Art, Drawing, education, Josephine, motivation, New work, wisdom

At the End of the Day – Pencil Sketch by Joana Miranda

Whimsical pencil sketch of chic girl walking and texting by Joana MirandaSome days are harder than others.  We strive to do well, to get where we’re going, and yet, sometimes, we just don’t seem to be making progress.  Case in point; today I took a viola audition and felt like I played OK-but-not-great in the first round.  Surprisingly, I advanced to the semi-finals.  Then, as luck would have it, I thoroughly enjoyed playing in the semi-final round and felt very confident about advancing to the finals…then didn’t.

A case of how could I be so wrong?  What’s wrong with my ears?  Maybe not.  While I have no doubt that there is room for growth and improvement in my artistic endeavors, I also believe that art criticism is very subjective in nature.  I suppose this could lead easily to frustration and defeat, but because of the way I’m wired, I also feel that…

“The way to be happy is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that’s impossible to achieve and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it.”

(Winston Churchill)

So I’ll continue to strive for my vision of perfection in both my music and my art!


  1. Well, that’s the spirit! And I think your experience has probably been replicated many times by all kinds of performers. It can’t be explained, can it? Anyway, the drawing is very glamorous.

    • Hi Helen,

      Thanks for cheering me on! In light of my recent audition experience, I was reminded of my experience judging for the Young Artists Competition in Milwaukee. Three years in a row I judged prelims with a MSO musician (someone I like and respect, but who shall remain unnamed). We were pretty much alike in our voting on every auditionee with the odd exception that each year we found ourselves on completely opposite sides of the fence for one candidate. Each time, I was strongly pro-advancing the person and my colleague was vehemently opposed. Furthermore, this colleague really seriously questioned my judgment saying things like “Didn’t you hear that the candidate played everything out of tune?”, “They’re my lowest scoring person all day!”, or some other indicting comment.

      Fortunately, each year I persisted reasoning that since we were only judging the prelims, if that candidate was really so bad they would be knocked out in the subsequent rounds.

      Would you believe that every year this happened (3 years in a row) the person in question not only went on to the finals and to playing with the MSO, but they were the winner of the Harry John Brown grand prize award as well!

      So, I guess that just goes to show that we all hear and value things quite differently.

      Now I’ve gotta get back into the saddle and start practicing for the next audition…

      Ciao – Joana

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