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Saturday, January 30, 2016

How To Get it All Done....Reflections on the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

January Oil Paintings  all 5x7 on panel      ©Karen Margulis
available on Daily Paintworks Auction  $30 starting bid
What is it they say about the best laid plans?  I began the month of January with nothing on the schedule except a trip to Chicago to visit my granddaughter and teaching a one day workshop. I knew I would have plenty of time to participate in Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 days challenge. It was going to be my month for devoting myself to getting comfortable with oils. 

I started strong. I made it to 14 oils paintings. I even added to the challenge by doing both an oil and pastel of each day's study. The pastel study helped me understand the oils better. 

But then opportunity knocked on my studio door in the way of two big commission projects requiring some very large paintings. Great news of course.....but they both had a deadline of the first week of February! The 30 in 30 challenge would have to wait. 

Somehow I still continued to paint as well as work on the commissions and at the end of this very crazy month of painting I managed to finish 56 paintings.....14 small oils, a variety of miscellaneous pastels, 4 30x40 pastels, 16 2x5 foot acrylic panels. Whew! It was a fun and productive month and I have gotten quite a few questions about how I manage to fit it all in. Read on for some tips!

All challenge oils paintings are available through Daily Paintworks on auction. In honor of the challenge the opening bid will be $30 each!

Tips for Getting More Painting Done
  • Make painting a priority. I speed through my chores and household obligations so I can paint.. If you want more time to paint find ways to optimize your time spent on other obligations. You can't really do it with 100% effort but I choose to put more effort into painting than cooking and cleaning (and happily my husband totally supports this!)
  • Organize your studio or painting supplies. This is so important especially if you have limited painting time or no real studio space. If you spend time fiddling with supplies it takes time away from creating. I spent a month organizing my supplies and it made a world of difference in how efficient I was able to be this month.
  • Keep a checklist and do the hard stuff first. The first thing I do each day is look at my checklist and tackle at least two of the hard things...things I put off or dread (which for me is usually paperwork) This clears my head and makes room for art. I find that the longer it stays on my list the more I dread it until it finally begins to bog me down. Don't put off the hard stuff and painting will feel like a reward.
  • Find a support system. You can't do it alone! Being an artist can be lonely. Having non-artist family members makes it even harder. Do what you can to have the support of your family. make sure they know how important time for art is to you. Find other artists to help you stay focused and just share the journey. Local art groups, online art friends, workshops ...make it a priority to find your art family!

Some of the 56 paintings completed January 2016


Norma Wilson said...

Congratulations Karen! Great post on organizing and getting things done.

robertsloan2art said...

All of these are such great tips. I'll add one more, having succeeded in it once and had a dismal fail this year.

Don't move out of state two weeks before the event starts and expect to do 30 paintings in 30 days. That is the extreme of disorganized. I don't know if I even had all my supplies in the house by the start of the month. I am still getting used to where everything is and scuffling through stuff to find things I put away a week ago because it's not habit yet where all of it goes. Could not find a red Pigma Micron this morning and know I have two of them.

That and of course, forgive yourself if Life Happens and you can't do it. Being Disabled as a day job schedules itself by weather and other situations so I have to work around that.

Next year's 30 in 30 will go a lot better! I might plan for a particular medium and keep it handy, like have 30 little 6" pieces of sanded paper handy for pastel small format or something fun like that. Then do anything else like scroll stuff around the challenge paintings.

Congratulations on 56 in 30! Your month was amazing. Glad your husband's sensible enough to understand your occupation comes ahead of housework.

Marcela Strasdas said...

Wow you overachiever!!!! love it! I have enjoyed seeing your daily posts with so many good insights all the time! It is so true that you have to make it a priority and then it happens :) So? What's the verdict with the oils??? love them or leave them?

martine paquet said...

What a beautiful collage, Karen!
Congratulations on completing the challenge and more ;-)

Sheila said...

WOW Karen, 56 paintings! Your work is amazing and I really enjoyed seeing all of it this month. Love reading your informative posts as well. Lovely collage here :)

Meredith Adler said...

Congratulations, Karen, on all the beautiful work you have created this month. It has been wonderful to follow and see what you have been doing. Looking forward to seeing your work in February :)

Olga Shipilina said...

Beautiful collage!!!

Deb said...

Beautiful work!