I've been painting one painting every day in July. I haven't been great about posting them here, but I've been sharing them each day over on Instagram. When I signed myself up for this painting challenge, I wasn't sure how it would go. I was optimistic but also slightly worried that I might find it tedious or struggle to find the time.
But so far, it's actually gone quite well. I've had to stay up too late on a few too many occasions, but I've been able to get each day's painting done, even if it wasn’t always as grand or complex as originally intended. Yes, it's involved a lot of hours sitting in a chair. And yes, at least one perfect Saturday afternoon was spent sitting at my parents' kitchen table when I should have been outside, or at the very least, painting on their porch. But now that I'm over halfway through, I can already start to see the benefits of the past few weeks.
I'm a list maker, but I didn't create a master list for the month or map out what I wanted to paint each day. I certainly intended to do that — the photograph above shows a calendar I drew in my notebook at the beginning of the month when I thought I would plan out the month in advance (instead I've just been writing down what I paint once I'm done). For the most part, I have just been deciding on the given day (or sometimes the day before) what I want to paint. Which — at least so far — has been fun. Like I mentioned in my last post, sometimes endless possibilities can be overwhelming, but I've tried to avoid that particular type of paralysis by not dwelling too long and not making it more difficult than it needs to be. And also by not putting a lot of pressure on myself to pick the "perfect" thing. Instead, I try to quickly pick something, anything, and just go with it. On Friday, after a long day, I just wandered around my parents' house until I found something that caught my eye (my mom's collection of vintage cigarette and tobacco cases). The other day I glanced up at some photographs hanging on my wall of my trip to Barcelona, and instantly a glass of sangria and a coffee shop interior became the subjects for the next two days.
Which brings me to my favorite aspect of all of this. It's no secret that I love painting vintage objects, and it's definitely dominated the month, but I've also painted a few things that I don't think I would have tackled yet if it weren't for this challenge, particularly people/figures and, as of Wednesday night, an interior scene of that Barcelona coffee shop. Both of these things have been on my "painting ideas" list (oh, I do love lists!) for a long time, and this has been a perfectly harmless setting for trying them out.