Archive for January, 2015

Should You Enter a Painting or Art Challenge Event?

January 31, 2015
Favorite picks from January 2015 Painting Challenge, Karen Gillis Taylor art

Favorite picks from January 2015 Painting Challenge, Karen Gillis Taylor art. Click for larger view.

Do you like challenges? Can you picture yourself making your art every day for a month? Would that be intimidating or a dream come true? The 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is just that. Make a painting a day, and the rest is up to you. You could make a 3 foot square piece or a 3 inch one.

The big challenge is coming up with a brand new idea every day. That’s scary for anyone, even if you have been making art for a jillion years like me.

Paris colors theme, detail from 5 x 7" acrylic on acrylic paper, Karen Gillis Taylor

Paris colors theme, detail from 5 x 7″ acrylic on acrylic paper, Karen Gillis Taylor

 

I accepted this painting challenge last September of 2014, and re-enlisted this January. The September challenge was my first, although our wonderful organizing painter, Leslie Saeta, has been setting up and doing these challenges herself, right along with all the hundreds of us around the world, for quite some time now. She is a super leader, with enthusiastic daily blog posts that keep the participants engaged. Thank you Leslie!

I learned many things from my first challenge event in September 2014, you can read about here. This time around, I got braver. I didn’t worry so much about making a masterpiece. And I didn’t let myself feel guilty if I didn’t make a painting each and every day. In fact, I only made 23 paintings this time around. Life happens.

"Tuscan Primitive 1", 9 x 12", Acrylic on panel, Karen Gillis Taylor

“Tuscan Primitive 1″, 9 x 12”, Acrylic on panel, Karen Gillis Taylor

 

If you decide to do this kind of painting challenge, it’s advised you pick a theme. My theme in September was “Permission to Imagine.” All my paintings followed that theme. This time around, my general theme was Color Exploration. So I began by setting up color palettes I named. The first was Colors of Paris. Then came Colors of Amelie, inspired by the film which also took place in Paris. The third palette was Colors of Italy. Then came the Underwater Garden. Each palette of colors spawned 3 or 4 small paintings, 5 x 7″ or larger. It was manageable and not too intimidating.

"Underwater Garden 2", detail. Click for larger view.

“Underwater Garden 2”, detail. Click for larger view.

"Blue Interior with Flowers", 7 x 9", acrylic on WC paper, Karen Gillis Taylor

“Blue Interior with Flowers”, 7 x 9″, acrylic on WC paper, Karen Gillis Taylor

After a couple of weeks, I began to make a few free form studies not really connected to any other themes. (Like “Blue Interior with Flowers”.) I’m glad I made these smaller studies. I felt free to experiment with new techniques, like cutting up corrugated cardboard into shapes and stamping color onto the painting. (See the Underwater Paintings of the last few weeks of posts.) I enjoyed making portraits, which I haven’t done for quite some time. The Amelie series (5 paintings out of this month) was especially fun. I kept viewing the movie on Netflix, French subtitles and all, and now have a new appreciation for the way the artistic directors created a color palette and never deviated from that for the entire film! No wonder it won awards.

If you wish to join Leslie Saeta’s painting challenge, she says she will do another later in 2015.

Thanks for reading, and have fun making art.

-Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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