Today is the last day of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge, and it’s time to reflect on my experience. I will readily admit that I found posting each day to be extremely difficult. I had a lot of newspaper work to do and, more recently, there was early voting. I find that, after a day working as an election inspector, I’m too tired to post in my blog. It could be that all my energy is focused on maintaining my body temerature? Early voting on Grand Island is in the Welcome Center, which is a type of rest stop for tourists traveling through, usually to Niagara Falls. I have to say that building is cold. Really, really cold. At first, I thought that it was like spending hours in the refrigerator, but I changed my mind. It’s more like the freezer. I go back tomorrow for my last day of early voting, and I hope that the problem is fixable. But I will be ready tomorrow. I’m going to dress in layers and I’m going to bring a blanket with me. A crocheted afghan that nice and thick and long and narrow. A good shape for me to wrap myself in.
And now, back to reflecting on the month. I started by doing the Inktober challenge but stopped for no reason whatsoever. The same thing happened last year. That is okay, however, because I can switch up Inktober challenges. There’s a second way to do the Inktober challenge, which involves a drawing a month for a year. So, in the next few days, I will transition myself to that. I will just start with week five and go from there. This challenge is called Inktober 52. It’s a less intense version of Inktober. And I’m going to do it.
The picture above was a challenge that I didn’t expect. It’s a mark a day challenge. After a month or so, you have a complete painting. The above picture is the state of my mark a day on day 25. I saw on a facebook group page that someone was doing the mark a day challenge. I didn’t know what that was, and that person had posted the final product of their month-long effort. The painting was very abstract and very cool. I said that I wanted to do it , too, so the person encouraged me to try it. I did so with little expectation that I would have a very cool and very abstract painting. I have found, in the years that I have devoted to art, that having little expectation of any results is an excellent approach for me. I’ve discovered that, if I’m focused on the experience of creating a painting, rather than the stress of producing a “good” painting, the quality of my work is better. Much better. I am happy and in the moment when I focus on process, as opposed to product. I am happy with the direction that this painting is taking and, yes, I’m having fun with it.
The other benefit of the mark a day challenge is that, when you do it, you don’t have to wear out your imagination. I have found that trying to make an entire painting in one sitting is very mentally exhausting. That is when I think that I lack imagination. I think that the month-long approach helps keep the imagination in a really good condition. Each day, the challenge feels new, and I am focused on adding something fun to that painting.
And now, with the ending of one adventure, a new one begins, says Little Bear.