An Art Challenge

This November, a friend of mine (huge wink in your direction, Marga Fripp) convinced me to participate in the Art Every Day Month Challenge. It’s the artistic equivalent of NaNoWriMo and was founded 17 years ago by Leah Piken Kolidas. Since my novel is in limbo and my poetry manuscript currently fights me over every syllable (thanks a lot, manuscript; this is all your fault), I’ve decided that an art challenge is just what I needed to let go of all the pent-up negative energy.

Hence, my prudent incursions into ART. Forget about boldly going where no woman has gone before. I’m lucky if I don’t trip over my own feet while holding a pencil between my clenched teeth. Or a box of oil pastels. Same difference.

Ahem. Let me start again.

ART, the final frontier. What can I say? We’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re talking deep space. A different planet. Even galaxy. An alternate universe, for sure. Things look kind of the same here, but not really. It’s like traveling to Australia. Not that I ever have. Or like following Alice down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass. Both of which I have done numerous times–unaided, I must add, by any mind-altering substance other than Lewis Carroll’s mesmerizing prose.

Blink. Where was I? Oh yes, way out of my comfort zone, over the threshold, in the in-between, blindly forging ahead into the greater unknown. I hope no one here eats me up and spits out my greenhorn-artist bones. But if someone does, it better be in the shape of a poem. Or an art piece. I’m good with sacrifice and martyrdom (as well as agony and torment) in the name of ART.

I don’t think they’re absolutely necessary, though. Joy is by far lovelier than sacrifice and martyrdom (or even agony and torment). But joy is also known for her capricious nature, her constant pollination of fields belonging to others, her bestowing of temporary gifts that tend to fade away. Meanwhile, sacrifice and martyrdom (as well as agony and torment) are rather loyal, infinitely patient, unwavering in their attentions.

Which is to say, I’m prepared for the worst, yet praying for the best. Who knows? Maybe joy is tired. Maybe she needs my attention as much as I need hers.

Come home, joy, I’m waiting. These fledgling efforts are for you. Grab your pal wisdom on the way, will you? I’ll leave the door unlocked.



Day 17: “Shoaling,” watercolors and marker on paper
I swear I see weird fish swimming around in circles. Is this diagnosis-worthy?😳



Day 16: “Pachyderms,” watercolors + markers on paper


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I fell off the art wagon on Day 11, so here I am, trying to scramble back on:

Day 11 through 15: Unnamed I through V, all in Stage I, watercolors on paper

Each ‘masterpiece’ is currently being flattened, so that I can have a less treacherous surface to continue working on. Though now I’m thinking I might need thicker paper for watercolors…. Is this what people mean when they use the phrase ‘learning curve’?



Day 10: “Something Else, Stage IV,” watercolors and markers on paper



Day 10: “Something Else, Stage III,” watercolors and markers on paper



Day 9: “Something Else, Stage II,” watercolors and marker on paper



Day 8: “Something Else,” watercolors on paper



Day 7: “Continents,” watercolors and marker on paper



Day 6: “Islands,” watercolors and marker on paper



Day 5: “Balaur” (Romanian for “Dragon”), acrylic and marker on paper



Day 4: “Language,” oil pastels and marker on paper



Day 3: “Pollywogs,” oil pastels and marker on paper



Day 2: “What She Saw,” oil pastels, color crayon, and marker on paper



Day 1: “The Swan,” oil pastels on paper


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