Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Understanding the fuzziness of perfection can really increase efficiency. Today I've been sorting out my old poems, choosing the best for a book of poems I'd like to put together, it's a goal for January. Choosing the "best" is always a matter of opinion, but it's important not to spend too long agonising over the choices.

Sometimes I've agonised over paintings, sometimes not. A long time later, the differences between the pictures are not apparent. So, does this mean I hit upon success with both? I think it's more a case of most of the agonising not being worth it. Sometimes it matters a great deal, but wonderful inspiration during that agony is very rare.

I often find, and I can see this in other artists too, that I can spend 90% of the thinking time considering 10% of the picture, and often not the most important 10% either! In short, haste can be your friend. In fact, confidence if it leads to anything leads to fast decisions, and fast decisions lead to confidence.

In four minutes I'll finish this blog entry, and tonight I'll finalise my list of poems. I might put together two books; one of poems generally which will include many of my favourites that I've not put on my website, and one of "painting poems", because many of my pictures have associated poems.


Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Mark,

It is a wonderful goal that you have, but I think you will find it challenging. Having written poetry in my twenties and thirties, they remain in notebooks and binders, filed away in a cabinet.

Over the years there have been only a couple of poems and now my voice has shifted to trying my hand at short stories.

You may find that the ones you favor today, might not stand up twenty or thirty years from now, when you have another look at them.

Allow me to suggest that you try to put together a small collection of poems with a theme, as it becomes a benchmark for when you look back upon them.

All the best to you for 2010,

Kathy said...

Mark - your agenda for this evening exhausts me! Oh, to be young and energetic :)
I'm interested in what you wrote about struggling over what is frequently the least important aspect of a painting. How true. Perhaps those are areas of indecision that we neglected in our initial planning and are now "stuck" with. But, as you point out, haste does force us to put most of our effort into the parts that really count and that can be a very good thing.

Mark Sheeky said...

My poems have changed quite a lot. it's interesting that looking back, my current ones do seem a bit better. I don't know if I have enough on one subject to fit.

Perhaps I need a time limit! I'm a perfectionist but I'm happy to rush somethings to get them out of the way. Having half-finished things lying around is definitely not my style, so neatness can sometimes actually be an incentive to get work finished, even if "imperfect"!