Sunday, November 22, 2009


Watercolor with gouache on watercolor paper - 6" x 6" (SOLD)

Crumbling v. 1. Breaking into small fragments. 2. Disintegrating gradually.

It just spoke to me, I guess, so I picked it off the cold ground and took it home. Fallen, mottled, already spent. An autumn leaf that was damaged and unwanted. I could identify with that.

In past years I used to paint fall leaves with overly intense colors and made sure they were perfectly formed. But now it seems I'm drawn to how things really are, flaws and all, rather than seeking out an ideal.

Faded colors, brittle edges, cracks, and holes. I wanted to capture a grittier portrayal.

How many can honestly say they see the beauty in the ugliness? Who actively looks for something flawed, scarred, and worthless?

I wonder if I'll meet someone that can accept my faults, my imperfections, my "issues". After all, who wants a shattered soul that's so clearly damaged and fragile?

Perhaps that's too much to ask of anyone.

Or maybe like withered fall leaves, they'll just continue to pass me by as I lay fallen, unwanted....crumbling.


Quincifer said...

This is a tought one to comment on.

The picture is lovely, I like how you have managed to make it look so fragile.

As far as meeting someone who can accept you? That can only happen when you accept yourself...


Dean Grey said...


I really tried to make the leaf look worn and delicate so I'm glad you think I achieved that effect!

I agree with the rest of what you said but accepting oneself is easier said than done. I'm afraid I'm not at that point yet. One day, who knows?

Thanks for your input!


naturgesetz said...

The leaf is beautiful. You could see that and so can I.

We are all flawed in some way or ways, many of us are scarred. There may be things about us that are ugly. We don't see the beauty in everybody, perhaps. But there is nobody whose beauty can't be seen by someone.

Not everybody passed by the leaf. You saw the beauty in it and brought it home. Just so, there are people who can see the beauty in you.

And I'm pleased to be the first bidder on the leaf.

jason said...

I'm with quincifer....and you too....You're both all too right. I wish I had the secret, but I don't. Still love is by definition accepting faults and imperfections, right?

Love the combination of colors there by the way, especially the greeny yellows.

Mona Diane Conner said...

Dean, this is a stunningly beautiful work of art!! It's my favorite of yours so far!

If you enjoyed painting it, could it be the start of a leaf series? Just a thought.

Manon said...

Everything is flawed.... nothing is perfect. It wouldn't be much fun if we were surrounded by perfection.
Your leaf is beautiful.... in my opinion. :)

Have a great Sunday Dean!

ian said...

this really is a beautiful painting.

flawed and scarred don't equal worthless.

a fall leaf is far from unwanted. it turns glorious colors, changing the hues of entire landscapes. then it strikes out on it's own, leaving it's parent tree behind. it supports and entire little world of tiny beings who live out generation after generation on it.

Anonymous said...


I think our flaws are what make us beautiful; if we were all perfect, life would be too boring to live.

It's a beautiful piece, you are definitely very talented. We have multiple galleries at the art center I work at; would you like to send me an overview of your work? I could submit it to my curator and see if he'd exhibit it.

As to your point about someone accepting your faults, I think that's what love is. You build each other up and see past the flaws and scars and finds the inner beauty.

I see your light...stop hiding it under a bushel.

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for bidding! I hope you win it!



Green is one of my favorite colors so I like the "greeny-yellows" too!



You are on to something!

I have found several more leaves I wanted to paint and do plan on creating several more paintings like this one.

When I'll find time to get it all done, is another matter entirely!



Thank you! You have a great Sunday as well!



So you're hinting that I have some worth in me yet?

Glad you like the painting!



Thanks for the art center offer. Let me give it some thought and I'll get back to you.

You're right. Love is about accepting the other person's faults. I just don't if I'll ever find someone who will love me for mine.

It's nice know you can see my light!


I appreciate hearing from all of you!


Randuwa2 said...


I have been were I only imagine you are. Once I did a foolish thing because I felt the way you are expressing your feelings now, and today...many years later, I am only reminded of it because I have read this post and reflected back to a time before the present. There is nothing perfect or guaranteed in this life. In fact, neither of those concepts has anything to do with real life!

What I have discovered is that I am essentially a very curious being. Time has proven me right as often as wrong about my perceptions of my life. And when I see how tenderly you perceive the presence, quality, and value of a single leaf abandoned and yet magnificent in both it's beauty and meaning, I want you to know that what you have to give is simply exponencial in its grace.

Embrace your sorrow, but don't forget your joy. And I'm not kidding here. You can call me whenever you need to...if I don't pick up, leave a message, I'll respond as soon as I can...still own a landline....

Kathleen Coy said...

Your painting and your writing is heartfelt and beautiful, Dean. It's a wonderful thing to find beauty where not many can see it.

stanw said...


At first glimpse of your painting I almost jumped for joy because it is so stunning, really is. You are not the only one who sees even a leaf, I have one I picked up a while ago, it is brown with greyish blotches on it that go along the veins of the leaf and I find it beautiful.

There is worth in you, I see it and others have voiced it, believe it man, it's up to you.

As far as love is concerned, who couldn't love a face like that, yours I mean!

