30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Call  me crazy, but I decided to participate in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days painting challenge on Instagram, #pcj30in30, along with hundreds of artists from around the world. I've seen other artists do Challenges on Instagram but mostly those were self-directed. This one started on September 1st.  Not knowing what to expect, or if I would be able to keep up, I decided to jump in anyway on very short notice.  Follow my painting journey as I explore color.  To see more work from the challenge check my Instagram page @christinesauerstudio.

Studio work table.  To keep the process manageable I started by creating 9,  8x6" paintings all at the same time.  Then I worked on each one a little at a time.  It's always surprising how much time small paintings can take.  The goal is not to overwork them, lol!

Studio work table.  To keep the process manageable I started by creating 9,  8x6" paintings all at the same time.  Then I worked on each one a little at a time.  It's always surprising how much time small paintings can take.  The goal is not to overwork them, lol!

Why do a challenge? A short, focused timeline can help you push your work along.  No time for excuses, procastination or distractions!  I decided to set a goal of exploring colors and palettes that are not as familiar to me.   Working alongside other artists also is a good motivator to keep the energy going.  At least, this is what I'm hoping for.  The journey will be interesting no matter the outcome. 

 For the first several days of the challenge I created the abstract "Urban Flora" series, 8x6" acrylic on paper, inspired by the ferns and flowering bush in my backyard.  I'm pushing my color comfort zone with a palette of Red Oxide, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, and Manganese Blue.  Plus Vat Orange and Bright Yellow were added to this palette for a bit of kick.

©Christine Sauer "Urban Flora I" 8x6" acrylic on paper

©Christine Sauer "Urban Flora I" 8x6" acrylic on paper

   To see more images from my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge join me on Instagram @christinesauerstudio.  I'll be posting the series for sale there as well.

The Marvels and Mysteries Collection

These abstract paintings, for me, have a sense of revealing the surprising and the mysterious.  The title, “Marvels and Mysteries”, is inspired by a favorite childhood book, “Marvels and Mysteries of Our Animal World”. This was one of the many books about animals, biology and nature that I pored over as a kid.  This fascination with biology and nature often percolates up through my art in imaginative and unpredictable ways.  

Christine Sauer "Marvels and Mysteries II"  24x24"  $900, acrylic, mixed media on canvas 

As this collection of abstract paintings developed, they appeared to reveal mysterious and invented natural events or processes, a kind of organic soup of life. Complex, lively surfaces were created by layering acrylic paints and sometimes collage in an improvisational manner.  Vibrant color and lush texture coalesce to engage the viewer to take an up-close look to discover visual surprises in these invented worlds.

Painting Process: Keeping it Fresh and Lively

My paintings emerge out of an enjoyment of the painting process. Intuitive and improvisational, the process is a journey and the end point is always a surprise.  It usually begins by applying color and arranging paper, fabric or paint skins out of my collage stash in a freewheeling manner. Or sometimes I create a textured surface using various acrylic pastes or gels before adding the first layers of color and other materials. The unexpected, serendipitous magic that happens when working this way is what excites me as an artist and gives the work its potency.  

 Christine Sauer, " Marvels and Mysteries IV" 20x16" acrylic and mixed media on canvas   Final layers being added to this work in process.  "To pour or not to pour?"  It's important to stay brave since choices seem riskier toward the end of the process.

 Christine Sauer, " Marvels and Mysteries IV" 20x16" acrylic and mixed media on canvas   Final layers being added to this work in process.  "To pour or not to pour?"  It's important to stay brave since choices seem riskier toward the end of the process.

The images surface through the process.  Sometimes the initial layer is engaging, spontaneous and feels like a complete visual statement so it becomes a keeper.  Some paintings need more attention.  Layers of paint are added from thick impasto to dripped, scraped, and thinly glazed passages that conceal or reveal the initial layers. Complex, lively surfaces are created where vibrant color and lush texture coalesce to engage the viewer to take an up-close look to discover visual surprises.   Mark making includes loose and painterly brushwork, dripped paint, scribbled drawing, freeform printing, stenciled application and more.

©ChristineSauer, Details from paintings from the Collections on this site.

©ChristineSauer, Details from paintings from the Collections on this site.

Exploring multiple approaches to painting energizes the process for me, keeping things fresh and interesting.  I am a perpetual student, always learning and experimenting.  In the studio, there are often several works in process going on simultaneously.  They are not always from the same series or groups. The process is a spiral with exciting tangents developing along the way.  Eventually common threads emerge between artworks and they become a loosely connected collection as presented on this website.

©Christine Sauer, During painting sessions I always offload the leftover paint on my brushes and tools from the main project unto additional surfaces such as paper,  raw canvas, and fabric.   This often yields interesting materials for collage or sometimes they become artworks on their own. 

©Christine Sauer, During painting sessions I always offload the leftover paint on my brushes and tools from the main project unto additional surfaces such as paper,  raw canvas, and fabric.   This often yields interesting materials for collage or sometimes they become artworks on their own.