FOR THE SECOND year in a row, this spring I participated in a 100-day art challenge during which I painted 100 small watercolors over a (very loose) course of 100 days. Completing such a challenge took more energy and focus than I ever would have guessed. But the benefits, to me, greatly outweighed the (dare I say it) weight. My skill improved for sure, and I love flipping through the complete collection now housed in a perfect little box. Most significant, though, was the way the exercise heightened my awareness of all the things, large and small, that make up the days of my life.
Over both years so many paintings were of mundane items or of moments that seemed, what? Ordinary? Unworthy? Insignificant? But every one had a story that surrounded it. A teacup—the day my friend, Sharmin, came by for a visit; the vacuum cleaner—the day I prepped for a party; a downtown parking meter—the week I had jury duty. (I still think about that case on the regular.) Other paintings marked more significant scenes and events, including a day-by-day record of our amazing April RV trip all through the American Southwest. Some of my very most treasured paintings are landscapes I painted while on that trip.
How many of these moments would be lost to me but for the commitment that was required to notice, to acknowledge, to take the time to record. I am so happy the 100 Day Project brought me that gift. The global initiative also offered a great deal of encouragement to share your daily art publicly, something I never would have done, and I found such a community of love and support I recently formed Studio CRM and opened a storefront on Etsy named Studio CRM. (I’ll share more about this in an upcoming Grace Notes.)
Just writing this makes me realize how much I’ve missed the discipline of a daily art practice and I think I’ll give a little thought to a way to carry that energy and intention forward. Maybe it’ll be a daily journal, or a return to a #100 days project, or something I haven’t thought of yet—a series combining words and paint?
How I do love the many splendors of making!
Thank you for being here,