100 meadows project | 81-100

by | Feb 5, 2018 | Art, Artistic Endeavors, Oil Painting | 34 comments

Well, the 100 meadows project has come to an end!  When I first started, I didn’t think there was any way I would make it to 100.  It’s not that I doubted my ability to discipline myself to do it, but I know that I can be easily distracted by other things that are more interesting or exciting to me and I will abandon something else to pursue them.

But, I have found that oil paints have captured and claimed a piece of my creative soul and I cannot help but nurture it.

I also realized when I was about 30 paintings in, that this was a gift I was giving to myself.  Every time I set aside a part of the day to create with my paints, it was nourishing.  That didn’t mean I always created something I loved or I felt like I improved with every painting.

There were times when I was frustrated.  Times when I felt I really jumped a hurtle and conquered some “cloud issues” or “foreground issues” only to be stumped by them in the very next painting.  There were many times when I was painfully aware of my lack of training and how amateur, unrefined, and unsophisticated a painting looked when I was finished.

When I got discouraged, though, I turned my focus to my progress and I could clearly see that the “miles” I was putting in were paying off.  I’m not where I want to be, yet, but I’m getting closer with every painting.  Yes, even the ones I really, really dislike!

So, here are numbers 81-100…


While this one didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted, I was pleased with my progress on painting wood siding, so it looked like faded/worn paint.  I still need a lot of work on my “vanishing lines” and angles, painting what I actually see instead of what I think I see, and finding the balance between adding detail and letting the eye figure something out on it’s own.  That was my biggest struggle in painting buildings and that shows in a lot of my barns.

I had shied away from this one, because of its simplicity, but I picked it up one day on a whim.  It’s a happy, interesting composition and I felt like it would be a good challenge.

I couldn’t find the picture inspiration of this one, but in the picture, the barn was red instead of white.  I took some artistic license and changed it to white, but this painting didn’t turn out at all the way I had hoped!  This is just one of those paintings where I felt off!!  I almost put it in the trash, but someone asked if they could buy it before I had the chance, so I decided to go with it.

Since I struggled so much on 83, I went back to doing quick studies on 4 x 6 canvas pieces.  I finally ventured into painting critters with this one and tried to focus on painting shapes and values.  This is one of those paintings that “helped” me.  It was an exercise that I learned from, which was great after feeling discouragement in the previous painting session.

I couldn’t find the inspiration picture for this one, either!  I picked it for the simplicity and muted color palette.  Again, it was more about learning and relaxing for me…

I had worked on a couple of snowy scenes previously and wasn’t 100% thrilled with how they turned out, but I decided to tackle one again, anyway.  I’m so glad I did!  This snowy pine turned out awesome and I just love this one!

I picked this picture for the light and pretty sky.  When I first started this journey, I was scared of painting fall color, but I embraced this one and I like how it turned out.

Back to barns!  I painted this dilapidated barn and tried to keep it in very gray tones.  The shadows were a real challenge on this one, but I like the clouds and the cupola!

I wanted to test myself with a dramatic sky and I enjoyed finding the light in this one!  I really need to work on painting trees as I “see” them, not how I imagine them to be.  Mine always end up as perfectly manicured, lollipop trees!  Even as I’m painting it, I know it’s not how it looks, but it’s like my hand takes over!  I’m working on it, though.

I knew this one would be a challenge, but I think it might be my favorite!  Not all of the lines of the house are straight, I just couldn’t paint the foreground tree, and the Red Oxide underpainting definitely influenced the color of the house (Jeff said it looked like a dust storm went through), but I love it anyway!  I love the sunlight in the yard and how the back porch is in shadow.  A month or a year from now, I might look back and laugh at all of my amateur mistakes, but today, I love it for the growth I can see in it.

I was feeling confident from number 90, so I tackled this sweet barn photo.  It was a fight all the way through.  I can’t tell you how many times I almost sabotaged the painting with one broad stroke of the brush.  I pushed through, though.  It’s not my favorite, but I do love the sky and I learned lessons that, I believe, will make me a better artist.

