Friday, September 14, 2012

Inside, Outside, Upside Down, 11-13/100 Days Creative Challenge

 The Other Side of the River
acrylic on paper, 9/10/12
012/100 in 100 days creative challenge

Boy, I am having a challenge keeping up with my 100 in 100 days creativity challenge. I was doing really well with the painting/drawing portion, going off on binges of paint and ink, and then...I just got stopped. The chaos of life and necessities of things I have to do and unexpected twists and chores and the paying kind of work and kids and blah.

But I never said this challenge would be easy, or smooth, and while I have gone through periods of painting every night like clockwork, day after day in a routine that kept me productive and creative, that is never a guarantee and sometimes, it's really hard work to get to that point.

I know life can get in the way.

The point is not to do the challenge without ever being challenged, the point is to meet the challenges, and find a way around them.
 Inside (drawing)
ink on recycled menu, 9/10/12
011/100 in 100 days creative challenge

I'm doing a lot of examination of my life and my art I think, trying to figure out where I want to go with it. Trying not to have the answers. I suppose what I am painting now does have more questions than answers. Is more mysterious, less about illustrating a point. I don't know where it is going, but I am trusting myself to be able to continue on in my journey, to be able to handle whatever is thrown at me.

The things that I thought would be easy are not so easy. The things I thought would be the main struggle are not an issue at all.

the light inside
acrylic on paper
8.5"x 5"
013/100 in 100 days creative challenge

I think I am in a blue period, like Picasso's, just by chance, because those are the colors I pulled out of my paint bag, and those are the colors I have been using for the last two weeks.

The last few times I did this challenge, I would pull out three or four different paint tubes and let my nightly painting be inspired by the randomness of the color scheme. I was surprised and delighted by this painting prompt sometimes, and came up with some of my favorite paintings out of it. Of course, sometimes the painting sucked, but that's ok.

This way of going at it, using the same color scheme again and again with different emphasis on the colors, using some similar techniques, using a limited palette, well, I kind of like it. It feels more poetic and less illustrative to me. It goes deeper. I don't mind. I find myself picking up additional paint tubes or media to add to my three tubes of paint. I don't mind that. As an exercise, I like the ability to become fluid within my constraints.

I know a lot of people think that being an artist is about being free and having no boundaries, but I think the truth is, it's often about it's often about looking through that one inch frame and seeing how infinite you can make that tiny space.

Well, I've run out of time. I have to get ready for work. Before I go, I did want to tell you that I have gotten back to my novel. I am up to chapter three in the revision in my first week of working on it. I don't know how quickly it will go or how consistently I can manage it. I've already found it a challenge to get back to it. I guess we'll see if I can manage to juggle my life of kids and work and chaos and painting and writing. Perhaps the painting and writing can give structure to the chaos.  We shall see.

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