This past week I have been working on two new paintings for an art show at the Western Heritage Museum and Gallery in Vernal, Utah. It will be on display from March 3rd to the 27th.
It's nerve-racking to prepare for a show, but it also gives me a real rush.
It feels so good to choose that perfect reference photo (one I or my husband have have taken, so I can view it on the computer screen in my studio), pick out just the right sized canvas, set it onto the easel, set a brand new palette and start playing in the paint. Time ceases to exist and away I go on a wonderful adventure, all the while thinking,"This is the one. This is going to be my best painting ever."
Kellie Buckner, a fellow writer, said on her blog, that her Bestseller
novel is always in some stage of development.
That's how I feel about every painting I begin. Yet, when I get it finished, even if I am fairly happy with the results and someone else likes it enough to lay out their hard-earned money to purchase it, I always know that it isn't quite my "bestseller." Not yet.
Disappointing? Yes, a little.
But when I begin the next painting tomorrow or the next day or the next (I have to have at least one in the works all the time), I will be in the same frame of mind I was in when I began my last one. Even if that one is better than any of my others, it will never measures up to the painting I saw in my mind. But -- if it WAS perfect -- would I still want to paint? Would I think to myself, "Wow! I did it! Now I can stop painting."
No. I would most likely say to myself,
"Wow! I did it! But can I do it again?"
Actually, I think it's good to always have the ideal of perfection in our minds to keep us ever reaching for progress. That principle works for life and all the other achievements we pursue. But we must never let that ideal discourage or disuade us. That would be the worst outcome to striving for perfection.
What amazes me is that I see perfection in someone else's painting.
My friend and mentor, A. D. Shaw, does PERFECT paintings all the time. But why, after creating hundreds of fantastic paintings, does he say he's still striving for that perfect painting?
I think our obsessions to create perfect art are terminal conditions.
Actually, I hope they are. What a wonderful way to go.