Daisy by the River by Lillian Connelly

What I Learned By Not Painting 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Last January when I accepted the challenge to paint 30 paintings in 30 days I completed the challenge with more than 30 paintings finished. This time around I did not manage to finish all 30 paintings in 30 days, but I did gain some valuable insights into the painting process.

Daisy By The River
Daisy By The River 9×12 alcohol ink on yupo paper. Day 30!

What I learned by not painting 30 paintings in 30 days:

1. The world did not end because I painted less than 30 paintings. Nobody even noticed or cared or mentioned it. Cheating never felt so easy.

2. I still have the start of a nice collection even though I only have 17 pieces.

3. Sometimes it is OK to let things go. There are moments in challenges like these where I stop enjoying them. Mostly because I feel like I am trying to meet a deadline and not always creating my best work. By letting go of the “must” part of completing the challenge I was able to paint better paintings.

4. Life gets in the way and life informs art, so let life get in the way once in a while! We took a trip right in the middle of the challenge and I was sick so no painting, but when I came back and got better I painted my absolute favorite painting from the challenge. I painted Tiny-Small as a fairy!

5. September is an insane month for a challenge. There is just too many new things happening to get into a good routine.

Lillian Connelly 17 paintings
17 paintings


6. I kind of enjoy painting small paintings. It’s fun. I like having paintings that fit right into my scanner.

7. I find adding a paypal button so people can buy things right from my website to be an annoying extra step, but it is not as time consuming as adding things to Etsy. The next time I do a challenge like this it might be helpful to get someone to help me add the paintings to my store each day. So far, I have added exactly zero of these paintings to my Etsy shop. I need to get on that ASAP, but I know I will put it off for a few weeks!

8. If you want to meet the other artists participating in the challenge you have to visit their websites. This time around I didn’t have the time to visit and leave comments on as many paintings as I did last time. As a result I didn’t get to meet as many new people as I did last time. Bummer! Next time I do the challenge I want to make more time for commenting because I really enjoy getting to know the artists in the challenge.

9. It is not necessary to link to the homepage of the challenge on Leslie Saeta’s blog. I linked every post last time and only a few this time. The results were the same, but this time around it was much less work. Next time I might consider adding a link to another artist for each post. That might be more interesting as far as getting you, the reader, more involved.

10. Even though I only finished 17 paintings I still feel like I accomplished something. I don’t have that rush of just completing a marathon, but I do feel pretty satisfied with what I did create and not as worn out as I did at the end of the January challenge.

This could mean that the age old adage “Less is more.” might actually be true.

Thank you for following me on my challenge!



7 thoughts on “What I Learned By Not Painting 30 Paintings In 30 Days”

  1. Instead of writing my own “what I learned,” I’m going to put, “What Lillian said.” I agree with every word (except I didn’t paint my daughter as a fairy. 😉

  2. Love this, Lillian! We sometimes impose artificial deadlines on ourselves, and it can be startling to notice that no one cares if we don’t meet them. And hey, now you have 17 beautiful paintings!

    1. That is so true. Sometimes I feel all stressed out and then I realize I have placed all of these deadlines on myself and that it is OK to be late meeting them because I am the only one who knows about them.

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