Never perfect. Always genuine.

Never perfect. Always genuine.

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in. I’ve spent the day mostly alone, drawing and working on lino-cuts. Three done now, one more to go, to complete the set of four I have in mind. Still lots to do. I really love the lino-cutting process. It’s not as easy as it looks, and the most difficult thing for me personally is to keep the design simple – especially since we want to create small two-way overlay stamps with these cuts. Here’s one I did today. When I got to the lower leaves, I wished I had kept it simpler still. But it’s okay; I am learning. I stained the lino with a red Archival inkpad, so I could see what I was cutting away better. My eyes really aren’t what they used to be. But I bet a lot of you are with me there.

Of course, it would be easy – and probably much quicker – to mock up a faux lino-lookalikie on the computer in Adobe Illustrator. But I can tell you now, I won’t do that. It’s not authentic. It’s one thing cleaning the lineart up before you convert the artwork to a stamp, but we certainly won’t “pretend”. Either it’s real, or it’s fake. And at Clarity, we strive to be real. I think you know that. Always have, always will. What on earth would be the point of pretending I can do lino cuts if I can’t?! I’m in love with the process, and I get a real high off improving as I practice. Now why would I want to miss out on that? Like pottery. It’s the process – always the process.

In a world full of fake news, me-too products, copycats and con artists, it is imperative at Clarity that we stay in our arty lane. We may not have built a global crafting empire, but we have certainly made waves in the craft world with our ideas – and I like that.

At Clarity, we have been championing talented artists for decades too: Mel Turner, Cherry Green, Sam Crowe, Linda Williams, Tina Cox, Leonie Pujol, Dee Paramour, Jazz Morgan, Jayne Nestorenko, – the list goes on.

I remember years ago, sitting with Mel in Bretagne, France, when we had taken the Design Team on a little retreat-treat. She and I sitting were sitting in the shade of a sun umbrella, drawing poetry frames. It was an idea we had had, to create frames for beautiful poetry. And I remember her saying to me, “You draw so quickly, Barb! Mine always takes ages!” And my response was, “True, but then again, look at your artwork, then look at mine. Yours is immaculate; mine isn’t!”

Here are those poetry frames. Cor. I remember drawing these together like it was yesterday. Click here to find

And available in Groovi too.

At that point in my life, time was of the essence, so I drew quickly! I did most things quickly. I ate quickly, I walked quickly, I worked quickly – I did Life quickly.

Nowadays, I am more measured, slower, more focussed. And whenever I rush a thing – lino-cutting, pottery – it never goes well, and moreover, I don’t enjoy it. I understand why now. I haven’t relished the process. Mel understood that way before me.

Quote for the day?

Never perfect. Always genuine.

Love that quote!! I look forward to showcasing the linocut stamps when they are complete. It’ll be a while yet…

Love always

Barb x x x

20 thoughts on “Never perfect. Always genuine.

  1. That’ll make a fab anniversary card!
    Can’t wait to see the stamps that come from this.
    Have a relaxing evening.
    Love and hugs xxxx

  2. it looks like you picked the right day for your Palace Garden Party. It appears, maybe that The King and Queen are not there this time, William and Kate are standing in….tired out I expect! it’s how it seems.
    Glad you had a fantastic time.

  3. Superb and imaginative Lino cuts. Show on Sunday was the best ever, so many tips which I will certainly take on board. Thank you as ever x

  4. Really beautiful Barbara,
    Such a lovely design I shall look forward to when they become stamps.
    I am very glad that you & Dave enjoyed a wonderful day at the Coronation Garden Party
    last week.

  5. Love the Lino art, will be worth the wait. Nobody is perfect, but to be genuine is the key.

  6. Hi Barbara
    I agree totally with the real thing. I love paper cutting it is the process it takes me to a calm place. True I could do it on a machine but there is no joy in that.
    Keep on keeping real 😊
    Love Ruth and Jackie xx

  7. Love the birds and look forward to seeing the stamps when you are ready. Saw my first Swifts today and my spirits soared with them. Precious moments here in South London.

  8. You certainly picked the right day for your visit to the palace. Today the thunder roared, the lightening flashed and it rained bedsheets.
    The tiny imperfections in art is what makes it so genuine. Perfection is not always necessary or desirable, just enjoy what you do.

  9. What is perfect???
    What you think is perfect might not be perfect in the eyes of someone else.
    To me it means, if you are satisfied and happy with the end result. THAT is perfect.
    Your Lino cut looks great, wish I could do that.

  10. Love reading your Blogs, putting everything into perspective, wise words. The Lino cut designs are going to be very popular and very very real.

  11. I love that quote and your philosophy, Barbara. I have done this all my life, but I’ve only just realised it. People often say to me, “why don’t you use a computer program, it would be much quicker” … but I’ve always preferred to get out the pencils and paper, the paints and the inks. So, NeverPerfect, Always Genuine will be my motto from now on.

  12. Being genuine, original and generous are qualities Clarity have always shown. Introducing fresh ideas, sharing tips and tricks, and bringing together like-minded crafters in a caring, safe community, make Clarity very special. All this comes from the drive, determination and vision of a very talented and skilled Team Clarity led by Barbara and Dave. Genuine inspiration and innovation comes from genuine imagination, who needs perfection when there is genuine Clarity in your life?

    1. Ahh Ken. You really are so eloquent! Thank you for thinking and speaking so highly of us x x x

  13. What is perfect I say, much better to stop when you are happy. How many times have I ruined something by just adding a bit more, should have left it alone. Knowing when to stop is also key. I bet you are glad you went to the Palace last week instead of yesterday with regards to the weather.

  14. Hello Barb, love the quote, and it rings true doesn’t it. Love the look of the new Lino cut designs. Clarity is a blessing to many of us, for the inspiration, the love, the genuine friendly atmosphere, so glad you are not a giant empire, it would just not be the same. Take care everyone. Bx

  15. The new lino cut looks great, love the way it all slowly appears from a sheet of rubber. If everything was perfect life would be so boring – the joy of experimenting & trying new techniques is what makes crafting so enjoyable. Keep doing what you are doing – it must be ok as you have been doing it for 30 years & its worked so why change now !!
    Even the King & Queen didn’t make yesterday’s Garden Party so I think you made the right choice to go last Wednesday xx

  16. The housemartins have just arrived back in our village – we love listening to them chattering away and watching their flying skills all summer! Brilliant quote today. Similar to a phrase I use all the time “progress, not perfection” x

  17. I can’t remember now how I came across your art work, website, etc but I am so happy that I discovered Clarity a few years ago. Genuine is the word for everything you do and everyone who does it with you. Thank you for what you do.

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