Friday, April 26, 2013

Final Day - 259

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.  I want to leave this blog as a legacy to the project. Please join me at where I'll be blogging regularly from now on.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 258

Mugshot: Wanda, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

And the final mugshot of the Hilton Head Gang is the fabulous Wanda. Kudos go out to Wanda for all her hard work of putting together her weekly emails (and their hilarious descriptions) so us "felons" of the Hilton Head Gang could paint each other. (2012 Hilton Head Gang = participants of Karin Jurick's workshop at Hilton Head Island last fall.) Wanda also put together a blog for the Hilton Head mugs project, you can check it out here. I can't tell you how much fun I had with these HHG mugs, and how much I learned from each one, and how wonderful it was to spend a week with these ladies last fall.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 257

Shadow Walk 7, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It's been quite a while since I've painted Cloud and his shadow, so I thought I'd do another one before the challenge is up. I was looking though my photos, and thought the shadow of this one looked so cute. My favorite part of this painting is the two feet on the ground, how solidly they seem to be touching the road. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 256

Mugshot: Jordan, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This is my son's beautiful girlfriend, and I think I need to paint her more often. The reference photo was taken outdoors in soft, late afternoon light with some snow on the ground - really lovely lighting conditions. The icing on the cake of this portrait - the little skulls on her earrings. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed painting this one. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 255

Walking the Dog, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

More fun with Fisher Price characters. I love the dreamy feel of this one, and the complimentary red and green. 
In other news, this is the last week of my year-long challenge. It's been amazing, but it's time to wrap things up. I'll be writing a detailed blogpost of my thoughts about the project on friday. I'll still be painting and blogging a LOT, but without the self-imposed requirement to finish one a day. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Day 254

Mugshot: Trevor, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

My handsome son in his beloved Lions hat. I really love the texture in this painting, and that stocking cap was great fun to paint. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 253

Jump. 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

My favorite little orange Fisher Price boy, jumping around.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 252

Thor Pez, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

My husband saw this Thor Pez dispenser months ago and brought it home for me to paint. Better late than never. It was fun trying to make the God of Thunder look plastic-y. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 251

Pointer, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Remember this guy? That value study really helped me today with the color version of this painting. This handsome fellow was enjoying the farmer's market last year. One more month and our markets open again. Looking forward to more fresh produce and fresh photo ops.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 250

Mugshot: Maria, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang mugs, we have the fabulous Maria Bennett Hock. It was so much fun to spend the week of Karin Jurick's workshop with Maria. In fact, we were "table buddies," so this painting was extra fun for me. I love the little spots of red, and the areas of thick paint in this portrait. There's only one mug left in the Hilton Head Gang series, and I'll be sad to see it end. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 249

Mugshot: Sandhya, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

We're at the tail end of the Hilton Head Gang mugshots. There's only one more to go. This is the lovely and talented Sandhya, and I think this is my very favorite mugshot that I've done so far. Of course, I say that about all the mugshots, and it's always true - my favorite painting is the one I'm working on at the time... Anyway, it was a pleasure to spend the week with her, that's for sure.