Week 12 – 100 Days of Art

This is the third to last week of the challenge. Will I miss it when it’s over? That all depends upon what I do about this new-found dedication to daily art. I’m contemplating adding a new heading on my website: “Dailies”. One huge positive to keeping a regular practice is knowing I can work on a gallery piece in oils or acrylics, and while waiting for it to dry I can bring out a teacup from the cupboard and paint a still life. Perhaps I’ll create an Etsy store and sell these “dailies” – because I will have to do something. At the moment I could wallpaper the entire basement of our house with them!

Day 78

The prompt on this day was furniture. I thought about it and decided on our toilet. It has a seat, often is thought of as a throne, and it’s very functional.

It is generally a white fixture, however, with the sun shining through the window, I was able to play a little with the colours I was seeing.

I like how it just hangs there in space on the black background. A toilet with personality 🙂

Day 79

Building in a landscape. I went back to my roots and chose a Yorkshire scene. I borrowed the image of the barn from the collage composite I did early in the challenge, then added the rolling hills from imagination.

These barns are scattered across the landscape and are made of stone. Some date back a thousand years, amazing! While a few may be unusable and dilapidated, some are used by farmers and owls. Although this barn didn’t look to have any openings in the roof area, many do and barn owls can be found perching inside.

Day 80

The prompt was spring. While it was likely the suggestion was for the season, I decided to take a different tack.

My husband has a shop full of virtually everything, all tidied away in their separate boxes or drawers, crates or on shelves. So, when I asked for a spring, I got a selection to choose from.

I like to paint metallic objects. There’s a challenge with these because of the colours and shapes reflected off the surface. With the spring on the dining room table, its reflection had bluish tones, which I might not have noticed had I not been looking carefully and painting it.

Day 81

Today we needed to add a boat to our paintings. Sometimes, when we are returning home from north of town, Rob will want to visit the boat to check on things. I sit patiently in the car watching for activity at the north harbour. (It takes me back to my time being involved with Citizens on Patrol!) On this particular evening the sun had set a long time before, yet there was still colour in the sky. I took a few photos, which came in handy for Day 81.

There is a boat in there, visible just below the ramp. And, the masts all hint at other boats, ours being the last mast on the right side of the left grouping 😉

Day 82

Pink and springlike. I have previously painted the daffodils and a double tulip that bloomed in our garden last spring, and another flower was this deep rich purple/black tulip.

The light coming through the petals brings out the red, however, in most lights this tulip was velvety black.

It, and many of its friends, will be blooming again soon.

Day 83

I worked without prompt on this one because we had travelled that day to Harrison Hot Springs for one of Rob’s conferences. As I waited for our room to be ready, I got out my art materials, scanned my phone for photos and found one or two of lupin leaves, which I had taken just a few days before. Lupin leaves are one of my favourites, especially as they seem to collect all of the moisture into a large drop in the centre of the leaves which glistens like a diamond.

I struggled with watercolours on my sketchbook paper. However, it is not really the finished object that is the point here. It is more the committing to doing something, whatever it is, that helps me learn more about my art and allows me to slow down and notice.

Day 84

I spent 30 minutes in the hot pools that morning, relishing in the warmth, outside in the 1 degree air. Steam rose, my glasses fogged, and the whole world had a beautiful glaze to it.

I committed the view to memory so that I could translate it onto the sketchbook when I got back to the room. I found the steam difficult to portray. Eventually, I decided this was as good as it was going to get!

There comes a time with every painting when I have to lay down the tools and walk away. Done. There are some from this challenge where I am tempted to go back and alter things or add things, but so far I haven’t. With spring now here, what will you be painting?

Week 11 – 100 Days of Art

Time is flying by. The weather is warming, the birds are singing, and I (and a few others) are still painting day after day after day. It’s enjoyable and it’s a challenge. I’m trying new techniques and learning what does and doesn’t work so that I can carry that, or not, into my gallery artwork. It’s a fast-track education, and the paintings are piling up. What on earth will I do with them all?

Day 71

Once again, the prompt was Abstract. Urgh! Abstracts are really not my thing, however, I do hold fast to the belief that every painting, no matter how realistically rendered, is abstract if looked at very closely.

