Unfinished …

Look in the drawer of my desk and two things will happen;

  1. You’ll have to explain to me how you got into our home and why you’re looking in my desk drawer.
  2. Having done this adequately, you’ll be free to examine the contents of said drawers, and you’ll quickly find that a pattern emerges.

Some illustrations for a book I wanted to write and illustrate … unfinished.

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A water colour of a boy I once knew … incomplete.

A fine pen illustration of that same boy … not concluded.

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A gouache painting of a bird … partial, lacking.

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A scratcher board illustration of praying hands that I was going to give as a 21st birthday present – 15 years ago … imperfect.

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There are many more, paintings in the shed, paintings in boxes — forgotten.

I think it’s the perfectionist in me, the perfectionist who believes that the closer I get to finished, the further away I’ll be from the perfect piece of art. If I leave these in the drawer with parts missing, half done, incomplete and unfinished – I haven’t failed yet.
Beethoven said …

“ The true artist has no pride; unhappily he realises that art has no limitations, he feels darkly how far he is from the goal, and while, perhaps he is admired by others, he grieves that he has not yet reached the point where the better genius shall shine before him like a distant sun.….”

Maybe it’s true?

Though I wonder if the artist in me has pride and that’s why so much work remains unfinished.
I think this artist does have some pride – so this artist is going to work on finishing some of the things she’s started. Last year I finished a piece that I’d commenced roughly 15 years earlier. The sense of achievement was pretty overwhelming – I even framed it and it hangs on the wall in our space. It’s not perfect – but it doesn’t need to be. I enjoyed it.

It’s time to open that drawer and get back to work. And in those moments focus on that fact that I am, just like you, at this moment, a work in progress. There are parts of me that I am not proud of but, there is, behind the scenes, an Artist at work. Someone who’s working with the mistakes I make, chipping off the rough edges, contrasting the dark and the light. There is a Creator at work on me, at work in me. He, believe it or not, is one day, going to step back and look at me and say,

“Finally! There she is – finished!”

He’s working on me and my friend, He’s working on you too.

Let Him …

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