Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections on a Year of Daily Painting

365 days of painting in a sketchbook

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.

December 2014

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.
January 2014

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.
April 2014


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.
May 2014

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 the Design 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.
September 2014

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.
June 2014


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.
October 2014

I'm taking off January 1st and can't wait to start a new chapter on the 2nd, Happy New Year!!
You can see my whole year of paintings in the sketchbook section of my website here. I am reposting this there as well. xo Jennifer

December 2014



20 comments:

Tracey said...

Looks so beautiful Jennifer, congratulations

Carla said...

So inspiring, and so lovely :)

tina said...

I'm so grateful to have found you and your work. You are deeply deeply inspirational and your work is fabulous! I can't wait to see what 2015 brings.

jennifer said...

Thank you Tracey, you are such a diligent follower!! I really appreciate the support. xo💗

jennifer said...

Thanks so much Carla!! Have a beautiful new year!! Thanks for all your support💕

jennifer said...

Tina, what a beautiful note, thank you so much! Have a fantastic new year!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

thank you for this wonderful idea. I'm way too invested in the outcome of my work and even when I try to do sketchbook, I don't want to end up with a dud, so sometimes I can't make myself do it. But….I'm going to try the 30 minute approach and be brave. Happy New Year, Jennifer.

Sally Dean said...

I want to thank you for inspiring me. I made up a folio of paper today to do a 30 minute daily sketch of " stuff I see". Your work is free and happy and honest! I had a little wren outside my studio window last August who made a nest and I could hear her little trill song as I was painting so I love your art name because of that! So glad , as many others are, to have found you!

nini said...

Congratulations again and thank you for all the wonderful inspiration! I noticed so many going after this same challenge that I can only applaud you for achieving so much more than you set out for.
Good luck with the new beginning!

Laura McHugh said...

thanks to Pam G that I found you and your amazing work......on FB....so inspiring........Have a great year...I am planning too and paint and sketch as much as possible..

pve design said...

Love for you to post about your success on instagram too. You and your paintings are so fun and I loved seeing each and every one.
pve

jennifer said...

Hi Mary, that's why my first year at this I used a really crappy sketchbook, not even meant for painting.. And I painted on both sides of the paper so there was no chance it was "for" something.. Don't be afraid!!! Good luck!

jennifer said...

Thank you so much Sally! I love your story of the wren! Good luck on your project!

jennifer said...

Thanks for everything Nini! You've been so encouraging the whole way through!

jennifer said...

I find painting takes me to another place.. So enjoyable! I hope for you too.. Thank you so much!!

jennifer said...

Hmm I would have to figure out what to say about that... Thanks for all your support Patricia!!

Linda J said...

Thank you for your inspiration! 30 minutes a day is doable, even on bad days. I love the color and free flow of your art. All the best in the New Year!

Bev said...

I've just found you via Pam G and I love your blog and I'm going to try doing this thanks....

Marylinn Kelly said...

This is very inspirational. Not sure I'm quite there, ready to commit. Your example makes it seem possible, thank you. xo

Jo Murray said...

A wonderful project!...congratulations on your commitment and the results.