For this one, I used some white tissue paper and fixed it onto painting paper using good old glue. I smushed it around a bit to make crinkles then left it to dry.

Then I got the inks out. I let them dribble along the crinkles and spread, adding one colour at a time, building up some kind of sense. I could imagine a field of poppies under a blue sky.

Then, I got out the white fluid acrylic and splashed it on and called it done! Next… 😉

Day 72

Favourite view. When we head out for a short break in the sailboat we usually go north. This is the view we get for about three hours or more as we journey from Powell River toward Lund. After that, we’re into those islands.

I can also see this view from our living room window. It’s an ever-changing view as it shows us the weather coming our way from the north west.

On Day 72 it was a pretty dynamic sky, with sunshine, clouds, rain and wind. I used the analogous colour scheme I had learned about last week and sat at the window for an indoor plein air.

Day 73

I learn a lot from watching other artists on YouTube. I find the “watching paint dry” videos inspiring and motivating. One artist is Christina Kent. Today’s prompt was to paint like somebody who inspires us on the Internet, so I chose Christina as she has a very definite style and is building her art business within the San Francisco area.

Christina uses flat brushes, and mostly paints in an up/down, side-to-side fashion. Her strokes are very deliberate and slow. I cut up an apple, placed it onto our blue plastic chopping board, created a background of burnt sienna and set to work.

The colours are not typical of what I would use for an apple, yet, they seem to work. It was difficult to slow down my brushwork and work only in certain directions. However, I rather like the finished picture. The apples went into our smoothie the following day!

Day 74

On this day the prompt was words of wisdom. For a number of years, a phrase has been in my head whenever I am a little unsure about how a painting will turn out: “just keep going.” And so I do, and it always works…well, nearly.

The phrase likely originated with Ursula Medley, with whom I used to paint many years ago. And, I have passed along this phrase to other artists, knowing how much it has helped me.

This was the day I noticed the first bloom to have opened on one of our fruit trees. It is the apricot, I think, along the south side of our house. I concentrated on the focal point and then, unlike the phrase, left the background branches just roughed in. It’s a beautiful sign of spring arriving any day now.

Day 75

What poem inspires us? Well, I am not really one for poems, however, I am one for sayings and one saying has been going around in my head for a long time: “We’re all just walking each other home,” by Ram Dass.

I got my husband to help me with this one. We tried various ways of holding hands and taking a hand-selfie. This was what we came up with, which I translated onto paper using soft pastels.

I tried and tried to get his hand so that his thumb looked right and the two fingers showing didn’t look chopped off at the knuckle! I don’t think this was successful, however, I used the Zorn palette again (red, black, white, yellow ochre) and like the skin tones I can create using it.

Day 76

A prompt-free Friday. Luckily, the weather was nice and our plein air group ventured out for the first time this year. We met at the estuary of McGuffie/McFall creek at Willingdon beach.

The estuary was visited by a flock of crows, all eager to get their morning baths in the fresh churning water, then oystercatchers and after that a few Canada geese. The mountains on Vancouver Island were visible all morning.

I find soft pastels a challenge to create a landscape (much easier for skin), however, they were easy to pack onto my bicycle and it will be a few weeks yet before I head out with acrylics as it was only about 6 or 7 degrees.

Day 77

Paint a mood, they said. Well, I had to look that one up! Apparently, you can bring mood into a painting through use of colour, tone, sharp or rounded edges, subject matter, light and dark. When researching, I saw a painting by Caravaggio (the tooth extractor, or something else lovely like that!) and decided on a similar colour palette.

We have a jar full of dried flowers, which I have often pondered how to paint. Today was my opportunity. A select few made it into the painting, and I really like the colour scheme. Naples yellow, black, white, violet and gold.

I’m not sure I really captured “mood”, however, they are dead flowers…so perhaps a little macabre.

And so, here we are at the end of Week 11. Which artist, who regularly posts to the Internet, inspires you, and why?

Week 10 – 100 Days of Art

We’re into double figures in weeks and I can see the end in sight. This week we hit 70 days, which means that there are only 30 remaining – all downhill from here, right?

