20150128_141725_430-beach-croppedPS-smaller to post  “North Shore Beach”   Day 27 painting

This is one from a photo I took on Oahu in 2005-my one and only trip to Hawaii. I loved it there and, given the opportunity, would live there without hesitation! I painted from this reference years ago and wanted to try it again. There are things I did better this time and things I don’t like as well. But it was fun to do-and any break in our drab winter, even just thinking about flowers and/or Hawaii, helps!

Challenges

IMG_20150128_141927_910-egret-croppedPS  “Egret”   Day 26 painting

I have been so busy painting that I’ve neglected blogging! As of about 24 hours ago, I actually caught up; yes, I had the same number of completed paintings as there were days in January!

Backing up several days, I painted an Egret. I am determined to learn to paint animals and birds well. This one is a very simple approach and I’m fairly happy with my effort.

Challenges

IMG_20150127_133401_385-elephant-croppedPS-smaller to post        IMG_20150127_215725_353-roseyuck-croppedPS-smaller to post

“Elephant Portrait”   Day 24 painting                          “Rose Study”   Day 25 painting

Oh my gosh, I have not been so encouraged for over a week! I was able to finish and post these two paintings Tuesday-and cook a delicious dinner that took all day to make! But there’s more… I also have three works in progress-one almost finished, another over half done and a third barely begun; I also have two more drawn and, assuming I can complete them all, that will make a total of 30! Only three more days to accomplish this and I fully plan to do so!

As for these two paintings-do I love them? Not so much. But, I thought they were both complete lost causes. I know both are badly overworked-but even the fact that I was able to save them enough to use them pleases me a lot! I learned a whole lot in the process and that is never a bad thing. But for right now, I am exhausted and it’s time to get out of my studio and get some rest. More to come…

 

Challenges

IMG_20150126_231413_073-lighthouse-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Split Rock Lighthouse”   Day 23 painting

Recently I sold a painting I did a few years ago. The person found me through my Wetcanvas post of the work and loved it. It was such a thrill to read that email, just to know it had been “unearthed” there and she liked it that much! I hadn’t thought about that painting in some time and even had trouble finding where I had stored it. Seeing it again made me want to paint that scene again; it’s one of those I mentioned that were drawn and ready to paint. I liked what I did the first time and suddenly I hesitated to paint it again. I didn’t want to exactly replicate the original painting, but I did still want it similar. So, here at the top is my newer version of Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota. Very similar to the old one, mostly a little softer colors; just for comparison sake, below is a photo of the first one I painted.

copy of my painting from WC-84470-Split_Rock_Lighthouse-resized_to_600x387  “Split Rock Lighthouse”   2008 painting

Challenges

I’ve worked and worked, on top of a Costco and grocery store shopping trip and the normal everyday chores and cooking, and still no painting is finished. I wish I could figure out how to paint decently and yet faster! I have three works in progress, one very doubtful, one more drawn and ready to paint-and only 5 more days left to the challenge. On top of that, I have only finished and posted 22 paintings. Can I get 8 done in 5 days? Doubtful, but I’m still going to do all I can to achieve that goal. Whether or not I do meet the goal, I have by far painted more in the past 23 days than I have ever before and that’s something to be proud of!

Since I have nothing completed to post, I’ll share another couple of paintings from the eight I painted in September. The first one was, in fact, the first painting I did for the September challenge-mostly because it was also the Wetcanvas September Watercolor challenge. I like the way it came out, especially since I know next to nothing about boats… The second is, if I remember right, the seventh one I painted; it was done en plein air in my back yard on a beautiful, sunny day. It was one of those days when, knowing winter wasn’t far off, you can’t resist being out enjoying the nice weather while it lasts! It is an image of one of my dying summer plants on the deck, fall color very evident.

WC September 2014 Watercolor Challenge-v 3-one to use-ready to post  “Sail Away”   September challenge painting

IMG_20140930_210834_054-tomato leaves-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Autumn Leaves”   September challenge painting

Challeges

IMG_20150125_241902_416-crab-croppedPS-smaller to post-one I used   Sally Lightfoot Crab   Day 22 painting

Rather than go to my sketch group, I spent a good portion of Saturday in my studio. I did make progress, finishing two paintings and readying another two. In fact, for about an hour I was only two days behind on the 30-30 challenge-and then it was midnight and back to lagging behind by 3 again.  At least I’m maintaining consistency!

