Hello, my loves. How is August treating you?
Over here, August is heralding a new phase of my artistic life and the first week has been full of revelations so far.
If you have been following me on Instagram, you'll know that I started a 31-Days-Of-Mini-Paintings project this month. I did a similar project in July, 2017. Many of you might not know this but I began my watercolor journey with florals. It was only through the daily painting project of July,'17, that I accidentally discovered I loved painting landscapes. The project helped me develop my artistic voice, build my community and it catapulted me to wonderful opportunities I never even knew existed.
What's this project about?
For this year's project, I'm making 31 mini gouache landscapes, one a day. The most important boundary I wanted to set for myself in this project was to paint something that was for myself first, not what my audience demanded. Because, my friend, it is okay to do that sometimes.
I also thought deeply about how I could delve deeper inside myself to truly understand what drives me and what I really want out of this project. I had felt out of touch with my inner voice for a long time. At the same time, I wanted to provide more value to my clients who'd be buying the the paintings. That's when I decided to include a handwritten Artist's Note with every artwork sold. Writing them every day forces me to look within myself, recognize and process my feelings and then they come pouring out in my art and my words.
How it began
And so began the first day on August 1st with a lot of anticipation. I had been waiting all of July to commence it, after all! I decided to have a dedicated space and a standard set of supplies for this project to keep it simple. Both are important factors to make it easy for you to immediately slip into that creative zone. So my paints and palette, two brushes, Khadi papers for painting, a waterproof ink pen and sheets of Marigold paper to write my notes - all of these are always on my table.
Listening to my heart
I feel like as I progressed day by day into the first week, I have spent more time in selecting my inspiration pictures carefully. I don't pick random photographs of any landscape just for the sake of painting it. I spend time in looking into myself first. What do I feel like painting today? Sometimes my heart wants something very specific. A red boat. A barn. Some place in Iceland. I give it what it wants. When you paint to make the heart happy, you have no idea how amazing it feels once you are done!
Reconnecting with my clients
Another huge part of this project was to reconnect with my audience and let them know very clearly that I was selling my art again! I upload a clear picture along with the Artist's Note every day on my Instagram and also post it to my Stories to let everyone know that these paintings are available for sale. It feels great to be able to put my works out there for sale again.
Every painting has sold so far and my heart does somersaults in happiness gratitude at that! It feels wonderful that every client who has bought them have felt deeply connected with not just the artwork but also the words in the Artist's Notes. Follow along on this project with me on my Instagram if you'd like to purchase affordable, original art with handwritten notes, at a price I will probably never offer again after this month.
I am so excited about this project and I have no idea where I will end up on August 31st. Ten days into the project and I have felt more connected with myself and my audience more than I ever did in the past 1.5 years! I will share Week-2's findings with you next week - keep an eye on this space.
Have you ever done a daily painting project? What did it teach you?