Discover more from Happy Surprises
Made it halfway + Gone swimming!
Halfway past the 100-day project but no longer a daily pursuit—though the journey continues.
Hi! Welcome to Happy Surprise, a weekly newsletter about creativity and creative practice. If this creative space inspires you, please consider sharing the love and leaving a comment. Thanks for tuning in! Susan x
Inspiration for these painting series began with a swim in Dinard, France, last month, and the postcard illustration of Dinard from 1933 that I found at a charming little bookstore in the town. It's also where I received a birthday gift—a book on jellyfish! Surprise, surprise, lol! And I can't even read it because it's in French, but the photography was too weird and stunning to resist.
It's been a while since I filled you in on my 100-day project progress. I've been delaying it for a variety of reasons:
Uncertainty about continuing the 100-day challenge project
Struggling to stay on track with it
Lack of confidence in sharing my artwork
Too many ideas and not enough time
With 43 days remaining in the year, here's a recap spanning from day 36 to 50.
I haven't quit or thrown in the towel, but I can’t say I’m following a traditional 100-day art project anymore. So, what is it? It's a documentation of my art project's process for the remaining 43 days left in 2023, not necessarily a daily art showcase as was my initial intention at the start of this project.
Having honed my regular painting practice, I’m slowing down to explore subjects that both intimidate and excite me. It demands sitting with the painting for a few days or even weeks. I'm carrying on with painting, realising the pressure I initially placed myself to finish in a single setting.
I honestly don't think anyone would care about this change, but it feels good to provide updates and share that you can always change your mind or direction in your creative journey.
Be it a 10-day venture, a 100-day project, or any other creative journey, I’ve learned that you need to know when it’s time to allow yourself the freedom to shift direction, slow down, and find your way to keep painting with joy. Embracing evolving.
Take me to a new open-air swimming spot, and despite the freezing water temperature, I'd likely never resist the opportunity to jump in. On this particular day, with the rain falling and the water at a chilly 11 degrees, the temptation was too good to pass up.
You might have noticed how I've avoided painting faces; I guess I was just focused on getting the figure proportions to look okay. Perhaps the next series may involve not just creating blobs but actually attempting to paint their faces :)
Nestles opposite the swimming pool are 19th-century villas at Pointe de la Malouine, Dinard. There's a beautiful 45-minute walk that follows the ridges along the path, with staircases descending to the sea at different points.
As I immerse myself in the portrayal of swimmers and beach scenes, it strikes me how profoundly these subjects resonate with my identity. It’s my sanctuary, the one place that wraps me in a feeling of belonging. When I am diving under the waves or find solitude in a rockpool, it’s an experience I don’t get anywhere else—quiet yet teeming with distinct sounds, a view that's pure magic, and a stark reminder of our existence in this vast world.