Development and Consistency #100horsesbyroxanne
This is my very first blog and what better way to kick off with a brand new challenge! I'm so happy to be able to share my art journey in a more detailed and personal way 😊
Each year around the globe people can opt to take part in what is known as The 100 Day Project. Participants are invited to choose a project to work on for 100 days and to post their progress on Instagram. The guidelines state that you don't have to stick to Instagram if you don't have it. You can post to Facebook or even document it just for yourself. Anyone can take part in this.
You can choose from any subject that takes your fancy. This could include painting, knitting, writing, fitness, drawing, learning a new language, even singing. The choice of topics is literally endless! There are no rules as such, just as long as you do it every day for 100 days and document it somewhere.
I participated in this challenge back in 2010 and created and posted every single day without fail onto Facebook (I can't believe that Instagram wasn't even around at that point and only came into being in October 2010! 😱). I didn't even have a blog back then so all my thoughts and processes went into my Facebook posts which wasn't ideal as you are quite limited in how much you can write.
I'm going a little off tangent here so bear with me. I want to talk about why I decided to take part in the 100 day project in 2010 and how my artistic life changed for the better. In 2006 I had completed my fine art degree at Birmingham School of Art but found myself feeling lost when I left. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with my life, with my art. Was I going to paint? Draw? Be a full time artist? Get a full time job? I had created a body of abstract, mixed media paintings for my final show at uni based on the downfall of industry around my hometown of Wolverhampton (see photos below). I researched old Victorian structures in and around the city and would take reference photos of what I found in old derelict buildings. My paintings were in response to this. Would I continue with this line of enquiry in my work? I just had no idea. There was no guidance at university in how we should prepare for the outside world. Let's face it, art isn't the most easiest line of work. To 'make it' as an artist is tough and would take years of perseverance to even begin to make a living from it unless you create something totally outlandish and contemporary and are lucky enough to get snapped up immediately by some high end gallery, and I knew this just wasn't going to be me.
I looked around for an art studio and finally stumbled upon one at the Makers Dozen Studios in Wolverhampton in 2008. I thought this would kick start my creativity but nothing seemed to present itself to me until the Autumn of 2009 when I decided to help a local lady look after her horse. A huge 16hh Irish Cob called Boswell (huge to me as I'm only 5ft6). I've always had a passion for horses and rode every weekend when I was younger. It was when Boswell came into my life that my art seemed to fall into place. People at the stables began to ask me if I could draw their horses and how much it would cost if I were to create a portrait. I was overwhelmed by the amount of interest. Then through word of mouth I was starting to get requests for dog portraits, cats and even rabbits and buildings. So, my detailed commissioned work and actually finding some kind of purpose in my art, all started here.
Having found a 'niche' with the portraits I felt the need to find my way with my personal work. The kind of work which expressed me as a person and not what someone else wanted me to create. Work which could be easily identified as a Roxanne Gooderham. I knew this wouldn't be easy. It can take an artist a lifetime to find out who they are style-wise with their work. It takes dedication, development, highs and lots of lows and sheer determination to become self assured on where it is you want your artwork to go. But I guess that's what being an artist is all about isn't it? The journey. For me, life would be pretty boring if I knew exactly where I was going to end up.
So, in 2010 I decided to take part in the 100 day challenge. I chose the horse as my subject (no surprise there 🤣). I hadn't experimented with art materials or techniques since I'd left university four years prior and knew I had to do this! The challenge was extremely successful. By the end, I had painted, drawn, made marks, loosened up, and had a ton of fun at the same time. I held a final exhibition of all one hundred works at a local, artist-led gallery in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, called 'White Tree Gallery' and sold 50 something artworks out of the 100.
I'm incredibly excited to have decided to take part in this project for a second time. With so many fabulous artists now on Instagram it's going to be amazing to see everyone's progress. I have, yet again, chosen the horse as my topic but this time I have ten years of art experience under my belt since the last one. I'm hoping to get under the skin of the horse, learning more about its anatomy and how it all actually works. I'll be reading up about it's skeletal and muscle structure alongside the creating so that it can better inform my art.
It's going to be a long journey and there are bound to be days when I don't feel like doing it but on those days I shall be in my studio creating even if for just 10 minutes. The act of 'doing' is what this is all about. Nothing has to be perfect, nothing has to be completely finalised and finished. This is a journey for my own self development but just so happens that you'll be coming along for the ride too 🤩🐴
The 100 Days Project start on Sunday 31st January.
You can follow my progress on my Instagram at @roxannegooderhamart
I'll be using the personal hashtag of: #100horsesbyroxanne
You can follow the entire project on Instagram using the hashtag: #the100dayproject
You can also read more about the project by visiting the official website here