The Artist’s Lesson

No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw.

One of my earlier watercolor paintings.

Recently I took up painting with watercolor. As I sat at the table practicing on a small sheet of watercolor paper that I had for scrap I made a tree. The tree wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it but I was anxious, ready to work on a painting. I made the tree trunk on my paper and frowned. It was too dark and looked more like acrylics than watercolor. I extended the branches next. What a disaster. Next came the leaves, a mix of color because it’s fall. That was so so, I could live with it, but not quite what I had hoped. So my painting turned into another practice session. I took the different colors and made a small area of a colorful bush. I tried to fix the dark trunk that didn’t go over so well. I made it worse by trying to lighten it up with water. I finished my practice page sat back and frowned even more. I scribbled notes on the paper, criticizing everything that I had done wrong. I went over and sat next to my husband on the couch and whined. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I criticized my work. He looked it over, read my notes, and said practice. So not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, what I needed to work on. You know all the things I had already written down.

As an artist himself, I was looking for criticism -did I really say that?🤨- on what I should have done. (Honest criticism on what I needed to work on.) The problem with that is my husband doesn’t work with watercolor. He works with acrylics and oils so it’s hard to say what should be done except practice until its the way you want it. We both agree that working with watercolor is a whole different animal. If you make a mistake with acrylics or oils you can paint over it and continue on. With watercolor, not so much. Put a drawing pencil in my hand and I do fairly well with drawings and sketches. Working with pastels, I do okay and I can manage working with acrylics. But there is something about watercolor paintings that drew my attention and I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolor. I’ve learned that as an artist, I’m way to hard on myself. Actually, I’m probably way to hard on myself most of the time. 😅 I should also mention that I’ve only been working with watercolor for about two weeks now. 🤨 Yeah, way to hard on myself.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental. If it isn’t perfect then there is something wrong with it. There is no such perfection here on earth. No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw. There is only one perfect man and His name is Jesus. As I chewed on that thought for a minute, I thought about what the Bible says.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Save His people from their sins. Huh. Not a word about having to be perfect first.

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 12:47

I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. So, no mention of having to be perfect first. Totally not judging the world but coming to save the world. Can you see where this is heading? Lies. The lies we believe. We know that Satan is a beautiful fallen angel. In my mind’s eye I can visualize him walking up to you or me with that winning smile, carrying on a conversation as he began whispering little things in your ear, things you may have already been thinking about yourself. He probably subtly mentioned you weren’t good enough. Might have even said something about Jesus being a perfect man, (you know after he realized Jesus wasn’t going to fall into temptation) and there was no way you could even be close to Him. Wait.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Save that which was lost. Well that sounds like Someone you can get close to. Which means we don’t have to be a perfect person first. That He takes us where we are, as we are, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He begins to create a new person on the inside. God bless!

Author: Marie

Love the Lord! Wife. Mother. Blessed beyond measure. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

8 thoughts on “The Artist’s Lesson”

  1. I am no artist so I do not grasp the biases of using watercolours or acrylic but I am familiar with the feeling of being a bit too hard on ourselves. Sometimes it is good to just extend some grace to ourselves and be ok with not trying to do everything to perfection but take joy in what we have done and enjoy the process of working to better it.
    Praise God that He loves us imperfect beings so much. What would we do otherwise.
    Blessings Marie 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy did you hit the nail on the head here, Marie! I am quite familiar with the perfection trap: failure = condemnation + shame.
    Whether it be while painting, or working with people, being perfect seems like a worthy goal, but it’s a hamster wheel to nowhere!

    However, your excellent thoughts brought this scripture to mind:

    “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
    But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” Psalm 130:3

    Thank you for a most timely and helpful post. Blessings.

    Like

  3. “If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental.” This here is such a good lesson, Marie. One that we all need to heed and pay attention to.

    Kudos to you and hubby for knowing about acrylic and watercolor. Truth be told, I can’t even draw a proper stick figure 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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