My Perfection Lesson

Me with "The Vase" - Loire Valley, France

Me with "The Vase" - Loire Valley, France

Ok, so here’s the story. An awesome group of artist and art lovers went to France last year to paint plein air in the Loire Valley. Each of the 9 of us started at least 5 paintings. Mavis Liggett, our teacher and the person who planned this adventure suggested that we (the Plein Air Painting group) have an art show and sale of the paintings we did or were inspired to do while in France.

We had the show this past weekend at her Trillium Studios in Oak Ridge, N.C. Everybody framed and displayed at least one piece of art. Everybody but ME. I was there to support my fellow group members but I didn’t have one piece of art on display in the show. Why? Cause I didn’t finish any of the pieces I started in France. Once I got back to the states; I intended to keep working on them but never took the time to do so. Now by “finish” I mean I didn’t work on any of the paintings until I felt they were PERFECT. Guess what? Mavis tried to convince me to frame and display at least one piece when I told her I wasn’t sending anything for the show. She said to do one even if it wasn’t “finished”. Well, I thought to myself, I’m not showing any art that’s not finished (meaning PERFECT).

On the day of the show I saw all of the wonderful paintings my fellow artist had on display, a number of them not “finished” and I immediately felt the pangs of regret. It’s amazing what a frame will do for a piece of art but more importantly; no one would have ever guessed that my pieces weren’t finished (PERFECT). I even had someone ask me about a particular painting I had started called The Vase that I had posted a picture of to my social media account. She was there to purchase that paining!!

Perfection was an illusion in my head. That illusion kept me from fully and actively participating in an art show and sale with my fellow artist that raised money for a worthy non-profit.

Getting caught up in Perfection equaled a missed opportunity.

The Lesson?

Holding on to Perfection and the need to be Perfect will keep you from capitalizing on opportunities that are meant to advance you to the next level. Next time you’re presented with an opportunity, ask yourself if what you’ve done and were you are right now is good enough to succeed.

In most cases that answer will be “Yes”!

Images from the Art Show and Sale:

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