A wise woman said last night "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
This morning, two friends were discussing boundaries and how they impacted their art making. One hates putting time restrictions on that "magic" time of creating art. The other argued that boundaries always exist, and actually help the creative process. They're both right. And that's not the only paradox that making art presents. (And you know, when I talk about creating art, I'm talking about creating your life as well.)
Today I'm thinking about mistakes - the things you're never supposed to make, but can lead to the most delightful creations. The mandala above started out as a traditional Tibetan design, with paint and appliqued paper. I started in the center, and cut some lace paper in a lotus leaf shape, but when I put it on the canvas, the lace paper wouldn't do what I wanted it to. I kept trying, but when I looked at the result, it had more of a hand-made "quilty" feel than a symmetrical, precise look.
So here's the choice point. Get frustrated, rip off the paper, try to get it right next time, OR see what wants to happen and go with it. I decided to go with the quilt idea and had more fun with this mandala than I had had in a long time, because it was new and surprising and I wasn't sure what would come next.
I'm imagining that there was a band of outrageously fun-loving and absolutely loving angels hovering around me, watching me try to put my "precise" lotus petals into place, and cheering "Screw up! Go ahead! Really mess it up! You have no idea what fun it will be if you drop that silly idea of yours and just let loose."
If you've seen my mandalas, you know I love precision and detail, and you'll also see that every once in awhile, I'll do an abstract one, to play and have fun. Some don't turn out at all, but no matter - it was not wasted time.