Another 30/30 Painting Challenge for September 2015

Why did I decide to do another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge? I asked myself that same question each day of this month.

So ok, I want to be more accountable, push myself to the studio, paint and process, and maybe get some good work out of it. Can’t say for sure that will happen (the good work part) but maybe, just maybe the Muse will stay and Mr. Resistance will stay away.

Day 1 7x10 watercolor on Arches 140b cold press paper
Day 1 7×10 watercolor on Arches 140b cold press paper
Day 2 7x10 watercolor, Arches 300 lb hot press paper
Day 2 7×10 watercolor, Arches 300 lb hot press paper
Day 3 7x10 watercolor, Arches 140b cold press paper
Day 3 7×10 watercolor, Arches 140b cold press paper
Day 4 7x10 Watercolor, Arches 140b cold press paper
Day 4 7×10 Watercolor, Arches 140b cold press paper
Day 4 7x10 Watercolor, Arches 300b hot press paper
Day 5  7×10 Watercolor, Arches 300b hot press paper

Five works in 10 days is an ok showing. Working small in 20 minute segments and pushing the process, maybe I can double up and meet the quota this time around.

Fingers crossed Mr. Resistance keeps his distance.

A Smaller Version

In an effort to keep the Muse nearby, and to avoid Mr. Resistance, I worked up another view of the rocky crags and sky scene of the photo from my author friend. Just a smaller version of the larger work to keep things fresh and moving ahead.

Believe me when I say that if I don’t keep at it, even for twenty lousy minutes a day, I’ll be toast.

Another version of the rocky crags photograph
Another version of the rocky crags photograph

It’s smaller than the other view because I was experimenting with keeping the colors, shapes and brushstrokes to a minimum. I wanted to see if I could get away with doing less by using the small size paper and a larger brush.

Never the type to paint so small it was a good exercise in discipline. I usually paint a large painting in a small space, cramming too much detail which would have been better served by a large surface.

My professors in school would say Go bigger! So going smaller is a tough one for me.

It’s a process, and I’m all about the process. In twenty minutes a day, if I’m smart about my time.

Which, if I let Mr. Resistance have his way, I’m not.

Working the Artwork, Holidays in Twenty Minutes


The Underside of Sea Shells ©Dora Sislian Themelis 8x12 Watercolor, Arches paper
The Underside of Sea Shells ©Dora Sislian Themelis 8×12 Watercolor, Arches paper

With the holidays upon us, there is no end to the things that need doing now. Needing to address so many items on that long and getting longer to-do list, that painting will probably be the last thing that sees any action.

How is it that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish it all? Besides, there is just no afternoons anymore here in New York. By 4PM the day is gone and it’s pitch black outside. It might as well be midnight it’s so dark and dreary. Add the wintry bluster of the weather lately, and let me tell you how much is going to get done.

Nothing! Yeah, you heard it right. Nothing is going to get done.

So I thought I would cheery myself up by listing some of my summer watercolor paintings.

A while back I was working in twenty minute segments of time to start and finish my paintings. It was, and still is, a good strategy for getting something down on the paper, or canvas if you desire, and finishing up quickly before I went too far and had to trash the work. It was a wonderful experiment and I’ve kept the strategy going even for larger work.

Twenty minutes into my work I stop. Sometimes I walk away to run an errand. I might work on my jewelry pieces, or finish another painting. Then I can return and work another twenty minutes, step away again and assess where I’m at.

Before I started working this way I would go too far, for too long, and ruin perfectly lovely work. Over detailing, too much color, too much stress, and in the trash!

Now if I could possibly use that little trick during this hectic holiday time, maybe, just a small maybe, I could get paintings moving.

Twenty minutes in the process is a possibility. Maybe not probable, but I’m trying to stay positive.


A Finished Painting in Twenty Minutes

While I navigate this new website stuff, I have been working. Very hard work, I might add. As I type this, I am trying to figure out how to enlarge the type in the body of my post. Oh joy! Meanwhile, yes, working as I hold off Mr. Resistance, my old buddy, my pal!

Finished products are amazing things, let me tell you. Some how the work gets done as I am in that hazy fog of creativity. Then I blink and Voila! finished products. It’s hard to explain, but, there you have it.

Two finished paintings, another started, and two finished jewelry pieces are the result of that working haze. You already saw the finally finished work in a previous post. The second piece is a smaller work I started and finished immediately before I moved onto the painting I was avoiding. It helped to have one work done to spur me on.

Beach Day, 9×12 Watercolor ©2013 Dora Sislian Themelis

This little watercolor painting was done in twenty minutes from a photo I took of my granddaughter at my favorite beach, Pt. Lookout, NY, on a warm September day. It’s been sitting on my art table for a while and just pulled me in. The vulnerable quality of the pose, a view of the back of her head, is so lovely.

It was the right work to do at the right moment, to help push resistance aside and get to work.