Dean Grey said...


It's comforting to know that you think I have so much to offer!



I appreciate that!



I'm glad you could find the beauty in the ugliness too!


Thanks to the three of you for the kind words!


Unknown said...

This is beautiful Dean! I see beauty is "ugly" things all the time. I am currently working on a painting where a passerby asked what the beauty I saw in the object I was photographing because they could not see it.

You have a gift Dean. Make the most of it and show the world a more diverse view of beauty.

Anonymous said...

Love the artwork. Great piece!

Dean Grey said...


I will try to make the most of it!



I'm glad you like it!


Thanks to the pair of you for stopping by!


Carolina said...

Wow, the art piece is awsome! It has your essence (it's beautiful!).

I have to agree with Quincifer, you have to accept yourself, then, everything will come one step after another. Be yourself, don't try to please others, your life is only yours. Don't plan or think of your life in terms of how other people will think of it. You need more emotional independence, there's people who know how to help others to find their own ways for achieving this. Those are psycologists, or priests too. You'll probably say you're not ready for that step, then I'll say, it doesn't matter, take that step just to try something new...
And don't worry about finding someonw, "there's a lid for every pot" :):):)
Best regards,

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I think "pretty is as pretty does", and much prefer the richness of things with flaws! I also think a "flawless" diamond is boring. Give me some marks to identify it with!

I think this leaf is *perfect* just as it is. As are you.

AndyDrewby said...

Dean, I like this. It reminds me of wax-paper and kindergarten. I picked a leaf with some kind of blight.The spots only set off the natural glory of the rest of the leaf. Remember the spots in your life that seem ugly can really set off the beauty that surrounds them. So thanks for the stroll down memory lane and I hope you see the beauty in life.

Anonymous said...

When I was 5 and in Kindergarten, I took leafs for show and tell. I had picked them up when they were at their brightest (on Sunday). Well when I got to the classroom, they had all wilted but I still shared them with the room. I thought they were still beautiful.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate the perfect comments! *(~_^)



So what you're saying is that the ugly parts make the beautiful ones that much more special. I agree!



I'm still waiting for my lid!


I appreciate the nice words from the three of you!


R. Burnett Baker said...


Just found your blog. Wonderful!

To "see the beauty in the ugliness" is, simply put, to see beauty. Having "discovered" cell phone photography, I am constantly taking pics of unusual things and trying to connect them with a memory, emotion, or something I've written. Examples are the scars on a door that becomes a Monet-like scene, holes in concrete floors at work that reflect my face in another world; stains on a shelf that look like red birds...and on and on.

I look forward to reading your entire work and seeing your art.



Anonymous said...

I'd take you home, wash off the grit, dry you, and take good care of you. I think a lot of us come with baggage. We have to be willing to deal with it in others, because we also want them to deal with what is in us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your words "faults, my imperfections, my "issues".

I think all of us can relate, and those who think otherwise are not being their true self.

If I waited for perfection to find me, I wouldn't be where I am today. It's the faults and imperfections that are real life and real living.

Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you agree with me, Corey!



Awww, that's so sweet of you to say. I believe you would do just that too!



Cute story.

I also took home vibrant leaves but to do paintings of, only to discover within the next couple of days that all the colors faded!



I'm happy you found me!

Please click on the "Photography" label on the left-hand side of my blog.

Then scroll down to the "Ugly is beautiful" post and let me know what you think of those pictures.


Thanks to you four gentlemen for the wonderful comments!


Anonymous said...

You know I would. ^_^

Cooper said...

Dean, Its beautiful and thanks to people like you that show me it's ok for me to have my flaws but no matter you still liked me. So flaws are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

hi Dean, i won't give you an earful of advice because the truth is i don't know. that leaf is lovely: it represents to me the end after a full existance. that's good! it would be good to see a series of maybe three of these in different colours... what do you think? r.

Dean Grey said...


Nicely said!



"A Full Existence". That sounds so lovely to me!

I most definitely am planning on doing more leaves like this one. Due to time constraints though, they'll probably be quite spaced apart.





I always enjoy hearing from the three of you!!


artbyakiko said...

What a beautiful painting!!! I always look for those tiny spots, scars, and imperfections because they constitute individuality, which is BEAUTIFUL!

Linda said...

Sensitive work, quite beautiful. I have always thought that seemingly perfect looking people are quite boring and doll like. For me its the impections and deviations from the base plan that make us all so wonderfully interesting and atractive. To be able to see beauty and interest in all is a real gift, treasure it.
Have a beautiful Sunday. Linda:)

Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you stopped by and can understand where I'm coming from!



I agree with you!


Thanks to the both of you for your comments!


David K Small, artist said...

How does one "bid" on your work? I sure would have bid on this - I have a thing for leaves (just not sure why). Well done.

As for the rest of the post... wish you lived closer (hug).


Dean Grey said...

This Blog!

I appreciate you stopping by my blog!

I usually post a link under each painting when it's available for purchase.

My eBay seller id is deangreystudio.

As I list newer artwork on a more consistent basis, I hope to install a permanent link.

Please e-mail me if you have any other questions!

Thanks again, D!