30 Studies in January

Taking on a 30-day challenge is a test of both will and temperament. My intention was to do one study a day. Studies are done to practice different skills (drawing, color mixing, value, composition, brushwork, form). Often, they don’t reach the level of a finished paintings and only a few of the 30 shown here are finished.

I did 50 studies in 51 days last fall. The objective then was speed. I would spend 60 to 90 minutes (sometimes a little more) on a study and stop. I thought the 30-day challenge would be easier. It took less time, but it wasn’t easier. I fell behind on day six, caught up when I did two paintings on the weekend, and fell behind again when I took two days to work on the lily pad painting. I continued the pattern of falling behind and struggling to get caught up throughout the month.

On January 30, I had to decide if I could paint five studies in two days and finish the challenge, or if I would accept defeat. I decided to finish, and I knew that I’d have to avoid my tendency to refine the work (temperament).

A concentrated effort, like a 30-day challenge, is a strategy designed to bring about improvement—fast. In upcoming posts, I’ll write about deliberate practice and some things I learned about painting and myself during this challenge.

I sold #9 (Jan 10) “Winter Light” the day I posted it on Facebook.

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