So I came up with an idea for a new challenge.

It's a Creativity Challenge!

Okay - so to start out, if you just said to yourself, "that's not for me, I'm not very creative" then stop and read this blog post first! "I'm not Creative Blog"

This is going to be fun, I'm going to do it too!

The idea is to get us away from just copying a photo exactly as it is.

Instead we are all going to use the same reference photo - below


Everyone is going to choose a MOOD to portray!

So here are the moods you can choose from, if you have a mood of your own you would like to do, that's okay too!:

  1. Happy
  2. Sad
  3. Peaceful
  4. Angry
  5. Blissful
  6. Lonely
  7. Bored
  8. Depressed
  9. Energized
  10. Funny
  11. Grieving
  12. Hopeful

How in the world can I do that! You might ask?

Well, we have some tools when we paint to tell the story of mood

  • Color - different colors evoke emotional responses in us. We can make a painting predominately one color - Think of how the scene would look in all Red tones, vs all Blue tones. Experiment!
  • Value - A painting can have high contrast - which creates excitement, low contrast which is more subdued. You can have a narrow value range, mostly light values, or mostly dark values and that will create a mood.
  • Composition - Some compositions are very peaceful - a lot of horizontal lines for example. A lot of verticals create a different mood - moving up? Reverential? Diagonal lines create more energy. Busy compositions with many elements can create a feeling of frenzy, while a minimalist composition with only one or two might convey loneliness.
  • Elements - Distant mountains might convey a more peaceful or low key mood. A lot of foreground activity might be more energetic. Specific things like water - calm water vs whitewater. Trees - old and gnarly vs young and fresh. Flowers - usually happiness. Fences can guide us or block us out. Buildings can convey the presence of people, or a single broken down building can convey sadness or grief.
  • Seasons - We all know how those affect our moods!

Does that spark your creativity?! It does mine!

So the rules are:

  1. Choose a mood, but don't let us know! When we post the paintings, we will all try to guess what the chosen mood is! So when we start guessing, don't give us the answer until we are all done guessing!
  2. You can alter the image in any way you like - Color, season, composition.
  3. We must at least see Background hills, midground trees or bushes, a field, and a foreground tree.
  4. You can add things, water, buildings, plants, trees, bushes, clouds etc
  5. But, no people or animals! I don't want you to just use an expression or gesture to convey the mood. I want you to use your painters tools: color, composition, value..
  6. All mediums are okay.

So, Let's take through the end of February to do this one!

What do you think? Are you in?

What crazy things can we come up with?! The wilder the better!

Here's the Photo -

Feel free to upload works in progress photos to the comments if you would like some input!

When you are done, upload your photos of your finished painting here:

Click here to add your finished painting photo

and I will add them to the album! Be sure to put "Creativity Challenge" in the title so I know to add them!

Click here to view the Album

So, I'm realizing that our responses to the paintings are really Part 2 of the challenge - and just as helpful in activating your creativity!

Now I know it's not easy, but as you comment on the paintings - please try to tune in to your emotional response! I'm reading through all the comments on everyone's paintings, and they are awesome! Full of positive encouragement! Now, let's go further. Don't critique these like we usually do, looking for the skill and craftsmanship. Instead just click on the painting, empty your mind of anything analytic - judgement, critique, comparison - and just pay attention to the way it makes you feel! You don't have to have just one guess on the mood. Just write what the painting makes you feel! It's an exercise not only of stepping out of the box to paint it - but stepping out of the box to respond to the finished paintings :) You can do it! Just write whatever words come to mind to describe your feelings. Or an place, a time, a connection. What popped into your head the first instant you saw the painting? Don't study it, feel it!

Then you can step back and think about what did the artist do that made me feel that? Was it color, shape, composition?

Let's free up our creative juices! :)

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I'm so thankful that I get to do this with you. I am going to force myself to get out of my comfort zone. Im sure I will have fun. As far as my painting being good, oh well. At least I know I tried. Thank you for your inspiration. Maria.

Great idea Karen!!  Count me in!

Karen, of course im in!! Great idea!!

I'm in, I'm so new at painting that this will be good for me.

Hi Karen,

Unfortunately I have been gone quite a while. I have some catching up to do, I haven't been able to finish my fall challenge (too late for that) or do my value paintings. They have been patiently sitting there waiting for me to finish them, hopefully now I can.

I love this idea! I don't have a clue on what I am going to do, but count me sounds like fun! :)

I would still love your expert guidance if you are willing? I did a cow painting for my son in-law, and although they love it, there is something bugging me and I can't figure it out. Would you be willing to give me your insight on it? Well, take care. and again I love the Creativity Challenge!


Hi Diane! So glad you are back!

I'm always happy to help with your paintings - go ahead and post it as a discussion and I'll take a look!

There is always the Private Critique as an option if you don't want to share with everyone.

I will try ! Thank you Karen for this wonderful idea !

Yes - this sounds like fun to me. I look forward to seeing everyone's painting.

I'm in!!  

Very much a beginner , deep breath and yes I can!
Thanks for the opportunity.

I'm in !

Well, because I instantly got afraid, think I must at least try this!


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