On perfection...

I am a perfectionist. I'm not saying that I'm perfect, or what I do is perfect, but I am always striving for perfection. This is a horrible affliction. It's stopped me from doing things my whole life for fear of not doing them perfectly. When I was in school, I loved art class but I rarely finished my projects - I'd agonize over them for ages and then discard them when I deemed them imperfect. The little canvas above, I worked on for days and days - moving things slightly, fiddling with the paint, making the papercuts. I have decided that I really have to loosen up and follow the Japanese concept of wabi sabi - beauty in imperfection. Because, perfection is absolutely impossible to acheive - I don't think it even exists. I'm getting better though - I've made huge steps in recent years by starting this blog, getting out there, and showing my work to everyone.

Having said all that, I'm planning to do a series of these little bird canvases - 8x8 square and 4 inches deep - so they'll look really cool on a bookshelf or mantle. We've had loads of hummingbirds in our backyard lately, feasting on bee balm - so I might do one of those next.

If it's a long weekend in your area - hope you have a happy one!


Liz said...

I love your perfect bird, sitting on its perfect branch, adorned with its perfect flowers... so so very lovely... thank you for showing us... I know oh so well, "it must be perfect, the way I see it in my head" syndrome... stops me from finishing so many things... I too work hard at overcoming

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I believe my brother's sense of perfection in his work is incapacitating, but mine just frustrated me. In book arts class my teacher made me say a mantra- I am not a machine + enjoy "happy accidents" and the idea of non-mass produced handmade work. It's quite freeing to get to that point, although I still strive for some sense of...let's just call it accuracy.

I do love these wonderful new pieces

Steph said...

Wow. I love this. I dragged my husband off the couch to look at the canvas.

Only Allah is perfect... sometimes, you just have to finish a project and walk away. When you look back at it, later on, sometimes you have enough distance to let go of the things you weren't completely happy with.

That being said, I'd be completely happy to have that canvas hanging in my house!

BookGirl said...

Trudi, I call it the "A student" syndrome. I recall now, in horror, that in college I once signed up for a Spanish class, rather than a French class (which I longed to take), because I knew Spanish and therefore was more likely to get an 'A' there than in the French class. What a waste!

Risk-taking has never been easy for me because it's not a sure thing. And perfectionists surely do appreciate certainty. I wrote about this in my blog at http://tinyurl.com/2vp2f3


Veronica TM said...

that piece is very close to perfect, i would say.
i hear you, trudi, i am the say way and have that big voice in my head saying "that is not good, you don't know how to do it" every time i make something. but, like you, i still go on and keep doing it.
i hope you are having a wonderful week.