balance with paint

estimated 3 min read

Almost a year ago I wrote an essay that was in large part about perfectionism. It’s been a struggle to write up more about this topic, not because they’ll be the wrong words and not (groan) perfect but because I really don’t know how I want to articulate what’s in my head.

I have many friends who write eloquently. Sarah is one of them. Please go and read her recent post, “in which I exhort you to paint some perfect little trees (we are all perfect little trees)“.

Oh wow, you came back! Thank you.

There are several areas in my life where I’m working to find that balance between not even starting (because I won’t do it right) and working tirelessly yet never finishing to reach that elusive ideal. Some days are better than others.

To that end I’m trying to doodle and paint more (as I did a year ago), and not only in my colouring book. Earlier this week, I took out the glue gun and affixed magnets to the bottom of the half pans so I could get rid of the icky plastic insert that came with my set and rearrange things how I liked. Bonus, there’s now room for my brushes!

watercolours meet magnets and glue gun

Yes, it is possible to do this magnet modification with cheaper thinner craft magnets, but I had these so I used them. I’m much happier with this setup!

I’ve had a big watercolor project I’ve wanted to work on for the past year, to revisit and redraw my project bag doodles. I love the ones I doodled, but I want to make them more versatile and useful to how I record and track things. I plan to scan them and convert my doodles into mini labels or stickers. Anyway, I think it’s big to me because there are quite a few bags to doodle and I don’t have a dedicated small watercolour sketchbook or setup. I primarily use any paper at hand or if I want something special (which I do for this project) a 9×12 pad of student watercolour paper. As I tend to pull out the paints to work in a 5 min spurt, or on a small cleared corner of my desk, that generally isn’t helpful when staring at a large sheet of paper.

Today after lunch, I brought a lap desk out into the sunroom, sketched a few bags and started painting. I’m not sure if I like how I sketched out the box bags or if I want to go back to they way I’ve doodled before, but the thing is I started.

And it’s progress.
(click to see them bigger)

I do love how I doodled up my Split Yarn Perfect Pouch, it holds my Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Weaving Loom. More on that great tool soon.

project bag doodle, detail

Also related to progress on my perfectionism, I finally got over that not everything is to my ideal (related to my current pattern layout and photography) and released a new pattern this week, Ayrton. It’s been tech edited by the very patient Lindsey Stephens of Poetry in Yarn and received generous yarn support from Anzula. This classic yet understated design is a nice seasonal transition piece or for when the office AC gets cranked up. The stitch design and pattern name pays tribute to Hertha Marks Ayrton, an electrical engineer, feminist, physicist, and inventor. The pattern is available for $6 and immediate download at ravelry | craftsy | etsy.

Ayrton

Moving into the grey space between perfectionism and answering the question of “when is a work of art complete?“, the Met’s new space, The Met Breuer, the inaugural exhibit is Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible and with this Da Vinci as a part of the collection, I urge you to go! I hope to get there at some point.

watercolours box