Week 2 has come and gone in a bit of a daze. Art has finally become a full-time endeavour for me. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s a crazy kick in the backside that has forced me to bring art to the top of my priority list.
Now, I cannot say that these creations for the challenge are my best – far, far, far from it. Some were almost embarrassing to post to the 100dayartchallenge2023 Facebook group and my Instagram (@viridianearth) account. However, I know that this challenge is allowing me to stretch and play, have fun with trying new things, and add (or not) new tools to my box for future, more careful, study.
The people who are participating and/or commenting are generous with feedback. For me, I just want to encourage everyone to express themselves through art (including music, theatre, dance, etc). Art builds culture and community, on the small and large scale, and so even the following meagre submissions are working to bring people together and remind us that we are human and that we can always learn from and assist one another.
This week I stuck to the prompts. The prompts are voluntary; we can use them or ignore them. I found the prompts kept me focussed on the challenge and then allowed me to continue my regular art practice as I have three paintings on the go that hopefully will be of a quality to sell.
The prompt was waves. I had created a painting a few years ago called Living on the Edge and at the top of that painting was a patch of dark, rolling ocean. I have always liked that part of the painting best and so when I saw “waves” come up as the prompt I decided to get out the phthalo blue (a very strong colour, rarely used on my palette) and start playing.
Abstract. I am self-taught with my art. I learn things as I need to know them or come across them or am attracted by them. Abstract has often been something that has left me befuddled, confused, wondering what I am looking at. It’s not something I have really brought into my practice, although, I do believe that every piece of a painting is abstract when looked at closely enough.
So, this prompt affected me overnight. What is abstract? In the morning I checked Google and I followed Wikipedia’s advice: “Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, colour and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.”
I created shape, form, colour and line and called it a day! Phew, done!
I like to think I did a bit better with this one. The prompt was Texture, and while it took me all day to come to a decision upon what to do, the actual creation of this took about 3 minutes total!
I have watched as a couple of my art friends have created tree bark rubbings during some of our plein air sessions. On Day 10 I looked outside and made a plan. I found some fairly thin scrapbook paper and a black oil pastel and headed into the garden. What you see here are four rubbings on top of each other. I started with the deck at my feet, happily discovering that the rubbing brought up lovely grains in the wood. Then, I went to the apple tree and a marker for a grave that commemorates Cedar, a lovely big fluffy cat. And then the apple tree bark. Finally, I went to the wire fence and included that on the right half of the page. Done! I’ll definitely do this again.
The prompt was Shape. I chose lemons and placed them in a triangular formation. I liked their reflections upon the polished surface of our dining room table. The lemons are pretty old, getting a little hard and rigid, but still smell great.
I enjoyed this challenge as it forced me to look at lights and darks, form and shape, while also being loose and swift with the brush strokes to encourage a 3-dimensional form.
Blue was the prompt and so I chose to create an imaginary landscape that allowed me to work with atmospheric perspective to send the distant hills into the background and bring the foreground to the front.
Everything here is blue, with the addition of some white and the tiniest amount of burnt umber. I used ultramarine and cobalt blue.
It was fun to make something up. I felt almost childlike in this creation, yet with the understanding I have gained from pursuing art over the past number of years. The result is simple.
January 13th was a Friday and it was also the first day back for our indoor painting group. The prompt was to do something unconventional with composition. So, I looked at all of the still life objects in front of me at the studio of one of our local artists, and decided to turn my canvas around as I painted each object.
This makes a bit of a wheel composition. The only items that remained in their places were the lemon and avocado in the centre. Everything else got a shift 90 degrees to the right.
I like this almost topsy turvy composition. I’m not sure I would ever use it again, however, it was a lot of fun and a bit of a mind-bender to do.
Today’s prompt was a chance to use tools I wouldn’t normally use. So, I grabbed a cloth, large palette knife, and two rubber scrapers and got to work. It was quite obvious to me that I had to stop when I did. Perhaps I should have stopped one step before… The more I scraped the paint the browner it became and I didn’t want to lose the individual colours too much.
This was one of those embarrassing pieces to post, however, a friend suggested it looked like a raven, and I like that. I hadn’t seen that possibility before, but now I do. I also like the three talons or claws visible along the lower right edge.
And so, there you have it: week 2 in the bag! How would you work with those prompts? Do you think having prompts is a good idea for a challenge like this? And, are there prompts you think we might be interested in following? We have 85 days to go, so there is room for many ideas!
I hope this is motivating you to pick up a pen, pencil, paint brush or toothbrush (!) and start creating. Thanks for reading.