If you’ve been following me through my Instagram Stories, you have seen my progression as I’ve been working my way through painting 100 meadows in oil. The project was created by Michelle Wooderson, someone who has been a constant source of inspiration for me artistically. After taking a hiatus during my move, I wanted to start painting again. This was just the kind of challenge I needed to push me into picking up a brush… Well, one other than a 2″ angled sash!
So, I started. I am painting on 4 x 6″ piece of canvas, cut from a canvas pad. They are pre-gessoed pieces of canvas and painting on them somehow seems less intimidating than a stretched canvas.
I am using artist-grade oil paintings in a few different brands, mostly Utrecht and Windsor & Newton, although I just order a few other brands to try. I have a glass palette, a lyre easel, inspiration pictures provided by readers from all over the world, and the knowledge that I’m going to complete this challenge flying by the seat of my pants.
And I have gained so much in the process already.
As I’ve been sharing my work and my progress, I’ve received many requests to buy the paintings. A small part of me felt reluctance to sell them. I’m an amateur and I wince at how much it shows in these paintings. I hope to learn and grow and that’s the whole point of this project. You can’t see improvement without seeing where it all started and the progression.
And I have always been a believer in putting myself and my work out there…even when it’s not perfect. Would these painted canvases be better in a shoebox or hanging in the home of someone it speaks to?
So, I am letting them go out in the world.
I’m going to share about each meadow and list them for sale in groups of 20. So, here they are! Numbers 1-20 along with the inspiration photos and my notes. (If a source isn’t sited for the photo, that means I took it. Most likely out of a car window.)
No. 1 – Minnesota
I feel like you can see how tentative I am in this painting. I was so scared of plopping that cloud in there! You can see I get over that by number 4.
No. 2 – Minnesota
I still see my nerves, but I also see that I’m pressing into them, laying paint on with broader strokes. The colors were a little muddy, though.
No. 3 – Minnesota
The sky and colors improved on this one, but I shied away from really painting the wild flowers. I just sort of smushed them in there.
No. 4 Minnesota
This is the first one where I really pushed myself. I knew my paintings lacked confidence, so I decided to apply some paint with a palette knife and lay it on thick. If this was going to be a mess, it was going to be a confident one.
No. 5 – Minnesota
If I like the palette knife so much, why don’t I use it for an entire piece? I think this one is interesting, but I the technique definitely got away from me!
No 6. – Mississippi, submitted by Bobbye
This is when I started asking for picture submissions to paint. I felt like I needed variety and boy, did I get it! I was immediately drawn the light and shadows in this photo. I love the sky in this one, but the trees and grass ended up being a little too…abstract, maybe…for me.
No 7 – Iceland, submitted by Stina
I went back to the brush and tried a softer approach. I loved painting the blown-out sun more than I expected.
No. 8 – Unknown location, submitted by Teresa
I liked the cross-hatching strokes I used in #7, but in this one, I tried horizontal strokes for the sky and mostly vertical for the vegetation. I was happy with the gray sky, but the grass needed more highlight.
No. 9 – Minnesota, submitted by Callies
This was a great study in creating depth, since this picture has such strong lines. I wasn’t ready to paint barns, yet! I felt like I turned a corner with this one, though. You can see the strokes getting more confident as well as the colors.
No, 10 – Texas, submitted by Camron
This is one of my favorites. It’s simple, but I wasn’t shy about creating texture.
No. 11 – Illinois, submitted by Erin
This one really pushed me and I loved painting this sky and branching out into painting more detailed trees.
No. 12 – Minnesota, submitted by Maria
This sky intimidated me, but it ended up being one of my favorite skies.
No 13. – Indiana, submitted by Ruthann
I feel like this one ended up looking a bit harsh, but I learned a lot about my personal taste for blending and brush strokes.
No. 14 – Pennsylvania, submitted by Bettina
This bright yellow field was just begging to be painted and I enjoyed it! It’s hard to work with such vibrant yellows without it improving your mood.
No 15 – Ohio, submitted by Whitney
This is where my preference for a specific brush, a bright, started forming. I like using the straight edge to paint soft objects, like the clouds. I actually planned to paint the buildings, but I ran out of time.
No. 16 – Kansas, submitted by Deborah
There is just something about a road that disappears over the horizon. I love this painting…everything from the sky to the pine tree to the fence posts.
No. 17 – Illinois, submitted by Erin
This is another one that I love. I was so relaxed when I was painting it and I think that shows. I did wimp out on painting more defined corn rows, but…one step at a time.
No. 18 – Ohio, submitted by Whitney
This one was a challenge with light and shadow as well as those heavy clouds, but it ended up coming together. I’d like to revisit this one and paint it again to see if I can improve.
No 19. North Dakota – submitted by Larissa
I painted this one on a day when I wasn’t feeling confident. My original number 19 (of a different picture) was so bad that it ended up in the trash. At first, I didn’t like this one, but it’s grown on me. I feel like the sky saved it.
No. 20 – Minnesota
After a rough day in the studio, I needed something simple, so I went to a picture I took last weekend of a farm field on a sunny day.
As I shared in my initial post about this project, I hope it inspires you to give something new a try…whatever it is. I am brand new to oil painting, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m getting so much joy out of the journey.
Thanks so much to everyone who has submitted meadows for me to paint! Each one has been a gift to me.
So, if you’re interested in buying an original, first of all, thank you! It’s such an encouragement to me that anyone, other than my mom, wants to have my work in their home! The originals are listed HERE. I did keep a few for myself (and my mom!) The rest are listed, though, and the price ranges from $15 – $32. The pricing is a little arbitrary at this point, to be honest. They are all roughly 4 x 6 and are painted on canvas (not mounted or stretched). This way, I can just pop them in an envelope.
If you would like to purchase a print, thank you to you as well! The entire series of 20 is listed on Society6 for purchase as an art print or on canvas. Yes, I realize the prints are more expensive than the originals, but that’s mostly due to the fact that it is a larger framed or stretched piece and the original is just on a 4 x 6 piece of canvas. So, just keep that in mind!
I’ll share about the 100 meadows project again when I’ve completed 20-40. Until then, you can follow along on my Instagram Stories. Also, search #100meadowsproject on Instagram to see the work of other artists who are playing along!