Earlier this year I started painting photos I found on Instagram in a watercolor sketchbook as a way to practice my watercolor skills and develop a regular painting practice. I filled my sketchbook with 50 of these paintings over the course of 84 days. When I was evaluating what I wanted to do next, I was struck by the number of days it took me to finish my sketchbook. My immediate association was with the Jules Verne book “Around the World in 80 Days” because so many of my paintings were of international locations. That was when I decided that I wanted to continue using Instagram for reference photos but rather than just selecting photos that appealed to me at any given time, I wanted to plan out a virtual trip around the world in 80 days of painting.
- paint my way around the world with the help of my fellow Instagram users
- divide the world into 24 segments using the longitude lines as a way to define areas (every 15 degrees beginning at the Prime Meredian).
- select one photo from those posted on Instagram that will fall within each world segment
- begin with the area between the Prime Meridian and 15 degrees East for the first photo selection
- after consent is received from the photographer, paint an image using the photo as a reference