September 30-in-30 Challenge – Wrap-up and Summary

So the September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta has ended and I managed to do 25/30 paintings for the month.  That’s not too bad, actually, considering I had a mild art block in the middle of the month and then life happened for a bit there.  I really did want to do the full 30 paintings but I’m satisfied with the ones I did complete.  Right at the end of the month I tried a new technique that I really enjoyed (“Colorplay”) and I want to explore that further.  I also did something new with the “Flow” series and plan to play around with that some more, especially if it means I can pull out my metallic/iridescent watercolors again.  Those are fun to use.

I think overall, I was more focused this time around because I decided to work with a set painting size (4×6 and 5×7) and that let me not worry about the paper so much.  It may seem silly, but sometimes I look at a larger piece of watercolor paper and think “what am I going to do with all this space?”  Even with more purely abstract pieces like “flow” or the layered ‘scapes, it’s still hard to fill the space (and that includes negative space) without overwhelming the page or making it seem too busy.  It’s a tough balance and I find it easier on smaller canvases.  I want to go back to doing (slightly) larger pieces though, so I plan to keep working on that.

Here’s my collage of the 25 paintings I finished for this challenge.  You can also see them on the 30-in-30 Challenges gallery page.  I’m looking forward to trying again in January if Leslie hosts another one.  In the meantime, I’m debating if I want to jump into INKtober again this year or take a break from trying to do a daily piece of art.  I’m tempted because INKtober was what started me down the path of doing daily art and I had fun with it, but on the other hand, I just got off a challenge, so maybe a break?  Or I can just do one piece a week, that could work too.

September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge Collage

September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge Collage

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Days 18 through 25

So I disappeared for a few (okay, several) days there.  I was still painting, but not with the verve that I started the month off with.  Not sure what happened.  I did have a bit of an art block but it wasn’t much of one.  I’d fallen far enough behind that I ended up only completing 25 paintings total, which is fine in the long run.  I’ve also created a collage image of those 25 paintings but I’ll post that as part of a summary post wrapping up the challenge.

Without any further ado, here’s the paintings for days 18 through 25!  Continue reading

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 2

As I said yesterday, I had day 2’s painting done already, but I want to try posting these on the appropriate days.  I need to get a better photo of this one, the bottom of the piece is too dark, but it’s late here and I don’t want to stay up too much longer.  I did a lunchtime daily doodle for this piece and think it turned out nicely.  I’d originally been planning to use white ink for the accents but the ink wasn’t cooperating and so I switched to a gel pen instead.  I think I need a visit to the art store to see what other options I have for gel pens though.  There’s got to be a white one available, right?

“Waveform”
Watercolor and gel pen on paper
6″ x 4″

Waveform (Day 2)

Waveform | Watercolor and gel pen on paper | 6″ x 4″ | 2015

 

30-in-30 Challenge – Day 19

So I’m all caught up and working ahead a bit, which is a good thing.  I have day 19 done and ready to be sent out (?!?) and the base for day 20 is drying on the backing as I type this.

Day 19 is a two-fer piece.  In addition to doing this painting challenge, I’m also taking part in Postcard Swap #4 organized by Dawn Diamantopoulos.  I got my address to send an art postcard to and decided that I would do that this weekend and also count it for one of my daily challenge pieces.  For this, I went back to my retro circles a bit, but I also used a few new things as well from this month.

Day 19 – Postcard Swap #4
Watercolor and marker on paper, 6″ x 4.5″

Postcard Swap #4 | Watercolor and marker on paper | 6" x 4.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Postcard Swap #4 | Watercolor and marker on paper | 6″ x 4.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

In the interest of staying ahead of things, I also started working on the base for day 20’s piece.  Right now it’s at the “adding water to create shapes” stage but by tomorrow night, it’ll be completely dry and ready for me to start adding accents with paint and ink.  I can’t wait.

Day 20 Work in Progress

Day 20 Work in Progress

30-in-30 Challenge – Day 13

Ah, unlucky number 13.  Seems fitting for today’s piece.  The informal theme I choose for this challenge was growth because I wanted to push myself into trying new things and yes, growing my skills somewhat.  This is one of those “push it and see what happens” pieces and it’s just not working for me as a whole.

There are things I like about it such as using the hard edge of a ruler to pull paint around rather than just using a brush.  I’ll be exploring that again.  I dug out some foam letters I’d bought at the dollar store once to try some printing but that part didn’t work as I would have liked.  Still, it was fun to experiment with.  I worked in layers, letting each one dry in-between although with gouache, that wasn’t as effective as it could have been.

Still, I just fine it hard to create “pure” abstracts like this without any structure at all.  I struggle with the results and don’t find them appealing to look at.  Yet if someone else were to do something similar, I have no problems enjoying the artwork.  Not sure why that is.

