Mistakes, Imperfections & Perceptions

Scrap flowers

When mama asked me which I liked better, sewing or painting, I didn’t have to think twice: painting. You can paint over your mistakes.

I’m familiar with the aggravation and tedium it is to rip out seams or correct other sewing mistakes. With painting, you just paint over. Sometimes it’s best to do it when it’s wet other times the original needs to dry. If you can’t paint over it, you turn it over and paint on the back side. 

Another thing I learned from mama (which can annoy others) is to try not to waste anything. Arrange your pattern so as to waste the least fabric. Use every scrap you can.  I was probably scrounging for a scrap to try something I wasn’t sure of when I painted the picture of flowers above. It was done on the back of a mistake.

The crazy thing is, I really like this. The colors are my favorite combination and this style is something I’d like to learn to improve. I’d frame it but it’s on an irregular, torn, scrap of art paper.

Maybe it’s from my inner teacher or years of teaching and leading youth groups but I seem to always see lessons.

One: Don’t let your mistakes be all there is. Start over.I’ve been painting for years yet my skill level is no where near I’d like it to be. It doesn’t stop me from painting; or from trying a new sewing project even though there’s a chance I’ll have to rip something out. Again.

The mistakes in this piece are part of the art

Second: Don’t be quick to toss the scrap piece. Use it.Even scraps can be made into beauty.

Collages are torn or cut scraps of magazines made into a new image.

Mosaics are broken bits of pottery, porcelain, ceramics, etc. used to make decorative pieces or stand alone works of art. This is a small example on a souvenir we brought back from Israel. The ancient churches are filled with beautiful art made from broken pieces.

All the bits make the whole

Last, keep making. It won’t always be perfect to you but you might never know the beauty it is to others. A one dollar bill with a misprint can be worth $75 – $400. The mistake increases its value but doesn’t stop them from printing money. 

We worked in the recovery community 15 years. We saw lives broken to various degrees. Some looked beyond repair. Mental health, addiction, criminal record…the proverbial three strikes. Broken bits and pieces that wanted to be made whole.

I’ve lived a more privileged life than many of them. Yet, my heart has been torn and there are rough edges that refuse to be smoothed. Still, God has welcomed me to His family of ragged edges and torn up scraps. He’s shown me how together He makes us art.

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of usAll around,
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found, in you

You make me new,
You are making me new


12 thoughts on “Mistakes, Imperfections & Perceptions

  1. Love this! Can’t wait to go home and paint! I have a couple of paint overs ready to try again!

    1. I love your paintings. Hard to imagine you’d have something you want to paint over but, then, don’t we all. xx

    1. I appreciate your kindness, Linda. xx

  2. Beautiful. Aren’t we all just bits and pieces, scraps from here and there? But put them all together and we become whole through the saving grace of Jesus. P.S. I was taught the same as you – use every scrap, don’t waste a thing. 🙂

    1. That not wasting can get in your head! I have to tell myself, it’s an 8″ piece of embroidery thread. You throw it out! At least I’m not alone here, Cindy 🙂

  3. Deb, I’m sitting here crying my coffee because my computer literally ate 65 pages of manuscript I’ve written about our Alaskan trip. I’m sick. I’m mad. I’m downright angry. But your post just encouraged me. I shall begin anew.

    1. God sure has good timing 🙂 and I’m sure the words he will give you now will be even better.

  4. Your painting is lovely. I was drawn to it immediately. I’m so inspired! (And won’t give up.) Pleasing oneself is important too!
    Thank you!

    1. Ah, thank you Barb. Not giving up with you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close