Not Wrong, But Interesting

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" - Shakespeare

This week in our Wild Elephant Project we are working on using our non-dominant hand.  I love how the book on which this project is based is so mundane-aware.  I can incorporate these techniques into all of my daily doings, bringing mindfulness to that which I'm already used to.

Well...I can bring this practice to almost all of my daily doings.

I admitted to the participants in the project that there are a few situations where I've deliberately chosen NOT to use my non-dominant hand.  One of those would be while using my new-found tool, the blow torch.

heh heh heh......

Using this demands enough mindfulness without necessitating switching hands.

That is one thing I love about creating -- it invites a sort of flowing mindfulness, an awareness of the immediate sensuality of the project.

But there are so many other things art invites....


I started off a new project yesterday with a vision in mind.  I spent time going to the store to get the materials necessary.  

I spent well over an hour painting and fusing layers of beeswax (over 7 total) onto the board.

I spent time carving a spiral into the wax, then using an oil pastel stick to "color" it.  (Just like they showed on the videos I watched.  I should've known....)  

That's where things started to go wrong.

Strike that.

That's where things started to get interesting.

There are challenges when working with wax.  One of those are "divets" - holes and indentations that lead to a non-flat surface.  I spent a great deal of time up front creating a smooth surface and trying to avoid these.  They weren't in my plan.  

Of course, I'm only a beginner at this technique.  I certainly don't have the knowledge nor experience after only a few weeks of study to assume that I can create on the board exactly the image in my head.

Bubbles and divets and other interesting things started to arise.  And just like the challenges I'm facing in using my left hand for tasks, I had to decide whether to get angry or get in the now.  (Honestly, I did a bit of both.)

In the end, I embraced what was happening.  The piece became more of a free flowing celebration of the "oopses" acknowledgement that art is interesting.

Only my thinking made it wrong. 


I don't think I'm done with this piece.  I'm certainly not done with my practice.


Here's to the oopses that will arise throughout your day.

May they be interesting.



Lisa Wilson1 Comment