Friday, March 12, 2010

pefectionism

So I'm reading along through Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection and read the section on "Perfectionism" and BAM! a lightning bolt hits me. This is me. This describes my problem exactly!
"Instead of creating freely and allowing errors to reveal themselves later as insights, we often get mired in getting the details right. We correct our originality into a uniformity that lacks passion and spontaneity."
My husband thought this was particularly apropos:
"For the perfectionist, there are no first drafts, rough sketches, warm-up exercises. Every draft is meant to be final, perfect, set in stone."
And finally, what I've not been able to explain to others:
"In this way, artists who do not appear blocked to the outside eye experience themselves as blocked internally, unable to take the risk of moving into new and more satisfying artistic territory."
THAT has been my problem. Once in awhile lately, I've been able to paint with some "verve" but rarely. Everything has felt calculated and bogged down. Nothing is coming easily or freely, because I am not letting it. So today, ah... today. I blocked in and I played with paint and I mushed things here and there and I didn't paint an apple, but I painted red and green shapes with shadows and highlights. And it felt so good.

This section reminded me to reread this article I have torn out of an old magazine... a piece by Kevin Macpherson entitled, "Passionate Painting: It Takes More Than Just Technical Mastery to Create a Great Painting." (Southwest Art, Sept. 2000)
"If art is only a laborious mechanical re-creation of reality without any emotional direction or purpose, it is only a technical exercise. If as artists we can reveal our emotions in a well-crafted statement, we are nearing excellence in art."
Amen.

-- Robin

3 comments:

Kay said...

I had forgotten about this passage..need to reread the book..thanks for the reminder

Paintdancer said...

So true, all of what you've said here. I read the book about 15 years ago, when I was a dancer. I should read it again now that I have a different artistic passion. Thanks for this, Robin- I've linked this to my blog post today as it helped me.

Nancie Johnson said...

"For the perfectionist, there are no first drafts, rough sketches, warm-up exercises. Every draft is meant to be final, perfect, set in stone." -- this was also me. Still a struggle, but I am getting better. Nice to find someone else with this trait!

 
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