Perfect is the enemy of good

Mudflats. It's a start.

This blog was on Google’s Blogger from 2007 until the present (with a short hiatus during which it was hosted by the Bangor Daily News). Blogger is a simple platform, but in 2021, it suspended support of its RSS web feed. That meant that people could no longer subscribe.

After consulting with the usual experts, I determined that it was sensible to bring it in-house, onto my own website. I have a tenuous relationship with my website—it’s a large beast that I placate by throwing content over the fence and then quickly running away.

Importing 15 years of blog posts was way above my skillset. In May, I wrote about hiring an expert. Unfortunately, she finished just as I started my hike across England. It was easier to just keep writing on Blogger. The posts piled up. I didn’t dare ask Deepika to do another import, so yesterday I finally sat down and moved the remaining mess on my own.

Drying sails in Camden harbor. We're taking practice shots before Camden on Canvas.

It’s not elegant. I’ve had 15 years to make Blogger look exactly as I want—font, header, nested links, advertising. But it’s done, and as of today, you should be getting this feed in your mailbox if you’re subscribed. And if you’re not, you can subscribe … oh, darn, the subscription box has migrated away again. Another task for Deepika, until I can master this interface.

When my father was 63, he was secure in his expertise, partially because there was a secretary who did all the technical stuff for him. When my grandfather was 63, he was dead. In contrast, my husband and I spend inordinate amounts of time and effort mastering new technology. In almost every field, we’re barraged by new information and equipment.

Apple Blossom Time, 9x12, oil on canvasboard, $696 unframed. I painted this with Eric Jacobsen last summer.

There are two lessons here, both of which I think are hopeful. The first is that, at 63, I see no sign of mental exhaustion or slippage. All this struggle is keeping me mentally agile.

The second is… oh, shoot, I forgot the second.

It’s summer, so I go out in the morning and painting for a few hours. Then I head home and open my gallery. It’s exactly the right amount of time for a good start. Last week I painted with Ken DeWaard. I painted an absolute stinker. This week, Björn Runquist and I have been practicing our chip shots together and mine have gotten better.

Spring Greens, 8X10, oil on canvasboard, $522 unframed.

“How can you be rusty?” my husband, who’s a bass player, asked me. “Isn’t painting a mental skill?” Painting and music are both combinations of the mental and the physical, and the two are closely intertwined.

Are my painting starts perfect? Heck, no. Do they show promise? Yes.

Oh, yeah, that was my second point: it doesn’t matter if my blog or paintings are good or bad. They won’t get better unless I actually work on them.

3 Replies to “Perfect is the enemy of good”

  1. Nice setup! And I think practice is not aimed for perfect but to keep whatever you have from sinking into the hole of despair. Perfect is an illusion.

  2. I love what you say. You always speak what I need to hear when I need to hear it. It’s uncanny. I look so forward to meeting you.💗 Liz ~

  3. I totally agree with Diane. I’ve seen the pursuit of perfection tank the best of projects in many fields. The passion to continue and practice creates what we call talent.

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