Day 64

I know I have said this before in these posts, however, I am really enjoying how this challenge allows for experimentation with different ways of putting down colour. The prompt today was a holiday memory.

Our holidays are often spent sailing and anchoring in beautiful serene locations. This image is from one of those, in the Smuggler Cove area, Lower Sunshine Coast, and is typical of the scenery we see up and down the coast. A rocky shoreline with smooth, lichen- and moss-covered rocks forming the hillside, arbutus trees in the foreground, evergreens towering behind. Missing from the picture is the ever-present kingfisher.

I played with much more vibrant colours than usual, and reduced detail to give hints rather than the full picture, leaving it to the viewer to join the dots and see the image.

Day 65

The prompt today was “expressivism” later changed to “expressionism” however, by then I had looked up the meaning of expressivism and thrown something together. I had been busy all day, with a meditation that lasted all afternoon, and so my head was in the clouds.

When I read a definition of expressivisim I realized it was a meshing of mental state and art.

Out came the pastels and I mapped onto paper what I thought could be happening with my aura: indigo emanating from the top of my head for higher thought, and green coming up the sides from my heart chakra. It’s all about love 🙂

Day 66

Revisiting an old painting. For a while now I have been thinking of revisiting a painting I created in 2018 and doing it differently, so this prompt allowed me to give it a go.

The top one is what I created on Day 66, the lower one is the original. The painting is called Catching a Ride, and was a scene we encountered when sailing in the Broughton Archipelago at an intersection of channels. A tree had recently fallen and was floating with a number of seal passengers.

The one part I have always liked about this older painting is the foreground water. What I will do is use oil over the original acrylic, to keep the overall image but make it more appropriate for hanging on the gallery wall than it currently is.

Day 67

The prompt was circles and squares. I thought I would try a sketch of a head and face. In researching how to get proportions right, I had seen that some create a circle within a cube and go from there. I tried that various times, a whole page full of tries, but came up with nothing.

And then I saw a nose, and knew I had the perfect photograph to work from. I had a photo of my husband, pulling a silly face while I took a picture of him next to a giant of a sunflower (next photo) in our garden. His nose skin was stretched over the bone and cartilage and there were at least four circles easily visible.

I added a grid of squares to get the proportions somewhat realistic and set to work in pencil. Looking at a nose for such a long time makes me realize how strange noses really are!

Day 68

The colour orange was our prompt on this day. It was also a very sunny day and so I chose to work on a sunflower, the same one that had been in the photo used for the nose above.

I used as many variants of orange as I could before having to go into the green spectrum. I looked closely at the seeds in the head of the sunflower and saw an overlapping spiral pattern. It reminded me of the spirograph I used to play with as a child. The original is far more in depth than what I created here, yet, with this painting you can see the pattern that forms. It’s worth looking closely at sunflowers 🙂

Day 69

Today was a prompt-free day so I decided upon some still life. The bananas were a little beyond their best before date, though they make a lovely smoothie, and as one friend said on seeing the picture, great for banana bread. The avocados were starting to soften. The dish is a Southcott heirloom, I think, and really did look that wobbly along the edge from the direction I viewed it.

In retrospect, the avocados and the colour of the dining room table are too close. I would lighten the table somewhat to add contrast.

Day 70

I spent the day at the recreation complex for Seedy Saturday. I had an hour or so off duty from looking after our land conservancy table, and sat in the main foyer. There was a lot of activity and colour.

I had my pens and paper and set to trying to capture people as they interacted with table displays and the people hosting. I found people don’t stand still long, which was fairly irritating until I just let myself go and scribbled!

Odd thing: at one point I must have counted five women with their hair arranged in knots (or buns as we would say in England).

So that brings us to the end of week 10. As the weather warms we have more opportunity to witness crowds. Would you sit with pen and paper and try to capture people as they mill by? Give it a go and see what happens. You might be surprised 🙂

Week 9 – 100 Days of Art

I’m watching and listening to birds on the feeder outside at the moment. Spring seems to be in the air – where did winter go? This challenge has played with my sense of timing as there are no days off, just constant thinking, exploring, creating while fitting the rest of my life around it. So, although I eagerly anticipate Day 100, I wonder what will happen on Day 101?

