Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perfection

White Duo - 5" x 7" Acrylic Gouoche on Water Color Paper. Gloss varnish finish.

Available on EBAY.CA


I remember when I started out on this journey of becoming a full time artist. I was worried that I would not find my "voice".  I was wondering if I could develop my style. I was pretty sure I didn't have one quite yet. When I looked at my works from the past 20 years and thought about what I enjoy doing most, I could see a trend happening. I do enjoy detail. I don't mind spending hours putting in every hair on a wolf's head. I love nature and had done several drawings of wild animals, horses, wolves, mountains etc in the past. The one roadblock I kept running into was that my work  was not coming out how I wanted it. I wanted it to be "perfect". No matter how many hours I worked and reworked a painting, it did not come out perfect!

I know some of you are snickering right now...with a big smirk on your face.

It was getting so bad that I avoided picking up the paint brush at any cost! So how was this going to work? You can't be an artist and not do art!

What I have realized over the  last couple of years is that I needed to relax a bit and just enjoy the experience of creating. The more I painted, the more relaxed I got and the more I began to enjoy it again. Sure I sometimes get stuck and can't get it right. But I have learned a few survival tactics for this; stop, put it away for as long as it takes to get up the courage to pick it up again and continue or stop, find the gesso and paint over it and start again!

I also learned that perfection is not attainable! Perfection is a lie. I am not able to, nor is any artist able to create the perfect painting. Sure, some come close, but remember this; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What one person may believe is perfection, is not to another.

Another little pointer I learned was that life is messy and so is art. I have learned to love experimentation and that is when great things happen. Sometimes I can't even recreate that "great thing" that just happened on the canvas! And its awesome! I love that! See,  I'm getting excited already!

So those of us who are "perfectionists", what are we really? Just trying to do the impossible!

A quote I just found has been added to my favorite quotes list;

"Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in." ~Leonard Cohen

In other words, imperfection is what allows for divine intervention. Only the Divine is perfect.