In vulnerability there is no room for perfection

My fingernails are covered in gold paint this morning. That’s what happens when I forget to put latex gloves on when I create, especially if I am creating with spray paint, which I was last night.

And that’s okay. Because in the process of creating I found that sweet spot where my mind eases into peacefulness and my heart flutters into rest and I feel the oneness of being present in the moment of creation.

It is the power of creation. The absolute bliss of being aligned with the evolutionary spirit expanding into being present, right now, in this moment without expectation of anything other than to allow what is appearing to find its presence.

I’ve been making Christmas cards.

Okay, well actually, that should read, I’ve been experimenting with making Christmas cards because I haven’t yet perfected my art to the point where I’d be willing to sell these cards.

But I can give them away.

And what could be better than that? To share with someone something I’ve created?

My cohorts and fellow artists, TZ and LS of the Basement Bombshells Art Collective are participating with me in the Benefit Concert for Christmas at the Madison on Dec 8. We’ve agreed that 20% of the proceeds from sale of our artworks will go to support the programs for formerly homeless veterans who are living at The Madison. This year, we’ll once again be buying gifts for the residents as well as preparing Christmas dinner.Ā 

And this year, TZ and I decided to make cards and sell them at the show as well.

Except, I’m not comfortable selling these cards. But I can give them away. Maybe, with every painting sold, I can give away a pack of 5 cards?Or maybe, I give a card with every donation so that even if people are not inspired to buy a painting, they will feel moved to donate?

And then I have to stop and pause and consider what is this really about? It’s not about selling my artwork. I do that already. And it’s not about donating to the cause? So… where does my discomfort with selling these cards come from? Is it from that place of truth or that place of insecurity, that place that seeks perfection to hide my fear of being vulnerable?

See, I don’t think of myself as ‘an artist’. It’s kinda scary to go there. And if I hold onto that place of seeking perfection, I don’t have to worry about being judged…

To call myself an artist would suggest I have talent. And even greater than talent, that I have dreams… And that concerns me because…

Well because I still have that voice in my head that heard the laughter and criticism of my loved ones when I was little and thought it was true– or at least, was too scared to push it away for fear it was true. As a child and an almost teen, I would spend hours drawing and painting and creating only to be told, that’s silly. Or, you have no talent. Or, that’s pretty ugly. Or, you don’t really think you can draw now do you? People don’t make a living doing that. Become a pharmacist. That’s a good occupation for a woman….

Living the life of my dreams is scary — because my dreams include doing things that long ago I was told were not suitable, appropriate, fitting for a woman… for me.

It always amazes me when I start out with a subject matter I think is pretty straight forward only to discover beneath the surface is that place of vulnerability, of realness, of truth that needs exploring and even more than exploring, blowing up, expunging, eradicating.

I am an artist. I find myself in the creative act of painting, drawing, designing, writing, creating. Anything.

Whether or not my work is ‘fit for sale’ is not the issue. I love to create. To work with my hands and body engaged in the act of creating something. Anything.

I am also an explorer. I love to begin with nothing on my mind other than an idea and willingness to explore what can happen when I… do this, add that, go there, step here, stretch there.

When I mash my artists soul with my explorer’s spirit together, when I let them have free rein and reign over the creative process, I am happiest.

Just like writing this blog every morning. I seldom start out with a plan. I generally begin with the willingness to allow. To let appear. To let happen.

It is always an exploration into ‘what if…’ for me.

And in the process, I discover truths, and lies, that need exploring.

I’ve been creating Christmas cards. I’ll be selling them at the Christmas at the Madison benefit concert on December 8 to raise funds to support a cause I’m passionate about — creating and supporting veterans who were once lost on the street and have found their way home to the Madison.


18 thoughts on “In vulnerability there is no room for perfection

  1. I am soooo impressed… I love how you started out this one…My fingernails are covered in gold paint this morning! I know NOW that we are kindred spirits! You ARE an artist too!!!! And even if we are doing it… or not… just starting out or have our own art studio filled to the brim… (how funny… is that a freudian slip or what…( before I looked up, I typed grin but meant brim!) Of course I mean I knew you were in an artist cuz of your beautiful paintings but a “crafter” too!!! šŸ˜‰
    I have recently hung up my artist’s apron but my daughter is doing so well on Etsy with her little quirky pieces that I had to reshare my post about my journey.
    I know you already have seen it but wanted to inspire ya! Your cards are soooooo CUTE!!!! Why can’t you sell them? With your paintings or without??? I like the idea of free with a painting but I think that they hold their own value. You might look into Etsy! It is only twenty cents an item to list… If you want some pointers when you aren’t so busy and can think more about it… I am here. Etsy would be a great show place for your art!


    • Ah Tandy — that ole’ perfection conundrum! You are a writer — and a beautiful one — and, even more than that, writing calls to you, it is a yearning and a compulsion, it is your expression of your essential self. Yes my friend. You are a writer! šŸ™‚ Hugs


  2. I have this same self-criticism in my head about writing because ‘English’ was my weakest subject at school and my strengths were mathematics and Science. This was followed by a career in health (ie: science). So I never considered myself “good” at writing. Yet, among the scientists I know as a whole (ie my colleagues), I know I have a strength in writing, albeit it in a scientific, logical way. And I enjoy the pedantic nature of being ultra-correct in grammar and punctuation even though you are not supposed to start a sentence with ‘and’ and I just did and I have also made this a very long sentence which is also a no-no. That is because I am also a rebel. What I mean by all that is; don’t listen to the voices in your head, you are very artistic- in many fields – and what is more; you have your own style.


  3. Oops, please excuse the TERRIBLE unedited passage above, full of inconsistencies and umpteen grammar and punctuation errors.
    Science, English, (capitals) mathematics, science (no capitals). What on EARTH was I thinking?


    • I love how you break the rules Elizabeth! I tell students in creative writing classes that they have to learn the rules in order to free themselves enough to break them. But, without understanding the rules, they may not know how to communicate — even when they break the rules — in ways that connect with their audience. If you’re not connecting, you’re journalling. And that’s great for yourself, but it doesn’t add value to the world — so, to write good you gotta be willing to go through the bad… šŸ™‚

      Tee hee — see how many rules I broke too?

      When I read your words Elizabeth I see into your world. And that is fascinating!


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