My artistic Kintsugi journey: embracing the flaws in my art

My artistic Kintsugi journey: embracing the flaws in my art

My story: how it started

In the throes of an artist's dream, I embarked on a special series of paintings destined for a gallery that would bring my art to Europe, South America and the Caribbean. The excitement of showcasing my work in various locations, starting from the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain, fuelled my creative spirit. However, this dream took an unexpected turn when, six months later, the unsold pieces returned to me marred by mishandling during their journey.

Dismay washed over me as I discovered scratches on several artworks, and to my profound disappointment, my favorite piece had suffered a puncture. Initially disheartened, I faced a crucial decision: succumb to the setbacks or salvage the essence of my creations. Resolute, I chose the latter.

Fixing the scratched surfaces proved to be a manageable feat, but it was the punctured painting that presented a unique challenge. Months of contemplation led me to a revelation inspired by the age-old Japanese wisdom encapsulated in Kintsugi. What if, like the Japanese artisans, I could not only repair the piece but enhance its beauty by embracing the flaws that now adorned it?

This blog narrates the transformative thinking that ensued, as I turned adversity into an opportunity for artistic evolution. Join me below as I delve into the practice of "Kintsugi for paintings" and share how this experience reshaped not only the damaged canvas but also my perspective on imperfections in the realm of art.

Damaged abstract painting can be made more beautiful using the concept of Kintsugi.

Having faith in the mishaps

In my art journey, I've found a kindred spirit in the ancient Japanese practice of Kintsugi. This philosophy, celebrating flaws by mending pottery with gold, mirrors my approach in the studio. Using layers of paint, I weave history and beauty into my work, much like Kintsugi's golden seams.

Kintsugi's allure lies in transforming brokenness into beauty. This resonates deeply, inspiring me to embrace imperfections in my art. Layering, akin to Kintsugi's delicate repairs, becomes my tool for expression. Each layer speaks of evolution, letting underlying colors peek through and unveiling a tale of growth.

My studio echoes Kintsugi's essence: finding potential in imperfections. I salvage incomplete pieces, much like broken pottery, and build upon them. The process is a narrative of celebration, each layer of paint highlighting flaws instead of hiding them. The result is an artwork layered with history and textured with authenticity.

Surprisingly, my most cherished works emerge from this process. Similar to Kintsugi's philosophy enhancing value, investing effort in embracing imperfections deepens my art. Using the "blemish" to create new beauty, usually through collage and additional painting, makes the piece shine more brightly in my mind. The finished piece becomes a testament to vulnerability and growth. It forges a connection between the artwork and the viewer, much like Kintsugi's connection between artist and observer.

A torn canvas can be a disaster or a blessing!

My art finds kinship with Kintsugi's spirit. By celebrating imperfections through layers of paint, I craft a narrative of growth and authenticity. In embracing flaws, I discover a unique form of beauty—one that (hopefully) resonates with those who witness it.

And in the end...

Here is my new and improved painting, "Crossings on Crossings", below. After repairing and supporting the back side of the canvas, I added strips of painted canvas that run across the surface, not only hiding the tear and scratches, but in fact, making the painting more beautiful than it was before. 

Collaged painting, Crossings on Crossings, by abstract artist Claire Desjardins.

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AWESOME !! Your art is distinctive and unique, truly brings joy.

Lynn Hardcastle

This was so interesting, and such a wonderful way to look at ‘broken’ pieces! Thank you for sharing. I also didn’t know that acrylic medium could be used on top of a varnished piece.

Sandra Ricci

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