If i could meet the person who first said "your painting is not perfect" or "I'm a perfectionist" i would give them a jolly good talking to!!

Lets get a reality check here - there's no such thing as perfect (except for Mary Poppins and even she said "practically perfect in every way!"

When I hear this from students I know they're setting themselves up for disaster, somewhat similar to "I'm going to create a great painting today!" 

Julia Cameron (the Artist's Way) has a lot more pointed comments and thoughts on perfectionism, her question "What would i do if i didn't have to do it perfectly?" and the answer is "A lot more than I am".

Perfectionism is really about not letting yourself move ahead.

Remember there are no mistakes - ok there are some things you are less than happy with - thats ok - glaze over them to soften edges and add 3 more details to your focal point to draw the viewers eye to what you want them to see.

Julia goes on to say "Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is the pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough - that we should try again".

does this sound like you?

I highly recommend Julia's "The Artists Way" program, it is interesting, hard work, emotional, gratifying and enlightening. I've done the 12 step program 2 times and it's been valuable to me each time. What I discovered was that although my folks weren't outwardly encouraging of my many pursuits, they made sure I had art stuff, dad spent time making all sorts of crazy things for me and showed me how, they bought me a flute and paid for my private lessons, they listened to my many hours of practice everyday, paid for my books and my exams. They didn't have a lot of money and they were very frugal (depression era upbringing) but they invested in me, writing this is very hard because I miss them so much.

Because of my folks, I'm proud to say I've never been a perfectionist, you should see the state of my house, lucky Dennis is here to tidy up after me - what a good bloke!! But more than this, all of my paintings have problems/mistakes in them that I'm (somewhat) happy to leave. some are bigger than others and some get framed anyway.

try this, when you are about to begin to paint (write, sculpt, poeticise, pot) say to yourself and out loud, several times "i'm just going to play with this and see what happens"

love you all heaps xxx


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  • just had a thought about this, no one can ever explain what perfection is!!! so if it can't be explained, does it exist? 

  • Thanks Amanda for sharing that. Very informative and strikes a cord. My career was desktop publishing, had to be perfect and precise and hard to break that habit. Last time I painted in front of my Dad he asked me if I didn't have anything to do, my Mum had a painting I did of fuchsias and she was proud (she had an artistic side) of my accomplishments.


    It's hard to not hv big expectations, I need to keep em in check.


    Did wee bit of (end of pencil) sketching and a few carrots 🤣🥕🥕🥕 today. Teaches quite a bit about paint to water ratio. Think I could be too miserly with pigment. 


    Great things to take on board and practice. 

    No more perfection. 🤩😘🤩  🙋‍♀️

    • yes i hear you very hard when everyone's not on board "maybe next time you'll get it right!"

      re the desktop publishing, what is perfect? what is precise? it's just useless words bandied about that are meaningless except they make us feel like crap.The "standards" are never described or explained but always out of reach!! in other words your boss had no clue but could always blame you - beach!!

      the last boss i had like that got a real tongue lashing - what a dork!!

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