Monday, September 8, 2014

Meet The Challenge: Escape

"Escape" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic Mixed Media on Crescent Board, 20" x 20" 

"They tell us that we have our heads in the clouds, they tell us to stop daydreaming, to stop staring out of the windows." -Tom Hodgkinson

A Challenge To Escape

Leslie Saeta's 30 Day Challenge is really more than just a challenge to paint and to blog every day for 30 days. It's a challenge to artists to do what they love. And it's a challenge to their followers to take time out from their busy work days to do a little bit of daydreaming, to "stare out the window," as Tom Hodgkinson suggests. 

It is very easy to fall back into work mode, even when you are retired and can design your own schedule every day of the week. So, in accepting this challenge, I've also challenged myself to let it feel not like a work challenge but rather an "enjoyment" challenge. 


One sure way to escape into making art is to see it as an experiment. In the making of "Escape" I was experimenting with acrylic gel mediums and collage. I love the way crescent board soaks up the paint as well as what happens when gel mediums are applied. I created the structure for this painting many months ago, but cast it aside when it wasn't working. I pulled it out for the challenge, thinking that if I just gave it some time and decided to focus on the words "fun" "enjoy" "love" I would resolve the issues. Before, it was a job. Today, it was fun. 

An Invitation: Look Out The Window

The painting is as much a blank canvas for the viewer as is looking out the window. There are no figures here to lead you into constructing a story. Instead there are just land and sky and water, and oh maybe some life under the water, and maybe some life on that land and beach. Surely, this is what "idle" is all about, a chance to daydream, a chance to let your imagination run free. 


  1. Wonderful scene. Love the tones. And interesting blog :)

  2. Love this Jim, quite different for you. I love the simplicity... This is a visual escape. Breathing room. Like sitting and watching the shadows from the clouds roll across the lake. Nothing else to do... except maybe eat a slice of strawberry pie. :)

  3. Thanks, Sheila. Actually, I have a series of landscapes - my "lake scene unseen" series, that this would be related to. I guess because I haven't put any of them on my blog and only a few on my website, they are not what some would ordinarily connect with me. I know I will be doing more of them in the future. I'm so glad that you like it - and that you like the simplicity of it. I do too!