Sometimes it’s really difficult to find some kind of enthusiasm when you feel stuck. You find yourself looking through artist’s website for inspiration, only to feel overwhelmed with a sense of panic.
Comparing yourself to other artists can be very daunting. You feel like you have been left behind and that you would never be able to catch up. I felt like that after a long bout of depression where painting was put on the back burner. When I slowly began to recover, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do.
I thought to myself, okay Naomi, what can I do to discipline myself to paint daily? Well, the answer came rather quickly. A few minutes later I was invited to show my work for a month at a local, very busy, bed and breakfast. I knew this was my only way to get painting again. By lighting a fire under my butt. I accepted. Then I thought, okay Naomi, now what? How am I going to create a body of work really quickly as I don’t want to show my old stuff.
Then it hit me…A Daily painting challenge! That’s it! I had done this before and it changed the way I painted forever, and this is what happened…
Joining a 30 day painting challenge will force you to discipline yourself. You have to organize your studio and be prepared each day with a new subject matter. By the time the challenge is over you will be more disciplined. The benefits of self-discipline also carries over to other areas of your life. Like disciplining yourself to exercise regularly. It’s a win-win.
Setting a timer to complete your painting is a must. Start with 4 hours. Prepare your panels ahead of time. Important~ choose small panels. Going too big will eat up your time. Painting on 5″ x 7″ panels makes it doable.
Soon enough you will find a method that works for you and by the end of the 30 days you will know what works and what doesn’t. It will also take you less time to complete a painting. Instead of four hours, you will be able to complete one in 2 or 3 hours.
Your technique will improve. Your painting style will loosen up. This forces you to paint more painterly.
The point of the challenge is not only discipline, but to improve as a painter. You will be able to track your progress in a meaningful way that can be easily measured with before and after pics. If painting clouds is difficult for you, then paint a series of clouds or trees or landscapes from life until you master it.
You will have 30 more paintings than you did before you started the challenge.
There is something so gratifying about winning.
It’s not about winning a prize at the end of it all. The prize is your improvement. Your newfound discipline. Your 30 paintings. The feeling of accomplishment. And what’s even better, you’ll want to take it further… a 3 month challenge and a slightly larger canvas, because you’ll be faster and will be able to cover more canvas in less time. That’s another 90 paintings! That’s huge!
You’ll be posting your new painting each day on your Blog talking about your progress and your process. You’ll have more people engaged in your posts. If you have an instagram or Facebook account, post your painting each day and perhaps a few time lapses and link it to your blog. You can also run a daily painting challenge with your viewers engaging them that way. You can also set up an auction on your website or on Ebay and sell your daily paintings. You could also trade daily paintings with your viewers who are daily painting with you. You will grow your email list. You’ll have people who want to join the challenge and sign up to your email list.
I’m pretty sure I could come up with many more benefits. I’ll leave that up to you to discover them on your own!
I’ve ordered my thirty 5’x7′ panels and will start as soon as I’ve received them and prepped them.
Are you ready to take your skills to the next level?
Excellent idea! I am in great need to push myself to be back in front of the easel. I just order my 5×7 panels as well.
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That’s awesome, Isabel, lets do this!
I’m in. Have sent a request to join the FB group
Awesome, Muktesh, lets do this!
Great job, Naomi! If I wasn’t in the process of moving, I’d join your challenge-the way you lay it out makes a lot of sense. I’ve never seen much point in just a daily painting for the heck of it, but I’ll give it a go once I resettle myself!
Thank you, Shelley, glad you liked it! Painting one a day is quite the commitment, but definitely worth it. Good luck with your move! Would love to have you join us when you are ready 🙂
Great post Naomi , couldn’t agree more! I’ve let my daily painting slip lately due to various reasons but I’m about to give myself another push : )
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Thank you, Rosemary! Sometimes we need a little push to motivate ourselves to paint more ~ a good old commitment usually works, like agreeing to a show, hahaha!
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Nice site. Love your idea. Now, if I can only find myself to tell me to start doing it …
Thanks Olof, yeah I know, an idea is one thing, but motivation to do it is quite another!
This is a great idea . I need something to keep me motivated into action. And to build some momentum , instead of just looking at my paints and taking them for bike rides haaaa! Is there any way to post our paintings together as a way to be accountable and encouraging?
Hi Heather, yes there is a way…https://www.facebook.com/groups/DayPaintingChallenge/
I think for me to complete this I need to have a clear plan of what to paint before it starts or I will just waste time wondering and being indecisive.
Hey Heather, anything is paintable, your salt and pepper shaker or even a pencil! Your coffee cup, veggies, fruit, clouds, trees, the possibilities are endless!