lynn whipple's art blog

Sparking and Savoring the Artful Life

100 bad paintings


So, the old “100 bad paintings” project is still in full swing!! how about you?? Making anything? I am up to about 2000+ bad paintings by now…..some are better, some just OK and some look like an iggy, forgotten old chicken burrito from last Tuesdays lunch. BUT, that’s not the point! And what is the point? JUST MOVE YOUR HANDS AND MAKE STUFF! YAY! And when you are not even paying attention, unexpected thrills show up  in small and surprising ways. They sound like little “ah-ha’s” and low mutterings to yourself, such as, “Hey, that actually kinda looks like the thing, WOW” or even better, “Hey, that doesn’t actually look like the thing, but I love it!” Or my favorite, “Whoops! Holy crap, it’s late! Where did the time go????”

So, to show you what a brave a little toaster I am, I am going to (finally) put a link to my completely underground, nobody knows about, Plein Air Painting blog. It’s just a spot where I have some paintings posted and not much else. It exists quietly off the the left at  It’s kinda shy. be gentle.

Meanwhile, lets plop up a few bad paintings that are just hanging around the stu stu studio for kicks!!

here goes:

A fuzzy house i painted in michigan this summer. hummm

this little shed and house thing in the grass….kinda okish


my mom loves this one, she actually wants it. gotta love the mom

this one is like that crappy burrito I was talking about. ewwww

i only wish I did this one!! it’s a old paint by number and it ROCKS!!! xoxo

Ok kids!! It’s back to YOU! enjoy the quest!!!! Creativity is a blast-o-rama!!

wuvs, xoxooxoxxo


okay. these are so bad, I am not even putting them up. yet. But, the idea here is, that I believe that in any new pursuit, creative or otherwise, there is a learning curve. the learning curve, quite often, is not all that good looking. it’s okay. really. how in the world are we going to get better at anything if we are a-scared of the messy beginning parts. So, in that spirit, as our teacher David Passalaqua used to say, you are going to make 100 bad paintings, so you had better get started!  You can insert anything you are working on, as in 100 bad songs, so you better start singing, or 100 bad drawing, 100 bad cupcakes, 100 bad boyfriends..humm….What really happens is, it frees you up to play and not worry. now you can enjoy the process. the truth is you get better really quick, maybe even by #19. try it!

Here is my process of learning how to paint in oils. I will post my efforts here so you can feel good about yourself.


brave girl is now posting a few morning paintings

latest little crappy guy of a bottle of liquin

ok! its time for an update, holy moly, past time. I have been outside painting almost every day for a while now. here are a few of the latest ones. no laughing. ok go ahead, who am i kidding.

windy alley

across the street

purple house

good morning!

good morning!

may morning painting oil on board

may morning painting oil on board

a may morning painting, oil on paper



32 thoughts on “100 bad paintings

  1. Hi Lynn,
    I love your work! Especially your ‘Ninnies’… so much so that I’ve written a post about them on my art blog ‘The Jealous Curator’. That’s where I started anyway, but then I found your blog and this 100 Bad Paintings section. I LOVE it. Totally inspiring! Thank you 🙂

    Here’s the post:

  2. if these are #1 and #2 then you are a star already! everything you touch turns golden. -j

  3. Dearest Jealous Curator,

    YOU! I am jealous of your amazing blog! so much to be jealous about. I love what you write and what you are interested in. I will re visit often, and see what you are up to! Thanks for enjoying the bad paintings! I am doing one right now, and it’s a pip, seriously! Thanks so much for the share, I will link us up! XOXO Lynn
    p.s. did you paint??

    • Hi Lynn,
      Thank you! I’m so happy you like the blog!
      Yep, I’m a painter… turned mixed media artist… who makes my money as a graphic designer 😉 Although I have to say, I’m enjoying being ‘The Jealous Curator’ more than anything else these days. Maybe there’s a fabulous curator/art writer job out there somewhere… Keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂

      ps. Since today is the first day of a new year, I plan on starting my 100 bad paintings TODAY. I’ll keep you posted on their terrible>good>great progress!

  4. Yeah YOU!!! Happy New Year, and I will totally enjoy your 100 Bad Paintings Journey!!! Please keep me posted! You have inspired me to get back on the blog wagon too! Maybe I should embark on a 100 bad blog posts in 2010! that would be more way more than I posted last year. For me, there is just so much to enjoy. I guess we have to put our little fingers to work!

    all my besT!
    keep sharing!

  5. Lynn, Stupendous idea : ) The only problem, I look at your two firsts ~ AND I FIGURE ~ I might have to call mine 1,000 Bad Paintings!
    But I totally think its a wonderful idea, for all us humans.
    I love your Blog 🙂

  6. You know Mary Ellen, it’s true, I have just realized that it might be 1000 bad paintings for me as well, or 5000, if I am lucky enough to be able paint so many!!
    More and more, I realize it is all just in the doing. We don’t really even need to label them good or bad. The better idea is just to enjoy whatever is right in front of us at the moment, even if it’s just washing the dishes or petting the cat.

    As for painting or anything you have in mind to begin, why not just start! Start with one, knowing you will build on it as you go. It’s a glorious game!

    And thank so much for your kind words.
    That makes me smile!!

    • Hi Lynn, I came across your site googling “bad paintings” in frustration, and your freshness made me feel much, much better. You’re so right about “just enjoy whatever is right in front of is in the moment” – otherwise how can we keep going? The answer is not by gritting our teeth!

