5.30.2011

The art of imperfection.

  
Most people don't have to practice being imperfect . . .






Neither do I, of course.  I just have to practice living with it.
That's the real idea behind my new 365 Creativity Challenge.




You can find a link to it right in my sidebar . . .



While on vacation recently, I was giving my mother a hard time about her yard.  It is immaculate, as perfect as anything connected to the natural world can be.  As she describes it, she "just doesn't like her nature touching."  By which she means the leaves should stay on the trees, flower petals should not touch grass, etc. etc. And she has beautiful rose gardens, but I feel she is almost unable to enjoy them because every time there is a breeze, petals drop and then it doesn't look perfect anymore, and she worries until she has them picked up.







Nature is touching? 
This explains a lot about why
she once had my brother
rake the snow as a kid.
(There were berries and twigs on it.)










I compared it to someone who can't stand it when the gravy from their potatoes touches the peas on their plate.  She said it wasn't the same thing AT ALL  (one of us may be lovably nuts, btw).



Of course imperfection stands 
at the heart of art.
  
It is the desire to express the idea, but the inability to do it with absolute finality and precision, that drives the artist to continue to create.





Where there is perfection 
there is no story to tell.

-- Ben Okri



So the point of my practicing drawing is not to achieve the ability to draw with photo realism.






The point is to be able to draw well enough to tell the story I want to tell AND get comfortable enough in my own drawing skin to stop worrying about the unimportant parts and let the real parts just sing their imperfect song.



The only true happiness is to learn,
to advance, and to improve: 
which could not happen 
unless we had commenced 
with error, ignorance, and imperfection.

-- Albert Pike


I started with plenty of that last stuff -- we'll see if I can move on to true happiness with my drawing in just one year.  It's hard to know exactly what to hope for, I guess.

Not for practice to make perfect.



Perfection = game over




But I guess for imperfect to make happy.  

Yeah, I think that's it.   






 
  

7 comments:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Imperfect-that’s me in all my wonder. Still striving to be better: a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better sister to my remaining sibs.

A drawing a day is a huge commitment, Susan. May you enjoy the process.

luanne said...

Where there is perfection
there is no story to tell.

-- Ben Okri

Where do you find all these spot-on quotes?

And why do you think you can't draw??? Your drawings are already so charming, I can't imagine them 350+ days from now. Must confess, I love your captions too, especially #4. You're off to a great start!

Leenie said...

"Art and reality are two different things. Art is the truth of an object while nature is the fact. The fact can be a bore. Go for creation, not imitation--expression rather than imitation."

Those are thoughts gathered from great art teachers. Now if I can just look long enough to understand the essence, but not so long that I spoil it with trying to make a perfect replica.

Your drawings for your 365 challenge are GREAT! Talk about distilled yet fun. My drawings are all over my sketch book and mostly scrabbly, but I'm chugging away. Go! Go! SMH.

susan m hinckley said...

Ah, Leenie . . . if only my drawings were scrabbly like yours. Back at you: Go, Leenie, go! Only 359 more days for me (YIKES.)

susan m hinckley said...

Glad you liked #4, LuAnne. (Not everyone understands these kinds of things.)

Allie said...

LOVE them - you're doing a fabulous job! Love the captions too. Number 3 really hit home, lol...

I love to see an artist with a unique style, and you have that, Susan. That's what makes your art so freakin' wonderful. You're not copying, anyone can learn THAT if they want to - the hardest thing is expressing your own style and thoughts. I think you do that brilliantly.

susan m hinckley said...

Could a girl have nicer friends? Honestly. Thank you! Your support makes it a little more likely that I'll make it to day 10 (not yet thinking about day 300+)...

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