"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.


"I'm feeling so happy about painting... feeling like I'm on the right track, a dog on a scent... something exciting!  Possibilities of paint!...tomorrow I will not fill the whole canvas.  I will leave some open spaces..."  --my diary, May 2018