Last year R. Gregory Summers decided it would be fun to host a painting challenge. So he invited many of his artist friends, and any of his Facebook friends, to paint a view within 100 feet of their front door. The resulting collection of pieces was fascinating. He’s back this fall with the challenge to paint the view out the back door. 

The Looking Out My Back Door Challenge started October 30 and runs through November 30. Summers says last year’s challenge attracted painters from five continents. He’s shooting for all seven continents this fall. (Anybody know any painters in Antarctica that Summers can enlist?)

“Honey, Did You Close the Gate?,” by R. Gregory Summers, oil, 16 x 12 in. Painted 25 feet from the artist’s door in Overland Park, Kansas.

Summers points out that the front yard is often where people put their best foot forward. The backyard is where people live. “It’s what the public is not so privy to,” says the Kansas artist. “The backyard is where families gather for picnics, or hang their clothes, store the lawn equipment and trash containers.”

There are no prizes, and little fame. But the challenge is a fun one.

“Early Morning Fog,” by Will Harmuth, oil, 16 x 20 in. Painted right out the artist’s back door in Washington, New Jersey. 

You can see all the current submissions to the challenge in an album on Summers’ Facebook page. The artist asks that you send your submission with the appropriate caption information to him via a message, and he will add it to his album. “One has to look beyond or maybe deeper into your land to find interest where you thought there was none,” says Summers. Are you up for the challenge?


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