Prompts lead to surprises

I am 15 days into the 19 Day Painting Challenge in support of Bracelets For Buildings (B4B).  There are two concurrent drivers for this creative pursuit.  On the one hand, this is our major fundraiser for B4B.  All sale proceeds from the 19 paintings will be going as a donation to help build a house for a poor family in early 2020.  On the other hand, it is meant to be a creative jolt for me.  Coming back from southeast Asia, I needed something to light my fire and get me back in the groove.

As I look back over the 15 projects done so far, I see an interesting mix of surprises.

The female form that started everything off is very different from what I normally do.  The coloured squares along the bottom came into my mind's eye and wouldn't leave.  I wouldn't presume to impose my thoughts on what "Colours of Motherhood" says; I will leave that up to the viewer.

The underpainting of Bob in Blue sat around the studio for a number of days.  I was still fighting a bug that I had picked up on the flight home from Asia and was waiting for inspiration to strike.  I knew it needed something, but wasn't quite sure what.  One morning, after listening to a Youtube interview with guitarist G.E. Smith, I got the answer.  I scribed the song titles from Bob Dylan's early albums into the piece and something magical happened.

I painted my first fish and did my first finger painting.  I listened to really annoying music (Living Colour) and painted my favourite monk from our Cambodia trip.  I also emulated Heather and tried my first abstract.

I also painted an iconic memory from my youth of the legendary Bigfoot.  This image haunted my younger years, as ludicrous as that might sound, especially because I lived about as far away from the mountains as you can get.  I had this irrational fear that Sasquatch was outside my window. 

I'm sure that I was influenced by the entertainment that I consumed, including the episode of Six Million Dollar Man when Steve Austin got chased (and ultimately saved) by Bigfoot.

I love these challenges in so many ways.  I get surprised as to what connects with people.  The lovely lady who bought the "Castle of the Prairie" (grain elevator) connected to the blue truck in the foreground.  Lots of people felt drawn to "Guitar Explorations" as it reminded them of a family member or friend.  "Walleye" got lots of effusive feedback as did Bigfoot.

I have four more prompts to pull and then I will be putting all unsold paintings from this challenge in an online auction.  This will be the only time in the year when originals get drastically knocked down in price to get the bidding started.  In normal auctions, I will only discount an original by 25-percent.  This auction is very different.  Bidding will start super low, as our intention is to get lots of people engaged in the fun.  My hope is that the 19 Day Painting Challenge online auction will start on Sunday or Monday, March 17 or 19.


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