I didn’t realize how many people live by the phrase “done is better than perfect” until I read it in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic and further researched it on the internet.
Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I find my perfectionist ways hold me back from trying new things. When I started painting, I knew I had to go into the adventure without seeking perfection; but how does one change their spots?
I am going to adopt this thought because it’s simple to remember and it just makes sense. These are 10 more good reasons why done is better than perfect:
Strangely enough, I acted on that quote without even knowing it. I enjoyed my first plein air painting experience yesterday at Trout Lake. I’ve always wanted to try plein air painting and for sure, I felt scared. Mostly for two reasons: the end result and what if people see me? Realistically, what is so scary about that?
My husband recently rejuvenated his love of fly fishing, so when he packed his gear to head out to the lake, I tagged along with my painting box in tow, the fears in my head and the thought that I’m just going to do it.
My husband was more than accommodating and set up my gear for me in what I thought would be quiet part of the lake. I had to deal with wet dogs shaking themselves near my easel, crying kids that had fallen in the water, and changing light & wind conditions, but I got it done! After five hours I finished “Ma première peinture plein air.”
Even with the dogs, weather and kids, I had an enjoyable time. One of the little boys, upon arriving at my lookout, said to me, “Hello Artist.” If that wasn’t enough to motivate me, what could? Out of the mouths of babes…I am painting and therefore I am an artist. It’s so simple and that little phrase helped me to let my expectations go.
In the end, it wasn’t perfect…how could I have chosen to put a tree right in the middle of my painting? My reflection was a bit off, I left out dead tree branches because I found it just too difficult and nearing the 5-hour mark, I was getting tired and wanted to finish…and finish, I did.
It was an experience I won’t forget and I have that little painting that will remind me to keep moving forward…done is better than perfect.