Reflections on a Year of Daily Painting

SBfinal2014 I am looking at 2 sketchbooks with 365 paintings in them. Last January I set the goal of a 30 minute painting a day in these particular books. You can read about my process here.



I have never filled a whole sketchbook before but choosing to do this felt right and I knew it would happen. I enjoyed watched the girth of the book grow everyday.
It took amazing discipline and energy to do this, I had some migraines, I traveled, I was busy with other projects and some days I just didn't have the will to get up and do this. But I did it anyway, every day. And I loved it, even the hard times.There were only 2 exceptions where I painted the night before. I was beyond busy and didn't want to forfeit the day.
The project is a little insight on my life, I paint what I see, what I'm feeling, who I spent time with, myself and my thoughts. I tried out color combinations and ways to work my paintbrush. I got lazy sometimes and didn't put my all into it, but those days I learned things too.
Some days I just couldn't think about color and I just drew with gel pens on a color background, some days I started over 4 times before I realized my 30 minutes was almost up, then I just mushed paint around. But I found my style and my joy. I truly love to paint, I love color, I love creating something on a blank piece of paper.
I learned that I have discipline, I wasn't so sure of that! I learned that it's really ok to make mistakes, to hate the piece I did that day, to find a little magic in the hated piece and move on and paint something I love.
I love my community of friends and followers on my social media pages. The encouragement and comments and "likes" all kept me motivated to get up every morning to paint more. Thank you so much to Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine who featured my sketchbook way back in Issue 21 in the spring, And Lisa Congdon. who encouraged me and gave me so much exposure on her blog, and Laura Tarrish who interviewed me for theDesign Observer blog. And so many others. (Now I sound like I'm accepting an Oscar) but I'm truly grateful!
I learned that I love to inspire others and I hope everyone will start a daily practice that fits their passion and lifestyle.
I never really felt like an artist until this year, even though I've been painting and drawing since I was a child and spent many years working in the textile industry as a designer and stylist.
This year I found what I love and what I am seeking. It's a great feeling.
In 2015 I plan to continue 30 minutes a day.. But I want to branch out from only painting in the sketchbook. I want to see what happens when I paint for 30 minutes but the paper is much bigger? What if I use the same paper 5 days in a row and build up layers.  What if I use more mixed media? What about using black or a different colored paper? I might draw more in the paintings. I haven't quite decided how to proceed with the details but I'm not going away, it's changed my life. The constant will be 30 minutes a day.
I'm taking off January 1st and can't wait to start a new chapter on the 2nd, Happy New Year!!
xo Jennifer