|"The Moment Before Tomorrow" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 15" x 22"|
A New Beginning: A 30 Day Challenge
Today I am agreeing - apparently along with another 259 artists - to another of artist Leslie Saeta's 30 day challenges. I jumped on this bandwagon because I really enjoyed the challenge back in September 2013, and I am hoping that a second round of this will lead to a consistent practice of blogging and painting. That I enjoy both painting and blogging ought to be enough of an incentive, but facing a challenge and doing it with a great league of artists is a whole lot of fun.
I am not one who knocks out a painting a day, starting from scratch. In the September 2013 challenge I decided to take the many "starts" I had lying around the studio, and finish them. And once again, I am going to adjust the rules some. For this challenge, my goal is to "complete" 30 paintings in the month of January. I generally work on a painting for days, often days spread out over months. That is, I may start a painting and have it nearly finished and then leave it for weeks - months - before I return to it and finish it. I surely have 30 "not-finished paintings" lying around this studio, and it is time to address them. I may be working with some paintings that are almost finished.
The Moment Before Tomorrow: Just Sign It
Signing a painting is a ritual. When I sign it, I am saying that the painting is finished.
Confession: I didn't paint this painting today. I just finished it by signing it.
And that is one reason why I chose "The Moment Before Tomorrow" as my first painting for 2014. First, it only needed to be signed, and I thought it would make a point that the artist's signature is the finishing mark. Second, it would let me off easy on January 1, and I think today is still a holiday. The real and greater challenge starts tomorrow for me. Today is the day before tomorrow, the day before my challenge begins, and I want to pause for a moment before I enter fully the new year.
I think that the painting is also a good choice for the first day of a new year. The central figure is in a place of transition. Again a figure that is paused in the present, in between but moving on - leaving something behind and looking at something ahead. Among other things I think the image and all of its parts contribute to a metaphor about meeting life's challenges, the moments of discovery, the decision-making, and the fortitude to take action.
It's an ancient story, isn't it?
Happy New Year, 2014!
See... I just signed it.