I am more than a bit behind on following up with my 100 Day Project, since it ended in July, but let’s pretend that’s not so far in the past. After finishing my first 50 days of animals, I needed a bit of a change. At first I thought I would do 50 more birds, since a painting filled with birds has been an image stuck in my head for a while now. I thought, I’ll paint 50 birds that I see in my yard (nope, even though we do have a ton of birds that visit in the summer), then maybe 50 birds in Saskatchewan (nope). I finally decided on 50 things that I could find in my yard, and this was fun because it was Spring when I started and things in our yard were constantly changing and growing and all the wildlife was coming back out (and yes, we do have a resident backyard squirrel and many wild jackrabbits that scoot around the neighborhood). Each day I would go on a bit of a hunt for what to include – at first this was easy with loads to choose from, and sometimes I would take a cutting of a plant to paint, and sometimes I would take a photo and work from that. My husband surprised me one day with a photo of that robin’s nest with the brilliant blue eggs that had been secretly built in the back corner of our little pergola. After the rain the mushrooms came out, the stawberries appeared, and plants flowered at different times. Near the end though, I really had to get creative, which is why that tiny little gnome (the only not-found-in-nature item) was my last addition.
Maybe this is obvious already, but I did not plan out in advance where to place each drawing – I just started with the blue jay and filled in spaces from there. Had I done the drawings individually and had the ability to digitally move them around or change their sizes later, I might have changed up a few things, but in the end it’s part of the charm for me.
This way of working, of adding everyday to one bigger project may have been more satisfying than making individual drawings – I could constantly see the progress, and everyday my kids would come home from school and try to figure out what the newest addition had been. In the end, I love this piece because it’s so specific to our yard, as it is now. It made me look close, see what was happening in the sky and on the ground and I got to know those seasons better. Also, because it ended up being kind of personal, I always intended just to keep it and there was no expectation that this would become something for sale. That was nice.
I loved this project. I made a ton of drawing/paintings and remembered why I love that process (it makes my mind more still and focused, which is a magical thing for this spinning top that I have in my head, constantly). Again, I didn’t feel the need to share about it overly in order to keep motivated – as the giant page filled up, it created its own momentum. In short, if you’re thinking about doing the 100 Day Project – do it. Keep it simple and within a very short time period every day. Keep going, because whatever you make, the end is going to be kind of amazing.