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The power of creative prompts

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Happy New Year! I took the last few days “off” from my daily drawing and painting, but I’m gearing up to spend every day in January painting the beach.

I did spend a day or two getting a head start on this project. But there were more days where I thought about getting started but – without actually approaching the paints and paper – I didn’t know where to begin and quickly lost all motivation. Last month Marion who joined me in the Christmas countdown wrote – about following my prompts -that she liked not having to think about what to draw.

This really stuck with me and as I looked over the last two months, first following World Watercolor Group’s food prompts and then my own Christmas prompts, I realized how right Marion was. It makes it so much easier to not have to think about what to paint. Instead I would immediately jump to how I would interpret that prompt. Often I’d check the prompt the night before and have a plan when I started in the morning.

This week I struggled with motivating myself because even though I knew I wanted to paint the beach, I wasn’t sure how to get started. The “beach” is too broad. To overcome this stumbling block I wrote myself a prompt list for every day in January.

Focusing on painting the beach is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. For some reason I haven’t been able to do it beyond a painting here or there. When I saw how much I accomplished in November and December by following one theme each month I knew committing myself this month was part of the solution. That and telling YOU. Just like 3 years ago when I started this blog and told you I’m going to be creative on a regular basis. You hold me accountable and help me reach my goals. So thank you. 😊

What are your creative plans for the new year?

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Christmas Stockings

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Day 5 in the Christmas countdown. We actually don’t hang our stockings on the mantle. Before we had a fireplace, we hung them on the banister. The first year with the new fireplace I was so excited to hang them from the mantle. The stocking holders were very heavy and when one of the kids – they were all little at the time – pulled on it, it fell and made a huge divot in the wood floor. I was glad it didn’t hit him in the head. So the stockings went back to the banister. The stairs were looking pretty empty anyway.

Since my prompt was stockings – I wish I had made them more ornate. I spent most of my time on the areas around them. Something for me to think about with the other prompts.

Marion’s day 5 Christmas drawing can be seen here. I’m really enjoying how different our approaches to the same prompts are. Her drawing is usually up before mine but I resist the urge to peek until I am done!

It’s not too late to join in on the creative Christmas countdown. All mediums are welcome. Tag “adventmcr” when posting, so we can all see!

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Christmas Tree

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Day 1 of the countdown to Christmas. Here is the creative prompt list if you’d like to join in. All mediums are welcome! Use hashtag #adventmcr when posting. Marion of “by Marion” posted her day one drawing here. Thanks Marion!

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Creative prompts Advent Calendar

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I’ve been on a roll the last 2 months creating everyday. In October I participated in InkTober, drawing in ink in my sketchbook. By the end of October I was adding watercolor to my sketches. This month I followed the World Watercolor Group’s November prompts which were all food. I was so happy to be back working in watercolor. Other than fruit, I don’t really paint food so it was out of my comfort zone. I appreciated the push because other than my pathetic brussel sprouts, I was really happy with many of my paintings.

For December, I’m getting into the spirit of Christmas! I created this prompt list for myself, but welcome anyone who wants to join in! All mediums are welcome! Let me know if you do and tag your work #adventmcr so I can see. I’m on Instagram too @eileenmckenna.

I’ve done holiday countdowns before – Valentine’s Day (twice) and St. Patrick’s Day. The challenge with those was always what to paint. This time I’ve created a prompt list to follow. I’m a little nervous about committing to creating everyday in the busiest month of the year, but I know overall I won’t regret it. In both October and November challenging myself has led to some pieces I’m really proud of.

My watercolor cherry pie

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A fall ink illustration

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