"Don't try to make pretty pictures--paint for fun and for practice, not for exhibition.
We are going to take home ability and knowledge, not finished canvases."
--Charles Hawthorne, Hawthorne on Painting
By courting imperfection, I feel myself growing as an artist. There seems to be a magical space at the edge of imperfection which is brimming full of potential for growing and learning. This is only possible when risks are taken; within my failed attempts, I find the keys to open new doors.
I spent a lot of time recently making very bad plein air paintings, and having a great time doing it! I'm thinking about shapes and colors in an exciting new way. I'm following my intuition and I'm bungling around, trying not to take myself so seriously! I spend LOTS of time mixing new colors, and laying them side by side, seeing how they "talk" to each other (sometimes they sing!) and then...maybe scraping them off. I usually end up with a complete mess.
It's ok! I don't really mind. I feel like I have to make those bad paintings, I have to get them out of my system. It's about this process of exploration, that's the important thing. It doesn't matter what other people think.
What am I seeking? I'm working hard to figure something out.... my way of painting, I suppose! I'm exhausted, and it's a little discouraging to come home every day without something beautiful and finished to frame and sell... but I just have to let that go.
The path of the artist requires an immense amount of faith.