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Being Perfect

A painting consisting of house paint, oil paint, gesso, oil pastels, charcoal, marking stick, spray paint, watercolor paint on a drop cloth. 60% of the painting is a slate blue smudge that cuts diagonally across the composition. In the upper right corner is a black smudge that extends into a white circle with a canary yellow triangle. In the lower left corner is an area of black and white with a curved red organic line. In the upper left corner is a small square, split into four smaller squares. The squares are primary blue, primary red, primary yellow, and yellow-green.
Being Perfect Is A Very Unrealistic Expectation by Erein James Ruiz, 2020, House Paint, Oil Paint, Gesso, Oil Pastels, Charcoal, Marking Stick, Spray Paint, Watercolor Paint on Drop Cloth, 48”x58”


By Margaret E. Winikates

The girl is a ghost
made of moonlight and movement
blue smoke in the mirror
of a reflecting pool world.

The ghost is a scribble,
impressionist flicker
of eyeshade and lipgloss–
not quite enough hairspray.

The scribble is desperate,
motherhood in meltdown,
howling at mirrors
that reflect only smoke.

The ghost is the guilt
only moonlight can dissipate
to shine on the woman
standing in her own dawn. 

About the Poet

Meg Winikates is a writer and museum professional living in Sharon, MA. She currently works as the Director of Engagement for the New England Museum Association and serves on the board of the Sharon Historical Society. She writes poetry, genre fiction and children’s literature. Meg is passionate about interdisciplinary education, civic engagement, and advocacy for arts and culture. You can find more of her writing at

About the Artist

Erein James Adiao Ruiz is an interdisciplinary artist who finds himself very interested in the exploration of found materials alongside the realization of spatial relationships. Whether those interests include understanding the connections made from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, or pushing the limitations of a material, that awareness stays constant and is encouraged throughout his process despite his humorous executions. His themes range from the abstraction of hyperactivity within the individual psyche, to the subconscious nature of interactivity towards physical art. Erein currently lives in River Edge, New Jersey and attends Montserrat College of Art as a second semester junior, concentrating in the Interdisciplinary Arts.

The piece “Being Perfect Is A Very Unrealistic Expectation” is a collaboration that artist, Erein James Adiao Ruiz and his younger sister, Kristin Ruiz had worked on for Erein’s class, Psychology of Art and Creativity. It was a piece that paid attention and awareness to the remarkable insights of his younger sister on the spectrum, a play on play between siblings, regardless of their abilities to one another. And while the piece lays as an arrangement of color and shapes alongside a variety of marks mixed with forms, the piece is a love letter to Erein’s sister for how much of a truly amazing young lady she’s become and much more.