When I was a young child, I used to watch one of my uncles paint. He would set up in the foyer of my Granny’s old house on Silver Avenue where, I suppose, the light was just right. He would have the smelly oil paints on a palate, mixing blues, whites, yellows, and many others. He was especially fond of oceans and skies and I was amazed at how many colors existed in ocean, sand and sky! In my child’s simple mind, an ocean was greenish with white waves, sky was blue, clouds were white, and sand was yellow. Yet my uncle showed me how many, many shades of color it took to express each of these on canvas. I, too, wanted to explore this art form, but somehow had the impression that you could either paint or not. You either had “talent” or not. There was no in between and nothing you could learn. I was not encouraged to pick up a brush although I did receive the “paint by number” kits at Christmas and they were some of my favorite gifts.
Many years have passed and I have never forgotten my urge to create in this manner. And true to my uncle’s influence, it is usually when I look at the sky (particularly clouds), ocean, trees, and other natural beauty that I am most inspired. It has been on my “bucket list” a long time that I would take an art class. I knew I could create art and have created several wonderful pieces, but not a drawing or painting.
Last night that all changed! One of my best friends had called earlier in the week and told me about a new place that had opened where you could go, drink some wine and be taught an art class. They guaranteed you would come away with a painting of whatever the subject happened to be that evening. So we went!! Our purpose in going was simply to do something new, have a creative experience and HAVE FUN!! Lo and behold, I now have a painting that I did!! It isn’t great, it’s very simple, but it is mine! Most importantly, my inner child was released in a playfulness and remembrance that was sacred and inspiring.
One of the AHA moments I had during all this was the realization that the constant fear of failure lives within those of us that are perfectionists. We don’t even try things because we know they won’t be perfect. Now, my painting is far, far from perfect, as you can see, but it is perfect for me. When I look at it, I don’t criticize it, I think of the enjoyment of our experience. I think of the fun we had! I think of the new people we met and the funny stuff they said and did. Each of us came away with our version of the picture….each perfect in its own way.
Just have fun. Fill your life with joy. Do things you’ve always wanted to. Know that perfection is a myth and some false standard we have convinced ourselves exists. ALL is perfectly imperfect. WE are perfectly imperfect. Live. Love. Laugh. Create. Revel in you imperfections, for that is what makes each of us a perfect individual.