Accepting Imperfections - In Art, In Yourself

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

Do you cockle?

In Art: Although Cockle sounds like something a rooster crows about, it is actually a watercolor term. When water and paint are applied to watercolor paper moisture absorbs into the fibers causing them to expand, making the paper wave, or more commonly known as cockle. Even a high-quality, thick watercolor paper can buckle unless the artist stretches the paper prior to painting.

Often the cockling of the paper is more pronounced when the piece is framed. You may notice the watercolor paper ripple along the straight edge of the mat board. The shadow on the left, along the edge of the white mat board, in the painting below is from the cockling in the watercolor paper.

 Although the mat board may draw attention to the cockling, the mat has an important feature which is to keep the art from touching the glass. When art is placed directly against glass there is a risk of moisture, and even mold, collecting on the painting.

To me, the cockling of the watercolor paper is its beauty. I have learned to appreciate the natural elements of paper and embrace it.

In nature: Embracing imperfections goes beyond art. Think of nature, what makes marble and granite so desirable? It’s their one-of-a-kind beauty, including imperfections. A few pits and fissures enhance the interest in the surface, yet they don’t impair its durability or functionality. We value each piece because of their different patterns and textures. How can you not love a few flaws in something that has endured being underground for thousands of years, perhaps surviving the glaciers?

In yourself: What is more natural than you? Welcome imperfections, we all have them, so embrace your individuality and uniqueness. lf you embrace them, others will smile at them, too. Take for instance the laugh lines growing deeper on my aging face. With the lights on low, I look in the mirror. My husband chuckles at me in the dim light. I respond to his chortle: “Doesn’t everyone look younger in a darken room?”

Then I laugh, too. After all, I’ve earned every one of these “natural” wrinkles living life. Haven’t you?
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