As 2017 approached I was contemplating my forthcoming seventieth
birthday in May, an event which I hoped would be both special and memorable.
While primarily this event would centre on family I wanted to add an artistic
With this in mind, I decided to set myself a challenge – to
complete seventy new artistic endeavours, one each day for the seventy days
leading up to the big day, and to post them daily on facebook and this site
To date my work had focused mainly on landscapes and seascapes,
but there were many other projects in my head which had remained unfulfilled. I saw this challenge as
an opportunity to explore these themes and also to experience a period of
intense working and creativity.
My plan was to incorporate as many of my interests as possible.
Besides drawing and painting I hoped to include photography, poetry,
installations and, if possible, music (printing and carving were omitted as
they are too time consuming).
In preparation for the challenge I completed four
paintings in advance which would act as milestones marking out my progress.
These four paintings had the theme “Celebration”.
So, in late February 2017 things started well. However, life has
a bad habit of imposing its will, with the result that my daily schedule became
disrupted. Fortunately, there were other days when I was very productive and
successfully completed two or three pieces, so there were no gaps. Working so
quickly inevitably resulted in casualties along the way. One painting went
badly wrong and was unceremoniously ripped up. A further four completed
paintings were discarded and two of my rejected charcoal drawings reappeared
later with a new drawing on the reverse of each (I was running short of paper).
In the middle of the challenge my family took me on a surprise
birthday holiday to Elie in Fife. We had a wonderful time together which I
would not have missed for anything - even if it had interrupted my challenge. But,
no worries, I was able to improvise using my sketchbook and smart phone. So my
daily postings continued without any breaks.
Towards the end of my challenge life imposed its will once more
- my internet connection at home failed. This necessitated a daily visit to the bar in
our local hotel to access their free wifi (yes, life can be tough).
But in the end I achieved my original aim.
So, I am happy.