Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mid-Century Challenge

Well, as promised, this is my post about my personal challenge over the next 15 months. We had a busy Winter Solstice day in which the clothes dryer decided to have a melt-down just to keep things jolly. It has been dealt with, the feast has been made and appreciatively eaten and now it is back to work before the next wave of holiday making overtakes us. 
So, in the photo above is one of my favorite art quotes. Unfortunately, I have yet to find who to attribute the quote to. If anyone knows, I would appreciate the information. Behind the quote are several blank canvases. I thought my cast drawing study set-up in the background rounded out the picture nicely! 
Here , therefore, is the first phase of my challenge. In 15 months (starting with January) I will be having my 50th birthday. I know, I know, you are shocked. What is that? You think I only look 30-ish? You are so kind! Like many who reach such a milestone birthday, I wanted to do something special, something that would challenge me, add to the celebration, and enrich the lives of other beings. I would also add bring world peace and heal the environment but I have to save something for my 100th birthday! I have recently started running but I think running a marathon, while quite an accomplishment, has been done a few times. I am not particularly brave enough to jump out of a plane or go bungie jumping and those things don't really meet the "enriching lives beyond my own"criteria.
As you probably have already guessed, I decided to push myself a bit with an art challenge. I have decided to paint 50 pictures. Not just 50 crank-them-out-to-meet-the-numbers, but 50 paintings to the best of my ability at this time. Now, 50 is an arbitrary number so if I don't quite make it or, even better, paint more I won't be devastated.  I know that the moment you announce any kind of challenge that is for the purpose of bettering oneself or the world, all kinds of monsters rise up to stop you cold. I already know there are a few lurking along the way as I can see them from here.
I am sure you can see how this challenge will enrich myself, but other beings? I am planning to sell the paintings with a portion of the proceeds from each painting going to one or two causes, to be announced, that are important to me and the world. That is, proceeds from 49 of the paintings. The 5oth, which will be the best one of the lot (perhaps put that to a vote?) will be raffled off with all of the proceeds going to a cause. I am researching those causes now and will be announcing them when the decision is made. 
Now for phase two, the one that actually scares me the most not being the most social person in the world. I would like to have a party in Portland, Oregon to not only celebrate the completion of the challenge (and my 50th birthday) but to bring all the paintings together in a show of sorts and hopefully raise more money and awareness for the causes. Oh, and did I mention I would like to invite anyone who is willing to come? Now, before you all rush out and buy some party clothes, I have to be honest. I am fairly certain I can pull off phase one and not at all sure I can pull off phase two. 
With that admission, I am open to suggestions and even advice! I am thinking of selling the pieces online as well so that anyone who couldn't make it to Portland would have a chance to contribute to a good cause and get a piece of art too. 
That is the challenge in a nutshell. 15 months is both a long time and not much time, so I am sure that things will morph and change along the way. There is also a few petty details to take care of, such as finding a way to make an income and still continue to work on art. I will continue to study and create art. After all, I have turned my life, and that of my husband and dog, completely upside down to get this far and I can't stop now.
I am starting with small canvases, 9"X12", and a little bigger. I am aiming for 4 completed paintings a month plus getting in art study time. I know that some folks do the painting-a-day challenge but I want time to study and I am new at this. I could bang out a painting a day even at this point but it wouldn't be my best effort. I want to learn and grow too.
There will be more details to come in future posts. The challenge starts in less than two weeks! Gotta go finish up the Sketchbook Project! 
See you all on Sunday, 
-Renee

5 comments:

Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

I can't wait to see your challenge progress - very exciting!

Renee said...

Thanks Cindie! Exciting, and scary both.

Theresa said...

Renee,
I think your challenge is brilliant, and like Cindie, I can't wait to see what hits the canvas. As to the party, no advice I can offer. I let Gene be the gregarious one. Maybe I should ask him! ;)
Have a wonderful holiday.

evelynoldroyd said...

You have been very brave and I love following your journey. Good luck on the exciting challenge and all the best of the season to you and yours!

Renee said...

Thanks Theresa and Evelyn! My husband has to keep talking me into a party. It will be morphing and changing. Already have a few ideas to make it more beneficial to all. My musician and bandleader husband keeps dangling a promise to put together a live combo for the party like a carrot. Still open to ideas and suggestions as time goes by!

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