Week 1 – 100 Days of Art

Oh goodness me! An artist friend, Bente Hansen, suggested I participate in a painting a day for 100 days, starting January 1, 2023. So, I said yes. Which brings me to this post. Here is a review of week one, with 93 more days to go!

I had a little practice in June with a 30-day painting activity for the month. I thought it would be difficult to come up with ideas, and yet each day something new came to mind. I am hoping the same for this 100-day venture. We added a further challenge to ourselves by committing to a 10×10″ size, known to be difficult for composition.

There are quite a number of us doing this challenge, and some of us post each day to a FB group 100dayartchallenge2023. I also post on my Instagram page #viridianearth and use the hash tag #100dayartchallenge2023. So, check out these various places and support those who are engaging in this creative endeavour.

I chose charcoal to depict one of my favourite things to do on the sailboat: lie back and look up at the clouds. We were in Ladysmith, BC harbour, securely attached to the dock, and a vicious storm was arriving.

The hardest thing with this first picture was creating the 10×10″ frame out of board. Scissors were not the tool to use. However, I just needed it to temporarily frame the photo so I could take a picture and post it.

Still with charcoal, I sat down to create this painting of the view from Shelter Point campsite on Texada Island looking across to Vancouver Island. I bit off a bit too much for a day’s work and clocked more than 6 hours on this, vowing to make life easier on myself from now on.

Oddly, this one was fairly quick at 3 hours. I had set the timer for 2 and was just finishing up the petals, but knew I needed to do something with the background. It is of a double tulip which bloomed in our garden last spring. I dug up the bulb and planted it again this fall, and look forward to it coming up again. I used oils for this one and it is still drying! Evolon paper is a joy to use for florals as it provides almost a velvety surface upon which to paint.

I had to work a shift at Artique art gallery, so I took along my Winsor & Newton Promarkers and paper. I had to forgo the 10×10 theme for this one.

The potter at the gallery, Dee Light of Earth Inspirations Pottery, had recently put a number of tiny pottery houses on her display and so I chose to paint one as I waited for customers to come in.

So, this gets a little worrying. Before starting the challenge, I made a few notes on things I wanted to accomplish over the 100 days – stuff I hadn’t done before, or needed to practice. A self-portrait was one of these.

A few weeks ago a friend had set up studio lights in their living room and a few of us posed for B&W photos. They turned out really well. I chose one where I was looking stupidly stern, zeroed in on my face and decided to give a self portrait a go.

This was in charcoal. I thought it was going pretty well until I realized I should have used measurements. This does not look like me. And, I put the card across the other side of my face because, really, what I created looked like a zombie! So, something went wrong.

I posted it anyway because I figured that it’s good to show that people have off days, and truly I did want to try and learn how to do a self portrait. As a learning point, this was pretty good…I could only get better!

This time, I got out the Tri-Art fluid acrylics and pulled out a reference on how to create a portrait. I drew the circle, the cube, the rhomboid, the lines. I thought I had it all down.

As I worked away, I got pretty excited. This is it, I thought. The mouth gave me a few difficulties, but with the finishing touch being the pearl (not real) earrings, I thought I was done.

Then, I stood up and looked again. OMG! Look at those eyes! One huge, one small. But, I posted it anyway and called it a day. I will get this right…it will just take a while, and what the heck, I have 90+ days in which to perfect the self portrait!

Day 7
The last painting of the first week. I needed a break and I needed to add colour. The prompt (we have a list of prompts which we can choose whether to use or not) was “line”. We had recently brought in the Christmas lights which had been outside on our hedge during the holidays. They were plugged in and beside the fire to dry out.

I moved them over to the dining room table and got out the Tri-Art acrylics again. What better than a line of Christmas lights?

This was a quick painting to do. I spent perhaps an hour and posted.

And so, we’re at the end of week 1. I am learning something…I am realizing that most of these 7 days I have worked all day on painting. I have other paintings on the go, ones that I hope to sell and that need a lot of work. These are falling by the wayside at the moment and I hope to work out how to accommodate this 100-day challenge within my art practice without losing touch with my gallery work.

Have you engaged in a multi-day creating activity? How have you fitted it into your daily life? If you wish to join us, you could start from today and do 100 from now…you might enjoy it 🙂