the 100 day project

my first 100 days project
my first 100 days project

[I wrote this Tuesday and totally forgot to publish it.]

For several weeks, I have been thinking about a new creative project- something to do with watercolors and some of the water-based art supplies I have in my studio but I don’t have a chance to use that often since I’m so focused on larger-scale painting on canvas.

I just didn’t have a spare moment to sit down and make any definite plans- I kept *meaning* to, but then I’d come in my studio and only have an hour or something, and decide I wanted to use that time to work on my painting rather than hash out something on paper.

I just knew I wanted to use watercolors (and a bunch of other supplies related to watercolor – gelatos, inktense pencils and blocks, brusho, inks, stampes, etc.), and keep it small and simple. Use the tiny pieces of watercolor paper and little watercolor pads and journals I’ve collected over the years. I have a weakness for tiny sketchbooks, and when I was doing the whole print thing on Etsy, I bought a bunch of watercolor ATC cards for bookmarks.

So: watercolor/watercolor-esque supplies, small-scale. That’s all I really came up with.

Then yesterday I saw this:

the 100 day project
the 100 day project

I decided instantly that I would do it- the 100 day project. I would (try to) stick to water-based mediums, I would use all the little pieces of watercolor paper I’ve got on my shelf, and I would just *do it*.

Of course, later that afternoon when I finally got into my studio,  I started balking. I wanted to work on my painting and forget the whole idea of a project. But I also knew that this little project might be rewarding, so I made myself sit down, take out some watercolors and some ATC cards, and just mess around.

It was terribly uncomfortable. I had every intention of creating something, some finished piece of work, but realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to happen. I haven’t done anything in watercolor OR freeform in months. It felt very foreign to me. Everything I did I really didn’t like.

I kept going until I made something I was okay with, and once again, reconsidered doing the project. Wouldn’t the time be better spent working on the painting or working on the scrapbook or doing something I really felt confident about and comfortable with?

I was just about to throw the two little paintings I made in the trash and wash my hands of the whole project, but then I happened to look up at my wall in front of my desk and saw a quote I have scribbled up there on a piece of washi tape: “HONOR THE BEGINNING.” I sighed (literally) and followed that advice.

So I took the two little ATC cards, glued them into the 8×8″ Kona Classic sketchbook I recently got (it has lovely brown paper inside, made from recycled coffee beans or labels or something…), jotted down a few details of the process, and called it Day One.

At the end of the project, I’m hoping I’ll have a little book full of random pieces of art and maybe more comfort with some of the materials I don’t use that often. As much as I love watercolors, a the moment I won’t *choose* to use them because my comfort zone is working with acrylics on canvas. So to have something that sort of forces me to get the other supplies out is a good thing.

I think most of all, I want to play. Get comfortable with just sitting down and noodling around without having something really concrete to show for it when I’m done.

I think I’ll post my daily bits of work on Instagram, as per the challenge rules, and then post a once-a-week (or every few days) recap here on the blog. One bit of flexibility I am giving myself is that the 100 days don’t need to be super-consecutive, because I know that there are days when I just won’t be able to get in here and make something. Health stuff comes up, we do something as a family, things are chaotic and I need an afternoon to NOT make art, etc. I want to do 100 days, but my 100 days might take 120 days to complete, if that makes any sense. I don’t want this to become anything stressful.

But I did it. I started. I want to see this through, if possible. Just a chance to create freely, keep it simple, and see what I’m drawn to at the specific moment I sit down to create.

Wish me luck! (If you are doing the 100 days project, too, I’d love to hear about it!!)


4 thoughts on “the 100 day project

  1. I too saw this on “day 2” which I guess was the 7th officially…I’m still trying to decide and make a commitment to do something. I did Index Card A Day (61 days in June and July) with Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow a couple of years ago and actually managed to follow through and enjoyed it and love looking back at my cards but I’ve yet to commit to 100 days. I have 24 Twinkling H2Os that have sat untouched for over a year that I keep looking at as well as every color gelato made prior to this year (I think they just came out with a few new ones) also untouched…

    1. I just got some new gelatos, too- I had the “kids version” that I got years and years ago but when I saw the new sets of 12 colors that they released at CHA, I used some PayPal credit and got all three of them. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this project- I need a reason to get them out and use them without feeling guilty that I’m not working on my painting. Oh, and Twinkling H2Os… I have those and love them, but again, just rarely use them. I needed a reason to start doing more than just painting with acrylics. I hope I can stick with it!

  2. I thought about doing it, but then the thought of doing anything for 100 days scared me. A couple of years ago I did ICAD and kept up with it. It was fun. So maybe this would be OK. I’ve been making some ATCs lately, after not doing them for ages. I love Twinks too! Have you seen the Silks acrylic paints? They’re like the H2O’s. Lovely and creamy! How did you get the gold “bumps” on your ATCs above?

    1. It’s been super fun, so far, I just need to learn how to manage my time better. Last week I spent several full afternoons on the project, which means I didn’t get to work on my canvas or anything else I’ve been trying to work on regularly. The gold bumps are just gold acrylic paint.

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