Day 13 – “Alphabet Soup”
Gouache and marker on paper
8″ x 8″
Available for purchase, contact me at lahutton(@)gmail.com for details.

Alphabet Soup | Gouache and marker on paper | 8" x 8" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Alphabet Soup | Gouache and marker on paper | 8″ x 8″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

30-in-30 Challenge – Day 10

Yes, we’ve reached one third of the way through Leslie Saeta’s 30-in-30 painting challenge.  Yay!  I’ve only completed 8/10 paintings but I’m still considering this a success so far.  I’m trying some new things out for fun, playing around with techniques and styles, and overall enjoying myself quite a bit, and what is art for but to provide enjoyment?

Today’s piece builds off of day 8’s “String Theory” (and I’ve imaginatively named this one “String Theory II”) by using threads soaked with colors to bleed onto the page.  This time though, I didn’t create a full background but let the white of the page come through.  That is also one of my weaknesses.  Just as I have troubles with deep dark colors, I don’t allow the white/negative spaces to come through as much as I maybe should.  The blue colors along the edges is a result of the tape I reused having some turquoise paint left on it and that bleeding out, which goes well with the rest of what I was doing.

I was actually pretty tempted to stop at the watercolors when I took this in-progress pic

String Theory II (WIP) | Watercolor, Pen, and White Ink on paper | 6.5" x 8.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

String Theory II (WIP) | Watercolor, Pen, and White Ink on paper | 6.5″ x 8.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

But once I started adding the pen lines and then went back to add the white ink lines (which I need to practice applying more, or get a better nib), I think the piece really came together.  Or I could be deluding myself, who knows, lol! 😉

Day 10 – “String Theory II”
Watercolor, pen, white ink on paper
6.5″ x 8.5″
Available for purchase, contact me at lahutton(@)gmail.com for more information.

String Theory II | Watercolor, Pen, and White Ink on paper | 6.5" x 8.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

String Theory II | Watercolor, Pen, and White Ink on paper | 6.5″ x 8.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

30-in-30 Challenge – Day 8

Yes, I know I missed day 7.  I meant to do a piece last night but had personal things come up, so instead we get a day 8 piece.  Maybe I’ll go back and do an extra piece at some point, maybe not.

Anyways, this piece is probably the closest I’ve come to actually hating something.  Well, maybe hate is a strong word for it.  I kind of like it, but more for what I learned about a technique I was trying out than for the painting itself.  I was placing bits of string on the wet wash (hence the title), thinking they would soak up the colors and form faded lines.  I did this on a previous piece and it didn’t work out; the stings soaked up the colors but didn’t leave any impression.  So I used those same strings and this time, the color bled out of them onto the page, which I liked.  So I may explore more along those lines.

The other thing this painting does for me is say “You need to buy a decent red color!”  My crimson is sadly pink and any other shade of red I have has degraded over the years. *sigh*

Day 8 – String Theory
Watercolor and pen on paper, 5″ x 7″
Available for purchase, contact me at lahutton(@)gmail.com for more information.

String Theory | Watercolor and Pen on paper | 5" x 7" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

String Theory | Watercolor and Pen on paper | 5″ x 7″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

30-in-30 Challenge – Day 5

It’s day 5 of the 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta and I’m still at it.  Sounds strange to say that when it’s not even been a full week yet but sometimes life gets in the way and things fall by the wayside.  I don’t plan to let that happen here.  Right now I’m working a day ahead and that schedule is working out for me.  Now that work is starting up again it’ll give me time to think about what I want to do and then work on the painting in the evening.

Today’s piece is a pair of smaller paintings, similar to what I did for day 4.  Yes, these were meant to use up scrap pieces of watercolor paper from when I was sizing out paper for another piece, but that’s part of the challenge, too.  Use an odd shaped piece of paper and turn it into something beautiful.

Day 5 – River of Gold
Watercolor and pen on paper
Each approx. 3.75″ x 10.5″
Available for purchase.

River of Gold | Watercolor and Pen on paper | 2 pieces, each 3.75" x 10.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

River of Gold | Watercolor and Pen on paper | 2 pieces, each 3.75″ x 10.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

And the Stars, Like Grains of Sand

Another instance of not knowing where my titles come from.  The reference is to a Science Fiction classic (which I’ve oddly not read) by Samuel R. Delaney, Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand.  This is a merger between my Sun and Moon series and my Retro Circles series, plus it was rather fun to use such an unusual size at 6 x 18.

“And the Stars, Like Grains of Sand”
Watercolor and pen on paper, 6″ x 18″

And the Stars, like Grains of Sand | Watercolor and pen on paper | 6" x 18" | September 2014
And the Stars, like Grains of Sand | Watercolor and pen on paper | 6″ x 18″ | September 2014