Creativity- Releasing Perfectionism

Having given myself permission to paint with bolder colours and abandon the expectation of replicating the perfection of photographs, I am venturing into more ambitious projects.

Mistakes, I am learning, can be tossed or mended.  The featured image was meant to be a sunset over water, but my mother called just as I was putting paint to paper and the distraction resulted in a less than satisfactory image.  Discouraged I set the work aside, and then decided to turn the water aspect into long grass.

Mountains my art“Would you be interested in a painting from your mother for your birthday?” I asked my son – too polite to say no.

“I’d love a mountain scene,” he offered.  For four years he lived in Calgary, and still hears the call of the slopes.  I googled a photo of the mountains as viewed from his former home and created this piece.  He says he loves it, but I am dissatisfied with the sky – an area I hope to explore more when I take lessons in October.

IMG_2405I have many images sketched and awaiting my attention, and while I try to paint as often as I can, several end up in the trash pile.  That’s okay; I am learning, I keep reminding myself.  This is just the beginning.

Recently, we took a road trip to Ottawa, following back lanes through rural Ontario.  Stopped at a quaint diner, I took a picture of the outside view.  To date, this is my favourite piece and I’ve framed it with grey to accent the window effect.

Now my middle daughter has requested a water scene for her birthday, so my wheels are turning in a different direction.  Likely I’ll do a few practice runs before I attempt the final product.  She is a perfectionist, so pleasing her will be quite a feat.  Actually, I’m okay with my art being relegated to hidden away places.  At least she’ll have something personal from me.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

24 thoughts on “Creativity- Releasing Perfectionism

  1. I understand this frustration.Watercolors are a difficult medium to control at least for me. I painted this sunset by the beach once but felt frustrated with how things were blending or not blending. I had an art teacher mention some tips about using salt and sponges. I also tried using some watercolor pencils, but I think I added too much water. The ones you’ve shown here are enjoyable to view though VJ. I hope you continue on with it. 🙂

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  2. When the artist is someone you care about, having their art around you brings a different kind of warmth to your home. It is great that you are taking risks and trying new things in your art. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked all your paintings. I also enjoy the commentary. You encourage me to get out my paints and brushes or to frame something I have done already. I love being surrounded by art and am thinking about writing about each piece of art we have in our home (another project). Ever since that course I took on ekphrastic writing, “art” as a prompt has intrigued me.

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  4. Not only is your daughter a perfectionist, but I would also say that you are as well. Art is art, it is what it is as we put it down on paper. Then we try to manipulate it to look better or we toss it out so nobody can see our imperfection.
    Isn’t art the greatest teacher of living in the moment, being with who we are, accepting our scars, not being afraid of showing our colours just as we are? We will never be perfect, and when we think
    “Oh this is just right, absolutely perfect!” down the road we will find fault with it. I have just finished ripping and tossing out artwork, after artwork recently, then regretted it. I had taken photos of them all. When I looked at the photos sometime later I saw beauty in them I had not seen before. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel that sigh. I always take photographs too, and that way I can step away from the original and hopefully be a little more objective. Would love to see your work, Hélène. What medium do you use?


      1. Thank you V.J. I don’t use a photo or subject when I paint. I just paint and whatever happens is what I go with. But I do critize my intuitive paintings and want them to be something else at times, try to add things and ruin the whole thing….crazy isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Intuitively does not require skill, it is intuitive, therefore it ends up being what it is. Every painting tells us something about ourselves. They are quite revealing. We need to understand though what the painting is showing us, parts of ourselves, when we paint intuitively.

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