Mr. Right and I often go to gallery openings, both for friends’ exhibits and for group shows at galleries and museums we like. An exhibit we particularly enjoy is the annual Watermedia exhibit sponsored by the Montana Watercolor Society, frequently held at the Bigfork Art & Cultural Center. This year, the juror for the exhibit, Iain Stewart, who also taught a workshop, said that if you seriously wanted to improve your work, you had “to be willing to ruin a painting.”
I was reminded of that when I read Jane Friedman’s article “How Can I Set Aside the Cacophony of Writing Advice and Just Write” and this passage describing the writer’s equivalent:
“There are some writers I meet who simply fear messing up and try to gather as much advice as possible before they even begin. Unfortunately, the writing process is more or less defined by messing up and starting over. Writing is revising. Good writing advice can help you avoid the serious pitfalls, or bring clarity to a confusing process, but creative work of any kind is going to involve countless bad ideas. It’s important to work through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff. (And hopefully you’ve gained enough self-awareness to know when you’ve moved past the bad into the good.)”
So there you have it. Go forth and mess up.
More on this theme to come.
Watercolor by Leslie