The Rhythm Of The Problem

I’m not going to deceive you, staying the course of a 31-day problem isn’t straightforward. However having finished our 31-pastels-in-31-days Problem for seven (!) years in a row, I now know that there’s a rhythm to it, a rhythm to the problem.

Let’s take a look at that rhythm and the way it pertains to the work I did this yr. Though I’ve been posting my work from the Problem on my Instagram and Facebook accounts, it’s possible you’ll not have seen my Problem physique of labor but. I’ve had curious requests to see all of the work!

In regards to the 31-in-31 Problem

The problem is a few day by day observe. Each day work means taking motion which implies shifting ahead. I feel success on this 31-in-31 Problem is placing pastel to paper each day. This implies letting go of a hoped for or anticipated final result, specifically a completed portray that makes you smile and garners likes from pals and followers. It means being happy with (and studying from) each mark you make. Each mark you make is a mark greater than you probably did yesterday. 

A part of what helps us transfer by means of the Problem is the corporate we hold – being accountable to somebody or a bunch (just like the HowToPastelFacebook group). One other half is the dedication to ourselves, to provide ourself permission and encouragement to color day-after-day for 31 days.

The Rhythm of the Problem

That is the rhythm of the problem for me however I feel it might be true for a lot of individuals.

Typically once we begin the Problem we’re gung ho! Sure! Let’s do that!! We’ve got a willpower to do that factor! And so for every week or so we dive in with power and enthusiasm and paint day by day. Across the finish of the first week or 10 days in, all of it begins to get a bit tougher. We’ve misplaced that preliminary thrust of energy that we had in the beginning of the Problem. I feel that is the time some individuals could also be tempted to surrender. However for many who push by means of, will probably be value it.

By the finish of the second week going into the third week, the factor that may assist hold you heading in the right direction is the wall behind you. That is the place you see work accumulating whether or not completed or not, profitable or not. It’s an enormous motivator to maintain going. And by now, we’d like all the assistance we are able to get!

Typically the problem means placing different issues on the again burner. It means sacrificing different issues to make room for this day by day portray observe. The rhythm of the Problem means maybe others must assume a number of the duties, tasks, errands which can be usually ours. We might begin to really feel responsible about that or use it as an excuse to give up the Problem. But it is a present from those that love us and are supporting our choice to do the 31–in-31 Problem and we owe it to their generosity to maintain going! So we push on!

Typically life intercedes and it actually can get tough to place pastel to paper. I actually had that occur a couple of instances through the 31-day rhythm of the problem. However I discovered methods to work round or with these life interludes. It’s straightforward to make use of these as an excuse to overlook a couple of days. The factor is that every piece you do doesn’t must be massive. It may be small, quick, livid, merely marks. So no excuses!

And that final week – the place does it match into the rhythm of the problem? We get a surge of yes-I-can power to finish the course. Now shouldn’t be the time to give up, that’s what we inform ourselves. We’ve come too far to surrender now! Now we all know what we’re able to and we wish to show to ourselves that we are able to certainly full the 31-day Problem.

My Work Inside The Rhythm of the Problem

So let me take you thru a few of my items and share how they relate to the rhythm I’ve simply described. (Most items are nonetheless obtainable from me. On the finish of subsequent week, plenty of them will head to Peninsula Gallery. Should you’re focused on any, simply let me know!) 

Initially, I wasn’t even positive I used to be going to do the Problem this yr as fairly a bit was happening. However as the beginning day neared, I reminded myself what a helpful and satisfying expertise it’s. Cam and I have been on Salt Spring Island staying at a buddy’s home. Since I wasn’t in my studio, I made a decision to work en small plein air (from life) on small items. Undoubtedly feeling rusty in the beginning!

(By the way in which, all of those pictures have been taken with my iPhone so is probably not as correct as they could possibly be.)

The Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, “The Two of Us,” Unison Colour pastels on UART 600, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4in. Available. $250.
Gail Sibley, “The Two of Us,” Unison Color pastels on UART 600, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4in. Accessible. $250. The 2 roses, one on its method out, one nearly to open, caught my consideration. However it was the graphic simplicity of darkish leaves and their corresponding solid shadow that stopped me to color. I needed to maintain a free abstracted high quality to the piece.
Gail Sibley, “Poppy Riot,” Unison Colour pastels on UART 600, 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. Available. $225.
Gail Sibley, “Poppy Riot,” Unison Color pastels on UART 600, 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. Accessible. $225. Tough factor with California Poppies- the flowers and foliage, though completely different in hue, are very comparable in worth! So the worth distinction must be “discovered” elsewhere.
Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, “Calm As Can Be,” Unison Colour pastels on UART 600, 4 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. Available. $150
Gail Sibley, “Calm As Can Be,” Unison Color pastels on UART 600, 4 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. Accessible. $150. A really excessive key portray and an excellent take a look at for my set of Unison Color pastels! There was a slight pinky yellow that contrasted with the turquoise blue, so enjoyable to play with!
Gail Sibley, “Last Light, Last Night,” Unison Colour pastels on UART 600, 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. Available. $225.
Gail Sibley, “Final Mild, Final Night time,” Unison Color pastels on UART 600, 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. Accessible. $225.

