Keep Trying

Cafe de Flores Paris France watercolor sketch

The other day I was working in my sketchbook, painting the outside of a Parisian cafe. Buildings and perspective are not my strong point. I am impatient and like to just dive in and start painting with minimal pencil sketching – which is probably why I struggle with perspective. Anyway, I quickly realized my sketch was not going to work. The placement of things was off and there wasn’t any saving it. No big deal except, filming and creating a painting of a cafe is part of my “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” series and I was committed to delivering the video, which meant I had to paint a cafe.

So I tried again. It didn’t start out great but I persevered and used a trick I sometimes use, which is to flip my painting and the reference photo upside down. This allows me to “see” things differently. It has to do with the right and left brain. I worked through the painting and was moderately pleased with the results. I was VERY pleased that I’d pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I thought of the saying, “You never know what you can do until you try.”

Ironically after I edited the video, of the cafe painting process, I ran into technical issues exporting it. It took several days of troubleshooting and trying different things including re-editing it several times, before I was finally able to export it and add it to the other “Let’s Paint Paris” videos.

I couldn’t help but see the correlation between working through the painting of the cafe and working through the technical video issues. In both cases I had to stay committed to the final goal, but I also had to stay focused on the step right in front of me.

Commit to your goal, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Focus on the next step, and then the one after that. Celebrate when finished. Sometimes what is most valuable is what you learned on the way to your goal.

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