Monday, September 1, 2014

My Fourth 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge! (Day 1)

"Something that's fun for me is a challenge. 
When you take on a challenge and succeed, 
it's the best feeling."
~ Amy Lee

~~~~~~~~~~~~~SUNNY SUMMER DAYS ~~~~~~~~~~~
Alcohol Inks and Watercolor on Yupo paper

I first discovered Leslie Saeta on January 3, 2013, when a fellow blogger had a link to Leslie's 30 Paintings in 30 Days online painting challenge. I was feeling a little post holiday blasé at the time and was in dire need of a creative pick-me-up. So that first day, I summoned my fervor, painted two pieces and started on a journey of intense, accelerated growth. Although at times it wasn't easy, I finished all 30 watercolor paintings that month on Yupo paper, based on my theme, "Paintings Inspired by Quotes About Trees". At the end of January, after working exclusively on Yupo, there was no turning back. I was hooked on the eco-friendly, synthetic paper's forgiving nature verses traditional non-forgiving cotton rag. My watercolor paintings on Yupo paper were all posted online and I continued to paint at full throttle even after the challenge ended. I completed my second 30 paintings in 30 days again in September 2013 with "Legends, Myths and Folktales". In January 2014, I once again finished Leslie's painting challenge with over thirty Yupo paintings in my series, "Animals I Love".  

These challenges have literally changed my life! Although I first worked on Yupo paper more than fifteen years ago, working on it exclusively gave me a much better understanding of its unique properties. I developed new techniques and let my creative muse be the guide. My watercolor paintings on Yupo paper were all posted online, which led to being contacted by the V.P. of Marketing of a national paper distributor, Legion Paper in the spring of 2013. I am now the company's Yupo consultant and in-store Yupo paper demonstrator for all the NYC Dick Blick / Utrecht Art Supply Stores.

All of this probably wouldn't have happened had I not taken the challenges seriously and forced myself out of my comfort zone. I am so grateful to have found Leslie. She is such a wonderful, creative, energetic, mentor! I listen to her informative and inspiring Artists Helping Artists Blog talk radio show often. I think all artists, no matter what medium or genre, should be bookmarking Leslie's art marketing and inspirational resources. Thank you Leslie, for your giving spirit, boundless energy and unending inspiration!

So here I go again with my new theme of "Colorful Cosmic Combos". In February, I started working in the exciting medium of alcohol inks. Both watercolor and the inks work extremely well on Yupo paper. They intensify and enhance each other and blend seamlessly. Combining watercolor with my new found love for the brilliant, unique alcohol based inks has led me to another exhilarating way to express the essence and spirit of my subjects. These improved paintings will be reworked favorites, from previous challenges or completely new. All of them will be strengthened with the addition of complimentary alcohol ink highlights and borders like the piece above.

I am very excited about this new direction and I hope to spark some passion in others too. Please follow along over the next 30 days and enjoy another journey of artistic evolution with me.  I received so much strength and encouragement from friends and fellow artists over the last three challenges, that I don't know if I could have done it without you! Thank you so very much!!

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 Thanks so very much for your feedback, friendship and enthusiasm!

X ♥  O

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