For the thirty days of June, for the second year, I am responding to an online invitation: 30X30 Direct Watercolor Challenge. It means doing a new painting a day, preferably without sketching first, one created in a single pass with little going back to add layers or to do refinements and editing. Last year I could see tremendous growth by working every day, keeping that commitment and posting the results, the good, bad and ugly, however I felt about it, putting ego aside. Other wonderful assets are getting input from others in the same boat, literally from around the world, making new friends and keeping in touch after the challenge has ended. It's almost like going to summer camp. What to paint each day seemed like such a monumental decision last year but this year, I'm overwhelmed with choices. I try to comment to encourage some of the newer, less confident artists. Especially those who sound insecure and who don't get the love and attention some of the more sophisticated painters receive. The wide range of art always slays me in its individuality and creativity. I travel the world vicariously.
What the finished piece of art for the day doesn't say are important things that I want to remember; yesterday's mother Canadian Goose with her fuzzy brown babies, a woodpecker flying right past my face to land sideways on a nearby tree to begin pecking away. Also, the delight of the day: a young family on a water scooter contraption (no life jackets (-e-e-e-k!) The dad held his son and the baby was steering the craft. Are kids born with the ability to hold a steering wheel and make corrections when it goes off course? I remembered my own dad letting me steer the jeep. The special, wonderful things go on and on. Meeting dog owners and petting all kinds and colors of fur, everyone (practically) saying a cheerful hello as they pass by, all of us in the same uncharted territory this year.
Enter an art journal. Not one to actually paint in but one to save, by writing down and committing to the page, tidbits and observations. What a great place to keep a photo of the scene I was painting, to note the weather, temperature, brand of paint and paper used that day---on and on. Bobbin-olive.com has just the art journal I need and since it is so early in the month I can keep a written record of this year's challenge, faithfully. So often it's the intangibles that go into choosing where to set up, so why not chew it over on the page? Where the mind goes as I paint is another fun and rich thing to analyze. Life is so good.