The end of the challenge, a few months late.

So there’s been quite a lapse between day 6 and today, February 14. I finished out my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with 21 paintings. I call it a success because it’s more than I’ve ever painted, and I have a nice collection of art to hang on my walls. Here’s every painting, in some indiscernible order, since I still haven’t figured if this plugin allows me to order the pics.

30 in 30 art challenge

Painting #1: 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Painting of a womans face in teal  orange
9×12 acrylics and paint pen on canvas board

So this is it. Day 1 of 30 paintings in 30 days. I had started this face in a class I took at Create New Jersey a couple months ago and decided it was time to finish her up.

I used something new to me to make the outlines of the circles, which you really can’t see since the background is kinda dark. But it’s a dimensional outliner by pébéo. Gotta use it some more to get a handle the flow – it’s a bit splotchy on the canvas. But it’s a fun accent to use. I’ll experiment some more with it.

Learnings & observations so far:

  • Prep backgrounds: It’s easier to paint when I have a few marks on the substrate already, so I’ll prep a few here & there with some backgrounds so I have a place to work from.
  • Just do the work: I was totally apprehensive about finishing a painting, but once I got to the work, it came pretty easily (crossing my fingers this continues).
  • Ears aren’t easy: It’s something I need to work on. I’ve avoided ears on my faces for years, maybe it’s time to change that.
  • Get a handle on the comparison monster: The pop-up galleries for the day’s work on the Facebook group are FULL of amazing art, but I must keep my eyes on my own paper & resist comparison.
  • People can really be awesome: In the group, I’m blown away by how everyone’s stepped up to the challenge, and the support and love and encouragement oozes through the computer screen. The interwebs rock.

Besides this painting, I’ve done a bit of background work on a few surfaces and prepped some more with a few extra coats of gesso. I like a nice, smooth surface to work on, so gesso and sanding is definitely a part of the prep work.

On to the next!

30 Paintings in 30 Days. Can I do it?

Art table at the ready
Moved things around to make this challenge a bit more of a no-brainer.

I’m about to embark on a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge as put forth in an artist group I’m a part of on Facebook.

I honestly don’t know what I’m doing.

One complete painting daily, when I’ve been known to take months, or even years to complete just one?

I will have to knock off the Netflix binges. And some housework may go undone — but if we’re honest, housework was never my forté. And I’l need to find somewhere in our we’ve-stuffed-every-closet-full-of-junk house to house the paintings once they’re done. Eh, I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I’m feeling a bit crazy. Apprehensive. Excited. I can’t say I’ve ever really completed a challenge like this.

I hate sharing challenges on my blog & social networks because I haven’t completed one yet.

I tried NANOWRIMO several years ago and only got to 10,000 words (although that’s a pretty big feat in itself). I have started several 30-day art journaling prompts and petered out around day 20. I even started a website called 30 Day Essentials to explore a particular essential oil protocol for 30 days straight and I couldn’t get past the first one.

So I have my work cut out for me. I need to tap into something I haven’t before to get this done. I will make use of the community on FB. I will post my daily painting on my social outlets and on this site. I need to find someone to whine to when things get hard… someone who will listen patiently and then tell me to go paint.

Maybe I can do this.

Now for the why of this whole crazy endeavor…

I did some journaling about this challenge yesterday and came up with 3 things I wanted to accomplish with this insane (for me) thing:

  • Find my voice
  • Create a series in order to begin a coherent body of work
  • Own It – that is, own my artist-self

I’m looking for an increase in confidence, a development of a daily art practice, and trust in myself and my process.

First painting comes Tuesday September 9th.

I pledge to be gentle, but not let myself off the hook completely. Life happens, but whatever happens I need to have 30 complete paintings by October 9th.

Wish me luck!

And then there were two…

I pulled the plug on The Alternating Current. 

That was the hardest one because it was my baby. It was by far the site closest to the thing I love doing. It had whimsy, I hand-drew all the graphics on my iPad and I had lots of fun writing the flying monkey missives (which I think I’ll be putting together into one document and offering as a download here).

It’s time to move on.

So right now I only have two sites, down from  six, or was it five? At some point I’m sure I had more than five. One is my Podcast, and is only for the podcast & this one.

I had a pretty long conversation with my friend Crys (the same one from a few posts ago), I was in near-hysterics (over-exaggerating slightly) about taking down the last site and how little there is on the interwebs about me… which is total BS because I’m ALL OVER THE PLACE (see the right sidebar…).

