Excellence, Not Perfection

See the YouTube video of this painting in progress, from blank canvas to finished work, set to the Carol of the Bells by the TransSiberian Orchestra and Metallica

From Start Your Week with Steve, the free e-mail newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art:

Steve Says:

“I like to think that Santa is really really good at what he does, but he doesn’t worry about perfection. If there is a little spot on the robe of one of the Nativity figurines he is painting, then he doesn’t toss the whole thing aside and start over. Being very skilled at something doesn’t mean that you won’t make mistakes, and actually, the more skilled you are at what you do, the more you know how to deal with mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes become the most talked about aspect of the piece, as in,

“That’s really amazing! What inspired you to do it that way?”

“Making mistakes is also a sign that you are progressing in your goals, because it’s impossible to learn something new without making a mistake or two along the way. Frequently three or four or five. If you never, ever make mistakes, then you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.

“And speaking of pushing yourself, these last couple weeks I have been exploring various movie making software, in my efforts to create myWatercolor Success Digital Workshop, the youtube teaser of the digital workshop, and a musical video featuring the painting above, These Gifts Are Better Than Toys.

In Step by Step Art Success, you’ll learn watercolor as you paint Purple Iris. The original Purple Iris, by Steve Henderson, is available at Steve Henderson Fine Art.

“In the push-me, pull-me process of learning new software and video platforms, I am fully aware that I have made, and will continue to make, mistakes, but each mistake impels me to learn something new, and while a YouTube video may not be perfect, it’s very, very good, and I am pleased with that. (By the way, in the Santa YouTube video, watch the Nativity figures closely in the last half — Santa’s face at the top doesn’t change, but the figurines sure do — in time to the music.)

“If we wait until we can do things perfectly, or if we undo every project we start because we made an error here, a misspelling there, then we will never do anything.

“And if perfection is our constant and consistent goal, we’ll scare people off from sharing with us, because they will think,

“It’s not perfect. And he/she won’t like anything I do if it’s not perfect.”

“I would far rather that people be eager to show me what they’re working on, because they think,

“He’s always creating, and he’s excited about creating. Maybe he’ll be excited about what I’m doing, too.”

Of course I will. Because I get excited about people creating, trying, striving, learning, making, moving forward, imagining, and fulfilling.

“Santa’s toy shop is a great place, because there’s a lot of activity there. Let’s make our lives a version of that toy shop.”

Read more at Start Your Week with Steve.

A two-day workshop for the price of a DVD — that is a good deal, indeed.

International artist Steve Henderson sells art, and teaches it. Steve’s Step by Step Watercolor Success Digital Workshop is designed for beginning and intermediate art students, and it walks you — step by step — through the painting process. At the end of it, not only will you have learned a lot about watercolor, you will have a finished painting, Purple Iris, of your own that you will feel proud to hang on your wall.

A two-day workshop costs around $250 — Steve’s digital watercolor workshop is $14.95 for the download and $19.95 for the DVD — and it covers what you would learn in that two-day workshop.

Find and buy Steve’s art in the following online venues:

Manufacturers and retailers — license Steve’s work through Art Licensing