November Challenge

I've been no stranger to daily challenges. I have been attempting them since at least 2010, when I started the daily photo challenge (& successfully completed it for a handful of months before falling behind on documenting -- but I wouldn't be surprised if I had actually come close to completing the task of taking a photo a day).

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Also, here's a peek at my first month of photos. It totally takes me back to a time when I was bursting with creativity and using photography as my outlet, along with the city I lived in (New York City). 

This year has been a year of making, and I've done it almost daily (with a day or 2 missed - most likely because I was terribly sick or traveling with my little ones). I did the 100 day project for the second time in spring/summer. Following my summer art journaling workshop, I art journaled daily for a month. I attempted 30 paintings in 30 days in September, but fell short --- however, I did paint more, so I still count it as a success! I have been participating in Inktober (despite lacking on sharing daily). And now, I'm looking to November with plans to join friend, Nikki Cade, as she does the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. 

Despite doing this challenge only a month ago, I'm setting this on up differently. I'm going to be making 30 small paintings over 30 days. I'll be using 4x4 inch pieces of paper to create small abstract paintings. Some of these may end up being studies that I can pull out later and paint onto large pieces. Some of these may end up in the trash because I'm so not into them that I'd rather let them go rather than force myself to keep them for the sake of the project! 

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And because I almost ALWAYS get super excited about projects before they officially start, I've started this challenge a few days early. There is a good chance that I will have a collection of more than 30 small paintings when the month of November ends. Which is a good thing, because I need a LOT of practice to work through what is already happening with this challenge. 

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Here's the spot where I can either share a little more details about this project or I can share about this work I am already coming up against before the challenge has even officially started. Here's where I can give some boring specifics about what paint I might use or colors or rules I'm setting for myself. But. I think I'll share my challenges. I think I'll put this out for someone else to read. Maybe you've been through this yourself and can share a little shout out to me saying I'm not the only one. Maybe you are going through this too, or will in the future, and this will be my shout out to you to let you know You aren't the only one!  

My favorite kind of art is abstract art. But the art I tend to make myself isn't exactly that. So I'm challenging myself to play with abstract art and see what might be inside. I'm going to share some of the paintings I've done so far (since I already started the challenge), but I'm almost hesitant to share them because I don't think they are my own. I don't "own" these pieces. These don't feel like me -- or at least not yet. I haven't done this enough for them to be my art. 

And you know what? These feelings are extremely uncomfortable. Thinking-about-quitting-before-the-challenge-even-officially-begins uncomfortable. My inner critic is so loud on this too. I'm not even going to give the words a place in this post, but they aren't encouraging ones for sure! 

I think this project will be challenging one because it's going to be a practice of figuring out what kind of marks to make to get something to look the way I feel. I am already realizing that I am not good at knowing when too much is too much until I have done too much. Working small is a challenge within itself (it's really not that much space to paint in), yet I want to do this because I'd rather get quantity at this point in the project. A bigger sized paper would give me more space to analyze and overthink on. It would take up more of my time (which I don't have much to start with, especially when I have a few other projects that NEED my attention this month!) This smaller size also helps me not feel so precious, so if I end up hating one so much I want to throw it away, I can without too much guilt over it. 

In one day, I will be officially joining this challenge to paint 30 small abstract paintings over the next 30 days. I'm hoping to share the ones I love on Instagram if you'd like to follow along. I'm probably going to throw out the ones that do not work (after I've analyzed why I do not like them). If you are feeling inspired to join in this month, please let me know so I can follow along on your painting journey! Otherwise, I hope to be back here with a reflection on the project when I have completed it!