She talked me down out of the tree and gave me some real clarity about my direction and reminded me that I am Queen (crown forthcoming) and what I say goes, and I can change my mind whenever I please.

My own voice is maturing & coming together, which is why this consolidation process has been so important and so difficult. All those other sites were me, fragmented. And for years I thought it was the best way to go because I had so many interests. I didn’t think that it would be right to contain each of those interests in one bucket. And for a time I guess it was right. It takes a while to really figure out what it is you’re meant to do. And even when you think you do, you’re never really finished…

But clarity came…

In the form of a tiny baby, my son, just over a year ago. Too many sites, too much fragmentation, all of that takes up time which I didn’t have much of anymore. I looked at each of my poor neglected websites and felt so guilty for not keeping up with them.

I let them lay fallow, unused, unloved. Yes, you can love a web site. :P

Until I finally realized I can’t let it go on. That I needed to do something about the fragmented-ness. I not only was in pieces all over the web, but I felt like I was in pieces inside as well. My brain couldn’t function properly (partly because I’m a sleep-deprived mom) with bits of me in different places, my focus spread in five different directions.

Without waxing on and on about this whole ordeal…

It is finished.

Now I can move on.

Another site bites the dust

writeyourownstoryIn the spirit of consolidation, I’ve redirected WPChick.com to this site. Well, more specifically this page, which explains why.

So I’m down yet another site. Right now there are three that are mine, this one, Reclaiming Creativity, and The Alternating Current.

Still not sure what I’m doing with Alt. Current, and Reclaiming Creativity isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but One Thing At A Time.

That said, I’m still doing a little of what I did with WPChick: the WP Coaching & Quick & Easy Sites, but it’s not all of it. Making room for the new doesn’t necessarily mean completely getting rid of the old.

After all, I said I’m consolidating…

You may see some nifty little images like the one at the top of this post pop up on my social media profiles (see the little handy block of icons to the right) over the next few weeks. They’re snippets of my thoughts on what I’m tentatively calling Creative Voice Facilitation.

Anywho, It really feels good. I don’t have the time or energy anymore to deal with the multitudes of web sites I was maintaining. Not only that, it felt like I was fractured. Pieces of me were scattered all over the interwebs. Time for a more holistic approach to what I do online, and this is the start.

Clean Slate

If it looks a little sparse around here, it’s because I’m starting from scratch.

I’ve changed a lot since 2009 and these words just seem too much like baggage to keep hanging around.

I have a friend, Crys, who’s recently done the same thing, and this has been on my to-do list for ages. So it’s time.

All my posts are gone.

Blank slate, new theme.

Ready for the new-ness to come.

I have four episodes of a podcast out called Reclaiming Creativity, all about reclaiming your creative mojo after having kids (also applicable to any major life-change). I hope you’ll take a listen.

So, what’s to come?

Voice.

More specifically finding it.

I finally realized the space where I thrive, thanks to my friend Rhiannon Llewellyn and her brand shift worksheet.

It’s facilitating voice-finding. That is, I empower people to find their creative voice and express it through whatever medium they choose, but mainly through online channels (blogging & social media) or through art.

What it really looks like in really real life? Not 100% sure yet, but its starting to feel real, and like me.

Here’s to the new.

Making my way back…

Hi. *shuffles feet*

It’s been oh… over a year since I touched this blog. Figure it’s time to come back around to it.

If you’ve been following at all (I’ve been unusually active on Facebook lately), I had a baby almost a year ago. He’s absolutely amazing. And frustrating. And wonderful. He’s been the focus of my life lately and I have a very lonely blog to show for it, but I’m not apologizing for it! I made a baby! And if I may brag a bit… a 100% medication-free birth at home. And we both survived.

We also made the move North to be closer to my family. Hi Snow & cold and brrrr…

As with my normal state of being, I have some new things in the works. I’m launching a podcast called “Reclaiming Creativity” in a few days. It’s a podcast geared towards figuring out how to… wait for it… Reclaim your Creativity ;) after having kids.

I’ll be doing monologues and interviews. First episode is in the can, two interviews with two fabulously creative moms recorded and waiting to be edited.

This post is yet another step in me reclaiming my own creativity.

So is this…

and

And I’ll probably be simplifying my web presence. Thanks to a few things happening at the same time (my sites all being hacked, realizing I need to simplify because I can’t possibly keep 5+ sites running smoothly and with fresh content regularly). Everything will live here.

So… what have you been up to?

Creative Vagabond. Geek-to-Artist Translator. Strategic Thinker. Idea Generator. Visual Journalist.