I am now in my third blog year. I need to come up with a goal for this year, but I’m not quite ready to do that. I’m still celebrating my second blog year, which ended a few days ago, because I met my goal of painting fifty paintings before my sixty-first birthday. I’m not just celebrating fifty paintings; I’m celebrating progress. My biggest fear when I set that goal was that I would do all that painting and never get any better at it. My inner critic was pretty sure that was exactly what would happen. I would paint and paint and paint and my fiftieth painting would be as lame as my first.
I am here to report that my inner critic was wrong. Practice does lead to improvement. Putting in the time does make a difference.
The one on the left was my first sunflower painting. The two smaller paintings came along during the year, the lower one in March and the upper one in May. The one on the right I painted last Saturday. I can look at these paintings and see that I have made progress. The last one is far from perfect but I am delighted with it because I can see that all the time I spent painting during the year was not wasted. I got better.
I want to keep getting better. I want to get braver and try things that are more challenging. I know I can live with the lameness at the beginning because I know that’s just the beginning. I have to start where I am, but if I keep practicing, my skills will keep improving. I can believe this now because I spent the last year proving it to myself.