The Three-Quarters Pole

I learned an interesting fact today about horse-racing. Those markers you see along the track don’t tell how far the jockey has come but show instead how far he still must go. In other words, the “quarter pole” doesn’t indicate the distance traveled from the starting gate. It indicates that the finish line is a quarter-mile away.

Originally, you see, I called this post “The Quarter Pole”, because I’ve reached the 25th day of my 100-day creative art adventure. After a quick bit of research, however, I realized I was in error and changed it. I’m still not completely sure if it’s proper to refer to a “three-quarter” pole or not, but here’s a fascinating article if you care to read it for yourself:

“The Poles” Are Where It Begins and Ends

Enough of horse-racing. Back to art.

For the last twenty-five days I’ve been reading and learning from Watercolour Painting with Aubrey Phillips, using that book has a guide for a 100-day creative project. So, how’s that working for me?

Good. Not so good. Hmmm, I’m not sure.

I might give any one of these answers depending on the day you ask about the project. Overall, despite a few frustrations, I’m pleased with what I’m doing. I can’t say that I’ve accomplished a lot — in the sense of having artwork to show — but I do know that I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve done.

Here’s a quick run-down of what my 100-day project has included:

  • Reviewing watercolor brushes
  • Looking at drawing materials
  • Making several “quick sketches”
  • Comparing different paints
  • Playing with colors
  • Color-mixing practice
  • Wash techniques
  • Glazing techniques

I’m currently working on a watercolor painting based on a demonstration in the book, and so far, I’m actually quite pleased with it.

Do I feel that I’ve progressed because of this project? The answer here is a definite, resounding “YES”. Any time we take on a project and faithfully follow through on it, we benefit from it with increased self-discipline, determination, and trust. That last item is especially important, I think. We need to trust ourselves, to know that we can count on ourselves to do what we say we’re going to do.

Working on my 100-day project has been a positive experience, as well, because of the structure it has created in my day. It’s become part of a daily routine. Some days I’m more excited about the project than other days, but either way, it’s a little block of time set aside specifically for this experience, and I like the sort of creative stability that provides.

What’s coming up in the next quarter? A glance ahead brings up a few topics I might rather avoid — like perspective and composition. These are necessary skills, of course, and I’ll do the best I can with them.

2020images

Is anyone else working on a 100-day project? If so, how’s it going for you?

8 Comments

  1. Following your adventure has been so much fun Judith! As you explore you have offered insights for me to ponder as well! I’ve never done a 100 day project, hmmm, I feel another insight to ponder lol…. 😁

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    1. I’m enjoying it, even when things don’t go the way I’d like LOL. That’s how my project went this morning. I just worked on a watercolor that ended up being something completely different from what it was intended to be — and not necessarily in a good way. I’ll probably make a post about it one of these days. Still, I like committing myself to the learning experience. Seeing it as an adventure makes it exciting and interesting. And it truly is an adventure. I never know from one day to the next how it will turn out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “….And it truly is an adventure. I never know from one day to the next how it will turn out.” Kind of like life, isn’t it? I think that is another layer of what artists are learning in the creative process. We can imagine what we what to create in our minds….but then the process requires us to become still, focused in the moment and be present in each step as it presents itself. This,….is a lesson I continue to have to learn at least 80 to 100 times during each piece! And still….- Best, Liza

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    1. Thanks. I’ve studied perspective over and over since I started learning to draw in 2015. I’ve studied one-point, two-point, and even three-point perspective. I’ve wrestled with rulers and T-squares and made all sorts of lines going to dozens of different vanishing points. I do understand the concept of “perspective”, yet when it comes to knowing how to actually apply the concept in a painting… well, seriously, am I supposed to draw out all those lines and mark all those vanishing points, even if they’re far off the canvas? If so, how? I just haven’t yet grasped the practical application of perspective in drawing and painting. 😦

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