Monday, August 10, 2009
Mommy the (Almost) Perfectionist
A few weeks ago I cast some plaster-of-Paris animal figurines for Ricki to paint with water colors. The statuettes came out very nicely, but the water colors didn’t. Ricki painted them all sorts of absurd colors, and ended up with eight animal sculptures, all of them painted a muddy black-grey. And Mommy wasn’t very happy.
I had imagined eight figures at least slightly reminiscent of the animals they represented, and these were not. They didn’t sit very well with either my esthetic side.... but it was more than that. Now most people would say that she had fun, and what do I want from her? So I at least kept my disappointment to myself. But it rankled me, because I was sure that she was capable of much better work.
So I recast TWO additional sets of the molds, and this week I had her paint one set... along with me. I painted the second set. I showed her how if one uses the light colors first, the other colors stay cleaner. I showed her which colors I used. Now she did not agree with me one hundred percent, and enjoyed painting the lion’s mane blue. [Here I had to fight that little perfectionist monster in my soul, and realize that creativity and fun are also important.] But the end results were MUCH nicer, and I felt quite vindicated at my assumption that she was capable of enjoying the work, yet turning out a more colorful and “normal” job.