This was hard

The 30 paintings in 30 day challenge was so exhausting that I'm only just getting around to publishing my notes. (Okay I did sneak in a wee trip to Japan there). Here are my notes ripped direct from my diary during the challenge. They're pretty candid, a little rough, and perhaps boring in parts... but there are some pretty pictures! :) 

Day 1.      

  • The challenge of one painting per day, is that I need more than one day for some of my layers to dry. So, I have bent the rules to allow for working on multiple paintings, but I must finish one of them everyday. Technically, it’s taking up the same amount of time, right? And is still 30 paintings in 30 days. 
  • So far, I have started 4 or 5 pieces. Each quite different, but seemingly themed food, animals, and abstract. Given they are at the early stages, i can go in any direction, and just now I feel like I’m more interested in the food. Not sure why? Am I hungry? is it such a departure for me that I’m drawn to them? 
  • I am tired already. I was going to paint a hamburger, but I made a meal of it (hehe) So instead painted a cake. 

Day 2.

  • I have made a hamburger. 
  • Food is assembled much the same way as a painting. The nature, the look and the feel of paint, is delicious. Easier with sweet things… the burger needs to look savoury. You can do that with colour. Layers!! Layers of paint, and layers of different foods. This exercise is turning out to be food porn.
  • There is an element of nostalgia with food
  • Whilst making my favourite snack, banana yoghurt and honey, i thought how much yoghurt and honey both are similar to some of the paint products I use.

Day 3.

  • Saturday and I am under the weather. Gotta make some candy. There is nostalgia in candy, for sure. The concentric circles of a half-sucked wonka gobstopper (real wonka, not movie). 
Day 1 'Sponge Cake', Day 2 'The Works', Day 3 'Wonka', Day 4 'Sundae', Day 5 'Mundae', Day 6 'Exotic Fruit'.

Day 1 'Sponge Cake', Day 2 'The Works', Day 3 'Wonka', Day 4 'Sundae', Day 5 'Mundae', Day 6 'Exotic Fruit'.

Day 4.

  • Sundae on Sunday. The interesting thing about using liquid paints, is it is the just like ice-cream except backwards. It runs and swirls, then solidifies, where the ice-cream starts out solid and melts and runs into swirls
  • I’m tired already. Can I really do this?? Can I keep painting this size and to this level of finish? I have other projects I need to tackle too. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? (ha)
  • Sundae, Mondae, Tuesdae, Wednesdae, Thursdae, Fridae, Saturdae … that could make a good series, but am I really challenging myself by sticking to the same process? 

Day 5.

  • I’m up and writing this at 6am because I need to get some prints off in the post, as well as varnish and prepare the pieces the have sold for shipping. Bunnings opens at 7am so I can get there and back with more screws before I hit peak hour. 
  • 6.05 mess around on fb for a bit. See a zend (a zen friend) meditating in front of a lotus garden, and remember I should be meditating too. Then I think I’m too busy, then just as that thought hits I jump to the thought that that’s when you should meditate, and that’s when I realise my thoughts are so damn jumpy that I really do need to breathe for 10 mins.
  • 6.13 Meditate
  • 6.30 Eating some cereal. Slightly stale Sanitarium granola
  • balancing the abstract.. trying not to be too literal with the ice-cream 
  • the sundae paintings are like painting soft-sculpture - funny how interests from my uni days can reoccur in such a different medium. 
  • After all that, I am happy with 'Mundae'

Day 6.

  • It feels like fruit, but too much like fruit. Why is exotic fruit so interesting? Alien… like they’re grown on another planet. I need to paint that kind of fruit. That’s interesting fruit. 
  • I really need to get more going at once. I’d be less stressed about it if I had one up my sleeve. Is that cheating? Remember, no rules. Also, I have my other paintings I need to wok on. (Autocorrected to wok instead or work.. I wonder if the universe is hinting I paint a wok)
  • Struggling to find the needed time to work on commissions. 

  • Significant other suggests I take a two days off the 30/30 project to get on top of commissions.. and that my followers would understand this priority. I work into the night to try and get ahead.

  • Struggling to see anything in the paintings I have lined up. I don’t have an idea for tomorrows 30/30.

Day 7. 

  • Woke early, slightly panicked about today’s painting. I remember looking at dumplings late last night as a thought for a piece in this series, then when I saw what was to be today’s painting, I could see dumplings in it! Feeling good about the dumplings. I’m surprised that I can paint food. 

Day 8.

