It’s a line from a largely unintelligible called “New Noise” by Refused. Despite being completely wrong for the time period that was portrayed in the movie, it featured in the film Friday Night Lights. The words are powerful once understood past the screaming. Good frames won’t save bad paintings! A frame is nothing more than an accessory. It’s not the point and never will be. Although this fact may be extremely self evident, people do their own version of it all the time. They spend a majority of time and effort on the things that are not truly the point but justify it to themselves as important. This is not a judgmental thing as usual. My finger is not wagging at anyone. I’ve done it before. Spending minutes, hours, days on the least important component because I’m afraid to focus on the truth. This painting sucks! Since I’m not a painter, that would be true.
Recognizing that your painting is shit will get you so much farther than putting a great frame around it! By accepting the fact that it is not your masterpiece, you have the chance to improve it. Ignoring the painting in favor of the superfluous is a waste of time and it fools no one. So why then would anyone engage in this foolishness? Because we’re not actually worried about the painting being garbage. It’s us! We’re trying to protect ourselves from the self-scrutiny! We do not want to look into that other framed rectangle that shows back exactly who we are. Whether the mirror is figurative or literal, we find it difficult to stare at because it’s us that’s imperfect and we know it.
Let me fill you in on a secret, you’re never going to be perfect. No one is! Despite that fact, you have the opportunity to be a masterpiece. It probably will take a long time to get it right. Several different iterations and tweaks will be necessary. But that’s the point! Don’t try and shortcut yourself by settling for being a bad painting in an excellent frame. Be the masterpiece that we all know that you can be!