Artists thrive by taking inspiration from other artists. In the past, I have seen other artists undertake the challenge of creating a sketch a day, or a drawing a day with various themes. For example, Inktober – a set of 31 drawings in ink, or the “Artists Helping Artists” 30-day challenge. After hearing about the virtues of this high-productivity commitment, I decided to try it for myself, but I didn’t want to wait to do it with a large online group, and I also wanted to make sure I could finish the challenge, so I chose 16 days. The reasoning is that I am a perfectionist. I want all my pieces to be strong and fully developed. I also wanted to set a number that seemed mildly crazed, but not so many that I would be ragged by the end because I have two large painting goals going on simultaneously. Since this is my first attempt at something like this, I figured I should do about half of a month. I set some parameters to my challenge:
- I will create 16 paintings by the end of October. This will leave me a couple of days for emergencies, and a couple of days to dedicate to a visit from our family. Painting with this type of daily commitment is rumored to set up some good habits and teach the artist a lot in a short time. And for me, it will help me maintain fresh eyes while working on the very large pieces I am painting. Almost every day I am already putting a few hours in on a huge waterfall landscape or my second Internet Series painting (depending on my mood). It’s nice to alternate between multiple pieces so that I don’t get discouraged working on one large piece that takes time to be completed.
- Each painting is 5″ X 7″ I set this size knowing that I want good quality pieces that are complete by the end of the day. I wanted a size that would allow me to create a fully finished piece each day while making progress on my other projects. I also know this is a good size for people who want a gift for the holidays but don’t have the budget to buy a large piece right now.
- Many of the pieces will involve the style I call “Tropical Leafing”. I am working gold, silver, or copper leafing into tropical subjects in various ways, whether it is the background, delicate outlines, or joyous patterns, I want to experiment and discover the best ways to use metal leafing in these small paintings.
- Every painting must be very polished – I can choose to do a loose, painterly style, or a tight realism, but every piece should be an attempt at a piece worthy of a show or gallery. I am putting my all into each piece so that despite the small size, they pack a punch.
- I am accountable to the Internet via my site, Facebook, and Instagram. Also, to my friend and fellow artist, Dawn Yoshimura. You can see her work on her site or on her “Dawn Yoshimura Studio” Facebook Page. She will not be posting every day, but she is sketching, and creating some really beautiful work. She says she will post at least some of them.
I am only two days in on this challenge, and I already see that it is going to be a good experience for me. I feel the correct level of discomfort for growth. I am very excited to find out what this will look like at the end. I am going to set up a special gallery with just my 16 paintings. I will also be blogging the experience, so you can look for the posts in the category “16 paintings in 16 days 2016” to read all my posts.