  • Intent to paint donuts… they are delicious and colourful. Had a bunch of donuts, but the scale was all wrong. Wasn’t going to work, and was running out of time to deliver todays painting. Took a break, came back to it. Got brave and landed a large coloured pour, that simultaneously turned two donuts into one and gave the piece an abstract quality that made it more interesting. *Happy sigh*
  • It's Day 8, I am well exhausted, to the point of tears, and I the biggest fear is I'm not even a third of the way through the challenge. 

Day 9.

DECIDE TO GET REAL AND TAKE A  2 DAY HIATUS, BECAUSE THIS WAS NUTS. I guess what I didn't think through is that although it is totally doable, to paint 30 paintings in 30 days, the pressure comes from everything else you must do on top of that. You also need to frame, photograph and upload each new piece to net, varnish, pack and send to the buyer etc. As well as keep on top of social media AND keep on top of the other projects and normal day-to-day running of the studio. 

Day 10.

GONE FISHING (not really)

Day 11.

  • Paella ~ mussels are very sexual. The prawns came alive with the new red picked up from guerra paint NYC. Perfect colour for them. Curiously, I feel a little like I’m making plastic display food. 
Day 7 'Dumplings', Day 8 'Donuts', Day 11 'Paella', Day 12 'Tuesdae', Day 13 'Keiseki', Day 14 'Wonka 2'. 

Day 7 'Dumplings', Day 8 'Donuts', Day 11 'Paella', Day 12 'Tuesdae', Day 13 'Keiseki', Day 14 'Wonka 2'. 

Day 12..

  • Another Sundae in a series called Tuesdae (after Mundae). Maybe an aerial view will be more abstract, but I can go nuts with painting candy and sprinkles and swirly bits... and nuts. Made it to a third of the way through, and feeling slightly less pressure. 

Day 13.

  • Right now I have 3 pieces in the pipeline at various stages of completion. The Wonka abstract piece is just not going to be finished in time for today. I have just five hours to work out how get a meal on the table, so to speak. I'm not going to be able to use thick layers of paint. Has to be thin and layers dried with hairdryer. I'm thinking fish and Japanese delicacy... that fits with the thin layers idea. Keiseki! Work on Wonka 2.

Day 14.

  • Wonka is good finally. A lot of work in that one. 

Day 15.

  • Basket of eggs. Oooh I love this one. Need to stop fiddling with the basket and make a basket-like skin. 

Day 16.

  • The yolk I was attempting to make, was more ofa pattern/abstract, but the result so VERY yolk like. Partially soft/hard and with the ghost of white. Pretty happy bout that little accident.  
  • Interestingly, I’m not ahead like I wanted to be but feeling somewhat more relaxed. I might just be able to do this. I’m stoked with the work… it’s fun and interesting. Am I finally getting into a rhythm? I'm not as tired for sure. 

Day 17. Taking a day off to catch up on commissions.

Day 18.

  • Started making the Udon soup last night... the prawn pieces are drying, as are the chopsticks. Got some nice looking swirls in the sticks. 
  • painting some thickish noodles in transparent layers. I need to pull some of them forward to get that depth in the soup. Hard to get the best background colour to make those colours pop. 
Day 15. 'Basket of Eggs', Day 16. 'Egg on Toast', Day 18. 'Udon', Day 19. 'UnStill Life', Day 20. 'Coffee Break', Day 22. 'Thai Feast'. 

Day 15. 'Basket of Eggs', Day 16. 'Egg on Toast', Day 18. 'Udon', Day 19. 'UnStill Life', Day 20. 'Coffee Break', Day 22. 'Thai Feast'. 

  • Day 19. 
  • It's been suggested to paint a bowl of fruit... a very traditional 'still life' subject. Tried to earlier, and found only exotic fruit appealing in paint. But heck, if I can make eggs look interesting, fruit shouldn't be as challenging as I think. I shall try again. Unstill Life! Ha! 
  • Needs something new in the background. 

Day 20.

  • A cup of coffee was another suggestion. I'm enjoying this exchange with my facebook peeps. They like the food theme. 
  • biggest challenge here is creating enough interesting elements. I want to make the spoon marbly and or chrome-like, but by doing so, I draw away from the creme focus, and confuse the depth perception.

Day 21. Another day taken to play catch-up. No paintings finished. 

Day 22.

