Monday Motivator: You Can’t Learn Without Making Mistakes

“When we’re making mistakes, it’s a clear sign we’ve moved beyond our comfort zone and are at the limit of our abilities – exactly the place we need to be in order to learn and improve our skills. Unfortunately, for many of us, making a mistake often triggers a cascade of emotional angst and self criticism that shuts down our objectivity … It’s not a tragedy to make bad paintings. It’s only a tragedy when our fear of failure and our rampant self-criticism prevent us from learning from them”

John MacDonald, Newsletter Nov-Dec 2021

That overused quote attributed to Picasso about taking a lifetime to learn to paint like a child, it isn’t about the expressive mark making, it’s about the fearlessness in approach. You pick up a pencil and you draw something. It’s that simple. You don’t prejudge the outcome, you don’t plan to the nth, you create a drawing (noun) by drawing (verb), then move onto the next one.

Lets have fewer “what is it?” questions and more “tell me about your drawing” conversations. Why and how, rather than what.

Ink trees done in the rain

6 Replies to “Monday Motivator: You Can’t Learn Without Making Mistakes”

  1. I love the new question. So true. I’m posting a link to this on my FB page. Let’s get the word out so we can have more of these new conversations.

  2. When I have paintings that don’t seem to be working I am usually quite excited by the challenge of seeing what I can do with it. If not I leave it and come back to it at a later stage, or just paint over it. It is all part of the journey….

    1. Sometimes these turn out amongst the best as I can be a bit more “reckless” on something that was already not working, and can pleasantly surprise myself

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