At the end of May, I decided to take a break from social media so I could focus on making without the constant background noise that seemed to be sucking the life out the urge to create anything. It was a self-imposed blackout that I hoped would allow at least some of the creative light back in. Inspired by a recent documentary, I decided to work on a series of 12 paintings simultaneously rather than a single piece, and within a couple weeks I had completed twelve new pieces of work. Seeing them spread out on the bench was like fuel to keep going, so I set a fairly ambitious goal: to create 53 new paintings — including the first twelve — by my 53rd birthday on July 21st. Well, my birthday was yesterday and at about 4 o’clock, I put the final brushstrokes of black edging on the last piece, which was actually piece number 54. A week or so ago, when I still wasn’t quite sure I’d make the goal, I sat down with Jon to talk about the project.

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You can find Jon on Instagram @jonwilkening or on his website at jonwilkening.com

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Music in this episode: Take Me Higher (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 4.0

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