The Perfect Fall Day + New Art

I think that today was as close to the most perfect autumn day as you can get.  The morning started off gray with a misting rain, making it easy to cozy up with a cup of tea for some sweet, sweet God time.

The perfect fall day

Then the early afternoon blossomed into sunshiny brilliance, with lingering storm clouds chasing each other across swaths of blue sky. 

The perfect fall day

The temperature didn't reach much higher than 50*F, but even with the blustery wind it did not feel overly cold outside.  It was, to me, perfect.

The perfect fall day

When I tried to take photos, I was sadly reminded that my camera lens is not wide enough to capture just how BIG the day felt.  I think I forget and am reminded of this every year when fall blows in.  I love this season.

Amidst all the autumnal perfection, I worked on an artistic creation I started over the weekend. I was away at a women's retreat through my church, and this is what happened as I sketched away to the sound of a friend serenading us with her guitar and beautiful voice:

In Progress

Today I worked more on this piece. As the original drawing experience had been so blissful, and because the day felt so delicious, I expected the second phase of the piece to be as enjoyable. Instead, however, I felt frustrated most of the way through. Part of this was due to the fact that I was using my watersoluble crayons for the first time. But the rest?

After I was finished I was able to pinpoint the greatest cause of my frustration -- perfectionism. I had forgotten my decision to simply "show up and see what happens" with all of my artistic endeavors. As a result, with this piece I was constantly criticizing myself -- "Why isn't the background working the way I want it to?" "Why can't I blend this more perfectly?" "This doesn't even look like my work. I'm such a copy cat."   Oops.

Still, I really like the finished product. It [mostly] makes up for my yielding to perfectionism:

Celebrate

But today's art-making was also a good reminder to keep things simple -- to show up and see what happens. Period.

(By the way, the words in the girl's purple hair read "The people of God will sing a song of joy," which is from Isaiah 30:29.  I wanted to make something appropriate for a Christmas card.  It'll be making an appearance in my Etsy shop soon!)

Are you prone to give in to perfectionism? How do you fight it off?  And -- what is your version of a perfect fall day?  :)

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