One of the constants during the month of July was participating in World Watercolor Month with artists from around the globe. A young man named Charlie O'Shields launched the challenge that artists everywhere should attempt to create 31 watercolors in 31 days. I thought "Why not?"
Well, why not is that this challenge took a great deal of time and really challenged me to paint solely in a medium I use with a mixed bag of others. It meant painting everyday and painting while I was going to be traveling long distances during a lot of the month. But I decided the benefits of the challenge far outweighed these obstacles.
Lots of my artist friends, former and current students signed on too. Some made it to the finish line and a few dropped out. I gave myself the added challenge of using a set of cheap $5, children's watercolors so I could travel light and not have to waste my more expensive watercolors on these daily experiments. I also decided I wanted to paint quickly at the end of each day - only spending about 30 to 60 minutes on a painting start to finish. I bought an inexpensive, small Cason sketchbook and with only one exception when I left it behind - I did every painting in that spiral sketchbook.
So here is a brief little video of the daily paintings I created with cheap paint on a small, spiral notebook. I am a little sad the challenge is over but I learned a lot in the experience. For one, it reminded me of the feelings my students have when I challenge them to create their projects. It's good to remember the anxiety and pressure of painting/drawing so often. Another was the importance of sharing and posting one's artwork. I posted my paintings - warts and all - everyday on Facebook and Instagram. It was so encouraging to get feedback from people all over the world and it also helped me evaluate what appeals to people, is popular with the public and where I might go with other, more detailed pieces.
All in all I am so grateful for this 31 painting in 31 days challenge. It's happening again next year so maybe you will join in the adventure.