Patti Kelley took the challenge to do 30, 5×7 fast (15 minute) studies of the subjects of her choice. The exercise is to take as long as you want to draw the image, mix the paint and think about how to execute the painting.
When all the thinking and planning was done she set the timer for 15 minutes. Patti confided that she never finished in 15 minutes but she did take a photo at the 15 minute mark and usually spent another 1/2 hour or as much a 1 hour bringing it to a place she could live with. In the past she might have taken 6 to 8 hours to paint a similar painting. Below is one of her favorites.
Patti works in oils and is aware that she sometimes overworks and adds too much detail to her paintings. Like most of us, when we first learn to paint, we try to make our paintings look like photographs. There is nothing wrong with that. It is one of the ways to learn. It is the beginning of the artistic journey for many of us.
Patti decided she wanted to go beyond copying what she sees so she took the challenge. Each week she brought one or two painting in for us to talk about. Patti & I looked at each painting to see what was working and what needed strengthening. Some weeks she felt like she was improving and some weeks she felt like she regressed but she never gave up and continued painting. Just last week she said with enthusiasm, “I feel that it is not taking me as long to figure out the colors and values I need.”
Above are 31 paintings. Patti was so proud of herself that she brought all of them in one morning, along with a cake to celebrate what she knew was a big accomplishment. Everyone clapped for joy! We were all so proud of her. Maybe she will be an inspiration for some of you.
She is now doing 30, 8×10 paintings. Wow, you can see the difference in her execution. They show so much more confidence than a year ago. Congratulations Patti for taking the time to invest in yourself.
Thanks everyone for reading our blog. Please let me know if you would like to take this challenge.