Thursday, July 12, 2007

Perfection Flaw

"Shade Cascade"
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5")
Original colored pencil drawing
I am a perfectionist. There I said it. I used to be fiercely proud of this and thought it was a gift. Especially when it came to my drawings. Note, I did not say my "art". Yes, I can almost always render nearly "perfect" drawings but I cannot always produce a great piece of art. Great and perfect do not go hand in hand.
A friend and fellow artist, who is also my framer, taught me a lesson not long ago and it has affected me in a powerful way. I took a small work in to her shop for framing and while laying it out, noticed a slight roughness along the edge of the work where I had "colored outside the line". My first reaction was "Oh, no, I have to fix this". She stopped me and said: "This work is very good and very personal. Leave it alone. Good art is never perfect and should indicate somewhere where your hand has touched it." Wow.
I've also read Bet Borgeson's book "Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner" (which I HIGHLY recommend for any artist) where she writes "Goodness lacks perfection. Superior art often has a scratchy, unsettled quality about it. Imperfectness of expression, executed powerfully may be the crux of attention-getting and holding greatness. Perhaps a surplus of perfection would lessen its humanity." This, too, really hit home with me.
So, these days I am really, really trying to lessen the perfection of my work in order to increase its humanity. I am trying so hard to color outside the lines.

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