Cow Timer, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy
This is it! My year is done - 259 weekdays total, with Christmas off. You can see I've come full circle. I started with a chicken timer, and ended with a cow. Comparing day 259 with day 1, I see a boldness in the strokes, color, and value that wasn't there before. A very definite improvement in style, in my eyes.
Chicken Timer (Day 1)
I feel proud that I stuck it out, and of the growth of my work. I also feel relieved that it's over.
What did I like best about the project?
So many things: it instilled in me the discipline to paint every day - something that up until this project I had been struggling with.
The amount of growth in my work would have taken much longer to attain at the rate I was going before.
It's built up my body of work greatly.
What did I like least?
Having to post a new painting 5 days a week for a year can be very stressful when many of your paintings take longer than 4 hours (on top of other work that you're doing.)
I've always had a rebellious streak, and found that I would rebel against myself on occasion because of the "have to" factor - there were days when I would find anything to do other than paint, and when I would come around it would be late in the day, and I would be more stressed than if I would have just bucked up and painted in the first place.
What tips do I have for anyone embarking on something similar?
Find quick, easy dinners that you don't get bored of. If you can have someone help with dinner, you're ahead of the game.
After a month or so, painting daily becomes a habit. It starts to feel strange if you don't. Stick it out for at least a month.
If you can set up some kind of display where you can see your work accumulate and your style progress, it helps motivate you tremendously.
Find some way to record each day's painting (blog, website, or just a file on your computer if you don't want it public.) You think you'll remember all the paintings and their titles and dates, but you probably won't.
What am I going to do now?
I'll probably be painting most every day, only without the requirement of having to finish one each day. That sounds wonderful to me right now. Sometimes a painting needs more than one day to look it's best. I also want to draw and sketch more. Spend more time with my husband and friends. Paint some larger works. Spring clean my house and yard. Catch up on my commissions. Re-work some older paintings. Most of all, I just want to relax for a little while.
Do I have a favorite painting from the last year?
I can narrow it down to these three:
|Day 101. Shadow Walk 6|
|Day 150. Steppin' Out|
|Day 251. Pointer|
Would I do something like this again?
A challenge involving a certain number of paintings for a certain number of days? Right now I'd say no. Not for this long, certainly. A year is a very long time, and the pressure was actually pretty stressful. Like I said, there were days where it just wasn't fun, only because of "having to." I'll be forever grateful for the tremendous growth I made during the last year, both in my work and my discipline, but the "have to" part (even though I was the only one holding myself accountable) made it too stressful to want to do that to myself again. Getting into daily painting was very good for me, and this challenge was the push I needed - but now I need to have some freedom back.
What are my plans for this blog now that the challenge is finished?
I'm going to go back to posting at my much neglected studio blog Life, Earth, Sky (because I'm in the habit of painting and blogging often now and need an outlet.) I want to leave this blog as a legacy to the project. Please join me at http://kathleen-coy.blogspot.com/ where I'll be blogging regularly from now on.