The impact of the 100-day initiative

During the 100-day initiative, many of you have inquired about the impact of the intense work I brought upon myself. Here I will try to sum up the main artistic gains I have obtained from this effort. I have also documented the networking side of things in another blog.

The intense effort of doing so many little pieces in such a short period of time has amplified everything in the studio. Lots of future directions have emerged and I have learnt that future work comes from the current work. The process is not necessarily simply idea and then execution. The drawing activity itself fuels the ideas. It has also taught me helpful work habits and I have become very much more focused and organized with my time and work space.

To create all these pieces I utilized a fabulous resource of eight years worth of sketch books and visual diaries spanning all our experiences of living in Europe and becoming a family.  It was very helpful to catalog these images beforehand into thirteen different series or bodies of works. Once under way it was hard shifting from series to series yet it did ensure there would be variety in the artworks. It’s made it very clear to me for future projects how very important it is that I keep on sketching.  Like Julia Cameron’s comment in “The Artist’s Way” that as an artist you have to “feed the well.” This means noting down all those fruitful experiences for later development.

Each piece I produce requires on-site drawings, idea development, compositional development as well as trial runs and final executions. The final pieces usually require multiple attempts because the media I use is unpredictable. Thankfully because the work for the Initiative was small I was able to sit at the desk to make them and not by standing-up at the easel!!!

Even though my current technique strips some of the details from my drawings, it is a worthy experiment to capture the essence of things. It makes me think about the gesture itself more so than the details. This way I hope to capture the emotion more so than the motion. Amongst the happy accidents of dribbling comes the sharpened focus on the gesture. The gesture is the reflection of thought processes of the living. It therefore amplifies the reasoning behind the thought process and can make the observer of the art work grasp the feelings of the subject.

Probably the very best thing to come from doing this Initiative as an Artist is to be sharing my work with others. Exhibitions are great but way too short. As my posts landed on people’s desks every two days I felt I had a new connection with everyone. People now know what it is that I do. It has generated lots of conversations with everyone on-line and otherwise. Whilst I am aware that I work inside a tradition, and therefore I am never really alone artistically, being in the studio can be very quiet.  So it’s been fantastic to discuss and share my work with others. 

I also hope that I was able to contribute to peoples’ lives in whatever small ways I did. Art is a funny way of communicating but it has such fantastic rewards.

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