Perfection in imperfection

Brady's journal pendant
Brady's pendant inside inscription

The inscription inside Marlene Brady’s polymer and bead journal project pendant reads, “If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.” The quote is by Charley Reese.

Marlene was frustrated with the way the transfer smeared and blogged about her dissatisfaction with her art. Her readers had a different reaction. Reading their comments is a treat. They were struck, as I was, with the color and liveliness of the pieces that convey Marlene’s heartfelt sentiments so effectively.

She says, “My Bead Journal Projects are my way of giving myself permission to process negative feelings in a positive way.” Marlene’s inspiring pieces are a lesson for all the recovering perfectionists out there.

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  • reply Marlene Brady ,

    Oh my gosh! Thank you from the bottom of my bursting with happiness heart. I feel so honored being on Polymer Clay Daily. I must give credit to Robin Atkins who allowed me to be part of her Bead Journal Project 3. I have been wanting to incorporate polymer into my beadwork and joining Robin’s BJP3 has helped me stick to my commitment of one piece per month for a year. Thank you again Cynthia–you have made my year! -Marlene

    • reply Emily miller ,

      Good quote.

      • reply Peg Harper ,

        I’ve always found this polymer community to be the most generous, positive, supportive group of artists. I do love the term “recovering perfectionist”. Thank you Cynthia. Enjoy your travels!

        • reply Sabine Spiesser ,

          “Recovering perfectionist” – I love that. I always admire the looseness others can bring to their work and am wondering, whether one needs to be able to perfect, before one can let loose and do looseness with purpose. I have come to think that this path will be eventually be overshadowed with frustrations and am making sure to mix it up by using scraps to create something more on the wild side of my brain. It’s like having a rambling garden with clipped shrubs to contain everything into it’s limited space – well, that’s what mine looks like even though it’s hard to imagine.
          Marlene, I love your work, keep it up and don’t hide the mishaps.

          • reply Jeannie ,

            Marlene I love your work and the boomerang quote. Recovering Perfectionist, I could not have said it better myself. I found that my work got better the more I was able to let go.
            Marlene thanks for sharing this.

            • reply Carol ,

              I have followed Marlene’s art for over twenty years (and yes, I do own a few pieces, on which I receive many compliments). She is a creative and visionary artist and it’s fascinating watching her continually evolve, from pieces that are purely fun and whimsical, to the soulful pendants in the polymer and bead journal project. Marlene, positive thoughts your way.
              C.

              • reply Gaina ,

                I’ve had a major lesson in accepting imperfections in my work just this weekend. I have just finished varnishing 8 boxes for my installation in June and some if the wooden boxes have blemishes that only came up once the varnish was on. I was about to freak out about it but realized that it was actually quite perfect in it’s imperfection!

                Ironically I had done an experiment on some of the boxes last week to ‘distress’ them and they looked horrible, but this seems just right :).

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                • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

                  On this blog I showcase the best polymer clay art online to inspire and encourage you. I also send out weekend extras in the premium newsletter, StudioMojo.

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