Sunday, December 08, 2013

Things I learned...

...from my 100 Paintings Project.

In July 2011 I decided to paint 100 pictures, with no deadline for completion.  I just finished the 100th painting, so it took 2.5 years.  Someone asked me once what I was learning from doing a project like this, so here are some things I learned.

Doing a value sketch beforehand is very helpful.

It's ok to do a 2nd or 3rd or 4th (or...) version of a subject.  The old masters did this.  And you can even change the medium.  I did watercolor, oil, acrylic and gouache paintings.

If you go to a workshop or a paint-out, you'll get several pictures to count towards your goal. 

It's nice to have others join you on their own big number projects.  I had a few people join me along the way.

Sometimes you can have a mini project with the project:  I set a goal of 20 paintings in 20 days at one point, just to make some headway. 

It's ok if the paintings are not as successful as you envisioned them.

It's ok to play and experiment with media.

Goals are good.

You have to commit yourself to working, to showing up.

You get to 100 one painting at a time.  One step at a time.

I think it was a very worthwhile thing to do, and I'm thinking of setting a goal for the next year--maybe 50 pictures in a year?  Not sure.  I also might consider a broader definition of what kind of a piece I am creating.  My painting project competed with other creative endeavors--I make my own birthday cards, I did some experimental drawings, I was involved in 2 art camps and taught several painting classes, I took a mixed media class.  Maybe it will be 2D paintings/pictures. 

One of the reasons I did this project was to just force myself to paint, to produce work and learn from each painting and have fun doing it.  I would encourage anyone to consider setting a goal and then going for it. 


Dan Kent said...

I think this is great! Very, very admirable. Congratulations!! It also reminds me of the story in my favorite creativity book "Art and Fear", with the lesson that creating many times results in a better product than simply working hard on one and trying to make it the best it can be. Wonderful advice too, that I'd like to follow.

Sandra said...

Congratulations on the 100. You are an inspiration!

David R. Vallejo said...

What an incredible feat! Congratulations. Maybe your next challenge should be to paint one painting in 100 days.