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 13

And here is today’s piece.  I did it at the same time as “Flow” from day 12 but I added lavender bath salts to create a larger texture on the page (and make it smell like lavender!).  I then decided to outline those areas and fill in the background space with lines, using white ink.  I let myself not be perfect here since usually I’d be trying my hardest to make sure all those lines were as straight as possible.  The piece reminds me of lily pads on water.  I really like how this turned out, especially with the addition of the ink.

Day 13 – “Flow II”
Watercolor and white ink on paper
4″ x 6″

Flow II (Day 13)

Flow II | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 9

Another piece based on yellows and oranges, but even still, I had to include some greens in there, too.  Couldn’t resist!  Part of my untitled landscapey series, which I’ve yet to find a name for.  I felt this one needed the addition of circles in yellow ink, but they aren’t quite so prominent as in the scanned image, plus the top section isn’t nearly so light and washed out in reality.

Day 9 – “Untitled Abstract #15″
Watercolor and ink on paper
5″ x 7”

Untitled Abstract #15 (Day 9)

Untitled Abstract #15 | Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 8

I decided to switch from the blues and greens I’d been using and go with something more fall-like.  I had no plan in mind with this, so when I started adding the lines that became the flowers, it didn’t feel complete.  This time, adding the blue ink lines and dots fit perfectly and I really like how the piece turned out.  Now if I could only get my scanner to behave; everything ends up looking dull and washed out.

Day 8 – “Flower Power”
Watercolor and ink on paper
5″ x 7″

Flower Power (Day 8)

Flower Power | Watercolor and ink on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015


September 30-in-30 Challenge Begins! Day 1

And thus begins my next foray into Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  I feel like I’ve gotten off to a rough start but I’m sure that’ll work itself out soon.  For day 1, I think I should have left well enough alone and just had the background, instead of adding the ink.  So let’s just file this one under “they can’t all be winners!”

I already have day 2 completed (I work on multiple pieces at once) and day 3 is in progress.  Hopefully this weekend I can work ahead a bit, too.

Watercolor and ink on paper
5″ x 7″

Untitled | Watercolor and Ink on paper | 5" x 7" | September 30-in-30 Challenge
Untitled | Watercolor and Ink on paper | 5″ x 7″ | September 30-in-30 Challenge

State of the Art – Week 24

Happy Sunday, folks!  Right now I’m in a good mood because game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tomorrow night and here’s hoping the Blackhawks win it at home!

Oh, and I have some art and writing to share as well from the past two weeks.

Storytime first – I’ve finished two “new” fanfiction stories since last SotA and posted them here on the site and over on  I’ve also double-checked to make sure that all my stories are posted here on the site as well.  I’ve posted them with the actual dates they were originally put online, so except for the new most recent ones, it’s all in the archives.

Broken (Naruto) and Faded Memories (One Piece)

As for artwork, I’ve finished the two WIPs that I posted last time and added three more pieces to that.

Continue reading

State of the Art – week 19

Seeing as my last State of the Art was back in week 8, I’ve disappeared from updating here for over 2 months.  Pathetic.  It’s not that I haven’t created any art in that time, but a fair amount was spent in an art funk of some sort that I’ve finally decided to just push through.  I have a few new pieces to show off, including the art block-breaker, and I’ve added those pieces to the gallery here.

Another reason I haven’t been painting is that I’ve been writing.  I enjoy reading manga and watching anime and for some reason, I’ve gotten back into One Piece hard, to the point where I’ve been working on some fan fiction again.  I used to write a lot more stories years ago but for some reason, I stopped.  I’m not sure if my creative juices ran out or if something else happened, but according to the dates in the notebooks I write in (I start writing longhand, then edit as I transcribe onto the computer), the last story I was working on was dated 2009.   So I’m enjoying that bit of creativity as well.  Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to write, so the stories won’t be available for a while yet.  I did discover that one of my Ghost in the Shell fics was never posted here on the site for some reason.  It’s up on but I never cross-posted here.  I’ll do that as well.

On to the visual art though – here’s a bit of an art dump for the most recent pieces I’ve completed.

Continue reading

State of the Art for Week 5

So here it is, my first “State of the Art” wrap-up for week 5, aka the week ending January 31.

I meant to post this on Monday, but work and not feeling good-ness got to me, so it’s a day late.  This week ended the 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta that I took part in for the first time this year.  I was hesitant to do this at first but decided to jump in and see what I could push myself to learn.  And I did learn some things, mostly that doing a painting a day, even if it’s a small quickie painting, can be time consuming.  By the end of the month, I started to feel pressured and obligated to finish what I’d started and that was coinciding with end-of-month activities I do for work (it’s my busiest time of the month) and that dragged me down, to the point that I didn’t care if I finished some of my in progress pieces.

I did expand on some techniques that I liked and want to keep incorporating in my art going forward, so that’s one of the pluses from the challenge.  On the downside, I started to feel like I was doing a piece just to fill the day’s “quota” and not because I wanted to.  The weekends were easier because I could do several pieces at once and work ahead, but during the week… not so much.  I do think it taught me how to be a bit more flexible and free in what I do since I tend towards structure and nice lines and not messy most of the time.  Letting myself be messy is fun, especially the last two pieces I did when I dragged out the acrylics and just slopped paint around.

Here are the last three pieces I actually completed for the 30-in-30 Challenge.  I have three others that are still WIPs (for days 23, 24, and 29) but since none is close to being completely, I’m not going to count them.  Finishing 24 pieces, even if some were tiny, is a damn good success, if you ask me.  Tomorrow I’ll post a collage of all the finished pieces.

Day 26 – “Nebula”
Watercolor and white ink on paper
7.5″ x 7.5″

Nebula | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 7.5" x 7.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Nebula | Watercolor and white ink on paper | 7.5″ x 7.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Day 27 – Abstract (Green)
Acrylic on illustration board
9″ x 10″

Green | Acrylic on illustration board | 9" x 10" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Green | Acrylic on illustration board | 9″ x 10″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Day 28 – Abstract (Blue)
Acrylic on illustration board
10.25″ x 7″

Blue | Acrylic on illustration board | 7" x 10.5" | January 30-in-30 Challenge

Blue | Acrylic on illustration board | 7″ x 10.5″ | January 30-in-30 Challenge