Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lessons Learned at Paint Night

Lessons Learned at Paint Night
This year I set a goal to "be less than perfect"... and to qualify this goal, really it means to be less than my version of perfect and remove pressure to be this "version of perfection" for everything I do. 

None of us are perfect and never will be and yet we put pressure on ourselves constantly to be "perfect". As a mom I think this desire for perfection is stronger than ever before. I know all the moms reading this are nodding in agreement... We want to have perfect little children who behave, are polite, say the right things, treat others nicely, wave goodbye to strangers (even though we have taught them not to talk to strangers), and the list goes on and on. AND, this part was only about our kids... there are still our marriages, our relationships, our careers, our homes, our hobbies, etc. etc. etc. Realistically, if our children eat something (and I mean anything...it doesn't have to be organic or homemade) and they behave 50% of the time we are doing better than most other moms would ever expect!

I always knew that I was slightly OCD (Side Note: Not, Obsessive Christmas Disorder (although this is also true, but obsessive-compulsive disorder.) Going to a paint night where the instructor says "go outside the lines, it doesn't matter" made shivers go through me. At that moment I realized just how effective art (or really anything that lets us be creative) allows us to see the beauty in imperfections.

At the beginning of the class the instructor asked the group if anyone was still stressed about painting the painting. I raised my hand and so did a few others, but the vast majority were pretty comfortable with the task at hand, or at least they were comfortable with painting freely. I was still pretty nervous about "messing up". When painting the rocks, which had to be outlined, then painted, then outlines and painted again until finally outlined one last time it practically took me singing "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen in my head to allow myself to hit the black lines and trust the instructor telling us they would look better if we hit the lines. Talk about a mental struggle and all for rocks!
Lessons Learned at Paint Night

During the class the instructor pointed out a lady's art work and asked the class what they thought about her rocks that had a big white area on them... If I rewind for a second, the lady was originally asking the instructor how to fix her "mistake". The class all agreed that she should not "fix" the white, but leave it there as it added dimension to the rocks. Just like that her "mistake" became the new "perfect" that many were trying to imitate. The point is - we all strive to be our own version of perfection when someone else out there is striving to be just like each one of us in each of our own constant struggles to be the best. BE YOU! That is more than enough!
Lessons Learned at Paint Night
Photo Credit: The Tipsy Artist Facebook Page
In the end we each ended up with a piece of unique artwork - not one rock the same, not one lighthouse the same... and that's what makes the painting so special. No matter how many times or how hard you try to replicate it, it just won't happen.

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