August 31, 2014

30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge Starts Tomorrow

Oh boy, I have decided to join the "30 paintings in 30 days challenge" again!
I have done it last September, and I know very well now: it's not easy!
So many things can come up every day and prevent me from painting, that it really takes some serious commitment to produce 30 artworks in a month!
Of course they will have to be small pieces, but since I have some bigger paintings started on my easel, some days I can finish one of those and call it a day.
I can do it, I know I can. But I am a little nervous, because this period of the year is quite busy already with school and all kind of activities starting up.

What's the point of joining such a challenge? you may ask - and most people ask me exactly that: "Why?" Why on earth do you put yourself through an obbligation to paint 30 things in a month.

Last year I entered several of my small paintings produced during
the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge in art shows that asked specifically
for small artwork.
Well, I see many great reasons to do this challenge, many more benefits than negatives.

Let see if I can list a few reasons why I am joining this challenging 30 in 30 venture:

1. The more I paint, the more I learn. Every painting teaches me something, regardless if it's a good one or a bad one.

2. This challenge is a great incentive to become more productive in the studio. I am always regretting that I could have painted more. At the end of the day or the week, I look back and think I should/could have created more.

3. Each painting requires some answers to basic issues: subject matter, composition, color harmony, value scale, etc. Having to face these dilemmas for 30 small paintings rather than only a few big ones means a lot more practice and problem solving.

4. Small paintings are more affordable, so easier to sell. Several of the paintings that I have completed during last years 30 in 30 challenge came out really nice and I actually sold quite a few.

5. Deep down I know that if I can't make it and skip some days it's not the end of the world. There is no challenge police,  everyone is very supportive, and it's ok if at the end of the month there are less than 30 artworks posted. Knowing this takes a lot of the stress away - though I am aiming for 30!

I really hope I can complete the daily painting challenge with 30 paintings. Wish me luck!

August 25, 2014

A Red Carpet of Poppies in Tuscany - Small Oil Painting

"Red Carpet"
6"x6", oil on board

A serene view of Tuscan hills with a bright red poppies field in the foreground.
I guess I am back to my "poppies and sunsets" period, two things that always cheer me up.  :)

Prints of this painting are available at my ImageKind online store

August 22, 2014

Enjoying What Is Really Important in Life

Maturity, besides laughing wrinkles and lower vision, brought me a precious gift: better knowledge of what makes me really happy.
Once I overcame the ages of peer pressure and constant worry about what others think, the ages when I thought I never looked skinny or pretty, I finally started getting comfortable in my own skin.

Now that I am in my forties I have finally accepted that I can't please everyone, no matter what I do there will always be those that would like it different.
No matter how I dress there will be always someone that thinks I look too casual, or too stylish, or too old-fashioned, or too extravagant.
So why worry?

With my parents at my dad's shoe store.
Why spend so much energy and money trying to be accepted and liked by others?

It feels good finally getting to know who I am deep inside and accepting my strengths and my weaknesses.

What Is Important In Life? We are all different human beings with different likes and wants, but when it comes to what is important in life, what are the values and purposes that guide our choices, that spring our steps?

I had a great summer spending time with my parents and a few friends, in Italy. I enjoyed  every minute of it. Even if some days seemed uneventful, They were full of the best things in life:
           Financial stability
           Sunny days

Thankfulness for all these gifts is flodding my heart!

BTW, happy Birthday to my dad, that turned 84 this month!  He's an amazing man, and the wisest and most respectable workaholic I know. :)