This month I have taken on a few personal challenges–one of them being an art challenge that I’d like to share with you. Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of things off–especially self-care or betterment type things–until I have “more time for it.” The problem is…more time never seems to open up. My schedule always seems to fill up with things demanding my immediate attention. It’s the darndest thing, really. So I decided to make time for it…to do it now.
I’ve felt very out of practice lately and haven’t been painting for my personal enjoyment in quite some time. That needed to change. Anytime I stop painting for fun, my soul dies a bit. Maybe you can relate? What feeds your soul? Is it cooking, playing an instrument, journaling? There’s so many ways we create as human beings.
Enter–Makers March–the 30 Day Painting Challenge. I’ll be completing a painting a day. The challenge doesn’t have a lot of rules. My only parameters are to complete a painting sometime during the day and post it on Instagram. I thought the hardest part of this challenge was going to be finding time to paint. WRONG.
The biggest challenge is the internal struggle that is the creative process.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of writers block. Well, the same thing happens to us painters. With this daily painting challenge, specifically, my first obstacle has been the size. Because I’m committing to finishing the painting, I usually need to work small since I’m running a business during the day as well. The smallness of the canvas is proving to be much more challenging than I imagined. I tend to get too focused on the details and overwork these tiny compositions. I’m working on painting looser, broader strokes more confidently–harder than it sounds!
Another thing I’ve come to realize is that there is a lot more added pressure since I decided I would also share this journey publicly and post the completed paintings (that I’m not necessarily proud of) each day. Most artists will tell you that for every painting you see in their gallery, there are 10-50 bad paintings that the outside world will never see. Very true–so the thought of posting EVERYTHING that comes out of my studio is to say, the least, terrifying. This added pressure seems to deplete me of spontaneous and creative expression. I am left feeling much more bound to the outcome or the finished product than the process itself. Again…maybe you can relate?! ha.
Basically, it turns out–this challenge is much harder than I anticipated, but I’d like to invite you in anyway. It’s been a great learning experience and lesson so far (especially in vulnerability).
I hope you’ll join me in the journey–either painting yourself (or some other creative challenge that is more suited to your soul) or simply following along on Instagram.
And, if you (like me) have been putting something off–taking an art class, for example, joining the gym, eating better, saving–or investing, getting more sleep, writing etc…I urge you to do it now. More time rarely opens up. Do it now.
P.S. The inspiration for the Florence painting above–our Bellissima Italian Art Retreat is almost sold out! We only have 2 spots remaining. If you are interested, let us know right away!
Love + Art,