25 paintings in 30 days

4th of October already? The 30 paintings in 30 days challenge is finished and I’m glad to get to the end of it. I didn’t manage to paint 30 paintings as I forgot to plan for the school holidays and didn’t have the energy to paint every evening at the end of the fun filled days. However, 25 paintings feels like good enough result for me. Here they all are, grouped by theme instead of chronological order:
Collage of 25 paintings done in 30 days
The challenge was a great reminder that regular painting brings with it the improvement in skills and allows to explore the same subject in numerous works gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the beauty and complexity of nature.

The challenge also helped me to gain a realistic view on how many hours I can dedicate to painting. During school term I get about 3 hrs two mornings a week for painting while the youngest is in childcare. In the evenings I get between 1 and 2.5 hrs to myself, but I need at least one evening for planning/admin/letter-writing/etc and another evening for chilling out. This is a tiny amount of time as even simple small paintings take me at least an hour (and often two) to paint. I need to think hard about the way to divide this time in the most beneficial way to achieve a healthy mix of learning, targeted to improve specific skills; working on more intricate paintings (I’m bursting with ideas!) and painting for the pure fun of it. I also want to get back into daily sketching/visual journal keeping as it creates lovely record of my everyday life and allows to tackle some of the subjects I wouldn’t paint otherwise; but maybe I can fit it into my daily routine with kids.


29 thoughts on “25 paintings in 30 days

    1. Zoya Post author

      Thank you. At the time it often felt more like hard work, but I feel more energetic and happier after painting. In a way it is my mental therapy.

  1. Yevgenia Watts

    All of these are lovely and fresh! I can so relate to the need to schedule your activities around kids. It’s good to have a clear idea how much time you can really afford for painting. And I particularly like your allowances for letter-writing and chilling 😀 Super important!

    1. Zoya Post author

      Yevgenia, thank you. I tried painting every night without break, but quickly realised that I was starting to burn out and hate painting. At times I wish I had more energy and was more dedicated, but I am who I am. I’m always amazed by how much you manage to achieve with three kids.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Rochelle, I bought myself some watercolour instructional DVDs as a reward. Now I need to watch them and do more painting. *silly grin*

  2. anniekitching

    Oh! there we are! How absolutely, unbelievably beautiful it would be to have ALL of those paintings, put together as you show them here, matted and framed. It would be such joy to look, and look, and look…..

    1. Zoya Post author

      Thank you. Framing is another item on my list of things to get done – there are some paintings I did for the kids & some of their own paintings that I want to frame. I need to get around to measuring everything so I can buy the right frames or just taking the pictures to the framers.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Laura, thank you. I found Violas quite hard to paint at first, but with every painting I understand a little bit more about them and hopefully getting closer to capturing their essence.

      1. Laura (Createarteveryday)

        I think you’re doing that quite beautifully. I have tried painting them and it’s not been easy. I feel encouraged to know you struggled with them at first; I thought it was just me. Any secrets, or just practice? I would so love to be able to capture them! They are so beautiful.

      2. Zoya Post author

        Dear Laura, I wish I had some magical secrets to reveal to help you, but I’m still looking for them myself. 🙂 Attempting the same subject few times with watercolours and doing few line sketches with pen and more complex ones with pencil to figure out shadows/midtones/highlights and main features help me to get better. Also trying to paint them in slightly different styles – more graphic one, wet-into-wet, etc may be helpful

      3. Laura (Createarteveryday)

        That sounds like really good advice and I appreciate you taking the time to give it! I’m switching between ink, graphite, watercolor/watercolor pencil and colored pencils right now. But I think trying to focus on one subject or at least one type of subject at a time is good. I think part of my problem is I hop around too much because I get so excited about everything I see or every book I read. My problem is focus. It’s not desire or motivation, but organized focus. Do you ever run into this?

      4. Zoya Post author

        Huge YES. I’m struggling with focus all the time as I’m interested in so many different things. I may write a blog post about it, as I’m setting goals/planning for the next year & feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment by everything that I want to get done.

      5. Laura (Createarteveryday)

        I feel that way often but I do think having a goal in mind is good. I’m really looking forward to watching your progress!! You really inspire me. I love your style and would love to render with the delicacy that seems to come effortlessly to you. 💛

      6. Zoya Post author

        Laura, thank you and please, believe that it may look effortless from outside, but it wasn’t for me to start with and still often isn’t.

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