About a year ago, my then 81-year-old mom and I enjoyed an evening at one of those painting studios where the whole class recreates a particular painting step-by-step (wine drinking optional). The experience yielded two paintings – hers and mine. They are very different and pictured here.

doing it right

Fran’s painting

Laura’s painting







Why their differences have lingered with me for over a year are what I felt worth sharing about.

As the teacher guided us step-by-step, you could clearly see that my work echoed the instructions and the actions of the rest of the class. My mom did not quite come along for the ride. Fran (that’s her name) did her own thing and when the pro came around, she had that kindergarten-teacher-way about her where she was encouraging but slightly judgmental as she took in the odd squiggles and strokes that were foreign to the instructions.

I can’t say that I wasn’t wondering what the heck Fran was doing too.

Fast forward to us both taking the last step in the process to finish the painting. I had an imperfect imitation of the original the teacher had executed, and Fran had a work of art.
Until she was finished, I completely forgot that my mom went to The Art Student’s League of New York in her twenties, and that she painted as a hobby until she was forty.

I loved her piece. She loved mine. We traded. Hers lives in my house and visa versa.

Every time I look at it, I tell myself the story of how Fran did her own thing. She experimented but knew in her bones what she was doing. She brushed off any judgement from anyone and enjoyed every stroke. She blew me away with the result.

How will you blow yourself away trusting your instincts?
Remember, there is no RIGHT way.