Day 57

It was a very busy day and I only got to putting paint on paper when the sun had gone down. So, as the prompt was “the view outside” my options were a little limited.

As it’s not just me in the house, I couldn’t turn off all the lights in our living area. The only place of complete darkness was our bedroom. So, I got my exercise (and a few bruises when bumping into furniture I swear wasn’t there before!). I walked through the darkened room to the window, looked out, and tried to commit what I saw to memory. Then, I hurried out to my desk in the dining room to paint with soft pastel.

This took many trips back and forth and the end result is a bit of a childlike impression of a house. However, it does capture some of the glow of interior light, and that hugely annoying new BC Hydro lamp! Life in the big city of Westview 🙂

Day 58

Pen and ink was the prompt; I took it literally. I have a few bottles of coloured ink, and I regularly use pens for drawing. So, I combined the two.

I purchased the ink more than a year ago and have hardly explored it. Since then I have become a little more familiar with watercolour. I used the techniques learned in watercolour to work with the ink.

My husband offered one eye for the process. I always feel like it is magic when that element of light, the whitest part of the creation, is put into place. All of a sudden the eye ball looks like an eye ball, and the eye looks alive.

Day 59

Analogous colours. Today I learned what analogous colours are. Here’s a chance for me to share what I learned. They are the colours next to each other on the colour wheel. To create an analogous colour palette you use 2 to 5 of those colours.

This tissue box was in the kitchen. I liked how the tissue was folded and standing upright from the top. The box itself was very jazzy. Altogether, though, I could use violet, blue, blue-green, plus some black and white, to make the creation.

My favourite part of this is the tissue. I think the violet worked well for marking the folds, shadows and light. I also purposely created a hard edge of the table and nothing beyond, playing with the 10″ x 10″ composition space.

Day 60

Create glassware or a household object. So, I chose my glasses…which meant I spent an hour or so in the blinkered short-sighted world. I looked up and all was a blur, I looked down and all was in focus.

There are coatings on the lenses of my glasses and they translate reflected light into vivid green and purple. The glasses were on top of our shiny dining room table and thus created a nice mirror image.

The one thing I would do differently here, if I were to do it again, would be to paint in the table first. I spent a long time painting around the glasses, and the table didn’t end up as a smooth surface.

Day 61

Admittedly, this one is a little crazy. The prompt was to dance to music while painting. Hmmm. The mess would take days to clean up. Instead, when I listen to music it is my fingers that do the dancing. So, I decided to do some finger painting.

This took a little research. I looked online and quickly found there is a pretty good market for finger paintings. Iris Scott, one artist I saw, sells her work for $36,000 US or more! Worth a look.

I put on music by Whitney Houston, and poured out puddles of Tri-art liquid acrylic paint. Then, I dipped my finger tips into the colour and danced them over the paper.

To me, this looks like a cloud of moon jellies that have learned to colour themselves. Someone else said it reminded her of salmon eggs. I think I will do this again at some point 🙂

Day 62

Some days it is hard to come up with a subject to paint when there isn’t a prompt. This was one of those days. However, I finally found a vase that had been collecting dust on a shelf. Its glaze contains a myriad of different colours. I put it together with a napkin on the table and went to work.

This challenge is letting me explore new techniques. I have on days and off days with fabric folds (the tissue on Day 59 was an on day). This was an off day although I enjoyed the swirls and play of light and dark. The vase itself received the treatment of careful yet deliberate daubs of paint. These are the colours of the vase, but not in such a subtle way that the actual vase looks.

I decided to place the vase so that some of the handle is missing, playing with composition and letting the viewer’s eye fill in the rest.

Day 63

I think this is my favourite creation so far in this challenge. The prompt was to use the other hand. So, being right-handed, I chose to create a painting of my right hand using my left hand.

I went back to the Zorn palette of white, black, yellow ochre and red and used soft pastels. The paper is Evolon with a grey gesso on top. It created a nice surface to receive the pastel, and the shape was just right for my hand and wrist.

