Monday, 9 April 2012

Picture (im)Perfect

I have an unhealthy, bordering on damaging, obsession with perfection. Anyone who knows me, knows me to be picky and pedantic, but it's not like I do it on purpose. It's a coping strategy. I'm just trying to keep up.

I look at everyone else -stylish, successful, talented, people who are prolific in their art or craft -or whatever their field may be, people who are on the go all the time, people who juggle jobs and families and friendships and never let anything drop.

I have these ideas about other people, like that if one area of their life is perfect, or seems perfect, that must mean that everything about them is the same, even though I know this isn't true. And it means that I have to try and compete. I know people who are super-fit, but are complete flakes. I have friends who look amazing, but spend little time or effort on anything other than their appearance -hey, everyone knows that people with perfectly painted nails spend waaay too long sat still doing nothing (and clearly can't do DIY!) Some people have the most exciting social lives, but live in pits and exist off beans on toast. Others seem to have everything, but I pretty much know it's been bought on credit. I know this is the reality -that other people don't have extra hours in their days, or super-human energy levels (I have a skewed view of this because I've always been a sickly child, a wilting flower), but I want to be perfect at everything.

I want...

An immaculate home
A flawless appearance
Just the right amount of style (without seeming try-hard)
To cook everything from scratch
As for scratches, my car to be scratch free -and to be able to both drive it well and park it
To be nice to everyone (I know I'm not!)
To make maximum effort at work -and enjoy it!
To have a social life others envy (and no, I won't take photos, because I'll be too busy having fun!)
To still have time to be creative, and successful at it
To blog more than what seems like about twice a year!
To promote myself
To exercise and not hate it
To keep up with current affairs
To read
To remember things I've read/learned
To know what the heck I'm talking about -ever!
For my clothes to never be creased, my wash basket always to be empty
To never have a hair or a thread or anything out of place
To see family
To see friends
To spend just the right amount of money

Is this so much to ask?

I think my quests for order and perfection -not only fuel my crazy, but are also behind my collaging, collecting, assembling, arranging fixations. Taking disorder, the discarded, and making into something unified, composite, harmonious even. Like when I've cleaned the house from top to bottom and can smugly sit back -until I find something else that absolutely needs to be done.

You may remember my every-so-often 'I need to paint more' ponderings.

So I tried, and enjoyed myself, revelling in the gloss and the texture and the tactile experience of oil onto canvas, building up layer upon layer, until, Miss Perfect, I put a brushstroke wrong, and haven't beared to work on it since...

(See offending area encircled in red, which incidentally, to people I've asked, apparently has nothing wrong with it)

So I've taken the motif and interpretted it in collage. See, told you it kept me sane. Or, I just can't stop myself.

I've blogged about my 'hands' fascination not so long ago 'hand-made' blog post, and I'm enjoying using them to depict simplified tree forms.

When we eventually get some decent light (because my camera and my photography skills are far from perfect!), and if I can ever take the time out from my exhausting, self-inflicted schedule, I may share some photos of the new piece.

Until then I guess I'll keep tying myself in knots, being practically perfect -at most, if not all, things.


  1. fab blog! So get it - feel the same xxxxx pursue happiness rather than perfection. That's one powerful painting too!

  2. Thanks. And glad it's not just me!