This blog is such a cool idea: Different Strokes from Different Folks
Artists submit paintings based on a photo provided. Every couple weeks there is a new photo. There is a wide range of skill represented, but I have no doubt that regular participants are improving their skills from participating.
I didn't know about this site until last week, but I own two paintings created for the challenge. I bought one of the paintings sort of on accident because I thought I had already bought it. I had both in my Favorites on Etsy and bought the less expensive one first, then sort of lost track. They are very different except for the three white pumpkins. They are different sizes, medium and composition, and I didn't realize they had a common inspiration until now. I thought it was a weird coincidence, just something in the air. Looking now I can see that both listings clearly say where the inspiration came from, I just didn't pay any attention before.
(Click pics to enbiggen)
I like the idea of voluntary assignments. I chaffed under assignments in school, but restrictions imposed from external forces usually made my work better. When left to my own devises my work was mushy and mostly without focus. This challenge could be a good way to brush up on basic skills.
Tangentially related: I sorted through most of the papers I possess while on vacation. I found slides of my work from my Bachelor of Fine Arts senior show. There is some other work I hadn't thought of for years in there too. I've added them to my list of things to scan into digital format. When I get to it I'll post anything that doesn't mortify me. Some of it still cracks me up.