Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 10 MInute Challenge

Almost two years ago (wow - I can't believe it was two years ago) I took a workshop from Carol Marine. I had no clue who she was, or what I was getting into and I'd only been painting for about 8 months or so. I signed up because I saw it listed in my local community center flyer and I thought "cool - something remotely interesting is happening in Westford". It was a great experience because I learned a lot, although I was a neurotic basketcase because it was way over my head. I didn't even know I had learned so much at the time, but even now dribs and drabs of what she taught come back to me.

I've been following her ever since. She recently started a weekly painting challenge on where she posts a photo or challenge and a bunch of painters take the challenge. I just found out about it and its already on its 3rd week, but I'm really excited to try it every week.

Four Yellow Cups
8x10 Oil on Canvas

This painting was my first challenge. These were the rules: "Get a timer. Divide your canvas or canvases (I used 2 - 6x6in Raymar canvases) into 8 or so small squares (or rectangles). They should be smallish – a couple or 3 inches square or thereabouts – they don’t have to be perfect. Now choose ONE object. Just one. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Paint your object in the first square. When the timer goes off – stop! I mean it. Repeat until you are done. You can rotate your object and/or change the light for each new square."

I didn't do 8 - I took an 8x10 and broke it into 4. I actually did two of these exercises on Sunday because I liked it so much, but the other photo was too blurry to post. 10 minutes is SO short, but it really helped me loosen up and it just isn't enough time for neurosis to set in.  I just have to paint the color, shapes and light and STOP.


  1. This is great! One of the excerises I do with my painting class is one minute drawings of the same object - and we do about twenty. It really loosens you up and you start to explore new compositions, marks, etc. because you don't want to keep repeating yourself. I love the concept and I love your result!

  2. Thank you Bea! I like the quick drawing idea too and will try it. I don't draw enough anymore - although I started going to an open life drawing class last week and that has been wonderful. I kept flashing back to college drawing classes and the exercises we used to do like gesture and contour.

  3. Ten minutes is soooo short. I love what you did with those quick moments.
    I haven't done one of Carol's challenges yet but I do plan to. They certainly seem challenging but fun, too.