I know you said in your head, “Practice makes perfect,” even after you read my title.  I would like to challenge that thinking, though.  Perfect means being less than your authentic self – you’re trying to fit into someone else’s definition of how to live YOUR life.  Perfect is hard to live up to and often results in some kind of a break down.  Striving for perfection just means you’re in a constant struggle.  That sounds like a miserable way to live.

Instead, practice should make Fun!  As an example of this, when I’m prepping to create a painting, I use an 8.5″x5.5″ piece of watercolor paper.  I fold it in half, so I’ve got four chances per paper and I do a mini-version of the larger one I’ve planned.  It lets me figure out the space on the page, have fun with my colors, and see if I like on paper what I have in my head.  I don’t generally finish the thing to the very end, but just so I’ve got the concept out of my head and onto paper.  Then, I let it sit around on a shelf for a while and I contemplate it.

The images that I’ve only needed two of the sides to get my idea out, though, become cards.  They’re the perfect size and I generally send them to family members.  They know what I’m doing…  🙂  I’m having fun and it’s like I’m inviting them to look over my shoulder as I’m creating.  Here’s Hedgehog.  This is the one that I’m happy with:


But here’s what the back of that looks like:

Hedgehog, the first

Hedgehog, the first

I make notes about what I didn’t like, scribble on it to show what I was trying to do and make some comment about why this didn’t work out.  In this case, I needed to start with yellow, not blue.  The blue was too dark, too heavy-handed.  As I say in the image, “Hedgehog is just a little bitty guy.”

Some day, someone will get this card and I hope both the front and the back make them smile.  But my practice wasn’t to make perfect – the “final” that I’m happy with also has a few things that need to be changed up when I move to the larger format paper, but it makes me smile to see him sitting on my shelf.  Ultimately, that’s what I want.  Something that will make the observer smile and just feel good.

Perfect doesn’t make an observer feel good.  But Fun does!


PS: I’m blogging along with Effy Wild in April. If you’d like to join the facebook group to read the rules, go here: