Carelessness That Pays Off

The biggest problem I face when doing any sort of artwork is perfectionism. I want everything to look just rightexactly like it looks in my head. But trying to work that way made me depressed and tired, and caused me to dread actually doing artwork.

So I made myself a promise a while back: To loosen up on form, and focus on content. And to quit if I didn’t enjoy doing whatever I was working on. And it has led to a lot of crazy stuff that is much more laid-back than my old approach, and much more genuine. The paintings and drawings from before seem so forced by comparison. I’ll show you a few of the newer pieces here, and I can only encourage the rest of you to try something similar. It doesn’t matter how technically good you may be if you dread holding the brush – what’s the point of that?

The first drawing is white pastel on a black paper background. A single line went awry (which easily happens in such a stringent composition). But it actually looks much more pronounced i the photos than it does in reality. I liked the overall posture and the fading out of the lines so much that I decided not to discard the piece and start over.


This was made over a short sting of maybe 15 minutes. I focused on the shape instead of the details, which actually made the process enjoyable rather than cumbersome. That was definitely a feeling I’d been missing.


Again, the focus here was not exactly on accuracy (as you can well see). It was on colour and texture. It took no time and conveys more feeling and captures more of the ambiance than any of my previous landscapes.


Also, I allow myself to make things that aren’t supposed to look like anything in particular. If you were to press me on the matter, I could say that I was looking to portray a feeling here. Safety and warmth. But certainly not anything corporeal. That’s a new direction for me as well.


Yup, that’s my hand. Drawn in one go. Hey, I can! I really don’t need erasers! Go me!


This is really more of a study for a painting. But who cares; I like it, so I include it here anyway! Enjoy!

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