Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sweet Summary

Hand-dipped chocolate covered pretzels with white chocolate drizzle. You paint the drizzle by... painting around it and leaving the paper white! This would have been more challenging for me last January, but after a year's worth of practice doing paintings like this, I feel I efficiently accomplished a nice little painting in 20 minutes. Watercolor, 4 1/2" x 6".

A brief summary of how I fared in my 2011 20-minute daily sketching challenge:

I had, as close as I can approximate, 240 20-minute sketches, paintings, and drawings, described and elaborated on in 245 or so blog posts. The other posts represent commissioned or other finished artwork that nearly always took longer than 20 minutes to complete. An average of almost 5 sketches a week for the calendar year - keeping me in good artistic practice!

For anyone wanting to take on a challenge like this, I highly recommend it. It's been said that anything you do repeatedly for 6 weeks becomes an ingrained habit, and a positive habit like sketching regularly most definitely develops artistic skills we usually put on the back burner.

Some things I learned: keep my subject matter simple for the "best" (most finished looking painting) results, have all necessary supplies or tools on hand ready to go, and be willing to put myself out there for criticism. However, people have been so supportive of my creative endeavor here, that it's their support which has kept me motivated for the course of the whole year.

So what's next?

For the 2012 calendar year, I am planning a slightly more flexible kind of challenge. While searching online I found the "Creative Every Day" Challenge  (see link at the top of the page). With so many different creative passions (painting, needlework, crafting, cake decorating, etc.) I could pursue each in turn, while also working around a busy homelife. I realize it may not be a set 20-minute block of time every day, but I hope it will even out to a regular skill-building and learning exercise much as this past year's challenge has.

In 2011, there were days I did not have even 20 minutes to spend on necessities like eating, let alone sketching, and other days I hated to finish painting/drawing after only 20 minutes. I could have worked on a piece for hours or maybe even days. More flexibility in my creative schedule this year will ease those difficulties, I hope!

So - for 2012, my blog posts may become more infrequent than they have been, but they may also be longer posts, full of a variety of my creative pursuits. I hope to update at least twice a week, so we'll see where the year takes me. I hope you will stick with me as I continue to pursue creativity, in whatever form strikes my fancy. I would love to hear your comments, ideas, suggestions! And if anyone is interested in purchasing my artwork, it is for sale, of course!