The crab painting is loosely based on a photo my daughter, Kristan, took when she was in the Galapagos Islands. I have had that reference pic for a few years and have planned to use it. I’ll just say that, while that was my inspiration, I took full advantage of “artistic license” in doing this. I think it’s a fun, colorful little painting.

The one below was actually completed before the crab and I hesitated somewhat before posting it. I experimented a great deal with this and, while it didn’t turn out well, it taught me a lot! And isn’t that what this painting challenge is mostly about? It was rather out of control, so I just kept experimenting with different methods and finally had the gist of the reference so figured I didn’t need to do any more damage to it! The bottom line is that, while I’m not very pleased with this painting, it’s one of my 30 paintings and I couldn’t not use it! Consequently, I’m posting it here also.

IMG_20150124_202553_072-Jan challenge-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Worcester Cathedral” – experimental   Day 21 painting

Challenges

IMG_20150123_220617_522-turtle-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Just Passing By”   Day 20 painting

This is the painting I was working on Wednesday night when the computer began misbehaving. I had almost finished the grassy background and was debating how to approach the turtle when the problems began. I worked on it Thursday to the point of almost done, then took care of the finishing touches Friday night. I’m happy with the result and I hope you can actually see that it is underwater. It’s obvious to me, but then again, I painted it!

Challenges

IMG_20150122_231441_193-horse-croppedPS-smaller to post   “Spirited”   Day 19 painting

I found this reference photo on Wetcanvas more than a year ago and, wanting to try my hand at painting a horse, I downloaded it. With the challenge this month, I decided to finally try; I drew and had a small start to the painting and then had no idea how to proceed. So it sat in my studio where I had to see it every time I was there. I studied and studied it and finally decided two days ago that if it was ever going to happen, I had to just do it! Much to my delight, I finished this painting a few hours ago! With my very limited experience painting animals-and never a horse before-I was pleased with the horse, but what to do with the background… Then I just suddenly knew, did it and, while I’m fully aware it’s not perfect, I like it! That is such a good feeling, especially when it’s a subject that caused almost overwhelming fear after I thought I had ruined it at first!

This 30 in 30 challenge is about so much more than just painting regularly. I cannot believe how much I have been branching out on subject matter as well as figuring out how to fix something I thought was not salvageable. I am so glad I am doing this and even if I don’t quite achieve the desired 30, I will have painted more than ever before and learned so much along the way!

Challenges

Sometimes challenges are challenged… I’m having computer problems in my studio tonight and cannot currently paint since I use the screen for my references. I’ve got things running to fix the problems and hopefully will be able to work on things soon. Years ago when I got my first small, used laptop computer, I stopped printing everything and started drawing and painting directly from the screen image. I really hate being stalled with my painting and yes, I could use my old method and print from the other computer and get to work. I guess the real issue right now is that I’m pretty much out of the mood after the frustration of fighting with the computer for over an hour. Just one more day to catch up on for the 30 in 30 challenge.

In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of the (only eight) paintings I completed for this same challenge in September.

IMG_20141001_142104_366-croppedMS  “Hibiscus Macro”  Sept. challenge painting

IMG_20140930_211028_442-croppedMS  “Water Lily Pond”  Sept. challenge painting

 

 

 

Challenges

IMG_20150121_244919_246-Galway-croppedPS  “Irish Castle Ruins in Blue”   Day 18 painting

I’ve had this reference photo for literally years and was never quite sure how to handle it. I actually drew it on watercolor paper during the September challenge-you know, the one where I only completed eight paintings… So, there is was and I decided to try another in a monochromatic style. Two things went wrong with this – First, I actually started with the wrong color (palette sitting there with two blues and I used the one I did not intend to) and once I was started I pretty much had to stick with it – and Second, the paper quality was not as good as I am used to, and that lack of top quality made smooth washes next to impossible. In spite of those things, I do like the overall look of it and think it was monochromatic was a good choice. Always a learning experience!

Challenges

IMG_20150120_231628_705-zebra-croppedPS  “Zebra Color”   Day 17 painting

With three new paintings begun and drying – and exhaustion taking over – I left my studio last night. I drew and did the under-painting on two that I’ve had in my head almost since the beginning of the challenge. Since the two that were sitting there ready to paint didn’t appeal to me last night, I went with plan B.

