Unexpected

When I started this challenge, I knew it was a big commitment and would be difficult. 30 Paintings in 30 Days is a lot. I knew my already precious time would be further consumed, and I had a vague idea about how it could push me creatively. I thought it might push me to produce, but that I might end up with a lot of the same thing. The truth is, this has been some of the most challenging 15 days of my life. A good chunk of that is due to the rest of my life being displaced. My husband and I feel directionless and suck, but God has given me a while lot of YES creatively.  

This challenge, while seemingly putting stress on already difficult situation, could not have come at a better time. I have something, just for me, every single day. Some days, I've painted in the few minutes my baby would sleep between fits. But, every day, I have painted. That's a kind of consistency I haven't had in a long time, but I desperately needed. I completely underestimated how much of a challenge this would be creatively. I don't usually paint with a plan. I sit down and see what comes out. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It has been so hard to find that every single day. It's pushed me to use different brushes, new techniques, and new color pallets. Recently, I hit a wall. I had something I was drawing inspiration from, but just couldn't achieve what I had in my head. So, I abandoned the idea and just went with whatever I could do to salvage it. It came out ok, but I felt spent and like I had reached my creative limits. 

I'm an oil painter. It's my home. But for cost and the sake of time, I have been using acrylics. Acrylics force you to pre mix colors and to be committed to what you put on the canvas. It dries very quickly. It's something that had been both great for my perfectionist drive and difficult to produce something I'm really pleased with. If I had not done this challenge, I think I'd have remained stuck there. The best thing about creating is pushing through the wall. You can choose to say, this is as good a it gets, or you can keep pushing. Persistence and working through the difficulty is what allows true growth and work to be proud of.  

I sat down to paint the next day, and out of sheer lack of inspiration, I tried something that felt crazy. I just kept mixing new colors and adding them, seeing what would stick. I thought for sure I'd throw this one out. But, I stepped back and thought "this is weird, but I think I like it". 

I hit a stride, and have a renewed inspiration. Today marks the half way point, and I've already experienced so much growth and positive change. I'm sure I haven't hit all the road blocks or uncovered all the ways I will be challenged, but I'm so proud of what over created and of the personal growth I'm experiencing. Days 1 - 10 are listed for sale in my etsy shop, and I will be releasing more paintings on the 20th and 30th! 


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