Again dwelling within the consolation of my studio, I jumped proper into persevering with my Canine Walker sequence. I’d been wanting ahead to engaged on these for someday. There are a LOT of individuals strolling their canines right here in my neighbourhood and in Victoria normally!

Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, Last Walk (Dog Walker series), Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Available. $225.
Gail Sibley, Final Stroll (Canine Walker sequence), Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Accessible. $225. Whereas I used to be portray this, a pricey buddy handed away in hospital. Bettie was a canine lover and I really feel this portray of a determine (albeit a person) and canine companion strolling in the direction of the sunshine expresses one thing of her journey to a different chance of existence.
Gail Sibley, "Heading Home After Play (Dog Walker series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Available. $225.
Gail Sibley, “Heading Dwelling After Play (Canine Walker sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Accessible. $225. I’ve a favorite stroll I do after I go to the library on Saturday afternoons. This time, I met a person and his canine on the pedestrian crossing. They’d simply come from enjoying ball on the seaside. I beloved the sensation of companionship and likewise the sidelight.
Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "Threesome (Dog Walker series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Available. $225.
Gail Sibley, “Threesome (Canine Walker sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Accessible. $225. Night begins and this man and his canine head dwelling earlier than full darkish falls. I preferred the symmetry of man, canine, and bicycle. Additionally what attracted me was the light-coloured canine in opposition to the darkly dressed man each set off in opposition to a greying panorama besides the place the solar nonetheless may attain.
Gail Sibley, "The Orange Coat (Dog Walker series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Available. $225.
Gail Sibley, “The Orange Coat (Canine Walker sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 6 x 6 in. Accessible. $225. Moderately than use the uninteresting colors within the reference picture, and following my thumbnail worth plan, I began in with intense colors and determined to maintain them that method quite than uninteresting them. Love the way in which this got here out!
Gail Sibley, "Heading For The Hydrant (Dog Walker series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500 paper, 6 x 6 in. Available $225.
Gail Sibley, “Heading For The Hydrant (Canine Walker sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500 paper, 6 x 6 in. Accessible $225. One other canine walker, this time full with umbrella on a moist day. I beloved that the canine was heading for the hydrant – typical canine behaviour lol. I couldn’t resist!

Then lastly I used to be prepared to begin portray extra work within the Gallery Goer sequence. That is, for positive, a ardour topic of mine. I like portray an individual a portray and discovering and expressing one thing visible that connects them.

Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "Stripes and Checks (Gallery Goers series)," Unison Colour on UART 400, 12 x 8 in. Available. $600.
Gail Sibley, “Stripes and Checks (Gallery Goers sequence),” Unison Color on UART 400, 12 x 8 in. Accessible. $600. I’ve been wanting to do that for someday (my thumbnail for it was finished final October). My hesitation was across the regularity of the stripes of this portray by Gene Davis within the Utah Museum of Tremendous Arts which I’d visited in March 2020 simply because the pandemic was introduced. I used to be attracted by the determine, stopped mid-track. So I made a decision simply to go for it. I feel the irregularity of the pastel stripes offers curiosity.

Gene Davis, “Jasmine Sidewinder #91,” 1969, acrylic, 116 x 59 in, Utah Museum of Artwork, Sslt Lake Metropolis, Utah, USA.

rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "The Breath of Thought (Gallery Goers series)," Unison Colour on UART 400, 8 x 12 in. Available. $600
Gail Sibley, “The Breath of Thought (Gallery Goers sequence),” Unison Color on UART 400, 8 x 12 in. Accessible. $600. I beloved this sculpture by Roberto Almagno within the Vatican Museums. (I’ve used his title for my portray.) There’s a simplicity but complexity in his work, a strong sturdiness mixed with a lightness. The shadows on the wall change because the curve and thickness of a bit of wooden modified. The sculpture additionally transfer barely which additionally shifted the shadow shapes. It was tough to seize the piece and the emotions I had in regards to the sculpture in my pastel portray!
Gail Sibley, "Black Hats (Gallery Goer series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Available. $625.
Gail Sibley, “Black Hats (Gallery Goer sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Accessible. $625. Ever since I noticed this man this portray by Klimt at an exhibition of Klimt’s work on the San Francisco Legion of Honor a couple of years in the past, I’ve needed to color this scene. (Within the reference picture, the person is definitely wanting on the label so I pushed him over a bit!). I used to be drawn to the similarity of the 2 hats of viewer and portray topic in addition to the connection in colur of clothes.
Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "The Red Circle," Unison Colour pastels on UART 320, 8 x 12 in. Available. $600.
Gail Sibley, “The Purple Circle,” Unison Color pastels on UART 320, 8 x 12 in. Accessible. $600. I like that the purple circle in Miro’s portray is the factor we see on this boy’s cellphone. I needed to make Miro’s portray the star of this piece after which have the second purple circle (and figures) observed secondarily.

Joan Miró, “Determine in Entrance of the Solar,” 1968, acrylic on canvas, 174 x 260 cm, Miro Basis, Barcelona, Spain.

Gail Sibley, "Capturing Beatrice (Gallery Goer series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Available. $625.
Gail Sibley, “Capturing Beatrice (Gallery Goer sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Accessible. $625. I’ve appeared ahead to portray this topic for some time now. (I used to be within the Uffizi in 2019 which is the place I snapped the picture.) What attracted me was the connection between the 2 girls. Though centuries aside, I discovered similarities – the flowery coiffure/headdress, the ornamental clothes, and the depth of wanting. After which there’s the ever present smartphone that reveals the Rennaissance mannequin by means of the lens of the twenty first century!
Attributed to Alessandro Araldi, “Portrait of Beatrice d’Este,” c.1495, oil on panel, measurement unknown, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

I’m on the finish of two weeks and beginning to lose enthusiasm even whereas doing the work I like to do. The day by day muscle is out of shape and feeling exhausted! It was time to vary issues up a bit and get a bit looser. (The Gallery Goers, as fabulous as they’re to do, take plenty of focus, care, and power.)

Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "Two Trees," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 6x9 in. Available $325.
Gail Sibley, “Two Bushes,” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 6×9 in. Accessible $325. I used to be going to work on one other Gallery Goer portray however time was quick and let you know the reality, I used to be weary and never feeling like portray in a cautious and regarded method. Soooo I placed on the music and simply went for it!!
Gail Sibley, "Quiet Afternoon in Trequanda, Tuscany," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Available. $295
Gail Sibley, “Quiet Afternoon in Trequanda, Tuscany,” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Accessible. $295. I began this piece a few years in the past, obtained it drawn up, and made a begin with a partial first layer down. I can’t bear in mind what made me cease however as I used to be on the lookout for paper to make use of, I got here throughout it. It was an ideal break from figurative work!
Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "View from Songhees Walkway," Victoria, Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 4 x 11 in. Available $225
Gail Sibley, “View from Songhees Walkway,” Victoria, Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 4 x 11 in. Accessible $225. Cam and I took a leisurely stroll on a record-breaking temperature day – the very best since 1961. It was gloriously heat however with a coolness that comes from being by the water. This was an try and seize the late afternoon view of the top of Victoria Harbour from the Songhees Walkway.
Gail Sibley, "Shade!," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 4 ¾ x 4 ½ in. Available $100
Gail Sibley, “Shade!,” Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 4 ¾ x 4 ½ in. Accessible $100. There’s a photograph I’ve used for plenty of small items and today, eager to do a small and easy piece of timber, I reached for it as soon as once more. Time was quick so I labored small and quick! 30 minutes from discovering the picture, making a few fast thumbnails and diving in with pastels!
Gail Sibley, "Glads at Rio Chirripo Lodge," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 6¾ x 4 ½ in. Available $150
Gail Sibley, “Glads at Rio Chirripo Lodge,” Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 6¾ x 4 ½ in. Accessible $150. Reminiscences of the gorgeous communal space on the Rio Chirripo Lodge the place a bunch of us stayed once I taught a vacation spot workshop in Costa Rica in February. Flowers are all the time on show. The lodge is an ideal place to spend every week of portray, educating, and consuming!

