World Watercolor Month 2020 just ended. For the second year in a row I made (and achieved) my goal to paint every day of the month. I'm glad I achieved what I set out to do, but it was enough of a source of frustration that I just don't think I should shoot for that next time.
I struggled with inspiration and carving out time to paint every day. Some days I just didn't feel like painting--often I was exhausted and drained after a full day of my "real" job. Or we were super busy fitting in other chores and tasks in the few short hours between getting off work and going to bed, and trying to cram even a single, begrudged painting felt like too much of an ask. Sometimes I just had no freaking idea what to do with the prompts--they were often too abstract.
I see so many artists sing the praises of a daily painting practice, but this proved to me its just not a good fit--the discomfort I had with it last year could have been a fluke, but to have had the same frustrations two years in a row seems to indicate a pattern instead. Painting every day felt forced, and sometimes caused me more stress than enjoyment. While I ended up with a fairly large stack of work (nearly 50 sheets of paper of various sizes, many with paintings on both size) from the month, I don't think that it was leaps and bounds more than I would usually produce in a given month.
I don't feel like painting daily really grew any of my skills exponentially either. I don't feel like I produced a higher or more consistent quality of work, or that I discovered anything eye opening about my style. If anything, I was counting down the days until it ended this last week, anticipating the relief of taking a break from this unrelenting grind. I don't want my painting time to feel like this, like a chore or a drag. I get enough of that in the rest of my damn life!