  • Why aren't I painting my own favourite foods? 
  • Thai including green papaya salad. I want to include chopsticks because they are pretty and they break up the canvas so perfectly! Bummer that Thai people don't use them! Why don't they use them? 
Thai food was traditionally eaten with the right hand [21][22] while seated on mats or carpets on the floor, customs still found in the more traditional households. Today, however, most Thais eat with a fork and spoon. Tables and chairs were introduced as part of a broader Westernization drive during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. The fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897 CE.[23]

Important to Thai dining is the practice of khluk, mixing the flavors and textures of different dishes with the rice from one’s plate. The food is pushed by the fork, held in the left hand, into the spoon held in the right hand, which is then brought to the mouth.[24] A traditional ceramic spoon is sometimes used for soup, and knives are not generally used at the table.[2] It is common practice for both the Thais and the hill tribe peoples who live in Lanna and Isan to use sticky rice as an edible implement by shaping it into small, and sometimes flattened, balls by hand (and only the right hand by custom) which are then dipped into side dishes and eaten.

Chopsticks were foreign utensils to most ethnic groups in Thailand with the exception of the Thai Chinese, and a few other cultures such as the Akha people, who are recent arrivals from Yunnan Province, China. Traditionally, the majority of ethnic Thai people ate with their hands like the people of India. Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodle soups, or at Chinese, Japanese, or Korean restaurants. Stir fried noodle dishes such as pad Thai, and curry-noodle dishes such as khanom chin nam ngiao, are also eaten with a fork and spoon in the Thai fashion.
— Wikipedia

Day 23. 

  •  Everlasting Gobstopper. Another nod to Willy Wonka. Nostalgia. 

Day 24. 

  • These pretzels are making me thirsty. A nod to Seinfeld... a very paintable food. Lots of layers creating depth and shape. I'm wondering if people are getting tired of food. I am a little. Should I continue with the food theme? It's hard to let go of the theme at no 20!! Would it be strange to suddenly change direction? This is a challenge, and perhaps part of the challenge is letting things go... such as ideas of needing to stick to a script. But I haven't painted a pizza yet, and it fits perfectly in a pizza box.

Day 25.

  • Pizza. This was fun. Pizza fits in a pizza box! But.... enough food! I am full! 
Day 23. 'Everlasting Gobstopper', Day 24. 'These Pretzels..', Day 25. 'Pizza', Day 26. 'Fluid Organics 1', Day 27. 'Fluid Organics 2', Day 24. 'Escargot'. 

Day 23. 'Everlasting Gobstopper', Day 24. 'These Pretzels..', Day 25. 'Pizza', Day 26. 'Fluid Organics 1', Day 27. 'Fluid Organics 2', Day 24. 'Escargot'. 

  • Day 26, 27
  • Fluid Organics series.. good name for it! Don't know why I hadn't thought of that one before. Back to some abstracts. Feeling free of the food concept. I hope people aren't disappointed that these aren't food. 
  • enjoying getting that poured effect.
  • Perhaps I can make it after all. I have 4 days and 7 paintings if I'm to complete the 30 paintings in 30 days. Hmm. Maybe not. 

Day 28.

  • A good opportunity to revisit an old idea. Snails. Painting of Mishell was one of my more interesting 10 years back. This one is more abstract. I like the membrane... trying to create the similar undulations as with Ray and Raymona the stingrays. (Escargo)
  • Was going to be another abstract piece, but I could see a Japanese scene. Wasn't intended, but went with it. (Maple over Waterfall) 
  • Two in one day - not bad. 
'Maple Over Waterfall'...  'Heliconia'... 'I say capsicum, you say bell pepper'.. 'Forest Floor'.... 'Microcosmos'.... 'Fluid Organics 3'. 

'Maple Over Waterfall'...  'Heliconia'... 'I say capsicum, you say bell pepper'.. 'Forest Floor'.... 'Microcosmos'.... 'Fluid Organics 3'. 

Day 29. 

  • I intend to make something floral with the abstract blobs. The pink and the movement... like soft blobs.. like soft-sculpture. I like. Heliconia. 

Day 30.

  • For my American friends :) Why do you say bell pepper? It's not hot. 

Day 31.

  • I want to make something kooky.. and Dr Seuss like. I think I touched on it in the Wonka paintings. Facebook follower says it's like big rock candy mountain. :) Seuss meets wonka meets alien world of forest floor.

Day 32. 

  • I did not make it! I'm going to be 2 days late to deliver these 30 paintings. Making more small worlds... microcosmos. Micro meets macro. 

Day 33. 

  • Fluid Organics 3... the same person bought all three in this series! That's wonderful! Must remember to send her a Chrissy card.

I made it in not 30 days but in 33 days... not without blood sweat and tears. Many thanks to everyone for their support... especially you lot on Facebook and Instagram. Special thanks to other wonderful artists that took part!