Last January, I was still pretty depressed and I didn’t really have a great outlook on what 2015 was going to look like for me. Slowly but surely, I started to feel feelings again, and I also felt little rumblings of interest in things. When I started my 100 day project in August, it was the culmination of listening to all of these little spurts of inspiration I kept getting.

Having a 100 day project gave me the courage to make bad paintings and good ones. I had to walk away at the end of the day, whether I was happy with it or not. That was so FREEING! I have been a perfectionist my whole life and I can’t even tell you what a joy it was to give myself permission to suck.

So in an effort to feel such exhilaration again, I started thinking about what I wanted this year to look like. I know that I want to give myself monthly challenges, and I also know that I want to continue working with gouache, at least for the first couple months of 2016.

I decided to come up with a monthly prompt, born out of all the things that I love that I didn’t get to paint during my 100 day project. In essence, this is me still chasing the pink glow, which I’m guessing I will be doing for the entirety of my life.

One night in November I sat down and I knew I wanted to paint one of my favorite detectives from Masterpiece Mystery. I am a huge fan of all of the Mystery programs, and I had a really hard time figuring out just one detective to paint, so I did a portrait of the show’s host, Alan Cumming, instead.

Knowing that there are a lot of detectives from other shows I’d like to paint, I decided I had my first theme for the first month of the year. I wanted to give myself the weekends off, because while I LOVE painting, I also really like my kids, my husband, and occasionally doing a chore or two.

So my goal for January is to paint 20 portraits of 20 TV detectives. I am really excited about it, and in fact the rest of the themes I have planned out for the year!