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  • Writer's picturesharonkingston

100 day project

Every artist who takes on a challenge like the 100 Day Project has their own reasons for doing so. Specifically for me, I've been feeling impatient with my process, I've been missing the connections that my art has brought me in the past and I needed to find a way to fund my new body of work without such a heavy reliance on commission work. I don't anticipate that I'm doing this challenge to experiment (although who knows what will happen as I get further along in the sequence). My 100 Day Project paintings are not fully realized paintings but quickly executed paintings that allow me to be loose and confident.

Here's a little more explanation. My paintings take at least a month to create. They are layered and created from oil, so there is drying downtime. I customarily have three or four paintings going concurrently so that I always have something to work on. Where my impatience factors in is that I never have the thrill of setting about to paint something and completing it in the same sitting. With the 100 day project I'm using oil on paper as my medium and surface. The absorbency of primed paper gives me the kind of surface which allows an alla prima working of the oils in manner and result similar to my long drawn out process on canvas. Granted I'm restraining my palette and the detail--but the atmospheric feels I strive for are happening with the loose and quick daily paintings. These works on paper are soft looking (because of the absorbency) and could be mistaken for pastel.

Additionally, I've been working large scale and in series format for a while now. So, a year, at least, between exhibits. Covid has also hampered the opportunity to interact with people in my studio. Undertaking the 100 Day Project gives me the chance to connect every day with followers on instagram and interrupts the solitary nature of my studio life. I can use the paintings as studies for my series or just to paint a scene or a color I've always wanted to paint. I can talk about my new body of work through the 100 day paintings by sharing nuggets of intention rather than delivering an artist statement with the completed works. Working the 100 Day Project also affords me engagement while keeping the series I'm working on in the background. and more private while its evolving.

And finally, I've been desiring a bit of a break from the type of commission work that taps my creative energy. Having an income stream while building this new body of work gives me peace of mind and the 100 day project can give me that. I've always had great support for smaller, more affordable paintings---yet don't traditionally like to work small. Using paper in a size that gives me space to work in allows me to not only enjoy making the work, but also to sell the work at a fair price. I've spent my artist life preaching how important it is to purchase original work instead of prints. I also know so many people who want to purchase art but can't afford it. These $100 paintings are a way for me to bring my words to life.

Hopefully I won't be tearing out my hair before day 100. So far, so good at day 17.

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