100 Day Project

The End of the 100 Day Project and Days 91-100

Wow! I can't believe I'm finally done with the 100 Day Project! Sure, it was supposed to take place in 100 consecutive days, sure it was supposed to be completed by 2015, but who cares?! Even if it took me 278 days, I made 100 pieces of art based on Brian Eno's deck of cards, Oblique Strategies. I am feeling good today.

Regarding daily art projects, it can be difficult to get work done everyday.  Whether other freelance work to do: packing orders, painting orders or being stumped by the card, I found myself not staying super consistent with the project. Perfectionism also got in the way. Still, I was determined. 

I really liked straying from my usual materials when I did (embroidery, collage, weaving), but those tended to take more time so I couldn't do that frequently. I actually thought I would push myself more with size and that kind of thing, but with the decision to sell everything for $20 each AND with my other freelance work, there is just only so much time in the day so a lot of these pieces are on the small side. 

Some things I have found with what I made:

  • Blue - I really love using blue. Maybe it's my love of the ocean, the sky...I don't know, but I do like it. 
  • The natural world - I love painting nature. Whether space, water, plants, I love it all.
  • Humor - I really like a little humor and wit in my art. I actually didn't learn this until 2012 at my solo show at Seeing Things Gallery.
  • Mystery and Experiments - when I made a sudden decision to add a crazy color or cover something or run the art under faucet water, awesome things happened.
  • Style - I think my style evolved with the 100 Day Project. 
  • My - The work from this project felt like it was 100% me: from my experience, knowledge, memories and passions. 

The Future:

  • Books - I feel like I am ready to continue working on my book proposals now that I am clear on how I would like to illustrate them
  • Big - I am looking forward to bigger illustration projects, bigger paintings and installations after working so small
  • Ideas - The way ideas formed from this project blew my mind. The mental process of getting to something requires a mixture of stepping away to do something completely different and just sitting and plugging away at it until something happens. 
  • Change - I foresee a year of unexpected and magical new things

Please stop by Seeing Things Gallery on February 6th to see the last 20 drawings and any available 100 Day art. All will be for sale for that same fun $20 each price. 

And these are the last 10...


Day 91 Accept Advice

I asked Bryan to tell me what to paint and he said, "Paint about how you thought Interstellar would be and then paint how you felt about it after." At first I didn't want to do it, but then I thought it would be a good challenge. I wanted to paint on Color-Aid paper, a material I have used a few times in this project. As you can see, I thought it might be 'garbage in space', but then felt it was more like 'silly confusion in space.' Yes, I used a vintage Spirograph.


Day 92 What would your closest friend do?

Day 92 What would your.jpg

My sister would stay at home in her slippers and save money so she can travel the world. 


Day 93 Is there something missing?

Day 93 Is there something.jpg

I have been frustrated with the real estate market for my friends and family. It's insane in the Bay Area right now. It feels like unless one or both heads of household work in tech or you bought years and years ago, good luck getting a house in this area. There are waiting lines and bids for homes in places you wouldn't think would be competitive. It's nuts. 

I proposed that the community above has a community garden, basketball court and park. Each home has a full basement, clawfoot tub and porch. Each home would be $1,200 a month with options to buy. 


Day 94 Distorting Time

This one is pretty self-explanatory:)


Day 95 Use 'unqualified' people

I asked my non-artist dad and brother to name a color and a country. My dad said blue and my brother said Republic of Congo. 


Day 96 Ask people to work against their better judgement

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we all need to push ourselves more and do things we are afraid of. You can stand on a cliff and look at the view or you can dive in.


Day 97 How would you have done it?

I got a terrible flu last week and although I was able to break the fever in 24 hours, I did have a lingering cough and lethargy for days after. On this Sunday, I felt like a blob on a couch all day, watching movies and documentaries.


Day 98 Go to an extreme, move back to a more comfortable place

Of course this was painted on a very wet day in San Jose. A-Frames are something I paint frequently so its symbol of comfort has double meaning here. 


Day 99 In total darkness or in a very large room, very quietly

Another one relating to darkness, but in a different way. I painted this portrait in complete darkness on a 15 minute timer. I used one brush. I would dip it into the paint or onto the palette and test it on my fingers to feel if I picked up enough paint. I used my fingers to sort of pinpoint where the shapes were going in relation the edges. Such a fun experiment!

It's funny, throughout this project I did scratch some of the art and start over that day. I would feel like it wasn't good enough. I feel like I would have never shared a painting like this one before since it's so crude. It felt like no big deal when I did. 


Day 100 What wouldn't you do?

Day 100 What wouldnt.JPG

And the last one! I thought about this one for a little bit. I wanted it to be amazing or the best one or whatever, but as I brainstormed it I just wanted to convey the achievement I felt. At first I thought of painting a trophy, but that wasn't quite right. I then came up with this, which I think works perfectly. 

