I’ve been taking a stained glass class for a few weeks now, trying to shake up my routine and thought process a bit. In going over my work there with the instructor who is teaching me on a one-to-one basis, I try to explain that while I am seeking to learn proper technique I am not shooting for perfection. I am looking for expression and things like rhythm and harmony. It made me think of the painting above , Seeking Imperfection, which was the title piece for my second show at the Principle Gallery back in 2001. I am re-running a post from a few years back that better explains my search for the not-perfect aspects of our world.
Imperfection clings to a person, and if they wait till they are brushed off entirely, they would spin for ever on their axis, advancing nowhere.
I was thinking early this morning about a comment made yesterday by Linda Leinen about how we go through life, starting fresh and clean, and progress as we absorb all that life deals out to us, leaving us somewhat scarred. It reminded me of the title of both a painting and a show that I did many years ago called Seeking Imperfection. It remains one of my favorite titles, probably because it best describes my own relationship with perfection.
I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of perfection or the search for it. Perfection is the antithesis of our humanity, at least in how I view it, and to seek it is to deny our imperfect natures. We are flawed and scarred characters in a world that is definitely not perfect except in those rare moments when all of these flaws coalesce into instances of harmony and beauty.
That’s kind of what I hope for and sometimes see in my paintings– harmony and beauty despite the inherent imperfections. I can find flaws in any of my paintings but I don’t cringe at the sight of them. Instead, they make me glad because in seeing them I recognize my connection to them, can see the struggle in trying to create these moments of harmony. A pit here, a dot of stray paint or a rough edge there, a bristle from a brush trapped in the paint– it all speaks to me, saying that it can be whole and harmonious- beautiful- despite the flaws. Perhaps not a bad way to view one’s life.