20210610 by DrBeena

Why are we riveted by imperfections? In the painting of the bird above that I painted from a picture that a friend sent to me, I was unaware of my mistakes till I watched the tutorials by John Muir Laws. In his tutorials, he explains why it is crucial to understand the anatomy of the bird. It truly blew me off. I realized after the tutorial how similar birds are despite the variations in size, colour and other variations. For a bird painting to appear realistic there are some pertinent features that need to be in the right place.

I love watching birds (the real ones) . For those who love watching/drawing birds I recommend understanding the anatomy (artistic). It’s very enchanting. Birds give you that sense of freedom, the lightless of flight at times of danger that sometimes we wish we had wings to soar. You will fathom why the feathers on the wing are so different. It’s for a purpose. My friends and I love counting the types of birds in the garden or watch the hatching of chicks in the nests. Here in Kuching, many birds build nests in our plants. I am fascinated by multi-storied bird’s nest built with very intricate designs. These birds never went to a design school but use marvelous ingenuity to build nests for their young ones.

Hence, I went back to my paintings of the birds. Oh my gosh I saw all my mistakes. They were staring at me. I suggest that you too look at this bird painting and the earlier ones and critique them.

On the other hand, I started to ponder as why do we always find excitement in criticism. Are we so bored to death? Then I realized how I loved to critique on food. The only good grace was I would never critique food prepared by friends as its always done with love and care. I am alluding to food in restaurants where you pay for the order. Usually, I will not return nor recommend that restaurant to my friends. I have been utterly embarrassed by bringing friends for meals to places where the food was just terrible.

However, in the world of art its different. Admiring a piece of art is very personal. I could never fathom abstract art. Many years ago, I saw this painting in my friend’s house. It was an abstract art. But wait, my jaw dropped when I heard the price of that painting. The art piece was just some colours thrown on canvas with no form (maybe I could not see it) framed and hung. Many years later I found out that it was done by local artist here in Kuching. The wealthy here would buy his paintings as investment. Now why didn’t I realize that?

I had always pondered why people pay so much for art. Have you wondered the same way? I am not discouraging anyone to be an art collector. In the art world it is tough for artists to make it. Hence when I read about Vincent Van Gogh and how his art reflected his tortured mind or the famous ‘Scream’ by Edvard Munch, I do wonder if we had social media then these artists would have endured more, maybe. Despite that many artists were never famous for their work until after their death. Edgar Degas was such a recluse that he only ventured out at night to walk the streets of Paris for fear of his critics.

Hence my conclusion is by nature we love to find the little imperfections. Maybe it gives an adrenaline rush for the day. Maybe it’s like finding the missing link or many more reasons. Maybe it gives us some thrill in our exhaustive life. There is no right or wrong reason as long as it causes no harm to others. That’s my take. I didn’t mind how my birds looked. I always find beauty in imperfections.

Till next time, I hope to hear more comments on my bird painting. Even if the comment is unfavourable I will tell myself “it’s fine, everyone needs an adrenaline rush”.  It does give me a thrill that you found the mistakes. Bye for now and let me return to my painting and share my next story on my tribulation. I would love to read your stories on criticisms and your thoughts on how you dealt with it. Or why you love to critic. By the way, if anyone knows the type of that bird above, please put in the comments.

Appreciate it very much.

12 thoughts on “IMPERFECTIONS

  1. I thought your last bird painting was a crow in disguise -an insecure crow trying to get dressed up to look different 😁

    1. Hi Ash

      Never seen an orange crow:) even in disguise. You must read about Motmots in the earlier story. You can never hide your tail:):):).

      Post a story about the crow in disguise. Would love to hear more about that one.


  2. Beena, the magic you create with your pen and brush is extremely soothing and heart warming.
    Your transformation from oncology the art form is simply spectacular
    You are truly multitalented no doubt!
    Please Publish in hard copies too your drawings & stories for a wider audience.
    Good luck with your new found passion 👏👏
    All the best 🙏🙏

    1. Hi Shaj

      Was hoping to read your story on any of the paintings. Haha let me keep painting and hopefully you will be inspired by one of them.

      Thank you for all your support


  3. When you talked about bird anatomy, I’m reminded of Michelangelo and Da Vinci dissecting corpses so that they can study the human anatomy better for their art. They really understood muscles and it was said, knew the human anatomy better than some doctors of their day. Now, I’m not saying you have to start dissecting some birds! 😄 But you may want to buy a whole chicken for the sake of your art.

  4. I would say arts is like loving a person.. like the beauty in the eyes of the beholder… Always love your paintings.. They look very realistic.. Giving the thoughts of what the paintings trying to convey… Out of curiosity.. Is there any moment that you catch birds looking like they are actually smiling? Just wander… 😊

    1. Hi Cath

      Now that’s a great question? Do birds smile? Now I know dogs smile. I need to find out more but you really made me sit up with that ‘ smiley’ question. I would welcome others who knows this answer to post the reply.

      Hope to hear more from you,


  5. The colour painted bird eludes the brilliance of the artist which emits flourence on her patients face bringing the the shine out of their illness.Well done dr.beena

    1. Hi Dr Ravi

      Am still at infancy stage of painting but now I like to relate my tribulations with art to life. I hope the readers find hope and peace during the present times.
      Thank you for your encouraging words. Appreciate very much.


  6. I think that to learn bird anatomy from chicken (raw then roasted or with sauce) is actually a good idea. I can send you chicken receipt if you need 🙂
    Pigeons or quails are also very good for anatomy purpose and amazing with grapes & white wine sauce…

    When it comes to birds there is only one mistake you can do in my opinion: not to try them with a good sauce… :-p

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