Lisa McLinden - Thoughtful Reflections on The 100 Day Project

Lisa McLinden is an artist and a beautiful soul that we are fortunate to know through the COTFA community. She is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and thoughtful human beings I know. She spoke to me in an email about her beloved "Momma G" who is also an artist, and who was a teacher. I can only assume that Lisa's Momma G has touched the lives of many and has passed on a lifelong love of learning and creative growth. If you know Lisa, I think you'll arrive at the same assumption. We're so glad to have her here today sharing her recent journey during The 100 Day Project.

Hello, my name is Lisa McLinden and I'm a Canadian artist with a deep, intrinsic love of the ocean. I'm lucky to live with my little family on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, which continues to be my greatest source of inspiration. When I paint, I find myself consistently drawn to more muted, delicate palettes and would say my work falls somewhere on the spectrum of interpretive and abstraction. Every piece of art I create is simply a humble attempt at deepening the interconnection between people and nature. It's my hope that my work makes the world a little brighter, a little more beautiful, simply, a better place. 

So, after a day of thoughtful reflection, this is my take on the #100dayproject. Firstly, before I get into sharing,  I want to express my gratitude to Elle Luna for hosting this movement. I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes of organizing such an endeavor, but I’m certain it’s more than many of us want to take on. So, thank you.

1. Without a question, the single greatest aspect of the #100dayproject is that it has been a gateway to bringing into my life some incredibly kind, supportive, generous, talented, kindred folk. When I started the project, it was simply an exercise in pushing myself creatively. Nothing more. I never imagined the community that would unfold throughout the process. I have grown to love many of my new friends, and am so thankful for each and every person that chose to follow me along in the journey.

2. Funny thing, life doesn’t stop for the #100dayproject. Nope, it doesn’t. There were many days I had to dig very deep to create a project worthy of sharing. Throughout the #100dayproject, I’ve been one of the primary caregivers for my sweet Momma G, who’s in her final life chapter. Diagnosed with terminal breast cancer weeks before the project started and given months to live, I wanted to put the project on the back burner, to put LIFE off until next year, to use it as an easy out. She wouldn’t hear of it! So, in the midst of nursing visits, doctor’s appointments , hospice appointments, needles, and a lot of hand holding and tears, I chose to channel my sadness and grief into this project. Many pieces were created in my studio. Others sketched out while I watched her sleep. The connection between nature, life, death, my art, has never been more evident to me then now.

3. Looking back at my 100 pieces, I can easily pick out the work that I consider to be mediocre. You have to be okay with sharing less than the perfect piece, if that even exists? This was the single greatest struggle I had with the project. I wanted things to look orderly, intentional, well crafted. Some days I think I succeeded. Others, not so much.

4. You can start off with a vision of the direction you want the project to go in, but you really need to remain open to the possibility that this may not come to fruition. I originally just started off by creating small paintings…within days, I felt a pull to the ocean, to the #coralreefproject. I’m so glad I had the sense not to resist the urge.


5. The timeline of 100 projects in 100 days is tight. Very tight. Many fellow artists participating in the project “fell behind” and I sensed they needed to justify or explain themselves. This troubled me. I get that the whole idea of the project is to push yourself creatively, but I don’t think many artists operate that way. Art is truly and expression of something much deeper than just putting pigment to paper. Forcing that creativity is frustrating, and can lead to lots of self doubt and questioning. This was the down side of the project for me.

6. Would I do it again? Well, I never say never, but at this point, I think it’s safe to say, I probably won’t participate again. I hope that doesn’t make me sound ungrateful in any way? That’s the last thing I’m feeling. I just pour so much into a piece, that I’d rather focus more on quality vs. quantity at this point in my life.

So, there you have it in a nutshell. Overall, I’m thrilled I participated. I’ve grown as a woman, a daughter, an artist. How great is that?

I asked Lisa what her Momma G would want to tell us if she could tell us something. Lisa answered with this. "One thing she'd say for sure would be, "love, patience, and kindness always win." 

This touched our hearts, Lisa and we think you're pretty amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. You can follow along with Lisa on her website: and on Instagram @lisamclindenart