Phyllis Fights Perfectionism and Doesn’t Even Break a Sweat

July 1, 2016


Above: A sketch of Phyl while she colors—she likes to hold the book in her lap, not on her desk. Pen and watercolor in the Moleskine Sketchbook I was recently testing. The sketch is from May, but today's post is about something that happened Wednesday while she was sketching…

I sat opposite Phyl. She held her coloring book (Lisa Congdon Botanicals) in her lap. Periodically she would hold out the marker she was using so I could cap it and give her another color. 

(It has been impossible to find markers that are easy for her to open and/or close. Sometimes she can easily get a cap off but it requires bull's-eyeing the tip in the cap to close it and she hasn't got the finger or eye dexterity to do that. Other times she can't pull the cap off. She does color when I'm not there, but when I am there my duties include providing colors on demand. Phyllis you see has minions!)

When Phyl wasn't asking for a new color I would return to my sketching (I haven't scanned that sketch yet). 

She was trying the new Tombows I bought for her. I finally gave up on all the other pens. I thought that the softer brush tips would be perfect for her limited dexterity. Tombows may be fugitive but they are fun!!!!

And I wasn't wrong. After she tried the first one I actually couldn't get her attention for 10 solid minutes because she was having so much fun filling spaces in a third of the time.

After numerous color changes and several comments from Phyl about how wonderful, beautiful, and marvelous the new pens were, I looked up from my own journal just in time to see her make a mark in the white space she was reserving. 

P: Damn it!

Her voice as angry and irritated.

"Don't worry about it," I said trying to get over the shock of hearing her swear (that counts for swearing in Phyl's life).

It was the first time in 36 years I'd heard her swear.

It was pretty funny. Her concentration was so intense.

And then she did what any artist would do, she kept right on working without taking a pause, because it was more important to keep on working than to worry about perfection.

I think we can all learn a lot from Phyl about life in general, but also about pushing forward with our creative projects.

I hope you all have a great weekend of sketching. It's a long weekend in the States. I'm looking forward to filling some journal pages. I'll tell you about some new tests and some exciting times here next week!

    • Cathy Inzer
    • July 1, 2016

    Great story! I’m looking forward to next week. Have a great weekend!

  1. Reply

    lovely story :)perfection is over rated, more people def. need to think that

  2. Reply

    Thanks Cathy!

  3. Reply

    Yep, it’s all part of resistance and the internal critic. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. Reply

    Great story, and a beautiful sketch.

  5. Reply

    Good for Phyl! Thank you for sharing this, Roz. It made me happy.

    • Miss T
    • July 2, 2016

    Such a lovely sketch, Roz.

  6. Reply

    Thanks Laura I’m glad. She’s pretty wonderful.

  7. Reply

    Thanks Miss T.

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