Moon Snail Project # 1, 2, and 3: Beginnings

April 3, 2013

Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events. . . . Keep starting until you finish.”
— Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Moon snail shell on frosty leaves

Moon snail shell on frosty leaves

This month I will be sharing my latest project, 100 moon snail shells drawn, painted, and captured on paper. (Photographs won’t count.)  The germ of this idea entered my consciousness many years ago when I first read Everyday Sacred:  A Woman’s Journey Home by Sue Bender (1996).  In it, Bender mentions an art exercise that her friend Gale was teaching called The 100 Drawings Project:

“The task of the class was to find and draw one hundred times, one simple, familiar object, portable enough to bring to class each time.  It had to be neutral in content, not religious, not a family heirloom, nor an object that held any sentimental value. . . . Making one hundred drawings of the same object forced Gale to find new techniques, materials, and ways to work.  The goal here was to take risks and exceed limits.  Hopefully, along the way, a personal style would emerge.”

The idea of drawing a single object 100 times intrigued me then and many, many years later it still pulls me.  This year I decided to commit and actually do it.  I had some ideas for getting started, but I didn’t know if I would eventually “hit the wall” and run into artist’s block.  Starting out, I was also curious about what directions this challenge would take me.  I will share my steps along the way in this blog.

Here are my first three watercolor sketches:

Moon snail shells # 1, 2 and 3; watercolor sketches

Moon snail shells # 1, 2 and 3; watercolor sketches

8 Responses to “Moon Snail Project # 1, 2, and 3: Beginnings”

  1. Bonnie olpin Says:

    What a great idea! Your first three paintings are very good; looking forward to the next ones. You are now safely at your first travel destination. Yeah, Bonnie

    • Rosemary Says:

      Yes, I’m very much enjoying the comments from my hotel room this evening. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I’m looking forward to hearing how my readers receive this new project. Hope you won’t get bored.

  2. Deborah Says:

    I love the idea of doing this. I’ve just recently started painting again and hear the idea of painting something everyday, but how neat to draw the same object from different perceptive every day. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

    • Rosemary Says:

      I think it would be a worthy goal to paint something every day. But my work schedule is so erratic, I find it very difficult. It’s much easier for me to just pick up a book and read on hectic days. To paint, I need to carve out some quiet, alone time. So far, I’ve not been able to do that every day. How do you manage it?

      • Deborah Says:

        When my son (the last child) moved out, I found my afternoons much freer and quite a bit lonelier, so I paint or sew each afternoon.

  3. garden.poet Says:

    I love your choice of an object. That first photo is lovely, as are your watercolors! The gray of the leaves really brings out the colors in the moon snail shell.

  4. shoreacres Says:

    My favorite shell! I can’t imagine anyone getting bored with the project. I’m certainly looking forward to it!

  5. […] I drew and painted a moon snail shell 100 times.  You can link to the first blog post about it here.  I may have to try another 100 paintings project in the […]

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