The 100 Day Project and the February Flowers Challenges Are Only Days Away – Why I Participate in Writing & Painting Challenges

Today, I have completed my 10th consecutive day of painting flowers. I was practicing for two well-known painting challenges that are coming soon. On January 31, #the100dayproject begins, and on February 1, #februaryflowers begins. You can join both of these challenges on Instagram. I somewhat of a challenge junkie. I am also a writer, and during January, I participated in Tara Lazar’s StoryStorm, and in February, I’ll participate in Nonfiction Fest. But in this post, I am telling you about my challenge to paint flowers EVERY day for 112 days. You see, I started my 100 Day Project 12 days early.

Challenging myself to perform daily tasks is the way that I form positive habits.

Achieving My Goals by Beginning New Habits

And by participating in daily challenges, I force myself to practice every day and believe me: in bother writing and painting, practice is the name of the game.

“What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.”
― J. S. Bach

“Talent is only a starting point.”
― Irving Berlin

Please allow me to share a little story to illustrate how practice works: 

I grew up in a farming community, and when I was young, kids could get their driver’s license when they were 16.  This was a leftover from the ruling that made it practical for farm kids to help get the harvest to the market. After several months of practice, I finally got my driver’s license, and one night, my parents allowed me to drive alone to my high school, where I needed to attend a cheerleading practice. I got there okay, but when it was time to leave, I managed to back into a tree, which was the only obstacle in the otherwise empty parking lot.  Naturally, I was scared to death to go home and to admit my crime, and judging by my mother’s anger, my fear was justified.  Ultimately, she said:  “Until you learn how to drive, I’,m not going to allow you to drive anymore!”

I dared not laugh at that remark, but even at the time, I saw the humor in the obvious truth that no one can learn to drive–unless they drive.

The same thing is true of art.  Regardless of how freely you want to paint, there is a learning curve.  Allow yourself the time to learn. and don’t wait to paint–until you are great at painting.  That can no more happen than one can learn to drive without driving. I practice to improve my game.

“Champions keep playing until they get it right.”
― Billie Jean King

Tulips – Jacki Kellum Daily Paintng January 29, 2021 – Completed in 1 Hour

My painting style is loose, and I want to keep it that way.

Cornered – Jacki Kellum Daily Painting January 28, 2021 – Completed in about 45 minutes.

Although many people might prefer that I arduously strain and fuss with my strokes until I could achieve some semblance to photographic realism, being photographic is not important to me. I like energy, and I like freedom. It might seem to be a simple task to paint the above rose in the way that I painted it but that is not at all the case.  In a painting like Cornered, every stroke of my brush must land in exactly the right spot–the first time that I let it fly. And the only way to achieve that kind of aim is to practice,

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
― Aristotle,

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”
― Martha Graham

Contact Me for  A Free Photoshop Template to Track Your Painting Project.

I’ll tell you how to add your own images to the template and how to change the project’s title.

You Must Have Photoshop to Use the Free Template

Before I leave this post, however, I want to say a few words about the importance of not allowing challenges and goals to ruin your reason for making art. Making art is not a numbers thing. Rather, it is about enlarging one’s spirit.

“The object of art is not to make salable pictures. It is to save yourself.

The fools who write articles about me think that one morning I suddenly decided to write and began to produce masterpieces.

There is no special trick about writing or painting either. I wrote constantly for 15 years before I produced anything with any solidity to it….

The thing of course, is to make yourself alive. Most people remain all of their lives in a stupor.

The point of being an artist is that you may live….

You won’t arrive. It is an endless search.”
― Sherwood Anderson

If you are like me, however, you will not be happy with your art until you are able to conquer the technical thing and to simply soar.