This is not a new painting (does not count as one of the 52 for this year), but I was cleaning out the closet & ran across an old binder full of watercolor portraits that I completed while I was a senior in college.
During that year, I had one of the best artistic experiences of my life. I painted once a week w/ a group of senior citizens. They were a blast. It was great to listen to music with them, converse about everything from squirrel soup to modern painting techniques and to (I know this is a platitude but nonetheless true) learn from the people that I was supposed to be teaching.
One week one of the ladies brought a book in to teach me a lesson about the myriad of uses for black in painting & color mixing. I had forbidden them to use black (a teaching method used to encourage learning color mixing & discourage letting black take over a piece). She made some good points...That week I started using black in my paintings (albeit sparingly). The broader lesson learned was that, being a person who likes rules & lists & organization, sometimes I need to challenge myself to break the rules in order to push my art forward.
-And you'all thought young people were the biggest proponents for breaking rules!