I found it remarkable how easy this was to do. I had thought I’d need to really try hard to make any mark that was in the right place using my left hand. However, somehow most of it worked. Yes, my skin looks a little on the baggy side around the knuckles at the base of my fingers. I forgot to add the veins on the top of my hand, so, unlike the previous painting of my hand (in that case, the left one) where I was told it looked much older than my hand actually is, I think this one balances it out by looking younger. What do you think?

If you had to paint using your other hand, what would you do? Give it a go!

Week 8 – 100 Days of Art

We have met and exceeded the halfway point in this challenge. Week 8 brought day 50 and beyond. There is still a long way to go, many pieces to be created, however, we are on the downhill return. Should be simple, right?

I am not alone in this challenge. There are many artists participating, some of us posting daily to 100dayartchallenge2023 on Facebook, some to our Instagram pages. This blog, as you know, captures only my journey. Take a look at that Facebook page, if you like, and then come back.

Day 50

The official halfway point in this challenge. Today, the prompt was Celebration. I chose to take a closeup look at three leaves that had fallen from our poinsettia plant. Two were crispy and wisened, the other a fresh fall. With more time, this would look different, but for today’s challenge, it was a beautiful time of slow painting.

Day 51

The prompt was Monochrome. Where I sit at my desk, I look out onto our backyard. Right in front of me is our apple tree. Of course, at this time of year, it is bare of leaves, and stands naked and proud with many watershoots asking to be pruned. We hang a bird feeder from a lower branch and this provides endless entertainment for our winged friends as well as ourselves as observers of their antics.

This depiction provides a bark rubbing of the tree in the background with charcoal and pencil for the main picture.

Day 52

Today allowed me time to reflect on a memory from our spring journey into the Chilcotin area of British Columbia. There was still snow on the ground in May. On one detour from the highway we came across a pine tree that had fallen and was in various stages of decay. Its crown of branches was closest to the road and I took many photographs of cones and needles changing colour beautifully.

Here is one of the cones, face on, close up. The prompt today was “closeup”.

I listened to a podcast about improving one’s art business, and so each suggestion, for me, is captured within each “branch” of this cone.

Day 53

Today the prompt was to be inspired by a wild animal. I had to work at the gallery. There are four painted pebbles on my display and so I took them, turned them over and used Promarker pens to depict their shapes and how the shadows and light fell on their cool bodies. (The relevance to wild animal works if you think of the water causing the smoothness of the rocks to be an untamed, wild animal.)

The jumble of rocks to the right were imaginary, and created using a continuous contour line – something I had learned earlier in this challenge.

Day 54

The prompt was to try material not usually used. Luckily for me, I had visited our local art store the day before and bought a starter pack of gouache. I had been watching a number of artists on video using this medium and thought I should give it a try.

This picture is the view from Buccaneer Bay, Thormanby Islands, looking west toward Vancouver Island.

Painting the person sitting in the foreground was an afterthought, the last thing I did before calling it a day. I think it adds to the mood of the painting.

Day 55

Another day at the gallery. This morning I had come across an artist’s work in graphite and charcoal of paper wasp nests. We have a paper wasp nest that has been attached to our roof over our deck for the past two years. It has amazed me in its construction, more so now as the layers are being blown away and the tiny cavities are in full view. I had often wondered how to capture the structure as a piece of art, and now I knew it was possible.

I took a few photographs before leaving for work, and spent the afternoon happily playing with graphite to try and depict one tiny area of nature’s art.

Day 56

The weather changed and became very cold, and then the snow began. I laughed when I read the prompt for the day: “Weather”.

I gave my new gouache set another go and happily played depicting the view outside. I laid out newspaper for the final part – the creation of snow. Using a very loaded and wet paintbrush, I splattered droplets all over the painting, more and more, not realizing quite how far these droplets were flying.

By the end of the painting, I looked around and realized there was a lot of cleaning up to do before the paint dried!

And so, this brings us to the end of the first week of the second half of the challenge. If you were to depict a snowy day using art materials, how would you do so?