100 Day Project: Days 81-90

This last portion of the 100 Day Project has gone rather slowly. With the holidays, there was plenty to do: commissions, family gatherings, parties with friends, the calendar and more. Still, I have plowed through to complete the project. It was a little stressful and disappointing to realize that the project may not be completed by the end of 2015. I even schemed on sketching one and hour on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to rush and finish it. In the end, I decided to keep it going through the first week of 2016. This way, I can finish it right. 


Day 81 The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten

I finally tried my hand at weaving. It was really fun and brought back sewing skills I learned when I was younger. I learned to do needlepoint, embroidery and knit from my aunt and mom when I was a kid, so I felt I was applying a similar skill set here. Even though I had to plan some things, like deciding to make triangle shapes, I also let some of it be more free. I will definitely be making more of these. 


Day 82 Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

Ah, my old Mazda 626. This car was a real gem. Rust holes in the back by the window, Gap sucks sticker, Nike Sweatshops sticker, weird jimmy-rigged way to open the trunk, piles of cassettes and no air conditioning. This brown hatchback was my first car and although I loved it, it was a bit of a mess. The embarrassing detail here is that I now wear Nike's to work out, when I thought I wouldn't be caught dead in them then. We all get older and change I guess.


Day 83 Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

This card had me thinking of musicians that create repetitive music. Neu, Liars, Steve Reich, Spacemen 3, Philip Glass, Fela Kuti, Sleep, Can and Brian Eno all have a nice trancelike element to their music. 


Day 84 Give way to your worst impulse

That impulse would be coffee. One of my favorite places to go draw is at B2 in San Jose. It's in a giant room they call "the garage" due to the garage doors along the walls. This means lots of light and space to work. Also lots of people to watch. I happened to run into my friend Gordon De Los Santos this day and sketched him. 


Day 85 Be less critical more often

The sketch

The sketch

The final

The final

This was a really interesting one to me. Sometimes with the 100 Day Project I get an idea and put it right to paper. Other times, I mess around in my sketchbook and then go to paper. If you look at the first picture, you can see this one started out as just scribbles with my brush pen in my sketchbook. As I waved lines around I started to see a sky and then a brushstroke made me imagine words in the sky. Then I made mountains. Then I imagined it was San Jose.  I love this kind of evolution in art. Just intuition going off. 


Day 86 Honour thy error as a hidden intention

With this day, I had finally watched Grey Gardens, the documentary... I loved this shot of Little Edie's legs near a table. I played with the table perspective. I love when artists create odd perspectives in their work. It's something I don't really do but would like to experiment with more often.


Day 87 What mistakes did you make the last time?

Since Day 86 had off-perspective, I decided to draw normal perspective here. Something about the table, rug and flowers felt bland to me so I added a trap door below the table. 


Day 88

Sade has such an interesting voice. It's beautiful, yet so subtle. Not a lot of good singers use such restraint. 


Day 89 Question the heroic approach

I thought painting a road made sense here. I thought the road could be a metaphor for the hero's journey, thinking of the unknown that a hero faces. The first image came out nice, but it sort of bored me. I thought "Hey! I could run it under the faucet and blur it a bit! Hey! I could add lines going across making it more blurry and unclear!" I wanted it to feel like a memory or unsure so I feel that worked out. I'm going to try this technique in a future painting. 


Day 90 Don't stress one thing more than the other

Here I thought I could make a still life and focus equally on all of the objects. I had Bryan select things from around the house and arrange them for me. I thought he did a great job. It has a little bit of an adventurous sailor feel to me. A sign that I need to get back to working on my children's book? Probably. 

What Goes On 12/12/15


I supported the Kickstarter project for People I've Loved earlier this fall and received my reward this week. "Things will work out" is basically my life motto so I had to select this print. Carissa Potter's art is super funny and charming, so be sure to check out her work.



A dear family friend is turning 90 and we are celebrating her birthday in San Francisco today. I illustrated this poem by William Blake, one of her favorites. I thought it would look nice aged so I used paper dyed with tea and walnut ink for the writing. 



In the last couple of days, I've been making wood stands for my desktop calendars. My friend Chris, of Patton Design, generously lent me his time and skill to make these great stands. I've been sanding them down and will seal them today. I'm super excited to get these out to customers. If you want to order one, you can get them here



I'm sketching portraits for the last of my holiday orders right now. It's getting close to that time. I've had a few secret projects in the works too. More on that later. 



Gordon B2.JPG

The last two days, I've gone to B2 at San Pedro Square Market and sketched people. I ran in to my friend Gordon there Thursday and went there with Bryan Friday morning. I want to start doing this every week. 







100 Day Project: Days 71-80

Well, it's feeling pretty good right about now. I'm 80% done with the 100 Day Project. Funny thing is, this was probably the slowest going batch yet. At this point, I am really looking forward to the art to come after it's done. In fact, I'm already working on some new work based on these sketches from this project. 


