Art Every Day Month Recap – Big & Small


This was my third year doing Art Every Day Month and I have to say that this was the easiest round by far thanks to my itty bitty art journal. In previous years, I had fun experimenting with various mediums from encaustic painting to knitting, from clay to collage, from beads to book arts. This time, I simply focused on filling up my 3″x3″ book with little doodles.

While I’ve been stretching myself and taking up space with my huge intuitive paintings, some of my biggest a-has this month have been from going small during AEDM. It’s been interesting playing with both the wall-sized and palm-sized extremes of the spectrum. To give you a sense of scale, above is a picture of me and my tiny journal in front of one of my big intuitive paintings. Thank you to my intuitive painting classmate and fellow AEDM’er Laura for taking the pictures! (There’s the whole crazy enchilada below and Laura’s sweet dog Ella in the corner).


Here are my AEDM 2009 take-aways and reminders:

  • Having limited space to work with was actually liberating. I was free to focus on just creating rather than worrying about form or result.
  • Time and again, I proved to myself that with a small surface area all I need is five minutes or less to make art. So really, there’s no excuse!
  • With the big paintings I challenge myself to take up space and to explore a wide range of emotions and feelings. With the small sketches, I challenge myself to be focused and succinct.
  • The most mundane things can provide the best inspiration. Doing a daily sketch encouraged me to pay attention to the details of my day-to-day life. Adding a humorous twist to otherwise humdrum household matters turned things like dirty dishes or cluttered closets into creative fun.
  • While I do well with accountability and structure, it was helpful to let myself off the hook. I set the intention to make art every day, but I told myself that I didn’t have to stress about posting every day or sharing every single piece. I empowered myself to make the challenge work for me and that made the process more doable and enjoyable.
  • Just like when I painted every day during the first Expressive Arts Teacher Training, doing art every day in November helped me track my experience. I have a visual record of what I was doing, what I was inspired by, or what I was feeling.

Well, I’m off to go sketch in my journal before the night is up!

6 thoughts on “Art Every Day Month Recap – Big & Small”

  1. Small is wonderful! I, too, have learned the beauty of 5 minute art. It’s so satisfying and you’re right: there’s no excuse. I’m hoping to get back to my art cards, inspired by you…

    And an additional question, Jenn: what kinds of watercolors do you use? I’ve always admired how you use them to accent your drawings. I’d like to go get some myself.

  2. I love the idea of 5 minute art. I’ve purchased a couple of small sketchbooks and am looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish in just a few minutes. Most days I’m lucky to find a few uninterrupted minutes!
    I watched your segment on View from the Bay and just wanted to say that I absolutely adore the necklace you were wearing!

  3. As always, you are very inspiring. My wife was inspired with your practice and has begun painting a few days a week after several years off. I love how art has reignited her creative passion.

    Recently, I completed a month of tweeting (@davidmcgraw) something of gratitude everyday. December features giving a gift a day (Thank you 29 Gifts). I am tweeting my daily progress.

    Perhaps you will be inspiring me into a month of daily art (#AEDM).

    In gratitude, David

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