Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Idle Challenge: Discovery, Rediscovery, and Recovery

"Real dreams are about seeing what others miss. If you have your head in the clouds, you can see the world more clearly." - Tom Hodgkinson, How to Be Idle

Reflections On The 30 Day Ramble 

What a month of painting and reading and writing and daydreaming this has been. Thanks to Leslie Saeta and her 30 Day Challenge over 1000 artists participated in a challenge to paint and write and post for 30 days. The collage image above was created on PicMonkey and was much easier than I ever expected.  The paintings are on my website now and I would be delighted if you were to take a swing by there to look at the gallery, and just click on an image to see the full painting.  

The 30 day challenge was very much a 30 day ramble, a reflective walk through the landscape of my own creative process. 


A good reflective ramble will open one's eyes, and I discovered a number of things this time around. First of all my trusted guidebook, "How to Be Idle" was a great eye-opener. I actually didn't know what a ramble was until I read this book. And I never really thought about how weavers were in charge of their own day until manufacturers came along and became their bosses. I have a couple of people to thank for this - my friend, artist Aryana B. Landir introduced me to creativity coach Mark McGuinness who recommended I read Tom Hodgkinson's "How to Be Idle." I loved finding a quote from the book to accompany each painting and to inspire the spin of my reflection on the painting experience. Blogging, like painting, is an opportunity to reflect.


It may be hard to imagine losing sight of the joy of painting, and before the challenge I was burying the joy under a whole lot of unnecessary stress. It was time for me to step back and rediscover the joy of painting for the sake of painting. What other reason could I possibly have to paint but that I enjoy it? Why not paint figures? Why not paint flowers or landscapes? Why not take a crack at non-objective abstracts? Why not collage? Why paper? Why not Yupo and Crescent Board? How about mixed media?  

Recovery? I Don't Think So.

I have enjoyed this challenge because I allowed myself not to be covered - buried - under the stress of doing. I don't want to be re-covered in the kind of stress I felt before I started the challenge - I want to continue to be the loafer, the daydreamer, the rambler, who paints because it's fun. I've uncovered the joy. No need to "re-cover!"  

Thanks for following along. I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me.  I'll continue blogging along - not every day - but I plan on writing once a week.