Painting Challenge bargains

We are in the final days of the 20 Day Painting Challenge online art auction.  Bids will close at 9 pm MST on Sunday night.

Each morning for 20 days, I woke up and pulled a prompt from a hat.  That prompt inspired a painting which was then added to the auction.  Every item started with a minimum bid of $50, no matter its size, with a BUY NOW option for people that wanted to scoop it up right away.  A total of 7 paintings were purchased outright using this option, some as quickly as 10 seconds after being posted.

Net proceeds are being used to fund our mission to go to Cambodia to build a house for a poor family in 2021.  We've raised enough to fund the construction, so any extra funds will help used to reduce our travel costs, which ended up skyrocketing this past year because of the corona virus.  All ambassadors who fund a home and choose to travel overseas are responsible for paying for all their travel and accommodations, allowing Bracelets For Buildings to use all of its resource to run the program and build homes.

Photo by Rob Kunz

As I look at the paintings that are still available in the auction, there are a couple that are still outstanding bargains.

The sun will rise and the birds will sing
24" x 36"

As the pandemic was picking up steam, I was feeling a whole range of emotions and needed to calm down and "just be" (the prompt for that morning).  This abstract landscape was the result.  Not only is it one of the largest original paintings in the auction, it reflects the seasons (winter and fall on the left, sprint and summer on the right) and the togetherness of mankind and the world along the top.

20" x 30"

The prompt on Day 9 was "an animal I have not painted before".  Over the years, that list of unpainted animals gets smaller and smaller.  I decided to go with zebras.  These two are comforting each other as a storm approaches.  And yes, it is a little bit of a metaphor for what we are all going through at the moment.

John Candy
24" x 24"

Mayor Sean from Sylvan Lake offered a number of prompt suggestions at the beginning of this journey, one of which was John Candy.  A brilliant comedic actor, John was one of the most successful Hollywood actors that came out of Canada.  Two degrees of separation, a former boss of mine was his personal assistant and driver back when SCTV was being shot in Edmonton in the late 1970s.  This portrait would be an awesome feature piece in someone entertainment room.

With so much time on our hands, I've decided to use all the paintings created in the 20 Day Painting Challenge in a limited edition 1000 piece puzzle.  I will have 20 of these in the studio late next week, each of which will be numbered and signed.  They will be $70 + gst each, including FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in Canada.  The profits from the sale of these 20 puzzles will be used to pay for the starter pack for the family we build a home for in 2021.  A starter pack is a collection of goods that the family needs to get a good start in their new home in the third world:  floor mats, mosquito nets, hammocks, rice, dried fish, noodles, etc. It takes several hundred Canadian dollars to pay for these essentials.

Each person who purchases one of these limited edition puzzles will also get a couple of authentic Cambodian bracelets, made by previous home recipients.  To reserve yours you can connect with me at the Russell Thomas Art Facebook page or by emailing

It is not too late to register for free and bid in the 20 Day Painting Challenge online art auction.  Bids close at 9 pm MST on March 29 (Sunday).


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