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Monday, March 21, 2016

Less than Perfect

It seems to me that we artists are harder on ourselves than the average person.  When we make a mistake, have a bad day, mess up on a portrait or commission, it is out there for everyone to see and make comments on.  Musicians, athletes, politicians are allowed to have bad days and we only remember their overall performance (unless it was televised and recorded, then it lives on and on).  Still is seems that artists have a terrible perfectionist attitude and feel like every stroke of the pencil and paintbrush has to be excellent. 

We want everything we do to be a "masterpiece" because then we have proven that we are artists worthy of the title.  Yet golfers don't mind practicing, and ball players, chess players, bowlers, etc.  Why is it we feel we are only as good as the last great painting or drawing we did?  I don't know but I need, like most artists, to just let go of what’s "right" and let it flow out of me.

My challenge has been to draw 100 hands to obtain the much-needed practice.  As I continue to practice drawing hands, some are great and some are awful.  I have to learn to give myself a break and allow some to be less than perfection.  I am, after all, practicing to get better at hands, not practicing to beat myself up for my own errors.  It is a lesson we all need to remind ourselves of now and then.  Just be kind to yourself today.  The only person you have to be better than is the person you were yesterday.