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Of Owls and the October Pastel Challenge

Of Owls and the October Pastel Challenge

After not doing very much painting or anything artistic for oh, about 15 months, the challenge posed to me by fellow pastel artist Gail Sibley came at a perfect time. I was itching to get back to the easel, so to speak, and that was just the little nudge I needed.

What was the challenge exactly? To put pastel to paper every day for the entire month of October. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, simple and easy are two different things! But being part of an online group who all participated was just enough accountability to find those at least 15 minutes each day to paint something, anything.

Some days 15 minutes was all I could muster, while other days I managed to dedicate a few hours. I even had a few days that I did not paint at all, but I was able to catch up on other days. The result is a collection of 28 birds, flowers and a stray ant.

Hang on a second, you say; there were 31 days in October, not 28! Well, I worked on my steampunk owl for 3 days in a row; the gears and little details took a lot longer than expected!

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What’s with all the owls?

Well, Charlie (our now 15-month old, walking, babbling son) loves owls and hoots whenever he sees one. So I found extra enjoyment in seeing his excitement  each morning when he walked into the living room and saw a new owl painting taped to the wall!

What did painting every day teach me?

I re-learned how to really look again, observe a subject and try to interpret and grasp its essence with my pastel marks on paper. Also I found as the month progressed, I got looser, my marks less forced and lighter touch. I also experimented by painting on actual hardware store sandpaper. It turned out really well!

Where can I see all the paintings?

Check out my Facebook page, where I posted all of them in the October Pastel Challenge.

What’s next?

Now I will decide which of the paintings will make the cut and will become available for purchase. I also plan to paint more owls, but on a bigger scale, so they won’t be daily paintings.

November is here and I’ve already set pastel to paper again. The challenge got me into a routine that I now don’t want to break. I may not paint every single day, but a few days a week at least, and keep going!

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