This is great fun, but probably the most challenging project that we run in the art forum. One of our members posts a photograph of an object, scene, view and then the rest of us try and paint it. All of the paintings are emailed to me and I display them side-by-side on a web page at the end of the month. We then all get to see how everyone else tackled the subject, appreciating the area's where others did better than us, and where we did better than others.
It's very important to appreciate that I insist on a non-competetive atmosphere in the forum. By this, I don't mean people aren't interested in doing the very best they can, I mean that we don't set out to try and do better than each other. At the end of every month, no one says "Oh, his is the best" or "So-and-so's is worst". It's not about 'competing', it's about self-appraisal. As a result, even the most inexperienced beginner does not feel awkward or inferior if their painting isn't as good as some of the others - they learn from it, and that is the purpose. In addition, even the more experienced painters will find themselves faced with a subject they'd never considered attempting previously. It takes them out of their comfort zone and presents them with a new challenge.
We have held 7 such monthly projects now, and every one has been greeted by a myriad of groans along the lines of "Oh my goodness - we'll never paint that!". At the end of the month there are just as many surprised voices saying "Wow - that was great - I'm really pleased with my effort".
In respect for those members who may appreciate a little bit of anonymity I'm not posting a link here, but anyone who wants to see for themselves what a great project this is, is very welcome to register in the forum.