I knew that during the final stretch, I wanted to revisit some earlier pictures, so I could have a side-by-side comparison of my progress.  Number 4 was one of my early favorites, but here is the latter version…

And here is #4, as a comparison!!

Huge progress, right?!

I enjoyed the comparison so much, that I did another one, a redo of #32…

…and the first version…

I shifted gears and painted this barn for Melissa.  It was her childhood barn and I knew it would be special if I painted it.  (Again on the tree shape!!)  I like the background buildings and the sky, though.

I went back to repainting some of the earlier inspiration pictures and I selected one I was really happy with, just to see if I would see improvement.

I painted two versions of this one…

At first, I didn’t like these as much as the original one I painted, but when I looked at them the next day, I loved them.  It’s funny how that happens sometime!  Here is the original…

So, I tried it again with another early favorite, # 18…

Again, I loved seeing the progress I made!  It’s like that moment when you finally realize you are looking different after weeks of diet and exercise.

Here is the original…

I wanted to squeeze in this one before I got to number 100.  This was a picture I snapped one evening on the way to a church event and I just loved the sky and the road…

My building got a little bigger than I intended, but I still like this one overall.

(And, you can see, my printer really needs to new ink by this point!)

My mom claimed number 100 before I even painted it, so I decided to paint a picture she sent me.  It was taken in Gettysburg…

I was intimidated to paint #100, because I felt like it needed to be a home run.  I reminded myself, though, that #100 isn’t the end.  It’s just a milestone in the very beginning of my journey.

Did you catch what I caught as I was working on this post? I totally skipped over #95!  It’s the missing meadow!  At first, I thought I had misplaced it, but I went back and looked over everything and I never painted a #95.  So, I’ll have to paint one more that will be 95.  Sort of.

These posts get very long, so I try to just give a quick thought about each painting, but there really is so much more to say.  Those words, though, will wait for another post…

All of the 100 prints are available for purchase through Society 6.  If you would like to buy prints, I suggest you do it soon, because I will be removing all but my favorites in week or so.

Sorry, but all of the originals are sold out!  (Thank you!)


  1. Terri

    Wow! My favorite is the “Snowy Pine” and it seems very calm and quiet to me. I may sound like a broken record, but if you decide to do another landscape dresser, I’m in!

  2. Betsy

    I missed out on your small oil paintings again. I check everyday. I’m doing something wrong. : (

    • Marian Parsons

      They go very fast! These were sold out in a matter of minutes. I just need to do more painting! I’m also going to list my next series of paintings in an auction-style, so readers have time to check them out and bid on the ones they want.

  3. Margaret Robinson

    These are all beautiful! Can’t wait for the next go-round.

  4. Darlene

    You do a wonderful job of painting ! – I truly love them all!

  5. Renee Metzler

    Had the white barn you almost threw out not been sold, I would have put in an offer. One of my favorites! A great artistic challenge. Thanks for sharing.

  6. JC at the uncommon pearl

    Your perseverance is inspirational! I love your redos of some of them. You can see so much growth. This inspires me to break out my paintbrushes, set a goal, and number my creations!

  7. Jane Allen

    Thank you for being brace and sharing, I love seeing all of your progress. I am encouraged to try something like this myself.


    • Jane Allen

      It should read brave.

  8. Françoise Gauthier

    I love everything you create Miriam. Your such a joy to read and only looking at your enthousiasm make my day. Thank you for being you.

  9. Elizabeth

    Stunning artwork! Absolutely gifted painter!
    I am sick I missed out on buying these paintings. They really are so beautiful.

    Hopefully, I will be able to buy one the next go round.

  10. Veronica

    Wonderful accomplishment! In painting regularly, one grows tremendously. Something that has been preached to me over and over since I started oil painting in 2002. You should join in with some of the artists that do a “daily painting” project. Pick a month and paint a small painting each day of that month. Of course, it’s great if you can do it year round but, unfortunately sometimes a “day” job and other obligations get in the way for some of us part time painters. I usually do this in February each year since that is the month that is typically slower for me. Just google “daily painting challenge 2018” and you’ll find a lot of artists who are doing this and posting their work! Hope you join us!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, I’m basically doing that…painting small and almost daily. I start to feel rusty if a miss a couple of days! The regular “exercise” really helps!

