900 Days as installed at the Lyceum Gallery, 2022

100 Days Projects

Learning to let go and not worry about the end result

Several years ago, I participated in a group exhibition called “Edge”. The curator asked the artists to challenge themselves by finding new ways of working — literally an “edge”.

In response, I set out to free myself from too much thinking. I gently asked my narrative, representational impulses to take a rest. This new piece would be abstract, and fuelled by the joy of worry-free making. I said, “Let’s see what happens when a piece is invited to make itself!” But how to achieve this?

A description of the process sounds rather convoluted, but it flows intuitively in practice. It’s a bit like keeping a visual diary. To start off, I divided a panel into 100 equal squares, and concealed each square under a numbered piece of paper. For 100 consecutive days, I picked a number by lottery, uncovered only that square, and filled it with a tiny painting or collage. Immediately it was hidden again under its paper blanket. To keep the piece from having a dominant orientation, the panel was rotated daily a quarter-turn clockwise. Only after the one hundredth day were the paper covers allowed to come off, revealing the finished piece. Surprise!

Exhilarated from both the process and the result of the first 100 Days project, I was sparked to do it again, multiple times over several years.

Once, I introduced circles as a daily theme just for fun. As soon as it was was unveiled, I knew immediately that it was the start of a series of nine unified, interchangeable panels – a full 900 Days.

The final 900 Days panel was completed just prior to the Lyceum Gallery show in April 2022, the first time that all 900 tiny paintings were seen together.

How it started

100 Days I. Mixed media on panel, 20" x 20", 2014 | SOLD
100 Days II. Mixed media on panel, 20" x 20", 2015 | SOLD
100 Days III. Mixed media on panel, 12" x 36", 2016 | SOLD

How it's done

Step 1. Divide a prepared panel into 100 rectangle. Step 2. Rotate the panel 1/4 turn every day.
Step 3. Lottery style, pick a number from 1 to 100. Step 4. Uncover the corresponding rectangle.
Step 5. Paint a small painting in the exposed rectangle. Step 6. Repeat steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 daily for 100 days.