Day 71 Take a break

I bought a large and long photograph of campers at the YWCA Girls Camp in 1917. They have the most interesting faces and I thought it would be fun to do a large Sumi ink painting of these ladies. Their expressions range so greatly! Some are smiling, some smirking and others frowning. It makes me wonder what life would have been like for them back in the day... 


Day 72 Only one element of each kind

On the day I drew this one, I realized lately I have been training jiu jitsu, sleeping, eating, reading and painting lately. It's been busy but productive around here. 


Day 73 Discard an axiom

I went with my dad to see Michio Kaku speak a little while back. His talk focused on the topic of "the future." It was pretty mind blowing to hear his vision of the future so I painted this portrait of him.

Day 74 Use an unacceptable color

I have often avoided the color pink because of the princess and girly association it has so I knew that would be my unacceptable color. While sketching with a friend at our neighborhood coffee shop, I decided to draw/paint these geraniums. 

Day 75 Simply a matter of work

I tossed a few unexciting ideas around until I thought of painting a Greek vase with some hard working silhouettes. I was so happy with how this turned out. I think I will be doing more silhouette and vessel paintings.


Day 76 State the problem in words as clearly as possible

I don't quite remember how I exactly came up with this, but it was exciting to me once it hit. I wanted to convey that my head was in the clouds. This painting came out quite naturally, from the hairs around the bun to the complementary orange and blue color scheme. 


Day 77 What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate

Some friends and I were headed to a cabin for a friend's birthday at the end of the week. My mind was on the mountains and the possibility of seeing snow (which we did). This serene scene reminds of a tiny painting I made a few years ago. 


Day 78 Retrace your steps

I decided to draw my favorite shoes I have had over the years. These classic shoes have been trustily getting me from one place to the next: Salt Water Sandals, Vans, Sperry Top Siders, Bass and Clark's Desert Boots. I really loved how these turned out. 


Day 79 Voice nagging suspicions

As you can see at the top of this image, I decided to compete in my first jiu jitsu tournament. It makes me nervous and excited, but I am so glad I decided to do it!

Day 80 Accretion

You know, the build up of layers over time. I once visited the Oregon Caves, which were at the end of miles of windy road, cold and dark as you would expect.

Well, onto the last 20! 

What Goes On 11/6/2015

This week's What Goes On is actually from the last two weeks. It's been a little crazy around here, but now I am back on schedule. 



I drew wine bottles in Sumi ink

I drew wine bottles in Sumi ink

Nancy Ahn ,  Suhita  and  Claudine  so focused on their sketches. 

Nancy Ahn, Suhita and Claudine so focused on their sketches. 

This month's SoFA Sketch was a small but great gathering at SoFA Market. I feel like in the last couple months, it has found its groove. I was a late on promoting it, didn't get around to it until the day of, but that made for an awesome table of artists working intimately. 

Some of the artists will draw from life and others from their imaginations. I love the mix. It always makes it fun. I am finding the 

Anabella 's halloween-themed sketches

Anabella's halloween-themed sketches

Suhita Shirodkar 's pumpkins. Her sketches are always so loose, yet representative. 

Suhita Shirodkar's pumpkins. Her sketches are always so loose, yet representative. 

Claudine 's amazing horror poster sketch

Claudine's amazing horror poster sketch

Bryan 's awesome cats on a dimly lit street. 

Bryan's awesome cats on a dimly lit street. 

Another sketch of  Suhita 's. I love the contrast of the bottles and the dark figures.

Another sketch of Suhita's. I love the contrast of the bottles and the dark figures.

The next SoFA Sketch is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday November 25th. Follow me on Instagram @francesmarin to stay in the loop on things.



No sneak peaks yet, but I have been doing some behind the scenes designing lately and can't wait to share them with you this month. Hint: bags and a calendar. 



Kabocha squash

Kabocha squash

I made this Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup this week. It's super good and hearty. You can also toast the seeds afterwards. It turned out killer!



I listened to the Halloween edition of This American Life, titled And the Call Was Coming From the Basement. I'll just say the segment on the raccoon freaked me out!



I FINALLY saw How to Draw a Bunny. After years of being recommended this movie by friends and waiting for it to appear for free on YouTube, it surfaced so I could watch it. Lesser known, Ray Johnson was an artist who was friends with a lot of famous friends: Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, James Rosenquist, Christo... He was so prolific and his work was ahead of its time. He hated galleries and museums. He was a also a mystery to many people. Watch it.

I've been pretty into the show The Americans. It takes place during the Cold War and focuses on two KGB spies disguised as a suburban American couple. I think a big part of why I like it is that it takes place in the 80's. I also love that it is pre-cell phone, so they have to figure things out via landlines . It's nice to see them handle things in a fairly low tech way. The acting is pretty good and it is nice and suspenseful.