Imperfectly Perfect

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A young man meets his newborn, not expected to live.

I am often asked why I am so drawn to watercolors, especially when there are so many different creative mediums from which to choose.  Truthfully, there are so many things I love about watercolors; the way they move on paper, the unintentional and intentional fluidity that happens, the melding of colors, and the transparency of so many of the colors on paper.  However, there is one aspect of watercolors that I love, or at least how it relates to my abstract style, and that is the “imperfect perfections”.  One thing that is certain about my paintings is they are not perfect.  They have many flaws.  I “color outside the lines” so to speak. I don’t worry about keeping the color within my sketched design.  I want my colors to creep outside the lines, sometimes meshing with other colors that are right outside the lines.  I don’t want perfectly contained shades of colors that look like a photograph.  I love to see sporadic blurred lines, so that you don’t always know where one thing ends and another begins.  Some details are more defined than others.   I’m okay with having a hand that looks more like a lobster claw than a hand.  My intention isn’t to draw a perfect hand, or face.  My intention is to bring about emotion.  This style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but to me, it reminds me of real life.

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A young girl walks with her “Boppy” (grandpa) after one of his final chemotherapy treatments. 

Peruse through a few of your friends’ Facebook page or Instagram account.  I can guarantee that the majority of photos are those of people smiling, looking beautiful, happy, secure and hopeful.  You generally won’t see a photo of the new mother who is crying because she has only had a handful of hours of sleep since bringing her newborn home.  You won’t see pictures of a fighting couple, near the brink of separation of divorce.  You won’t see the photos  of anguish, hopelessness, or despair.  You generally won’t see the “messy” part of each of our lives…the laundry piling up on the bedroom floor, the tax papers spread out all over the kitchen table in a rush to meet the deadline, the overwhelming burden of taking care of aging parents, or photos that are reflective of our worst times, such as grief, depression, or other form of utter despair. I get it, these are often our private emotions and we certainly don’t want them displayed out there for the world to see, not even our closest family and friends (at least I don’t).  But, to be frank, this is part of life.  It’s messy and it’s real.  The sad thing is, so often we feel that other people are happier or healthier than we are, or more financially secure.  People don’t generally post pictures demonstrating their worries, anxiety, or physical or emotional pain.  They don’t show the struggles with one of the many possible addictions, or fears of stigma that often go with them.  We may feel that they have perfect children, perfect relationships, perfect, well everything.  The bottom line is, that’s just not true….no matter who you are.  It is my belief that some of this false perspective comes from social media, as we always want to show our best.  I can guarantee you won’t see me posting pictures of me when I first wake up, or even without makeup, I don’t like the idea of that perspective living permanently on the world-wide-web, (and you all should be thanking me for this).  You may wonder where I am heading here, but ultimately, it is this: we are all imperfectly perfect.  We are as we were designed to be.  We don’t always have perfect hair, makeup, clothes, or life for that matter, but the imperfections are what makes us who we are.  Every ebb and flow makes us wiser, stronger, and sculpts us into the individuals that we are meant to be.

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A beautiful, young woman loses her life in a tragic accident. 

As each of us faces challenges, and perhaps feels like we are facing our struggles alone, while others are living blissful lives, I believe it is important to remember that we all have blurred lines.  We often only see the pictures that others want us to see.  If there is no other lesson here, it is to be kind, even when you don’t feel like it.  Make no assumptions, as we are often not seeing the whole picture.  Most people are struggling with “something”, although we may not or never know what that is.  Love the skin that you’re in and love others for who they are, not what you hope that can be.  Love yourself and others, despite imperfections and flaws, as they are what makes each of us, us.

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A big sister gently kisses the forehead of her newborn brother, born with serious health issues. 

In today’s post, I am sharing some of my most intimate paintings.  Paintings that remain most dear to my heart, because of the sentiment behind them. I am not sharing the full stories behind each one, as they are not my stories to tell.  Each one is a rendering of emotion of heartache, despair, and sadness, as well as hope, love and miracles.  Just a simple demonstration that we all live imperfectly perfect lives and to remember love each other just a little bit more.

4 thoughts on “Imperfectly Perfect

  1. Your paintings are absolutely breath taking. I love your point about how all we see on social media these days are people’s happy moments. It is definitely true and I agree that is important to remember we are imperfectly perfect. Keep up the amazing work!

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