At the age of 50, I semi-retired from traditional employment and transitioned to being a full-time artist. I have the pleasure of spending every day in Birdsong Studio doing what I love. This blog was started almost a decade ago as a public accountability mechanism for a weight loss intention. It has grown into a number of different directions over the years. I hope you enjoy it.
20 Day Painting Challenge
I had forgotten the physiological reason that I started the 18 Day Painting Challenge in 2018 and the 19 Day Painting Challenge in 2019. The philanthropical reason rose to the top in my memory - to raise money to donate to Bracelets For Buildings to build houses for very poor families. But the real reason I jumped into this creative project was to help return my sleep/wake pattern to normal. Coming back from Southeast Asia and I find myself a full 90 minutes out of synch.
So, I think I need to jump into my 20 day painting challenge as soon as I can. Here’s how it works.
First step: Gather Prompts
I need as many ideas for prompts that you can throw at me. These can range from “paint with your opposite hand” to “paint something you’ve never painted before”. The prompts can be super specific: “paint Bernie Sanders”, “flowers in a field” or “abstract in blue”. The prompts can be very open ended and subject to interpretation: “a dream”, “a sport you haven’t painted yet”, or a “movie scene”. The goal is to have enough prompts in the hat that I can’t reasonably predict what I will pick every morning for 20 days.
Second step: Start Painting
I need to wake up as early as I can, pull a prompt from the hat, make my coffee and get out to the studio. The parameter I set for myself is that the painting must be substantially completed by 9 am. That way, I have the rest of my working day to work on outstanding commissions.
Final step: Selling
Each painting done during the 20 Day Painting Challenge will be sold with proceeds donated to Bracelets For Buildings to sponsor the construction of another house for a poor family in Cambodia in 2021.
The paintings are sold one of two ways. If a customer feels called to buy it right away, it will be sold at its regular price (based on size). Or, it would go into our next online auction and sold that way.
I do my best to do 20 consecutive days, as that helps change my body’s routine. However, there are the odd days when travel or an outside commitment throws a wrench in the works. My intention is to start the 20 Day Painting Challenge on the first Monday in March.
Here is a reminder of what happened with the 19 Day Painting Challenge last year. If you own one of these paintings, you help build this family a home. This is what it's all about.