The 100 Day Project: the End blog cover
Artwork,  Painting Series

100 Day Project: The End

It’s hard to believe that the 100 Day Project has come to a close.  It seems like just last week that I had tentatively started the challenge not fully believing that I would make it all the way to the end.

The 100 Day Project, is an annual challenge where people all over the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity.  For the project you choose your focus, do something towards it each day for 100 days, and post about it using the hashtag #the100dayproject.  It’s been really neat to follow various artists’ projects along the way. 

For my project, I challenged myself to at least 30 minutes in the studio/creating each day.  I ended up starting to develop a good habit of creating daily.  Out of 100 days I only missed (and made up) a handful of days, which is incredible if you think about it.  I’m pretty pleased with and proud of myself and the art that was created as a result.  

Recap of Days 1-25
Recap of Days 26-50
Recap of Days 51-75

Here are some of the projects that I created during the final 25 days of the 100 Day Project.

Fountain Flowing by Laura Jaen Smith. Square acrylic painting of fountain in downtown Corning NY

I quickly painted four 6×6 acrylic paintings for the Kaleidoscope Project at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning to replace pieces that sold during the opening event.  These are the paintings that resulted from that weekend marathon painting session.  On the theme of City & Country, these pieces were inspired by local scenes of the Finger Lake Region.  

Overlooking the Farm by Laura Jaen Smith. Square acrylic landscape painting of farm in the distance with blue sky and changing leaves throughout
Brewery by the Lake by Laura Jaen Smith. Square acrylic landscape painting of patio area with Seneca Lake in background
Downtown Park by Laura Jaen Smith. Square acrylic landscape painting of fountain at Mark Twain Riverside Park in Elmira NY

After the whirlwind of Kaleidoscope, I finished this ink drawing.  It is based on a reference photo that I took during my 50 New York Waterfalls series. 

Through the Trees by Laura Jaen Smith. Black and white ink drawing of trees with Taughannock Creek in the background.
Just Resting by Laura Jaen Smith. Black and white ink sketch of fallen log in a forest.

I created this ink drawing while playing with a new pen that I found hidden in one of my art drawers.  It was thicker than the pen I usually use and the ink definitely flowed freer onto the page.  

After such a large intense project like Kaleidoscope, I decided I needed a moment to de-stress.  These two are fun experiments using watercolor and ink. 

Random doodles in watercolor and ink
Photo of watercolor and ink lakeside cottage view painting with watercolor palette, brush, and reference photo
Photo of plein air ink drawing at Quarry Farm Elmira NY

I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon creating and gaining inspiration with other local artists on Quarry Farm (where Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens spent his summers in Elmira, New York).  The landscape was beautiful and after taking 200+ photos, I sat down on the porch and sketched.  

The last painting of the 100 Day Project was inspired by a reference photo that I took while at Quarry Farm.  I had a lot of fun playing with the contrast between bright and cool colors. 

The Cauldron by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic painting of lawn decoration at Mark Twain's Quarry Farm.

Takeaways From the Project

A lot can be accomplished in 30 minutes.  I’m pretty infamous for putting off creative time because “I don’t have enough time right now”.  A lot can be done in 30 minute intervals.  It helps to have a designated space set up with all of my supplies so that I don’t have to take the time to get everything out and put everything away every time I create. 

Having a set direction with projects is helpful for staying consistent and focused.  Along with having supplies ready to go, it was helpful having specific projects lined up ready to go during the 100 days.  April through July tends to be my busy time with my big show of the year – Summer Mosaic/Kaleidoscope – as well as many other shows that happen during that same time frame.  Having an idea where I was going helped me to stay consistent and not have to take extra time finding subjects.  Conversely, on days where I found inspiration and just wanted to sketch, the artworks that resulted turned out to be pieces that I decided to show for events I may not otherwise had pieces ready for. 

The first 5 minutes is usually the hardest.  Sometimes the hardest part is getting started.  There were many days that I just didn’t feel like it.  That I was tired or I wanted to do something else instead, but I still made myself sit and start.  Generally after 5-10 minutes I find my creative flow.  Some days taking some the time to create is just what I needed after a busy, stressful day.  

Sometimes progress is more important than perfection.  Waiting for the conditions to be perfect to start means I may never have gotten started.  Sometimes I have to take the leap and acknowledge, that even if I don’t complete every day perfectly on time or if the piece I create isn’t at the level that I hoped, I am still farther than where I would be if I never started at all.  Continued practice is the way that improve and grow in my skills.


Is there something more you would like to know about my project?

OR did you also do the 100 Day Project? I'd love to know!

Leave a Reply