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Day 4


Portland Oregon collage artist Kelly Anne Powers We are T- minus 3 days from the biggest fundraiser of the year at work, and I'm feeling the stress. I'm eating like a 17-year-old boy and not sleeping much. Now I have a sore throat and I'm pretty sure it's all the diet soda I'm drinking right before my 1AM bedtime.

That's a long way of saying that the painting a day challenge is really serving its purpose because I would not have painted at all today had I not had this goal. The same would have probably been true yesterday as well.

I got home around 10PM tonight with a painting needing to be finished (er, started). I walked in the door and jumped on it. Because I didn't have the time I normally have, I decided to approach it with mainly collage. I took a background I had painted yesterday and started cutting out shapes from papers I've painted over the course of the last few paintings. And then I got mediuming down.

So when I say painting, it's meant loosely. I didn't actually do any painting tonight except the bit of titanium white I put behind a flower to make it not as transparent. But it was a fun approach.

Next steps for this painting: Stamp in a purply dark brown along the bottom. Maybe (maybe) paint n a flower or two...although looking at the piece that might be risky. I do, however, think this is a good candidate for some additional layering with either clear gel or crackle paste.

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Day 3: Fighting Hard and Soft


Artist Kelly Anne Powers collage mixed media, portland oregon

In today's painting, I added some collage. I love collage but if you're not careful, it changes the feel of a piece pretty significantly. It creates a different, much harder, kind of line, and now that I have it in, I need to try and reign in back. There is also a bit of a fight between subtle and overt. The photo doesn't show some of the layering affects I have working through the piece, but i think because I decided to add strong line to one of the flowers, I've boxed myself in so that I need to a piece with fewer subtle shifts.

I'm heading back into my day job for an evening of work, so I can let it sit and think about it again tomorrow.


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Day 2


Kelly Anne Powers Artist collage acrylicWhen you're working on a painting, sometimes you lose the whole because you're staring at the parts. Other times you lose the parts because you're staring at the whole. That's why it's good to take a picture. With a picture you are brought out of whatever you are doing and you can notice that serious dark shape in the center of the piece that draws ALL THE EYES.

This painting isn't finished...but as arbitrary rule number 1 states, "Painting doesn’t have to be finished, but it has to be close." This is close. And it's close in a way where I'm excited to let it sit for a few hours (while I go back to work) so that I can think about what comes next.

I've created some problems for myself (namely that must-look-here flower in the middle), but that also opens up some design possibilities I wouldn't have considered before, namely darkening the flower immediately to its left. Maybe something with a bit of dark orange? I could then darken the vase and make the ground a bit browner as well. I have to be careful to not darken everything too much because then the big flower and the white flower will suddenly burst from the page.

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Painting a Day: What Would It Take


collage, mixed media, painting a day, Kelly Anne Powers artist Day 1 (only 29 more to go)[/caption] A common theme among my fellow participants in the Artistica Bootcamp is that above and beyond everything else (beyond the marketing, beyond the selling, beyond the this or that) beyond everything else is creating the work.

Creating. The. Work.

On paper this is so incredibly easy. Just do the work.

But if Just Do the Work was as easy as it sounded, more of us would be super fit and quad lingual.

In reality, doing the work is hard. It’s because there is life to be lived. Dinners to cook. Partners to spend time with. Art is a job, but unlike a job where if you don’t show up at a certain time everyday you get fired, the only thing that happens if you don’t show up in art is that you don’t get better. That’s not quite the same motivation as a pink slip.

So then how do we create a structure that understands our weaknesses and acknowledges the difficulties both external and internal, and helps us overcome them to do the work?

For March, it’s going to be a painting a day.  With a painting a day, suddenly my art must become a top priority. I must look at everyday and make sure I can carve out enough time to make the goal. And because it’s a finite amount of time (30 days), it encourages me to keep at it. (“You only have to make it 30 more days.")

So for March, the challenge is on. I am going to try and create a piece of shareable work each and every day. Some will be complex. Some will be very simple. But each and every day I will be creating something. And as I’m doing this, I will see what in my life adjusts. It’s not just an art experiment, it’s a life experiment.

Here are my (somewhat) arbitrary rules:

1. Painting doesn’t have to be finished, but it has to be close.

2. Paintings don’t have to be aaaaamazing.

3. I can have started the painting during march. (So if I get to paint 5 hours one day and only 30 minutes another day, I can finish something I’ve started prior.) Want to paint along?

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Goals for Circling the Sun


4" x 4", Collage


  It was my birthday last week (cue the music!) and it was a lovely low key day. Each year my birthday serves as my Jan. 1st. I don’t really do serious goal setting until mid-way through February. I do this for two reasons: First, it makes me feel less pressure about the actual New Year. And second, as a lover of arbitrary dates and deadlines, it gives me permission to over analyze the hell out of myself around my birthday.

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