After which a little bit of life occurred. Cam and I took my Dad and Mum up island to go to with my brother and his spouse (to rejoice my Dad’s 93rd birthday 😀 ). I took my pastels however had pared down, no easel as an illustration. I additionally determined to problem myself through the use of a small set of Sennelier pastels that I wasn’t accustomed to. Ohhhh, I undoubtedly had some irritating moments however I simply stored going! I had little time and labored sitting down (quite than my normal standing pose) so it was all very difficult. I labored from life and from photographs. All items have been small!

Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "Folded Towels," Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 4 x 5 ½ in. Painted from life. Available $85.
Gail Sibley, “Folded Towels,” Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 4 x 5 ½ in. Painted from life. Accessible $85. I spent the weekend with household, staying at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s home. I snuck off to the basement to work on my 31-in-31 work. What to color? I noticed these two folded towels sitting on a ping pong desk. There wasn’t a lot mild however quite than spending extra time wanting, I simply obtained right down to work! Course of, not final result!!
Gail Sibley, "Trees at Sunset," Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 5 ½ x 4 in. Painted from life. Available $75.
Gail Sibley, “Bushes at Sundown,” Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 5 ½ x 4 in. Painted from life. Accessible $75. Again within the basement, in desperation, I appeared out the window and there have been a few timber tipped by the disappearing solar. That was it. Quick and livid!!
Gail Sibley, "Nokia Historical Society Meeting," Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 4 x 5 ½ in. Available $85.
Gail Sibley, “Nokia Historic Society Assembly,” Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 4 x 5 ½ in. Accessible $85. Sitting on the windowsill within the basement have been three outdated telephones lined up collectively. A bit boring so why not give them a strive. The neat factor is that after I appeared extra deeply and actually noticed what was there, I smiled on the small variations that might make the portray extra attention-grabbing each to do and to have a look at. Thanks for the title Brett!
Gail Sibley, "Calliope," Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 4 x 5 ½ in. Available $85.
Gail Sibley, “Calliope,” Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 4 x 5 ½ in. Accessible $85. On the patio, a pot of geraniums (pelargoniums). This one is an ideal purple and my sister-in-law’s fav.
rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "Walkies!," Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 3 ½ x 2 ½ in. Available $50.
Gail Sibley, “Walkies!,” Sennelier pastels on UART 600, 3 ½ x 2 ½ in. Accessible $50. A really small piece! Beloved the sample of sunshine and obtained caught in even with solely 20 minutes. Fast thumbnail to familiarize myself with the topic after which GO!

Again dwelling, it was the final week of the Problem – yay! The rhythm of the problem was a burst of power to complete! I did a few smaller items earlier than blasting into three extra Gallery Goer work. And at last, I needed to ensure to incorporate a bit with laundry as I’m recognized for my love of clotheslines crammed with folks’s lives as seen by means of their garments, mattress linen and towels, and intimate attire.

Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "Purple Evening," Unison Colour pastels on UART 320, 6 x 6 in.
Gail Sibley, “Purple Night,” Unison Color pastels on UART 320, 6 x 6 in. That is from a photograph I took from my buddy Sandy’s home on Salt Spring Island. It was nightfall, nonetheless with color within the sky and water however the solar was lengthy gone. I’ve been wanting to color it for a while and so the Problem was an ideal time to play with it. I envisioned a bit with purples and greens.
Gail Sibley, "White Jug with Flowers," Unison Colour pastels on UART 400, 4 ½ x 4 ½ in. Available. $100.
Gail Sibley, “White Jug with Flowers,” Unison Color pastels on UART 400, 4 ½ x 4 ½ in. Accessible. $100. I had a brief period of time however that wasn’t an excuse. Utilizing a stunning picture I’d taken at Mum and Dad’s, I made a thumbnail and was offt! Although I didn’t have the best pink in my palette (for the flowers), that didn’t cease me!
Gail Sibley, "Selfie with Women, Birds, (Gallery Goers series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 320, 10 x 10 in. Available $625.
Gail Sibley, “Selfie with Girls, Birds, (Gallery Goers sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 320, 10 x 10 in. Accessible $625. After I taught a vacation spot retreat workshop on the coast of Spain, I headed to Barcelona for some “me” time. I adored the Miro Basis and plenty of of my Gallery Goer work have been set on this fantastic museum. I smiled once I noticed this man attempting to take a selfie with this gigantic piece by Miró!
Gail Sibley, "Mother and Son with The Lark’s Wing (Gallery Goers series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 12 x 8 in. Available $600.
Gail Sibley, “Mom and Son with The Lark’s Wing (Gallery Goers sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 12 x 8 in. Accessible $600. I used to be hesitant to do that scene with figures going through the viewer. However I so beloved the pose, the centered and intimate connection between what seems to be like a mom together with her son. I additionally love how the purple and white seen within the portray is repeated within the boy’s shirt.
Gail Sibley, "Facing Fragonard (Gallery Goers series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Available. $625.
Gail Sibley, “Dealing with Fragonard (Gallery Goers sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Accessible. $625. It’s a lot in regards to the pose! This time it’s not solely the Gallery Goer’s pose but in addition the lounging determine in Fragonard’s portray. Capturing each males, their gestures and positions proved difficult. I beloved it!

