Monday, November 12, 2012

A bit weary but contented

We entertained a lot of visitors in the studio this weekend for our annual Open Studio Tour. The tour has such a nice flavor, with many guests finding themselves interacting more, and lingering a bit longer. One guest commented that she felt our tour was very "civilized" like she was in the big city. I had an opportunity for some quick demos, showing my supplies and workspace, offering tips, and acting as "tour guide" for my 100 day challenge. These paintings all had sequence numbers on the little tags underneath so you could tell in which order each was painted. They were arranged by color, size and content to make it more pleasing on the eye. At one point a large group of 14 people stood in a line, at a respectable distance looking at the art. As a result, I felt a bit out of body--like I had created a "museum" or "art gallery" wall in my own studio. There was even "whispering" at one point.
In my studio space, with iPad and Square ready for sales:
"Stalwart Elm" and two plain air landscapes "McNary Vista" and "Afternoon Respite", ©Laura Gable
So to reiterate and wrap up the challenge, I will summarize some of the earlier posts and musings here.

What was the 100 in 100 Challenge?
It was a self-challenge I adopted on August 2nd to create 100 paintings in 100 days. Most of the painting was done on 8x8 or 12x12 Ampersand gessoboards, or smaller supports (using mostly oil paints and some watercolor). The purpose of this challenge was to create a more definite habit of creating art, pay attention to the process, and to see my evolution as an artist, with a larger goal of joining the online daily painting movements in the near future. The challenge just ended Friday Nov. 9th - the day before our tour.

Lessons Learned:

- the process became a little bit easier each day as it integrated into my daily life
- vision and daily goals help, though often the daily painting informs the next day's piece.
- some days are better suited for doing loose rather than studied paintings (a good fit for the goal-less days)
- daily painting creates it's own momentum
- I do need occasional breaks
- there were days that it was a struggle to create --usually when I made it a task or job like doing the dishes. To alleviate this, I started scheduling "joy moments."
- the studies from life require more concentration and focus, and can be hard work. But like any task when one can see the fruits of the labor, I came away feeling refreshed afterwards. As long as something was learned, the expectation of the quality of the end result could be relaxed a bit.

This all added to the exploration and kept it interesting. Mini goals were established - not only subject matter based, but technique based as well. For instance, I strive to express lost and found edges and not feel so compelled to express every aspect of every object (an ongoing effort).

Shelf display in the studio: newly framed "Sequential" finds a new home;
"Red Mountain" and "Vineyard Revelry" display nicely below; © Laura Gable
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you are equally inspired to do something similar. A potter friend is now on her 4th day of a 100 day challenge. And another inspirational friend is doing something "different" every day -- not necessarily art based, just a unique exploration (like journal writing with the non-dominant hand.) Please share what inspiration you have come away with.

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