I had a hard time choosing which concept to pursue for my 100 days of abstract painting. I did manage to narrow down my list but most were on the vein of ‘doing’ rather than ‘learning’. And I really wanted to utilise this healthy pressure of 100 days to clock in lots of learning and development time.
What do I mean by ‘doing’ vs ‘learning’? For example, I have been really into creating small abstract landscapes lately, but I knew that pursuing 100 days of this would be more about getting creative with what I could do with that landscape painting style, rather than necessarily improving technique. More of a creative exercise in trying different things. And although this is an awesome idea – I wasn’t trying to target being creative or generating new ideas. I really wanted this 100dayproject experience to be about growth and development.
And don’t worry, if you know me well enough, you know that I did something useful with those ideas. Literally, need a ‘wink wink’ here. I’ve created a list of creative side projects that I am going to get to each weekend. The concept behind the creative side projects is to create 30 pieces of each concept – and yes enjoy that process of creativity that gets sparked with repeated action.
So those abstract painting ideas that made it to the shortlist? They are on the list of creative side projects and will be called upon each weekend, or during the week if I have time after the sessions for the 100dayprojects.
With abstract painting, it was also hard to come up with a concept (with my learning vein) that I could do for 100 days. So I decided that I would choose one concept for now, and if it fell short of the 100 days then I will just pick another concept to continue my 100 days of abstract painting.
So first up, I’ve chosen to create large artwork on canvas, following the guidance of Flora Bowley. I had been eying her Fresh Paint class for a few weeks, so she was fresh on my mind, but I decided, in the end, to take her Intuitive Painting class on creativebug.
So today has just been about gathering inspiration. Flora’s approach is to take a walk and take photos of elements in your surrounding that catch your attention and inspire you. Because it was dark outside when I was doing this session, I chose to gather my inspiration from a Real Living magazine. I’ve had a subscription to Real Living the past couple of years, so I had an abundance of magazines to choose from. I purposely chose the edition from about a year ago. I figured that the colour palettes should be representative of the energy and aura of the current season and feelings in the environment.
I basically tore out magazine pages of things that caught my attention. Some choices were based on aesthetics, some were on colours, some were because they were interesting shapes. I just followed my gut to pull out what made me stop and hesitate, even if I couldn’t really identify then and there what it was about it (that’s another part of the process).
Then I created a stack of these pieces, and grabbed one at a time, and took time to really consider each piece. I prompted myself to identify what it was about it that was fascinating and jotted these down as annotations next to my sources of inspiration.
I also visually pulled out what I liked as well – so if it were the shape of an object, I drew it out again as a visual annotation with a sharpie.
I purposely chose to use a sharpie because it had a thick tip, and drawing with it has a very, ‘this is just noting something down, and it’s not the final’ feel to it. I didn’t want to get caught up in a headspace of ‘oh I can’t draw’, ‘oh that curve is not right’, ‘oh that doesn’t even look the same’. It wasn’t meant to be a drawing exercise, and I wanted to make sure my mental game stayed in the zone of ‘we are just discovering what these design and visual elements are doing’.
This process was more time consuming than I expected. I had to time to gather all my inspiration, but only time to annotate only a few of my pieces.