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Many times our artistic attempts are not successful and the art work flopped. So, why are we so loath to part with it? We would be embarrassed to give it to someone, we for sure don't want it hanging where it can be seen, and it could never be sold, so why do we hang on to it? The reason is simple, we are in love with every thing we do. It is precious in our eyes.

This attitude can hinder us in our artistic journey. Our work isn't priceless and precious and the best thing we've done this week can be bettered tomorrow. When we have completed a piece of art work, give it some time, rework it, give it more time and then call it finished or throw it out. There is no merit in saving lost causes just because it is yours. Don't leave it laying around, it puts you on a guilt trip just looking at it.

Now, it is very hard to convince an us to throw our stuff out! Just look around our studio asnd you'll see all the stacks of old books, old paintings, old clay works, even class projects done in art school! It is hard to prune and weed out, but when we finally realize that not everything we produce is precious and needs keeping, then we can grow in our creativeness and artistic ability. Remember, the best work you did this week can be bettered next week.

A good example of this: An art instructor during a college class gave us a very good, meaningful, demonstration. His star pupil, the hot shot artist from high school, the one who always got the job of making posters, “THE ARTIST,” had completed his first class project. It did look really fine, and was more professional than the other students work. The star was proud of his offering, very proud. But the teacher knew this star was capable of so much better. So, to make a point, he made an example of him.

At class time, he praised the work, complimented the star, and then proceeded to rip in shreds the precious piece of art work! The class was amazed and simply speechless! So was the star.(a minor understatement) After letting that sink in for a few moments, he explained his action. He said that he knew this student was capable of so much more, but not as long as this fine piece was still in front of him. The student in thinking that his art work was priceless, and precious, would not advance any farther than the level of that piece of art.

The demonstration had its effect. The star and the class, realized that not all our efforts were worth saving, that there is so much to be learned. There’s always room for improvement and our last effort is not the best we can do. Moral of the story, learn as much as you can, do the best you can and if it didn’t make it, then pitch it and go on to bigger and better things! Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Author : Kay Milam
Copyright -2003
All Rights Reserved
Kay Milam is an artist/teacher, lecturer and painting demonstrator.
For art lessons go to Milam


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