Ali Matteini

a life creative

mARTEdì: pleasure in presenting the imperfect unfinished

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“You don’t have to wait for something ‘meaningful’ to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The ‘waiting to start living’ syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state.”
Eckhart Tolle



As with most folk on a creative path I live with the paradox of the above quote and the on-and-off struggle with artistic doubt. I experience the sheer joy of making art alongside angsty what’s-the-point days…and who doesn’t?

The reason I started the mARTEdì posts was so that I’d set myself a deadline day with a ‘notebook’ in which to put out something I’ve made. The deadlines of late have been liminal [I’ve missed the last 2 and today is actually mercoledì], and most likely what I post is imperfect: half-finished or just begun, a thumbnail sketch – just ANYTHING, so that months don’t go before I realise I haven’t put creative intention to paper. An imperfectly done thing, as they say, is better than a flawless nothing at all.


Our current world is one in which we have been conditioned to line up with perfection in all facets of our lives: if we aren’t seeing the befores and afters on social media, we are at least seeing the shiny end product – bodies, lifestyles, food, art, etc. We don’t witness the mess or the hours of hard slog that cobble the road there, the observing, planning, learning, the woeful mistakes, the low lows, scribbling, musing, editing and scrapping that goes on to bring you the finely crafted mask of perfection. It can create a sense that we should be waiting for the right moment to arrive before we present anything – because we fear it won’t measure up to what’s out there. I’m not saying that honing a craft towards perfection is false – edit, rework, edit again and make it your best thing – but the constant stream of airbrushed perfect end product fosters expectation and disappointment. That fused with tidal sensations of artistic inadequacy denies good old fashioned fun. Playing around experimenting with colour, line, space and materials, or with language, and the experience of being present in that moment of making something imperfect is what fulfils and self-fuels creative energy and meaning.

Documented or not, every moment’s the right one. From there, the rest happens organically.

So now that I’ve longwindedly excused my artistic imperfections and skipped deadlines, please enjoy the last few weeks’ dabbles.

Girasole progression
These are a few colour studies for a planned larger work.


These were done with the Lyra watercolours, which I adore, but for something larger I’m tossing up between outlined indian ink or acrylic.


Oil’s out of the question as its drying time and my patience aren’t in the same galaxy 🙂


A Rediscovery from Vedic Art
While at Christine Persson’s place for Vedic art on Sunday, she unearthed this. It’s unfinished, from last year [or the year before??] and I’d completely forgotten about it.



It’s very Steiner-esque!
I started reworking it, at turns feeling doubtful and  that I should have left it alone, and seeing that there was potential in pursuing it.


At the end of the session I took it home and yesterday began outlining the foreground elements in black ink.


Some aspects I like, but I’m still dubious – and that’s why I like this piece. Not because it’s any good, but for the internal directions it’s taking me; the way it’s making me question, and it prods me to want to further explore art therapy some time in the future, a career I seriously considered pursuing at the age of 16 and then again in the months before coming to Italy.
Hmmm. We’ll see.

A Presto,

Cheers and Ciao,

Ali 🙂

Image Alison Matteini ©

Image Alison Matteini ©

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