Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy New Year Everyone!

We've made it to another year!  Happy 2015 to all~

I love the 'freshness' that a new year brings.  I get excited when the hustle of the holidays ends and a bright, shiny new beginning to a whole year of possibilities lies before me...  Here's a little story:

Two years ago (as a New Year's resolution) I accepted a challenge to paint 30 small paintings in 30 days.  The challenge was offered by artist Leslie Saeta, and I was pressured by my painter friends to give it a try.  Here is a little background info... I did not care about oil painting.   In college I painted what I would describe as a 'whopping total of two complete failures' using oil paints, and I never wanted to use them again.  As an art major,  I thought I should automatically be good at painting, but I'm telling you that I mean it when I say 'complete failure'.  Fast forward an undisclosed number of years...  I gave in and decided to give it my best shot, even though I knew I would hate it.

The first week was torture.  I,  (being me, of course) chose the most difficult things I could think of to paint.  A yellow fire hydrant on a violet background.  lights and buildings reflecting on wet pavement.   bicycles. backhoes and orange barrels buried under piles of snow.  Those things interested me.  Painting apples did not. Strike one. (apples are easy) Trying to paint the subjects I wanted to paint with this peanut buttery disaster of a medium made me mad.  Strike two. (I got mad).  After the first 4 paintings...Strike three. (I quit).  I was so frustrated!

A few days later I 'un-quit'.  I was determined to finish my 30 paintings even if every one of them sucked, because I wanted to be a better painter.  In all, it took me 45 days to finish my 30 paintings. The timing doesn't matter.  What does matter is this:  The things I learned in that short time by experimenting on my own and forcing myself to practice amounted to so much more than I ever expected; and the speed at which I improved could not be matched by taking a painting class.

This year, I've invited glass friends to join me in a similar challenge.  We'll be working to complete 30 fused glass powder sgraffito sketches in 30 days.  Many do not have experience using glass powders, but have accepted the challenge feet-first.  I know they will improve by leaps and bounds over the next 30 days!  Surprisingly, there are currently 376 glass fanatics from 9 countries who have accepted the challenge as I write this.  It is going to be so cool to see everyone's work, and if we all complete the challenge, we will have created almost 11,000 works of art in just 30 days!

You can follow our progress each day here on my blog, and check out the artists' web pages and blogs by clicking on the photos they will be uploading each day.  Of course I'm doing the glass challenge, but I am also participating in the painting challenge once again, with alcohol ink paintings (call me crazy and maybe I'll break out the oils).

January 1, 2015 Challenge is to create a sketch using only glass powder and your fingers.  They're your best tools!
Glass Sgraffito Sketch Day One, fingers only!
Sunny Morning Aspens, Alcohol Ink Painting,  5x7
Start bid: $20

Artists: Upload your Day 1 sketches by clicking the 'add your link' button at the bottom left.  Choose a photo from your blog, Facebook, or instagram page, or upload one from your computer.  If you have trouble locating the image URL, try using CTRL+click on the image, then choose 'copy image address'.  This should give you the image URL. If you have problems, check the Facebook page for the Fused Glass Powder Sgraffito Drawing 30 in 30 Challenge.  Happy New Year!


  1. Now that I've re-read the directions, I see that I was only supposed to use powder and my fingers for this first image. Oops. I don't think I'm alone though. Kelly, did you really create that tree without using even a business card? When I used my fingers to add powder to my sketch, I didn't get anything even close to a line until I pushed it around with a card.

  2. Kelly Crosser AlgeJanuary 1, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Hey Bob you did well!! You don't have to follow the suggested challenge each day, it's just a guide to help those who are struggling with what to make. You can create anything you like! Yes I made my tree using just my fingers, and a sifter. Keep trying on those lines with your fingers, sometimes it's more a matter of which lines to make first.

  3. love seeing everyone's work. Can't wait to see where we all go in 30 days. Everyone is off to a great start. The blog stuff is tough but it should get easier to :)

  4. Call you crazy? Yes, I will call you crazy - crazy talented, that is. I'm so looking forward to seeing all the beautiful pieces by you and your glass buddies, and your alcohol inks as well. Good luck, Kelly!! Good luck, glass artists!!

  5. Catherine Hamilton, I love the cat face you did. Thank you for the helpful technique tips that you included in your blog writeup.

  6. Wow this is great to see how many people have such a fantastic start on this challenge. Are we just to post here?

  7. So far ,so good:) It has been fun!


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