Final Week – 100 Days of Art

Well, I did it! Yesterday I completed 100 days of art along with a number of other artists, and it feels so good. I should warn you that days 7 through 9 were self portraits. Or at least, I tried to do self portraits. They’re pretty funny, looking at them now, and I don’t think I’m in there at all!

At the bottom of this post, you will also find the completion of a painting from day 66. On day 66 the prompt was to revisit an old painting and do it differently, so I did on that day. Since then I have been working away on the full-sized image and that is provided below.

Day 92

The prompt this day was pattern. Many years ago, when I lived in the Vancouver lower mainland, I took some photography courses. A few assignments involved nighttime photography. On this occasion, I went with a classmate and we walked the shoreline from Canada Place to Stanley Park. Just before getting to the park, there is a bridge and the railing has balustrades. The view through the balustrades presented the city lights shining on the water.

I found the photo and recreated it. I was surprised to see on the photo that each balustrade shape was different from the next.

Day 93

Rocks. South of town is a piece of land called Stillwater Bluffs. It is loved by the community yet owned by a logging company. There are cliffs leading up from the water that people enjoy climbing. This image is of looking in the opposite direction, the cliffs being to my back.

It was a very calm, hot day, and the rocks were warm in the sunshine. I used Promarker Pens, plus a tiny bit of coloured pencil.

Day 94

Favourite cartoon. Well, I’m not really a cartoon person, so I had to improvise. For a number of years this monkey has been hanging around the house. He is a childhood toy of my husband’s and now he hangs on paintings, furniture and, at the moment, this old lamp.

I’m happy with the glass, although the top is a little wonky. The brass base was tarnished, but I just couldn’t figure out how to show that, so I made it like new. The monkey was fun to create – I could hear him talking me through the process! 🙂

Day 95

Today’s prompt was musical symbols. I recently took up playing the Cello and so I am getting used to the bass clef. I added the treble and, a new one to me, the alto clefs.

Before that, though, I found our tiny cymbals and painted those. The clefs then had something to be focused around.

I like the repetition of circles in this picture.

Day 96

Something Soft. Our dear friend Bev gave us a bunch of pussy willows last month. They sit on our dining room table and are a reminder of the incredible art of nature. They catch the light so the edges glow for much of the day.

Figuring out how to make them fluffy was a bit of a mind bender, but then I got it. I used a bristle brush and splodged on the paint. I held the brush vertically and danced it across the paper.

Pussy willows used to be seen a lot around here and yet now they seem to be quite rare. I hope these ones in their vase last a long time.

Day 97

This was a Friday and I met with my plein air group. The weather looked a little changeable and so we headed indoors again at the Townsite mall.

This picture is created just a few metres back from the one I created the week before. I used charcoal so I captured a photograph of the finished piece while still in the mall so that it wouldn’t matter much if the image got disturbed as I cycled home. Those are my fingerprints along the top edge!

I’m happy with how the floor ended up. It is tiled and had some shine to it.

Day 98

The prompts ran out today, so I went back to my list of things I had wanted to accomplish during this challenge. One was to be able to create a self portrait. I had tried this a couple of times during the early weeks then given up.

I tried various photographs, standing in front of the bathroom mirror, sunlight shining in from the side. But, none turned out, so I turned the camera onto selfie and tried again.

I am not used to taking selfies! However, I ended up with a photo to use. In hindsight, good reference photos are essential…and I should have kept trying! Oh well, lesson learned.

This one is in soft pastel. My husband says I got my nose and eyes sort of right…but the bottom of the face is totally off 😉

Day 99

So, I got out the charcoal, tried measuring, and gave it another go. I thought I was getting somewhere.

Apparently, this one is even less like me! Gosh, self portraits are hard!

Day 100

The final day of the challenge, and I gave my self portrait one last go. I used pencil this time and again went with measurements.

And, once again, I thought I was getting somewhere. I was even excited at the end when I held it up to show my husband…and I got a “Wow!” which made me happy, until he said…”there’s something wrong about your jaw area.” Oh crikey!

I showed him the photo reference and it became clear that I had captured an image of myself that doesn’t even look on the photo like me!

What fun, though. How often do you get chance to take time working on a self portrait?

And so the Challenge of 100 Days of Art is over. It has carried me through from New Year’s Day to yesterday. The camaraderie among us artists participating has been lovely, encouraging and motivating. Seeing other people’s daily creations has been awe-inspiring.

I have really enjoyed experimenting with so many different materials, and following prompts that have pushed me to create. And, I have finally been able to put painting as a priority in my day. I hope that continues from now on as I work hard to learn more and improve.

Today is the first day beyond the challenge. I decided to finish off a painting started on day 66.

