4

Perfection is the enemy…

I have the most wonderful & inspiring boyfriend ever. Very shortly after we met he gave me a phrase that has helped me over and over again. It is a phrase that I have shared with many others also.

You see I have for so many years struggled with not feeling good enough. It could be the simplest of mishaps and my reaction would be one of extreme failure. My world would threaten to tumble down on me over something as simple as having forgotten to buy milk. Ok so I may be dramatizing a little bit, but not by much. The point is though that I often went to him feeling as if I had failed in some monumental way, when to him it was nothing more than a tiny bump in the road.

He sat me down and talked at length with me about this and then gave me this wonderful phrase.

PerfectionPost_Ranae

“Perfection is the enemy of the good.”

 

What this means is simple, if we are striving for perfection constantly, we tend to get so wrapped up in being perfect that we miss the thousands of things we did good. So by pushing for perfection, and then beating ourselves up when we cannot obtain it, we have missed out on seeing and embracing all the other things we did well. We become imbalanced in our perceptions as well as making ourselves feel like failures when in fact we are really good at so many things

I find this to be true in my art as well. When he and I first met I had just begun my journey back into the art world. Yet I was scared to try a lot of various techniques because I felt that the art I was already doing wasn’t perfect. I became a dabbler at my art and yes I enjoyed a lot of it but I was always just shy of actually embracing it, and I very rarely could say I liked a finished piece. There was always something I did wrong, or I was good enough at, or everyone else did so much better than I did.

I had even found myself doing very little of my own artwork and instead was doing mostly coloring work for other people. I loved doing it, since I am a huge lover of color and blending, but it never truly felt like mine because the original image wasn’t my own work.

So as I tell you how much my boyfriend’s continual support, encouragement and belief in me has impacted me as an artist let me show you some of my art from when I met him vs. my artwork now…

Here are a couple done shortly before we met…

I am not saying they are horrible, but I was too scared to try my hand at anything more detailed than those type of projects.

Here are a couple of works I just recently finished…

I am so much happier in myself and in my art since I am “finally” understanding the most beautiful gift I have ever received. The gift of his phrase, “Perfection is the enemy of the good.” A gift that continues to give to me over and over again in my life. I still struggle to remember this at times, but when I do remember it always gives me the boost I need to smile and remember all those many good things I do so well.

I hope my readers will embrace the phrase and take it to heart so that they may grow and start their well deserved journeys into the world of accepting all the “Good”!

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

11

Mad Hatter Day

Does your art sometimes turn into a series without you meaning for it to?  Do themes just happen or are you one who plans them out?

I started out working on a new project that revolves around Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, I am unable to proceed further than my preliminary sketch due to having to work out some kinks with the background material I want for her. So in the mean time I began to look for something else to do.

I don’t usually have a list of what I want to do next and in this case my mind was blank. I only knew I wanted to paint.

I have a great friend, Savannah, who has her grandma’s tea recipe tacked up on my fridge and as I went to get something to drink I looked at it and there began my inspiration. She loves tea so I decided to paint her a whimsical teapot. It was a lot of fun to paint and I definitely want to do more of these.

Teapot_Ranae

When I was finished with it, once again I turned to my friends. While chatting with them I just asked them to name me a few of their favorite things. One of my friends, Nicole, said bunnies. And so this lil bunny was born. She was an ornery bunny and as usual I almost gave up on her as she went through her ugly stage, but I pressed through and I rather like her now. Not too bad for my first ever acrylic animal.

Bunny_Ranae

Still running into trouble with my background and having to wait now for delivery of the material I designed, I once again was looking for something to paint.

My friend Michelle and I have been talking about holding some of our own paint classes at some point and were chatting about what things we could paint in those classes. Being a lover of hat’s I told her I wanted to try a whimsical top hat.  And so this hat was created.

TopHat_Ranae

Now look back at the various items I wound up painting over the past couple of weeks… do you see the theme?

It was completely unintentional but I wound up painting items that can be found relating to the one thing I “truly” wanted to be working on, which was my Alice in Wonderland!

Funny how things interweave isn’t it? “Curiouser and Curiouser!”

How about you? Do you find yourself working in themes without intent to do so? Perhaps it’s just a certain color palette you keep using unintentionally. It may even be thicker than normal line strokes or an embellishment you suddenly realize you put into many of your art works.

I would very much love to hear from each of you regarding your experience with such.

Hugs & Love Ranae’

14

Anxiety & the Ugly Stage

I cannot tell you how many times I have about given up on my art pieces. As a matter of fact, I can pretty much promise you that 90% of my finished pieces almost wound up incinerated at some point. However, I was able to turn them into works I am very pleased with, and often times even find myself saying, “Wow, this is my favorite piece!”
Trust me when I tell you every artist goes through this, no matter how long they have been at their craft. That is what I am experiencing today on this piece. I am not at all happy with her hair. It is nowhere close to what I want or envisioned. I tried to fix it and it looks even worse to me now. We all go through certain stages in the creative process. I will share with you those stages as I see them.

  • Inspiration – You have the idea in your mind and are giddy to get started, it’s the perfect picture in your mind and the project speaks to your heart.
  • Excitement – You begin organizing your process, maybe gathering up all the tools you will be needing, setting it to paper in a rough sketch or outlining the idea.
  • Nerves – Then you sit and stare at your paper or canvas for what seems like an eternity. Doubts and Fears try to creep in, but you persevere and begin. Your initial sketch turns out pretty well and again you feel that tinge of excitement. “I can do this!”

Ranae_Sugar_Skull

  • Anxiety and the ugly stage – You have now begun the next steps, adding color, depth, embellishing etc. and it hits you. Nothing seems to look right anymore. You find yourself ready to give up and toss it into the bin. It seems like the more you try to fix it the uglier it becomes and you are moving back and forth between feelings of frustration, anger and defeat.

Ranae_Sugar_Skull-2

 

DO NOT THROW IT AWAY!
DO NOT SCRIBBLE ALL OVER IT!
DO NOT TEAR IT INTO CONFETTI!
WALK AWAY!
No I mean like walk away right NOW!

Put the piece to the side, somewhere you can still see it but it is not right in your face. Gather up your tools and put them together in a drawer or something. Someplace it is not going to be easy to quickly pick them up and add even more.

Good!! Now relax and start on something else, or go read, for a walk, whatever other project’s you enjoy. Because the next stage in the process is going to be…

  • Revelation – At some point you will return to the piece, look at it and suddenly see it in a brand new light. The idea’s will start popping in your mind again and that stumbling block you tripped over is going to look like a tiny little pebble. Now return to it!
  • Skill – This is when your true skill and creativity will shine through. You will turn what you thought of as mistakes into creative opportunities and you will find that renewed sense of pride and more importantly “FUN”!

I am at the put it away stage, where I will remain until my revelation comes!

Ranae_Sugar_Skull-3

So don’t feel like a failure, don’t give up and don’t think you are not an artist just because you’re stuck at the ugly stage. If anything the fact that you are there proves you are an artist, if you weren’t you would not have even gotten that far!

Stay tuned to see my revelation result’s. I am positive they will come at some point. In the meantime…
Hugs & Love – Ranae’