      (I am working on this. But sometimes I do have beautiful moments, even hours, of being present and enjoying what is in front of me. Good think since I’m only on oil painting #7 so I’ve got a looong way to go even to 100!)

      BTW I love love love your Windy Alley painting. How did you get the pink underlayer in the walls? So gorgeous and atmospheric. 🙂

      • YAY!!
        I am happy that you found a little somethin-somthin that was helpful! I must be on 5000 bad paintings by now, but I learn something for each one, at some point in each one there is a moment of “OMG! I think I am on to something here!!” which is why I keep coming back 🙂 I love it most, when hours and hours go by and I am completely captivated. When you have no sense of time, you know something is cooking!
        I’m glad you like the Windy Alley painting! I put a wash of a warm pinkish-orange color on my canvas before I start, that way a little zing (that’s what my friend Clare calls it) peeks out! Try it, I bet you will enjoy it!!

  7. BRAVO!!! Marlon would be so proud.
    Can I just say tht you, my friend, are a great and insp[iring writer. I will be reading your postings on a weekly basis to keep my spirits soaring. Thanks for doing and for being.
    See ya soon!

  8. HI HI HI HI HI!!!

    You! You are the most continually inspiring entity I know! I do wish we were on Marlon’s art island together, right now. Basking in the glow of creativity and drinking rum punch! Hopefully with a cute pool boy in our sites.

    We were JUST marveling over your book! It is all things good, brilliant and righteous! as are YOU!

    How is the documentary going?

    Today, I am humping it to finish up for The Grove. Fun Fun!!! At least the deadline makes things get done.

    I am glad you will visit often, as I love me some Chris!


    p.s. and how is your painting coming???

  9. Hello Lynn,
    I have always loved your mixed media work. Met you in Ann Arbor at Art Fair. I am inspired by your work…always look for you when you are in town. Love to see your blog XXOO continued blessings!

  10. These are bad? I love the thick texture and colors, really these are great. Makes me almost want to get out my oil pants again, but I hate the time it takes to dry-I’m impatient I want instant satisfaction!

  11. haha! thank you. it’s such fun pushing around color, I love it. What if you played in acrylics or watercolor??
    I am impatient too and oils are messy, but i love the buttery feeling so much it’s worth it.
    as long as you are having fun or learning, it’s all good!

  12. Bad paintings my ass. Nothing you do, Lynn Whipple, is ever bad and sometimes this pisses me off! I have had you on my mind this week ever since I saw your two pieces hanging in Starbucks and I thought to myself- Lynn Whipple has that mysterious thing I’ve been trying and failing to achieve in my art, and that is to have a signature style, so uniquely her own, that she can explore any subject matter she chooses and the work will still, quietly and calmly and with the utmost confidence, announce to the viewer “I was created by the artist Lynn Whipple!”


    • YOU, MADAM, ARE A PAINTING GENIUS! sersly, you move that color around and give it the “what for” more than anyone I know! You have no fear of texture, scale, design, subject matter, nothin! You are fearless. And I can always tell it’s yours. So backatcha!!
      That was very nice to read, what you wrote, and I must say it made my day. I’m still smiling, thanks, that is high praise coming from you! I am tipping my imaginary hat your way!!
      It’s good to be artists, we’ve got that going for us!

  13. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Day 2: A Painting a day

  14. love that idea so free-ing and it’s pretty much central to my idea of the experimental art e-course: it’s definitely all about PLAY!

    Love your work, and I link to you in my Journal Your Dreams workshop – hope that’s cool? 🙂

    And, can I just say, these painting are soooo not bad, they are great. how very lovely, I would have one on my wall and well, you’re making me wanna get my oils out and just do a painting a day to see what happens. Oh my, if only there were more hours in the day etc etc.


    • PLAY is the answer! OOOOO!! I will have to look up your workshop, sounds fantastic!
      yes we all need more hours in the day, so many things to play with! Painting is quite a joy and a tricky bugger, so it keeps you/me interested thats for sure.
      Cheers to you Ameila!!

  15. Lynn-

    This posting reminded me of a quote in the movie “Beautiful Losers.”

    You’ve got to give yourself permission to have a lot of bad ideas at first. And then, the good idea will come.

    Mike Mills in “Beautiful Losers”

  16. Hi, bad is just another word for artist inspiration . These are not bad but part of a growing process, each time I do a piece I think well it’s better than a few years ago.

    • I totally agree!! really there is no such thing as “bad” as long as you are moving your hands, everything is heading in the right direction!

      plus its fun to learn and see progress in whatever area strikes your fancy. Here’s to 100 more!


  17. Hi Lynn! Greetings from Russia, Moscow.
    I like your work very much! Especially your project in ‘In this Garden’… so much that I’ve done some ATC-cards as copies of some your works. I’ve written a post about it with link to your web-site: Thanks for your art!

    • thats fantastic!! you did a great job!
      I love that you are in Russia, it makes me feel like the world is just a tiny peanut!
      Happy creating… do you say that in Russian?

  18. Thank you, Lynn! It was so great to get your comment!))

    Happy creating is Счастливого творчества! schastlivogo tvorchestva! – in Russian)))

  19. Thank you, thank you for the inspiration and reminder to PLAY! I am a recovering perfectionist and reading this is giving me permission to go ahead and paint/create badly! I love to create, but hold myself back because “I don’t know what I’m doing”. WHO CARES. Here’s to more bad painting…because I’ll be PAINTING!!

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