For a year or so I've been trying to beat Mr. Resistance at his game. I read The Artist's Way, The War of Art, Walking in This World, looking for ways to get around the blahs of going to the studio to paint. Reading The Artist's Way was my jump off point. The tasks were do-able most of the time. The most beneficial step forward was the daily writing of Morning Pages. Thank goodness for those Pages! The constant blabbing going on in my head has moved to the written page, leaving my brain pretty clear and babble free.
The thing is I wanted to be painting on a regular schedule. In the past year I have moved well along, but, alas, no schedule. I thought that, maybe, I'm not a good schedule person-type. I thought, maybe, I'm not organized enough to make myself walk down the steps to my studio area, in my house, at a set time each day to work. Try as I might, I couldn't seem to act as if I have a job in an office, to which I had to show up every day and get paid at the end of the week. Where was the payment, the cash, the moola? Not in my basement studio it seems. And not anywhere else either. It just wasn't happening on that regular basis I was looking for.
It was happening alright, just not how I expected it. Yes, I painted some solid work. Yes, I learned things about watercolors and materials. I learned how to find inspiration, when to give myself a break, how to lighten up and when. Live life, ignore some stupid stuff, much of it my own, pay attention to nice stuff, smile and move on. Yes, learning lots of stuff. Good stuff and not so good stuff.
I knew that spending a small amount of time in the studio looking through my things, sorting, cleaning, could lead to doing. For fifteen minutes I could do something and it worked, for a while. Planning to show up for fifteen minutes would turn into a new project. Process, process, process.
One day while floating around the internet I stumbled onto The Twenty Minute Challenge blog by Teri Casper, and things suddenly started to happen. I learned that I couldn't fool around all day long with watercolors because I wasn't getting what I thought I wanted with all the water, the sloshing paint, the fuzzy-ness developing on my paper. But in twenty minutes I could have a finished painting! What a concept! Smack me in the head!
Those quick paintings I did on the beach in October were finished works. Why couldn't I do the same thing here? Well, it worked and I did it.
Fast forward through to the present. Through Teri's challenge I found the 100 Paintings Challenge. Sounded daunting, but other artists were working through it, why not I? (I, me, which one is it? Forget it.)
If I had found out about this idea months ago I'd have plenty of work under my belt by now. The thing is, I don't think I would have had the guts to do it. Don't think I have the guts right now, just that I'm afraid if I don't jump in with both feet Mr. Resistance will grab me from behind and beat me up. So I threw down the gauntlet and said YES, before I backed out. Remember- YES is the operative word?
Here I am, making a commitment to do 100 paintings in the year ahead. I said yes so it's done. The wonderful, kind Laure, administrator of The 100 Painting Challenge was lovely with her encouragement, as was Teri and the other artists over there. Laure asked me if I wanted to begin right away or wait. I replied that I needed to begin as soon as possible to keep the momentum going. I even had the latest painting ready to go.
|What's Left of Fall (c)2011Dora Sislian Themelis|
8x12 Watercolor 140lb Arches cold press paper
I did it. I'm ready. I made the commitment and I'm peeking around the corner for Mr. Resistance. If he shows up I'm going to deck him!