200 paintings in 200 Days

On January 1st, 2015 I began a journey called "200 paintings in 200 Days". I tried this challenge in 2014 with a  Face Book group. Needless to say I think I got up to Day 7 before I began creating excuses. I could say that life got busy. I had things to do with the kids. I had to work, etc, etc. but it would be a lie. I made excuses. 200 sounded like a lot. 200 sounded like more than I was capable of doing and it does even now, a year later. I think that is why I have been up since 5:00 am. I've been turning it over and over in my mind. I'm feeling like I've set myself up.

I've committed to this project in a pretty public way for someones that is normally pretty private. I have decided to document the journey on Instagram and offer the pieces each day for sale. There price would be based on whatever day I was on. I wish I could say that I thought of this all by myself but there was another artist before me whose story inspired me. I tried to Google and find her name/website but could not. (If anyone reading this knows the story, please leave a link below) 

But I'm getting a little bit off track here. We are on day 3 today and today's piece will sell for $3.00. I'm not worried. $3.00 is not a hard sell. What has me shitting my pants right now is when we get into the third month. I have this voice in my head telling me that I'm nuts. Who is going to purchase a piece of art for that much and how are you going to find the time and inspiration to create 200 pieces YOU will even like, never mind anyone else? Why didn't you just commit to 30 days? So here I am awake listing the three major reasons I decided to do this. 

Reason number 1... Art feeds my soul. Some people go to church, some people meditate and chant. Everyone has something they engage in that gives them a sense of connection to something greater than themselves. Some of us engage in rituals to deepen that connection. For me that "thing", that "place", that "ritual" is art. There is no other time in which I feel more connected to Spirit. Looking back on my life, it seems that communion was always what I was looking for. It's amazing how life settles down when you find what you're looking for.

Reason number 2... Because art feeds my soul, I could not imagine doing anything else with my life in a serious way. I've tried. And if I want to paint in a serious way than I need to hone my craft. Like everyday. I participated in a 30/30 challenge and although I struggled, I made it through. I noticed my painting improved. My faces improved and my confidence got a little better. Imagine what 200 days will do?

Reason number 3 and the most important...Because art feeds my soul and I could not imagine doing anything else with my life, I want to connect with others on the same journey. I want to create a tribe of gypsy souls who been there and done that and are looking for a deeper expression of the magic within themselves; a colorful tribe of women who through the messiness of life, have discovered that "holy shit! There's a ton of magic in there!".

As a counselor, once of the major skills I had to teach my clients was how to connect with others. Addiction had so isolated them, that is was hard to allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to let others see them. Art is similar for me. Shame had me scared for many years to reveal myself..the shame of being a teenage mother, the shame of violence and sexual abuse, the shame of addiction. You name it, I carried it. Art has become my way of allowing myself to be seen, of reaching out for that community. 

I'm thinking as I write this, that all these reasons are more important than the fear. So what If I don't sell every piece? Does that mean I suck? Probably not. It just means that painting didn't sell. I think the truths I will learn about myself and the relationships I will create in the next 200 days outweigh the fear. I really hope you join me. off to paint for Day 3...