When you do something over and over again – daily, weekly, monthly and the year, you tend to get pretty creative about the rules. Standards mean about as much as a cold bubble bath.
Perfectionism, at least my 2nd grade version of it was a pain when cranking out a painting in a New Mexico lightening/hailstorm, no electricity or matches. I was stubbornly determined to prove that no matter what I had claim on at least 30 minutes of my day to paint. In this case I remembered that I had purchased some matches that day in the bookstore because they had a cool etching on the cover.
I lit a candle, calmed the bunnies and finger painted what I remembered of an image of O’Keeffe country in a magazine. I posted by iPhone before midnight and slept peacefully. I didn’t really know what it looked like until the next day online. I remember working fast and feeling nervous. Electricity in the air, the unfamiliar earth trembling, my elderly rabbits freaked. It seemed a bit silly at the time to hold fast to such stubbornness. As I look back I feel a bit thrilled and romanced by the aliveness of the moment.
As I look back now on the project of painting daily as a whole, I realize practice gave me creative license to rewrite my relationship to perfectionism — to make peace with it by practicing awkwardness daily. Perfection, it turns out has a lot of room for redefinition.