Setting Personal Art Challenges

still life oil on canvas traditional representational classicalstill life oil on canvas traditional representational classical

still life oil on canvas traditional representational classical





There is a meme going around social media that the “most useless purchase of 2019: a 2020 planner.” Nothing feels as certain these days as they did even just a few months ago.

Back in February, I set up and completed a challenge for myself to paint 29 paintings in 29 days.

The limitations included: 

  • They would all be on 8×8″ stretched canvas.
  • Must be created in the day assigned. There would be no paintings two or more in one day then skipping days. 
  • Each day was a different still-life setup.
  • Once completed for the day, they were hung on her studio wall and could not be touch or altered once hung. 
  • After hung, a photo was taken, and they had to be shared on social media; this not only helped provide feedback but also worked as a method of accountability. 

Points gained from the challenge:

  1. To let go of perfectionism and accept them by the end of the painting session.
  2. Awareness of the need to spend time looking at the subject before painting to make more productive use of time at the easel.
  3. Enjoy using a limited palette as it made things less complicated. 
  4. Better use of painting from dark to light helped with a more pleasing contrast in the finished image.

The small canvases were enough to complete, but also large enough to experiment a bit. The intention was not to have fully finished pieces, and some abandoned are less than polished.

Even though our world has changed, we can still still plan. We may need it to be lighter, for shorter spans, with more wiggle room, until we get at least a semblance of normalcy.

Note: I currently have seven 8×10″ and seven 8×8″ canvases on hand to use. So do not be alarmed if you drive by my house and see someone painting out in the yard in a hazmat suit.