Day 335 – Rules? What Rules?

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.  Katharine Hepburn

I set some rules upon myself on Day One of Art Apple A Day. They were:

A 5” x 5” image – no other restrictions except that it could not be photographs or digital art. It had to be done by hand. My marks and hands interacting with the page.

There were two thoughts in my mind in regards to the above. One, I needed a small manageable size (anything much bigger would have become too much to continue to produce everyday) in hindsight I think 6″x6″ might have given me just a bit more freedom in the creative process but I was also thinking that you can buy a pre-made frame and mat with a 5″x5″ opening. The second thing I had in mind with this was that I had a vision of all 365 pieces lined up like calendar groupings in an eventual exhibit. Calendar days are square and with the art being square all of the apples could be framed and hung like the months they are a part of. I can see it – hopefully it will happen one day.

This “rule” has given the apples a certain continuity and added purpose but many days or nights when I went to create, I would feel an urge to do something far beyond the limits of these constraints. Sometimes creativity gets very overwhelming and the feeling to let that energy get out can take up a lot of energy in just the thinking about it. This is a feeling that I missed about myself for many years when I was so sick. I would try to force myself to create but it didn’t lead to art that felt good or I liked. It was interesting to observe this and extremely frustrating to experience it. Another aspect to my lack of creativity in those years was that I did not get excited by the colors. The use of vibrant color is what jazzes me when I create. For me to make art with a lack of color is a practice and exploration. Using bold beautiful color combinations is what naturally comes out of me. I was very sick for a number of years and the changes to me were huge. My vibrancy and joie de vivre were gone and along with that I could not see the colors. They were dull and muted and sparkle-less. Finally I found a doctor who believed me and worked with me until we found a diagnosis and a course of treatment that finally started to give me my life and self back. And one day thankfully I really believed that the colors returned in their full splendor – and with them so did I!

Tomorrow marks my last month of Apples. I’m feeling excitement and melancholy in extremes and with these emotions and reflections has come a decision about what I’d like to do for these last 30 days.

When I announced to my friends and family that I would be endeavoring on this project, many thought “she’s doing what?” And proceeded to place bets on my failure. I don’t blame anyone for that feeling. I doubted myself too but there was something in me that knew so deeply that I would accomplish what I set out to do. There have been two days in this process that I thought I might not make my daily apple. Day Eight – right at the beginning when it would have been so easy to walk away, thankfully Doug & Elizabeth encouraged me that night and I created “Spiraling Out of Control” – not very good but it honored where I was in my head that day and I got it done. And much more recently, Day 324. The emotions and exhaustion of the day seemed too much to create anything – I eeked one out and wrote about the feeling of that night a few days later on Day 326 – Brain Freeze. Those are the only two days I felt at a real risk of failing although Doug might have a different observation. I’m hoping that my last month is smooth sailing but to be honest, I know that it will be just as challenging so I’ve decided to break my self imposed rules and let my creativity take me anywhere it wants to go!

So tonight I post a 5″x5″ piece. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring when I can do whatever my heart desires! When I told Doug of my plan he said “noooooo!” Not quite the reaction I expected and then I explained why I want to do this and he understood a bit more. But because oh his strong reaction, I’ve decided to ask all of you.

What do you think? Should I do this or finish out the year as I laid out originally? You guys vote and I’ll do whatever you want because these apples are for you! Let me know what you think – and be honest!

Until tomorrow.


Day 335 was created in watercolor drips, collage apple made from a page out of my old dictionary, a piece of origami mesh, my little stamp letters. All stitched together on my $100 sewing machine!

11 Replies to “Day 335 – Rules? What Rules?”

  1. Creat to your heart’s content with NO restrictions! That’s my vote! Finish out the year with a BANG!! :-D. xo

    1. So… I chickened out LOL I guess creating to my heart’s content will have to wait until I feel truly free from all constraints. In the end I think it’s the right decision but somewhat against my nature. xox

  2. My thought is that you should let that neat square go for this last month….you deserve to do what you feel like doing, having been so constant for the past eleven months.
    I’m looking forward to seeing great colours, great designs and your personality shining through. Nothing to lose….. we all love what you do, so feel free 🙂

  3. Jenna, I’ve been suscribed to your site for the last two months and I love and admire your work. My though is: you are an artist and this is your project, why should you be obligated to follow any rules ? And also you make the rules, you can change the rules. LOVE, CESCA.

    1. Cesca,
      I’m so very very happy to feel the connection with you in my life again. I miss you sister – I’m going to figure out how to come see you. It has been too long. I guess you see that I’ve decided to keep with the “rules” – no regrets! I love you!

  4. Go for whatever. Why not?
    I believe in a lot of rules or ethics. They keep us focused, organized and polite. But this apple rule can be broken by the person who created it. Or 30 more 5 x 5 apples would be great, too. What an exciting month for you!

  5. My thoughts are that you have accomplished so much in the last 11 months and you should do whatever you want to do.

    My initial thought was that some might not see it as legitimate if you break from your rule, but it was a rule that you imposed, with a specific thought behind that rule. I see no need to worry, as you are still producing an apple a day.

    A slight word of caution though. Bigger projects can take more time, and I would really hate to see you disappointed if you ran into a hang up.

    In any case. We are so proud of you, and your family support thus far, and you should do what you feel best.

    1. Vic,
      Your word of caution weighed into my decision also – I want to do bigger, and different pieces but you are right – I would hate to take on too much and not complete the pieces. And this last month is going to be so very busy. Difficult decision for sure – I was so glad for the advice and thoughts from you and everyone.

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