The only thing I've been consistently inspired to do during this brutal winter in Michigan- is stay under the covers and burn the roof of my mouth with multiple cups of boiling chocolate milk- favorite winter past-time. But it's frustrating to see my basement loaded with paint, stretched canvas, and new brushes and not be at all motivated to paint. I've studied artwork and photographs and have created a huge pile of resources to get my life together and paint... but instead i just find myself continuing to search for that one piece of inspiration- as I continue to burn my mouth. Little did I know it would come from my boyfriend who took an interest in wanting to learn how to paint. I gave him a few pointers on a piece he wanted to do, and within a week he'd created four beautiful trout paintings. His latest painting he had worked five hours straight to complete. This takes a lot of focus, and it can be tiring mentally, physically, and at times, emotionally. Especially when things don't come together the way you want. I'd watch him mix colors a dozen times, only to give up and move on to another part of a painting. He'd analyze the layers and textures and practice how to create them, critiquing each approach. He finished his last painting only to say he felt cranky, tired, and didn't think the colors matched. Obviously it didn't take him long to pick up on the bittersweetness of painting. It took me a long time to be content with knowing I was never going to have a painting or drawing look exactly the way I wanted it to. It doesn't matter how good any artist is, this part can drive you insane and, at times, leak into other parts of your life. Artists especially are fully engaged in detail, aware of imperfections, and analyze art and life from so many different angles. It's ANNOYING! Who cares how the apples and oranges are displayed at the fruit market and whether or not they use cool or soft lighting, that your mailbox looks like a mini-me of your house, or that your soap and candles match the color of your bathroom towels. It took me a long time to accept the imperfections and let myself see what HAS come together in a painting. Often times the imperfections create the character and if I didn't embrace those imperfections, painting would be too frustrating to keep doing.