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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Challenged!


In the comments section of the previous post, Chuck asked about the Everyday Matters Weekly Challenges, and how they work. There is a great FAQ somewhere on the Everyday Matters List site, but I thought I'd also take a shot at the answer, just in case anyone else is wondering.

Chuck -- we get an art "challenge" thrown out once a week. The goal is to do that week's challenge by Friday or Saturday, but there isn't really a time limit, except that doing them on time keeps the momentum going for the entire group. A lot of new members will go back to the challenge list and do several in a row, just to have a list of things to draw when inspiration is otherwise lacking. It isn't uncommon for folks to say, "hey, I finally did Challenge number 3, go take a look" no matter how far in the past it is. The point is to get out and draw.

I have found them to be a really good way to stretch myself out of my comfort level, and draw types of things I would bother to do otherwise. I mean, I NEVER would have drawn my glasses, or desk lamp, or messy desk if left to my own devices. I actually wouldn't have thought that I could enjoy drawing green beans, but ever since the "draw your dinner" challenge, fruit and vegetables have had a different type of attraction for me. I actually bought a blood orange the other day JUST so I could paint it. Of course, like most food, once I cut it and took a taste it didn't stay around long enough to make it to the painting stage, but that's beside the point! I never feel like the point of the challenges is to do a "finished" art piece, either. My personal challenge is to learn to work more quickly and with more spontaneity, so I have the goal that it can not take longer than 20-30 minutes, and preferably just 15. However, I guess if my tendency was to always work fast, my personal challenge might be to slow down and be more detailed. I wonder if others impose similar "rules" on themselves? It would be interesting to find out.

This week's challenge is to draw a tool. I decided to find and draw my little hand trowel, which, of course, I'd left out in the yard. Beside the trowel was this six pack of yellow squash plants that got sketched instead. I wonder, would I have looked at the squash as an art opportunity if I hadn't been looking for the trowel with the THOUGHT of art in my mind? I doubt it.

Thank goodness I didn't go looking for the mop. We might have had drawings of dirty floors here now if I had... Posted by Hello

11 comments:

Chuck Rose said...

Well, there you go. Now I know, and I can't wait for my first challenge. And what a great explanation.

I work for a major news website. And the temperment there is always grace under fire. Doing great work under as tight deadline. So the philosophy behind this group is a great one. Something to really to really sharpen your skills on. Thanks for the description and the great water color!

Chuck Rose said...

Hope you don't mind. I just added you to my list of links on my blog.

Linda said...

Thanks for the link, and I'm looking forward to seeing your responses to the challenges!

annie said...

I have really enjoyed seeing your responses to the EDM challenges. I just love seeing your water colors.

Laura said...

Linda, that was a great explanation of the EDM group/challenges! And your watercolors get more and more delightful. Take a look at those leaves!

Linda said...

Laura -- what I learned from Jim -- the careful use of purple to help define the greens. I'm gonna figure this out yet!!! :-)

janey said...

What a nice drawing. It brings back memories of the irony of being born with a green thumb and living in a 4th floor walk up in NY. I was always planting something in those little containers. And gee where do you find the time to do all the challenges.

Karen Winters said...

I hadn't realized people were having trouble finding the FAQ. It's in the Files section - but it sorts to the bottom because folders have precedence. Maybe I should post it to the list every few weeks? EDM Challenge FAQ
You need to be a member of EDM to read it, though.

Karen Winters said...

I thought I mentioned how much I liked the pony pack, and then realized I forgot to hit the button.

Jim said...

Thanks for the great explanation! Some of that I didn't know about...

What a lovely little watercolor sketch of the pony-pack of geraniums! My favorite summer flowers! Then I read in your comments where you might have dropped in a little purple to get your values..nice. Do you like how it works?

Wish I could paint with that loose, free and delightfully colorful style you have. Wow...

Linda said...

Jim, I love how the touch of purple helps deepen the greens! Thank you so much for the hint!