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, “Portrait of Charles-Michel-Ange Challe (?),“ c. 1769, oil on canvas, 93.8 x 73.8 cm, The Cambó Bequest, Nationwide Musuem of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain

Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "The Laundry Line," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 6 x 6 in. Available. $175
Gail Sibley, “The Laundry Line,” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 6 x 6 in. Accessible. $175. That is painted from a small a part of a photograph I took whereas whizzing alongside in a automotive in Ontario. (And no, I wasn’t driving!). I’m a lover of laundry on the road so I snapped a photograph of a clothesline within the distance.

And in case you’re truly counting the items and located there’s one lacking, you’re appropriate. Certainly one of my 31-in-31 days was spent making a Lesson for my IGNITE! Members (and we’re reopening on twentieth November so get on the Waitlist here!). I made a decision to incorporate that as one in all my Problem items.

Gail Sibley - An exercise done for my IGNITE! members on pressure! Unison Colour pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes paper
Gail Sibley – An train finished for my IGNITE! members on stress! Unison Color pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes paper

The 31-in-31 Problem presents so many advantages. Understanding the pure rhythm of the problem permits us to go simpler on ourselves particularly when issues get powerful. I hope you’ll strive the Problem subsequent yr with us!

Listed below are a number of the largest takeaways from this yr’s individuals:

“My finest takeaway is the internal push I really feel to do a portray day-after-day. As soon as I enroll, I really feel responsible (to myself, nobody else), if I haven’t finished one! November 1st dawned and all day I felt relieved that I didn’t HAVE TO paint, however the guilt was nonetheless there, lol. Seeing the others’ work was nice too. I did your very 1st one, 6 years in the past. Nonetheless enjoyable. Thanks!”

~ Barbara Archer

“I exploit it as a possibility to strive new issues. One yr was determining my Christmas card pictures, one was doing lengthy skinny bookmarks and this yr was working up the nerve to strive portraits. Understanding that I’m simply playing around with new concepts and strategies takes that perfectionism stress off.”

~ Stephanie Colotti

“Having the motivation of being a part of a bunch problem and so getting pastel to paper. Each portray is a studying expertise. Therefore, the extra regularly you paint, the extra you be taught!”

~ Joanna Grey

“The most important takeaway was the self-discipline to color day-after-day whether or not it was massive or small.”

~ Rosie Coleman

“Attempting completely different approaches, and likewise having a month’s work to look again on has helped me consider what I actually get pleasure from doing and given me some concepts for future work. Better of all I’ve loved the group interplay. I’ve learnt from, and been impressed by, different folks’s work in addition to my very own.”

~ Judith Turner

“My largest takeaway is the discharge from my thought that every part I paint needs to be adequate to share. The push to share every day, no matter whether or not I used to be happy with the portray, was such a reduction. It gave me the liberty to let go and simply paint. It additionally stored me from infinite fiddling. Understanding that I used to be going to publish the portray earlier than the day was out made me cease messing and overworking. Beloved this problem!”

~ Barbara Garwood

“For me, it was the belief that day-after-day does provide some alternative for artwork, even when just a few minutes.”

~ Gail Gudrun Helgason

Aren’t these nice?! Having the HTP Facebook group undoubtedly stored many people on observe – realizing we would have liked to publish one thing on the finish of the day retains us on track. Group accountability is a big a part of our success! As is the encouragement and suggestions we get from fellow individuals. You’ll discover a number of this in IGNITE! An Art-Making membership so be sure to join the waitlist. We open on the twentieth November!

I’d LOVE to listen to your ideas in regards to the Problem. Should you participated this yr, do you resonate with my rhythm of the Problem? Or was your expertise fully completely different?

Should you didn’t take part this time, inform me in the event you’re tempted to affix us subsequent yr. Additionally, in the event you’ve finished different kinds of challenges, do you are feeling the rhythm of the problem I laid out interprets over to your problem? Let me know within the feedback!

Till subsequent time!

Gail

PS. Should you’re focused on any of my work and have questions or want to buy, do e mail me.