You may recall these. The blue/purple one is a recreation of the teal one. The teal one was completed in 2018 and although I had displayed it at the gallery I had never been totally ok with it. It was the perfect one to revisit for this challenge. I got out the original, which had been painted in acrylic, and put it onto my easel. I slowly painted over it in oils, adding more background, removing the foliage and just cleaning things up. I finished it this morning. Here is Catching a Ride (2) 36″ x 12″.

I think this is a good way to finish this blog series. Thank you so very much for reading, commenting, and, in your own way, encouraging me to continue. I appreciate you all.

Week 13 – 100 Days of Art

The end is in sight! I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do when this challenge is over. The positive effects of working on my art as a priority every day since January 1st far outweigh the negative – house needs a good clean, my taxes need to be done, I have piles of paperwork sitting in various locations gathering dust. As this week carries us all to the last 9 days, the way forward will become clearer and more concrete. For now, here is what happened last week.

Day 85

We left the shores of Harrison Lake at 9 am, so my painting for the day had to be completed and uploaded quickly. I struggled again with the paper of my sketchbook, however, perhaps the weave added to the murkiness of the weather. Clouds were low, temperatures hovered around 1 degree, the lake was calm. It was remarkable, at first, to see so much sand and such a low water level. Yet, it was well used by people with metal detectors, dogs running after balls, and children playing in the pools.

Day 86

Today’s prompt was vivid darks. I do get caught up in gentle, light colours and so this one was an opportunity to go all out! The sun was shining, the umbrella wasn’t needed – so I gave it a job modelling.

Hanging it from the top of my easel, I chose a bright, complementary background and set to work with all sorts of blue-like colours for the silky fabric. The drips were added at the end from my imagination.

It was enjoyable to immerse into the bright, vivid world of colour.

Day 87

On a day of no clouds, just pure blue sky, the prompt was Atmospheric Clouds. So, I rifled through my reference photos and came across a whole group of cloud images taken last year of the skies over Malaspina Strait.

Soft pastel worked well over an Evolon paper base. I mostly used a soft cloth to smudge the colours into the paper and into each other.

Once I got going, this was quite a simple picture to produce – a little messy, however, easy to clean up afterward. I was surprised by how many different colours I used for what could just be assumed as a grey sky.

Day 88

Paint like an impressionist. This challenge is helping me gain an education in the artwork of famous painters from the past. I read up on what makes an impressionistic style and intended to work true to a list of methods. However, once I chose my reference image (a picture I had taken of the large pond in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria) all that flew out of the window!

So, the end result was a little more me than impressionistic. It’s one of the images I may go back to after the challenge is over to make the fountain in the pond look less like a goose or swan taking off and more like a spray of water droplets catching the light.

Day 89

The prompt was sunrise or sunset. As I had missed sunrise, and wanted to paint well before sunset, I, once again, relied on reference materials. This is a view looking north up Malaspina Strait from Powell River, taken from somewhere along the sea walk.

When painting from the photograph, I realized that oddly, the light coming across the water was not directly under the setting sun. The setting sun was slightly to the left, a yellow glow, mirrored in the water beneath, and yet it was the track of whitish blue light that provided the pathway across the water, joining the shoreline with the distant islands.

Day 90

Friday, a day of no prompts. Our plein air group met indoors at Townsite Mall and realized the value of such a location. Chairs and tables were scattered around, meaning we could sit in lots of different places to capture the essence of our surroundings.

I sat close to the climbing gym and looked back toward the main entrance on the upper level. There was a lot of activity. We were there from 10 am, at a time when the major bustle and hustle was around Base Camp coffee shop. However, as time pressed on toward 11, more stores opened with owners arriving and chatting casually in a friendly atmosphere.

There were a lot of people milling around and so, as one of my friends said, we became ambassadors for art. It was a tad distracting, but I think we each created something worthwhile.

For me, I chose to take a rubbing of one of the old timbers as a background then drew using ink and Promarker pens. I added a few bits of coloured pencil to the image once the rack of clothing arrived.

Day 91

Layers. This one took a long time to create, or at least, I did it in stages throughout the day.

The idea of layers had me baffled to start with, but as I looked outside I found myself musing over the apple tree. We have an old apple tree that has served us very well with hundreds of pounds of fruit. Last year, as it was for many trees in the area, was a difficult year for fruit production. We did end up with one totally perfect apple, although oddly inside there were no seeds! The tree also lost a major limb, and a family of paper wasps decided the twigs made a good frame for a large nest. Together with dust that now seems to attach to the leaves each year and holes in the trunk, the apple tree needs all the love it can get.

So, I started with a bark rubbing. On top of that I added brown and gold ink drips. Once dry, I added smudges of red, and then blue. Finally, I drew an apple, coloured it green and called it done!

The blue is for the clear blue skies of summer, the red is for the tinge of red often seen on the skin of each apple, the gold is for the sunshine, the brown for the season without leaves.

With that, we reach the end of week 13. What would you create if asked to paint in an impressionistic style?