30 Day Art Challenge

Inspired by Tracy Verdugo, I, along with other brave souls, decided to take on the 30 Day Art Challenge with her this year. 

What is this challenge you may ask?  Painting on the same canvas for 30 days (plus words and feelings-which makes me a little uncomfortable).  I feel nervous just thinking about it!   YIKES!  OK!  Be brave!  Here I go!


Taking a deep breath and going for it, getting all inky.

Words and Feelings:  Feeling excited and fearless.




Words and Feelings:  Why am I putting myself through this?  Feeling anxious.  Then as soon as I start to paint, I feel excited!


Day 3

Hmmm......now what?  I start to add paint, but it's covering too much of what I did on Day 2.  I don't want to hide anything yet!

Words and Feelings:  Struggling.  Then feeling better when I decide to do a light wash over Day 2.  I can still see what's underneath.   

Day 4

The first figure I see is a mermaid and as I start to paint the negative space around the image, more images pop up around the canvas.  When I allow myself to just be in the moment with no distractions, the more I am able to see.

Words and Feelings:  Letting Go and surrendering to the process.  Enjoying this peaceful easy feeling :)  

Day 5

I just want to paint circles!  Not totally happy with outlining the mermaid.  I wanted to keep her, but when you force something that you think is right....sometimes it isn't the right choice.  

Words and Feelings:  Apprehensive, contrived

Day 6

This is what happens when you listen to Vivaldi!  

Words and Feelings:  Flow....just letting it flow.....


Day 7

Taking it slow.

Words and Feelings:  It's okay to slow down, stand back and really look.  What do I see?  So many things.  Not feeling pressured.


Day 8

I had to let her go.

Words and Feelings:  Feeling stuck, so I had to let the mermaid go.  She was lovely, but I was distracted trying to paint around her, so I had to let her go.  Release.  Sometimes you must let go of something that is holding you back in order to move on.


I need colour!

Words and Feelings:   Feeling quiet today.  Humid, hot, no sunshine.  Deciding to bring out the birds.  They've been quietly making an appearance.  Adding more colour.  As I'm finishing Day 9, I begin to feel anxious.  Where am I going with this?  Oh dear!

DAY 10


Words and feelings:  Feeling anxious about what to do.  Then, I just breathe and let myself imagine an image and imagine myself painting the image....flowers.  I add flowers....and all feels right.  

DAY 11

I see an elephant.  And it became very apparent that I had no idea how to draw an elephant!

Words and feelings:  Frustrated, tried too hard to make it perfect.  Then I realized (after about an hour) I'm only on day 11.  So, here is my version of an elephant, and I'm okay with it.

DAY 12

Why do I need to paint over the elephant?!    

Words and Feelings:  Hesitation, regret.  I stand and stare...and stare.  Then I grab my paint, drip it all over the painting.  I reached for my roller and rolled right over that beautiful elephant.  Letting go....it's ok.

DAY 13

Words and Feelings:  As I let myself relax, I start to draw out what I see.  Then drawn to my inks, I start to experiment, creating texture.  I know that I will let this go, so now experimenting becomes easier.  

DAY 14

Words and Feelings:  Not sure where to go with this.  I don't want to spend alot of time figuring it out, so I just let some inks flow around.

DAY 15

Words and Feelings:  I see this beautiful figure and loving it!  Then, I must have stared at this for an hour trying to figure out what else to do.  Why am I having such a hard time with this?  It doesn't have to mean anything!  Being totally frustrated, I decide to just start painting around her.  I had some paint left over so I just started using it up, drawing circles.  Then I realized....that's ok!  It's really ok just to free yourself up and just doodle.  

DAY 16

Words and Feelings:  Fluid, spontaneous.  Starting the second half of this challenge and excited to see what transpires.  

DAY 17

Words and Feelings:  Deliberate.  Slowing down.

DAY 18

Words and Feelings:  Mark making.   Just being in the moment.

DAY 19

Words and Feelings:  11 more days!  While I try to maintain spontaneity with the splashes of ink, I realize I'm also being more deliberate in the placement of colour.  I see so many possibilities.  

DAY 20

Words and Feelings:  I see two elephants and all I want to do today is sketch them out.  Every time I look at Day 19, I see other possibilities.  Feeling unsure at the moment.  Do I keep the elephants or move on and explore other opportunties?



DAY 21

Words and Feelings:  Being cautious.  Do I want to stay with this image?  Can I push myself to go further?  


DAY 22

Words and Feelings:  Oh Yi Yi, what am I doing?  I have now focused on these elephants for three days!  Is it because I am nearing the end and I'm focusing on the result instead of the process?  Oh dear.  

DAY 23

Words and Feelings:  OK, keeping the elephants.  I feel a connection with this image, so I've just decided to go with it.  I'm going to try and be as spontaneous as I can, while still maintaining this image.  

DAY 24

Words and Feelings:  Playing with the background.  Not really thinking about it.  I feel like I should just be letting go, but I don't want to let this image go.  Hmmm......

DAY 25

Words and Feelings:  This 30 day challenge is certainly forcing me to slow down.  Wanted to add colour, but not totally happy with the result.  Let's see what tomorrow will bring.

DAY 26

Words and Feelings:  Adding texture.  Only four more days left.  Happy I kept the elephants, but feeling a little stressed about how it will all come together in the end.

DAY 27

Words and Feelings:  Almost there.  Not totally happy with the outline of the elephants.  Feeling a little like there's too much going on, although I know I can scale back if I want to, so, at the moment, having fun with my little dots ;)


DAY 28

Words and Feelings:  I felt the elephants needed more brightness.  Ahhh, perhaps an ink wash will do the trick.  I really like the effect the ink wash has as it lets what is underneath show through.  

DAY 29

Words and Feelings:  Highlighting the elephants.  I feel like it gave them more life.  One more day!  

DAY 30 - 'The Journey' completed

Words and Feelings:  WOW!  Painting on the same canvas for 30 days....ok, not consecutive days, but 30 days on one canvas!  I learned so much throughout this process.  Learning to let go, experimenting without caring about the outcome, not giving in to the thought of quiting because I liked an image.  From day 22 - even though I remained focused on the elephants, I still experimented and took chances and I learned so much                                               about using inks!  I'm happy I stuck with my elephants.  

Hi, Cindy Benko here!

Cindy Benko

20 Windham E 1/4 Line

Simcoe, Ontario CANADA

N3Y 4K6

1 519 426-9295