New Year’s Challenge- 52 weeks/52 Paintings

by Mindy on January 3, 2012

in Botanical Art, Leaf Challenge

The holiday season was a crazy busy time for all of us.  I hope that all of you had a wonderful season filled  with friends and family. We are now in the New Year and I find that so many people are making resolutions. I prefer this year not to make any resolutions but to create a challenge. Let's look at the definition of the two words from the dictionary. According to the dictionary the words mean:

resolution |ˌrezəˈloō sh ən| (noun) a firm decision to do or not to do something

challenge |ˈ ch alənj| (noun) a call to take part in a contest or competition, a task or situation that tests someone's abilities.

I found that the 30 day/30 leaf challenge I did in October of 2011 was a great way to get focused and stay motivated. I had to fulfill an agreement I made with myself and I had to report to all of you out there reading my blog. There were times when I had to plan ahead, skip a day here and there but I managed to get 30 done in 30 days. I like deadlines and I like to be held accountable for my word.

So I am now going to focus and concentrate on creating 52 paintings this year. I am not talking about a painting a day but a serious painting a week. My subject matter will vary and I will do my best to post every week what I have painted and a bit about my techniques, inspiration, research etc.

"Double Upright Datura • Preliminary Graphite Drawing • ©2012 MLighthipe"

Here is my first beginning for 2012. It is a Datura that I have growing in my backyard. We are expecting a frost this week and I want to try to get it painted before it goes dormant. It has the last bit of blooms on it and I need them for the color. I started this piece back in November and want to get it finished for  painting #1 of 52. It is in graphite, in preparation for gouache to add the color.

Happy New Year to you all!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicki Lee Johnston January 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Mindy such wonderful news .. a whole year of creative inspiration for us – love to see the WIP and in particular this method for the Datura, which, by the way, looks stunning as it is – perhaps with your quality of scan or photo (?) you can still do prints off it?  I am interested to know whether you photograph or scan because graphite is so difficult to show well …

Sketchbook Squirrel January 4, 2012 at 1:27 am

This is just glorious, I love it but you are a sucker for punishment Mindy. Although I did enjoy trying the 30/30 back in October I don't think I have enough oomph to join you on this one. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing your weekly pieces. Happy New Year. JarnieG :)

Jacqui Pemberton January 4, 2012 at 2:38 am

WOW Mindy I am so impressed with your determination to complete this challenge you have set yourself – I have 3 major coloured pencil drawings to complete by the end of Feb to submit to the SBA for my diploma pieces.  And I am pannicking!  That equates to me having them finished in 8 weeks. And to think that by then you will have 8 paintings completed to my 3! Well that makes my task seem more achievable.  I would love to see some tips on your blog as to how you manage your time to stick to the plan.  I wil watch your progress with great interest!  Regards Jacqui – Albany Western Australia :)))

renatabarilli January 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

Buon Anno Mindy!!! 
 How clever  and brave artist you are!!!
Your Challenge is really special: I would like too!   but, having to work in normal life, I'm sure I cant be costant .
So I'm your fan and follow your challange. In bocca al lupo !!!!

Sally Wager January 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

Mindy, I love your project/challenge/resolution idea, good luck with it and you have inspired me to join you with this challenge, as you know I am very slow, but I will give it a try for at least 1 every other week, that will be a good push for me.
Happy New Year, Miss You, hope you are loving living in Floria, which I am sure you are!   XOXO   Sally

Mindy January 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Happy New Year Vicki,
I will do a blog post for you about how I get my images into the computer. Be on teh look out!

Mindy January 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Happy New Year Jarnie,
I love the discipline and the accountability. I hope I can do it. All of you cheering me on helps!

Mindy January 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Happy New Year Jacqui,
I will be happy to address my time management on the blog. Watch for posts coming soon. Good luck with your deadlines for SBA. You can do it. You go girl!!!!
Happy painting.

Mindy January 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Happy New Year Renata,
You don’t have to follow my challenge. Make up one for yourself. How about 12 paintings for 2012….one a month. Just a suggestion. Happy painting and thanks for the encouragement.


Mindy January 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Happy New Year Sally,
This will help you speed up, but don’t sacrifice quality. I think that setting a goal is great and it sounds like 26 is a good number for you. Don’t worry if it isn’t 2 a month…just try to hit the 26 count by the end of the month.

Cheers and happy painting!


Jackie Jacobson January 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Happy New Year Mindy,
Wow…you've definitely presented yourself with a wonderful challenge for 2012. I'll be eager to see your accomplishments. I know you'll do it.

Happy painting to you. Here's to a productive and rewarding 2012.

My best

debbie crawford January 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

I am so excited to follow you on this challenge.  You are such an inspiration to myself and many others.  Thanks for keeping us all motivated.

Mindy January 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

Happy New Year to you too Jackie!
Thanks for the vote of confidence in me. I am psyched about doing this.


Mindy January 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

Hi Deb,
Thank YOU! All of YOU BOTANICAL and other ARTISTS out there help to keep me motivated. I am looking forward to spending the “year” with you all!


Eve January 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hi Mindy,
This is a very motivational challenge for artists and I have decided to join you in creating 52 paintings during 2012. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beautiful artwork with us. I look forward to watching our art collections grow! Best wishes ~Eve 

Mindy January 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Welcome Aboard EVE!
I am so thrilled that I have another artist joining me on the 52/52 challenge. For all of you out there check out Eve’s work too at
Anyone else brave enough to join us?????

Janet Vanderhoof January 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Mindy, so nice of you to follow my challenge for the year. I wish you good luck! Here is the original idea for others to follow if they would like.

Mindy January 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Hi Janet,
I had no idea that you were doing a 52/52 painting challenge also until my friend Eve Wheeler mentioned it to me on Twitter (#ArtbyEve). I will check out your blog post and encourage others to do so too!
Happy painting.


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