I have taught many students privately and something I share often with them is the importance of paint splotches.
For example, I have a dear friend with an amazing multi-million dollar home. It is exquisite. In the back of the home is a sunroom that he turned into a painting salon. For you see, he is a gifted artist. Elsewhere in his home is spotless, but in this room — the room where creativity reigns — paint splotches cover the floor. And for all the stunning beauty of the rest of his home, my wise friend doesn’t mind these “blotches.”
Why? Because he knows that to create a masterpiece, things at times get messy. After all, when you’re moving a paintbrush back and forth from the palette to the canvas, a little paint periodically falls to the ground below. Artists don’t mind. If anything, it is proof they’re working.
What about the rest of us? The pianist who plays a wrong note during a scale run? A ballerina that trips while en pointe? A sculptor who creases the wrong side of the clay accidentally? Do we get so hung up in our strides towards perfection that we forget this one important lesson? That true art cannot be created without “paint splotches” along the way.
So if you’re a writer, simply focus on getting those words on the page. Don’t worry when at first draft, they’re not the exquisite expressions you dreamed of. If you’re a composer, what’s a few wrong chords along the pathway towards beautiful music that moves the soul? You know that as you continue your efforts, your piece eventually will arrive at the momentum and power you desire.
“Paint splotches” mean nothing more than you are an artist at work. And to be at work is a very good thing, when it comes to creating masterpieces that bless the lives of others.