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Detail of Texture from Autumn Tree, Watercolor Painting

The kids go back to school in our county today. The football season has begun and the voter booths are open today, and even though it doesn't feel like it.....it's gotta be Fall! And it's shaping up to be a busy Autumn with lots of new classes on the schedule! Please visit September's i•Trav•e•logue for all the details!
Detail of Texture from Autumn Tree, Watercolor Painting

The two images above are details from a recent painting exploration we did in the Artful Journaling: Explorations class. As I was talking with my husband about this painting, I found myself calling it a failure.....and I knew that wasn't right. I stopped to examine what I was saying. I was a bit disappointed that once again the need to be perfect had slid back in.

You see, I had judged this painting a failure because the end result, the "product," is not destined to be a show piece, a gallery piece or even a display piece. When I looked at the process and what I learned, this painting was a tremendous success! Once again, I found myself needing to redefine "failure" as well as reminding myself of what my goals for the piece were to begin with!

A failure, to me, would be when I didn't learn anything, when my goals are not clear, or when I repeated an action from a past experience that had already taught me it would not work. I did not set out to create a show piece with this painting. My goal was to learn a simple technique and how I could push it and do different things with it. That goal was accomplished. So where did this word "failure" come from?

It came from fear. Fear that I would be judged as a bad watercolorist at the very least and a complete idiot at the worst. Because it wasn't a "perfect" painting. Fear of not being "good enough" is an insidious thing....and it requires vigilance to keep it out of our thoughts!

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