Sunday, November 18, 2012


My typical approach to art is full-throttle.
I work rapidly, exuberantly, impatiently, impulsively.

I almost always finish a piece in one sitting.
I don't like to wait between layers.
 I've turned lots of pieces to mud by adding a new color too soon, and wrecked a fair amount of markers by writing on not-quite-dry pages.

I could stand to practice some restraint.

So when the 40 day creativity experiment began on November 11th, I decided to use this as an experiment in self-control.  I will work on this big gessoed paper bag for 40 consecutive days, and I will only add ONE LAYER per day.  No matter how much it pains me to walk away.

Day 1:  No vision.
Smeared orange paint with my hands.

Day 2: Looked for something I don't usually use.
Smeared burnt umber paint with my hands.

Day 3:  Used a brayer to add a layer of gesso.
No plan whatsoever.

Day 4:  Sprayed some walnut ink.

Day 5:  Rubbed on some teal paint with a baby wipe.

Day 6:  Adhered some torn book pages with gel medium.
Flying by the seat of my pants.

Day 7:  Rubbed gesso over the text.
No clue where I'm going with this.

Day 8: Used gesso and a stencil to add circles.
Today is the first day I walk away knowing what I want to do to it tomorrow.
And it's killing me not to do it RIGHT NOW.
I'm almost twitching.
But instead, I'm going to bed.
Look at me, practicing restraint.


  1. paper bag, that's cool. I like the way the creases in the bag show up with the walnut spray. ON day 5, it looked a lot like fabric. I like where it's heading, very nice inspiration.

  2. Oooo, it must be killing you! What a neat thing to the colors so far!

  3. It's really getting somewhere ..... But I'm not too sure the 'patient gene' is going to take permanent root. But it's great pushing ourselves into uncomfortable territory, something rubs off. I do admire your stickability and ingenuity.

  4. I can feel your agitation just reading the words! I did the experiment last time and it really was eye opening in terms of noticing things about yourself but also helped me to build a piece with many more layers than I usually would and bring a richer result. Like you I want it done and don't like waiting for that next layer, this gave me a chance to look in between the spaces and discover new things....xox

  5. Love the final blue "Patience Pays Off"...beautiful and oh so true. jane

  6. I meant to try the 40 day experiment too and then forgot about it as time got away from me. I guess I can start at any time and make it my own experiment.... I enjoy seeing how layers develop and how something random turns into something purposeful. I like your approach of a nice big 'canvas' and just starting...put something up there and see what happens. I'll be eagerly following along!

  7. I haven't heard of this experiment (is there anywhere to find out more about it other than Facebook?). Is the idea you just do one thing to a larger project every day? That sounds perfect for me--I swear, I do things in 10-minute increments anyway! But I can see how it's a struggle for you--but amazing things come when we make ourselves go against our grain. Truth!!

  8. I love that you're torturing yourself in the name of art! Sometimes a necessary experience :-) Can't wait to see where this goes next xx

  9. Wow- I'm so proud! I'm the same way once I start a project - my husband (I think that's the first time I've written that- husband-how weird) usually has to force me to go to bed once I start something. It sounds like a lot of fun, and yours is coming out fabulous - can't wait to see the final result, if you survive it!

  10. Are you, by any chance, an Aries? Because I am and restraint isn't one of my many talents!!!

  11. Wow.. i love the evolution of this. How long do we have to wait? Oh sorry, I'm not helping.

  12. This is a great idea, better way to ensure mega layers than to force the issue with a project like this!

  13. These process photos are so great! I love seeing how it evolved and I also think about what it's like doing this. I actually enjoy playing like this without a goal, but I do sometimes go too far and then I get upset with myself. I'm learning that just about everything can be covered up! This is lookin good.

  14. I got a delicious postcard from you today. I am going to hang it on my wall. Because it is delicious.