I’m a couple of weeks into the 2014 challenge, here’s an update:

Painting class 1 & 2

Sooooo acrylic painting… I have to say I really like the medium it’s fun to work with but there’s a lot to learn. I’ve made it through two classes. I started a piece today from a photo I took. Next week I will keep working on it and should be close to done. Right now it doesn’t look like much but I am beginning to see the image emerge as I apply layers of color.

This will be one of the more challenging challenges because so many different skills are involved. Some drawing skill is required to rough sketch on the canvas before starting. Then color mixing and simply seeing the different colors and shades of color in the image I’m replicating. Composition is important and finally patience. It takes a bit of work for the image to emerge as you lay down color on top of color.

I won’t lie… I’ve been frustrated. Rather than finding the painting relaxing, I’m finding it more stressful. I suspect that it is a personality trait that I won’t overcome easily. But, half of the challenge is understanding yourself and when to step back and take a time out.


I finished another book. Two down 48 to go! The latest read was “Divergent”. I read it because I had seen an advertisement for a movie coming out in the summer based on the book. Looked interesting so I figured why not!

I really enjoyed it. It is a Hunger-Games type of book, young adult, female lead, and dystopian society. I don’t think it is as good as the Hunger-Games series, still I liked it enough to consider reading the rest of the books in the series.

Pistol Competition

Okay so I missed the first informal competition and that means I won’t be doing this challenge until February. Still I am preparing. I have spent time pulling from a holster and changing magazines. These are two things that eat up time in a timed competition.

I also spent time at the gun range practicing at 20 feet. I set the target to flip every 5 seconds. I stand in position with gun out and down, then when the target flips facing forward I take two shots at one of the 5 bull’s eyes on the target. This is to practice getting the gun up, in position, and sighted quickly. The recoil on a 9mm moves the gun off target so you have to sight back in quickly to take the second shot. I was definitely tired after 60 rounds.


So what I’ve learned is this… my brain really wants to figure out the art thing. I fall asleep seeing patterns, visualizing brush strokes, thinking about layers, and mixing colors. This is something I clearly want to understand better and that could be a problem. It is turning the act of creating into a process with structure and a framework. I’m concerned that I’m taking the free spirited act of creation and turning it into something far more structured.

I am obviously in learning mode and it will be interesting to see how things progress.

Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, what are you working on and what have you learned so far this year?


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  • Sarah Arrow

    Wow, that’s great progress on your challenges!
    I’ve not heard of Divergent, I’ll look it up and add it to my reading list. I liked the Hunger Games, although I didn’t really like Katniss much until the second and third books.

  • sally

    The pistol shooting on the range sounds great fun – will we be seeing you as Kinsey’s replacement on NCIS LA anytime soon? 🙂

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