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Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Interview With A Companion

In just 9 months, Teri Casper of Painted Daisies, has completed the 100 Paintings Challenge! I recently spoke with Teri about the challenge, how she felt about it in retrospect, and what she learned from undertaking such a huge task:

LF: Teri, let me first say congratulations!! Awesome job! And you did it in only 9 months?! That's serious dedication to your art and improving your skills. I'm sure a lot of folks might wonder why someone would undertake this type of challenge. What did you hope to get out of it when you started?

TC: Thank YOU, Laure, for making this challenge available. Quite honestly, I didn't know what to expect, but the thought of doing 100 paintings was an intriguing challenge and I thought it may help me improve. I try to sketch and paint everyday so I committed myself to doing this.

LF: Saying you didn't know what to expect leads me to ask what did you learn, what was your most important "learning?"

TC: By far the most important thing I learned was the value of "value." My focus and commitment became stronger with each painting in wanting to do better but it wasn't until some comments about the change in my paintings that made me realize it was the stronger values I was achieving.

LF: Obviously, this type of challenge takes a lot of commitment....what were your challenges with the 100 Painting Challenge? And on the other side of that, how did you overcome those challenges? What helped you to stay with the challenge?

TC: One of the very first paintings I did was, in my mind, so bad that I promised myself the rest would be my best effort. That became my personal challenge and commitment. I'm happy I did do that "bad one." You told us not to judge, but I did when it came to this painting and it made me WANT to improve.

What helped me to stay with the challenge was the positive reenforcement from others' comments. It made me realize I was on the right track when others noticed a change. Curiously, when I thought I had done a wonderful painting, most comments were ho-hum and when I thought the painting was not so great, comments were raving. That made me stop and look closer at what I did. What also helped was knowing I made the commitment and I wasn't about to say I couldn't do it! But that's just me.

I rarely looked at the number of paintings, but once I got to 75, I realized the end was in sight, and I became more determined than ever. There were definitely times that I lost my muse, but she always came back.

LF: I've definitely seen a lot of change in your work with much stronger values. Any other key learnings?

TC: Thank you. I learned a lot about myself and my art! One difficult thing I learned was not to be critical of my work but to look at how I could improve it. I also learned to step away and let the painting dry between areas and this is something that I am usually VERY impatient with. I am getting more housework done now, LOL!!

I am painting better skies, something I really hadn't even thought about. I realized I have eclectic tastes in subjects and always want to try something new or interesting. I love landscapes, but after trying several, I finally realized that I love a macro and/or detail look more. I haven't given up on landscapes though. I realize how much better of a job I did on something that really interested me. I learned the importance of a good background. Plein aire painting spoiled me, and now, I want to do it all the time. Being in the "plein aire" really seems to produce a better painting. I studied other artist's books and tried some of their techniques. That kept me inspired. I saved a few paintings by trying different things. There will be some bad ones but I learned not to be discouraged by them but rather to learn from them.

LF: Have you put up the paintings in one room and evaluated them together? If so, what do you see? What strikes you the most about the work you did at the beginning vs. the work of the last few paintings?

TC: Some of my paintings are in Arizona and some are here in Wisconsin, so I looked at my set on Flickr. I definitely see improvement and I also see where I could have improved. Interestingly, I see painting that were of high interest for me that seemed to be better. The most important thing I see is improvement!!

LF: Now that the challenge has been met, where will you go from here? What's your next challenge going to be?

TC: One thing I am definitely going to do is work on my landscapes. I am not just going to say I can't do them because I know I can if I take the time and study what I am doing. Being out in the landscape means a lot. I plan to do more journaling of my everyday life because that's where I see interesting things.

LF: Teri, what advice would you give to anyone who was thinking about starting the challenge today?

TC: JUST DO IT!!! Keep the paintings coming and keep trying even if you don't like some results, you will be amazed what continued practice can do for your skills.

LF: Any last thoughts you'd like to add?
TC: Thank you for providing this challenge. I would encourage people to do the challenge because you can only benefit from the commitment and improve your art. There will be times when you think you can't do it or nothing is going the way you planned, but in the end, you will learn. And learn. And learn. I know I am repeating myself, but I want to emphasize the importance of this commitment.

Please join me in congratulating Teri for not only completing the challenge but for completing it in 9 months! You can also see a slide show over on Teri's blog of all 100 paintings!

13 comments:

Kelly said...

...congratulations, Teri. I have seen such growth in your artwork. I was always amazed at how quickly you could finish your paintings. Way to go!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yay Teri. I knew you would do it. You are so much more dedicated that I am. I admire your resolve and finish. I can really see the difference, improvement, you wanted to attain and you did so.

Teri C said...

Thank you and thanks to Laure again and again, it has been an awesome and educational journey!

marianne said...

Wow Teri!
You did it!
And I always enjoy to see your work and the evolution in it!

Elva Paulson said...

Congratulations Teri!!!! I have so enjoyed watching you jump in and tackle a wonderful variety of subject matter and mediums, but most of all, watching you grow has been inspiring.

Sadami said...

Dear Teri,
Congratulations!! Your say inspires me lots. Thank you for sharing your precious experiences with us and other next challengers. I hope your achievement encourages so many others. Teri, take care.
Love and smile,
Sadami

Julie said...

What a grand undertaking, Teri! Great work and so much fun to look at them all!!! My fav, of course, is the beautiful succulent at the top of this post!!! :)

Teri C said...

Thanks everyone.

Mermaid's Palette said...

Congratulations!
Sheryl

SKIZO said...

Great
Work
good
creations

AtelierBrigitte said...

Congratulations on this achievement! A 100 paintings in 9 months! I'll go and take a look at the slide show.

yoon see said...

Congrats Teri:)

Teri C said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone.