100 Meadows Project | No. 1-20

by | Sep 27, 2017 | Artistic Endeavors | 31 comments

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!


  1. Marianne

    This is wonderful! I love seeing which state or country the original was shot in too. Can’t wait to see the next set.

  2. Terri

    Great project. This actually made me think about the word “meadow.” I live in the lower Midwest and for some reason usually don’t use or hear that word. Always think of “fields” or pasture. Meadow is so much prettier and doesn’t have to refer to flowers, as I thought. I’m going to adjust my thinking!

  3. liz

    Very impressive how quickly you are growing in skill.

  4. Emily

    Holy cow! They are all sold out! Too bad for me, but wonderful for you!

  5. Darcy

    Well those went quick! 🙂 I love #19!

  6. Lisa

    I love watching your stories and seeing your progression, in everything. My favorites are #11 & #16. They’re all pretty though.

    • Jo-Ann

      11 & 16 were my favorites also!

  7. carole

    so bummed that the one that i purchased was mistakenly already sold and i will now get a refund 🙁

    • Marian Parsons

      I know! I am so sorry! There was a malfunction with the inventory and it allowed people to buy multiples, when I only have one of each. I will be painting and selling more, though!

  8. Elaine

    Dang– sold out! 🙁

  9. Brocanteuserose

    Sold out 🙁 I really loved # 18, but it wasn’t even listed for sale. That must mean it was one of the ones you were keeping. 🙂 Really like the palate with these, excited to see you do more clouds in the future!

  10. B. Folk

    Ah, I see that you kept out two of my favorites (#7 and #16). The rest , all sold out?! Wonderful! Congratulations on a new endeavor, Marian.

  11. Kathleen

    I love the your paintings, the whole series, what you do with blues & greens. I’m so inspired by you sharing the whole concept and progression. What a wonderful idea…Thank you! : D

  12. mary

    Marian, Have you ever thought of having them printed? I am sure your loyal fans (including me)
    would be lining up for them!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, the prints are available through Society6 and the link is in the post.

  13. Karan

    You keep #’s 1 and 100…..you will be amazed….sell the rest!!

  14. Paula Housholder

    I am so bummed, I really wanted one but by the time I knew they were available they were all gone. Maybe next time.

  15. Norma Rolader

    You have done a beautiful job! Each of your paintings are beautifully done God bless

  16. Patty

    So disappointed! Sold out before I could even get to them – I wanted #3 & #11. Each so beautiful!! 🙂

  17. sharon

    wish I would have seen sooner, please more more more!!

  18. Lelanie

    Wow they are amazing. Did you do any painting classes? I’d love to try but have no idea where to start. I’m favs are #16 and #18. It’s so inspiring!

  19. Robyn Watts

    I love seeing your progression as you learn this art. As I looked through your paintings and the comments you make as you are learning I was struck by the fact of how hard it is for us humans to recreate God’s beautiful handiwork. For Him it was all in a day’s work to create the beauty of nature around us. It reminds me just how amazing our God is. Thank you for allowing us to journey with you!

  20. Sandy

    I loved them all – each really special in it’s own way – congratulations on starting a painting and stopping before you messed it up – that seems to be the hardest part for me! was it Whistler who went in to the museums and kept changing his paintings? maybe there is hope for me – haha great work

  21. Debbie Klausing

    I loved the way you did the colors in #19!
    You have been so blessed with talent!

  22. mary

    So sad that I missed out because they are all sold out. You underestimate your talent, Marian! Ihope I can get one next time. I loved #2 and #19!

  23. JessB

    Wow, how beautiful. My personal challenge to myself is to become better at photography. I’ve purchased a couple books and already have a really nice camera, now to make it happen!

  24. Monique DEnoncin

    Well done, very charming paintings, I like those simple landscapes too. It makes me want to pick up my brushes and old paint tubes. Is there something you can not do Marian????????

  25. Kathryn Leigh

    I have enjoyed your blogs for years. I have been inspired to make slipcovers out of drop clothes, because of you. I have painted furniture with your milk paint, because of you. My home is quietly marching to the tune of blue and white, because of you. But these little paintings are sublime! Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring me one more time!

    You blog brings me joy!

  26. Nancy

    #9 and #19 are my faves. I love the perspective and different horizon on #9. 100 meadows is a formidable goal but you are doing great, Marian. Remember Bob Ross- ẗhere are no mistakes only happy little accidents.

  27. Kathleen

    I love your new adventure in painting in oils. I am an artist and have been for years , trained as an art teacher then taught many years. You are doing just great in all you try! You are an inspiration to me in so many ways . keep sharing your talents .
    Isn’t it a big switch to go from watercolors to oils? I went from oils to watercolors because they are so much more portable. BUT oils have a richness and depth that you can’t obtain in watercolor. So glad you are experiencing both.

  28. happy wheels

    I like the color of this picture. It’s peaceful and gentle.


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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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