This is my experiment with watercolor and a zebra “portrait.” In working on these 30 in 30 paintings, I’ve come to realize that I truly enjoy the challenge of working on animals/birds. Perhaps I was in a rut and needed to branch out with less familiar subjects. Whatever it is, I’m loving it and this painting was fun to do! I may even try another zebra in a different style before this challenge ends. So, what do you think of this one?

Challenges

 

my snow globe-another photo-correctedinMS-closer to actual colors-cropped,correctedmorePS-bckgrndinMS  My Christmas 2014 Snow Globe original WC painting

I did not manage to get any painting done on Monday at all. Some days are just like that no matter how hard you try to get into your studio! I am there now, after midnight so technically Tuesday. Rather than post nothing, I thought I would share the painting I did for my printed 2014 Christmas cards. I have always liked snow globes and my older daughter, Ginni, particularly used to just love them. So, this year was a snow globe painting to honor her and just because it was a fun subject to do.

I participated in the Wetcanvas Christmas card exchange again this year, a really wonderful project. There were 13 of us this time and you get cards from all over. This one had several European artists participating, a couple from Canada and the rest of us in the U.S. In 2013, I simply sent my printed card to all who were a part of the exchange. This Christmas I hand drew and painted eight other cards before I had to complete my card to print for friends/family. Those printed ones made up the difference, sent to the rest of the participants. As space allows, I may share more of those other card paintings, but here is my main painting and the one I’m most proud of.

To update this post-midnight painting session – I drew two new ones and have three new paintings started. Nothing completed, but progress nevertheless…

 

Challenges

IMG_20150118_234218_464-albatross-croppedPS2-smaller to post  “Laysan Albatross”   Day 16 painting

Oops, I forgot to publish this last night, so here’s that post…

I did it – I got one more painting finished before Sunday ended! In doing so, I also completed another painting to post for the Facebook group, “Paint Colorful Birds for Fun” weekly challenge. As with the owl, it’s a fun thing to do and yet another way to get inspiration for the 30 in 30 challenge. I must spend some drawing time now for the challenge since I’ve used almost everything I had ready to paint. So many ideas, but what will be next???

Challenges

IMG_20150118_133353_121-mission-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Mission Dolores” in San Francisco   Day 14 painting

I am so pleased that I have completed one painting yesterday and two today. If, by some miracle, I could finish the one that’s almost done before today ends, I’ll only be 2 behind-oops, when today ends, it will be the 19th and I will still be trailing by three… Darn – I thought I was making progress!

This one is from a photo I took when we were in San Francisco in 2010 and I have meant to paint it since then. I love the light and shadow; it seemed an obvious choice to make it a monochromatic painting. Drawing it was more than a little challenge, with all the posts and those angles and steps. It’s so nice to not only finish a project, but be truly happy with it too!

Challenges

IMG_20150118_180920_723-hibiscus-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Candy Striper Hibiscus”   Day 15 painting

Well over half way through January already and I just posted my day 15 painting. Obviously I’m not making progress on catching up as I had hoped to do over this long weekend. I do know that I am enjoying this “enforced” daily painting so much though!

The reference I used for this painting is from a Wetcanvas photo reference library photo posted by “Teddi” from Hawaii – the post says “This red and white hibiscus is known locally as “Candy Striper”.” I couldn’t resist this beautiful flower since I believe that hibiscus is probably my favorite flower. Or is it a daffodil…or an iris…or a rose… Yes, I think hibiscus, not only because it’s so beautiful, but also because it just looks tropical-and I LOVE tropical! I do have an awesome rose in my back yard called “Candy Stripe” too.

I love my handling of the flower and I did have a beautiful background started – and then I ruined it. I have done all I can to save it and I’m still very unhappy with it. That’s especially bad when I love the main subject! But I’m afraid to overwork it any more, so I declare this painting finished-unless at some point down the road I can think of a better solution to the background. You just never know…

Challenges

IMG_20150117_243243_944-cans-croppedPS-smaller to post  “Pour It On”  Day 13 painting

Yay! I finally got another painting done! As I’ve said, it can be a time struggle, but I am still very determined to complete 30! This one was a lot of fun and is based on a reference photo I got from somewhere probably 8-10 years ago. Apparently this was the right time to use it. Since I love to garden, this seems very fitting for me-related to flowers, but not flowers this time!