One of the most powerful things I've learned in making art is not to be too precious about it. Perfectionism is a killer. You can't set out to make a masterpiece or you'll never make anything.
This means learning when to stop, when to move on to the next creation. It's all practice. It also means learning not to hang on too tightly.
A couple weeks ago, I had to face the fact that a bunch of my very first oil paintings were toast. A big box of my work got water damaged, and it was time to say goodbye.
My consolation was that I get to keep photos of them. I laid them out to take photos, and it was a beautiful process of honoring how far I've come. Each painting was a story, and a playground for exploring color and technique. It was a connection to my 10-years-ago self, and it felt good.
The wet leaves, dirt smears and mold spotting actually gave them a beautiful patina. They didn't look ruined, they looked vintage! And that earthy smell clicked within me - painting is an innate, sub-logical process that feels very primal to me.
So here's a tribute to my first oil paintings, from a Live Model Figure Painting class. The physical paintings are gone, but their lessons and their memories live on!