  11. Sheri

    I do like your # 91…..that sky is beautiful. Reminds me of a pretty sunrise and the promise of a New Day! 🙂

  12. Cathy Whiteway

    You inspire me every day! I tried “a painting a day” and lasted less than a week! Please reveal to us the magic potion or super supplements that enable you to juggle so many balls and find new ways to encourage us to achieve ourown potential. Your painting talent is awesome!

  13. Vickie

    Love all them but your #86 made my heart skip a beat!

  14. Laurie

    Marian, I applaude you for doing these paintings AND for sharing them with us!!

  15. Sandy

    Just checked the link to Society6 and there is a special of 25% off through today 2/5. Thanks for sharing your lovely work with us.

  16. Teresa

    Did you list the originals at the same time you posted this email? Or, how do we get a heads up when you are posting them for sale so we have a chance to look at them before they are sold.

  17. Sally Patton Willey

    WOW, your paintings are wonderful! I love watching how you have progressed over time and it has inspired me to want to start painting again! Keep it up, Marian!

  18. Vida

    You are such an inspiration! I need to do a project like this. I’ve heard it said that, as an artist, you are only as good as the miles of canvas you cover. Doing small paintings like this and focusing on technique instead of making a masterpiece, makes it seem manageable. Thank you for sharing your journey through these 100 meadows!

  19. Norma Rolader

    Marian, you are doing such a great job! I just love all of these paintings Thank you for sharing and have a blessed week

  20. Jeanie

    They are all beautiful!!

  21. Naomi S>

    What an exercise in committment!

    I’m not so much a fan of landscapes, but you have done some interesting and nice ones. I think my favorite, too, is the snowy pine one. Not so much empty space in it is what I like. Can you visualize my house–not a wall without some piece of furniture on it!

    I think you are doing an awesome job with the oils and making strides in your techniques and color usage. To me, the most astounding thing is that you completed one hundred landscapes! I would have petered out at about number six, I think!

  22. Yvetta

    I love the red oxide house! It looks like here in southwest Oklahoma when the red dirt blows!

  23. Genevieve

    Loved this post Marian! I was going to be blogging this week about this very thing that you discovered while you were working on this wonderful project. Sounds like it was a wonderful growing experience. So glad that you were able to include our little white farmhouse in the hollow. Can’t wait to find the perfect place in our front room after the current DIY renovations are complete. Have a blessed week and stay warm, my friend!

  24. Dfitz

    My heart skipped at the winter pines. How can I buy one from you? Your talent is amazing.

  25. Barbara Kemp


    thank you for sharing your talent with me and so many others. i grew up on a farm in Illinois and the pictures bring back many memories as a young girl and the days spent outside.

    would you consider selling your paintings on society 6 as note cards again? i used the ones previously purchased and would like to purchase more.

  26. Valerie

    Wow, these are great! It has been amazing to see your progress. Not only has your progress been inspiring, but also that you finished the challenge.

  27. Sandy

    Wowzer. Really impressed. What I like sbout the snowy pine is the addition of the barn door. The detail is great. You really have got a big leg up on practice makes perfect. Congrats.

  28. Kim

    I have been trying to buy an original, with no luck. Any suggestions? : )


  29. Patty

    Have you ever tried turning your photo upside down and painting it this way from start to finish? Great way to make yourself paint what you actually see. Would be a fun exercise and also it helps if you are having a problem getting something right to turn your photo and painting upside down. Helps to see what is going wrong sometimes.

  30. Alicia from California

    Haven’t looked in on your paintings for a spell and so today’s posting is special for me.

    I want to compliment you on sticking with this challenge and I have to say this, I enjoy your first painting efforts as much as your more “mature” paintings. There is a quality about those first paintings, the colors, the boldness, the brush strokes, etc. that make me smile. You are now on your way to being able to manipulate the medium as well as render the object as you choose.

    Looking forward to Chapter Two of MMS canvas paintings…and perhaps a little larger.

  31. Nan

    Where do you find most of your photo references? I notice you took some of them but some looked like others photos.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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