Have begun another still life with a vase, and between painting episodes, I sometimes draw to collect my thoughts in a more compact way.  When you redraw something many times, sometimes you make corrections.  But sometimes you draw it the same way again and again.  This doing it the same way repeatedly, always arriving at consistent results, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got it “right.”  Sometimes you get it “wrong” and with each repetition you get it perfectly “wrong” in the same exact ways, and this intriguing fact demonstrates that your mind constructs the scene a certain persistent way.  One might say that in such a case the artist is not only drawing the subject “wrong” but seeing and perceiving it thoroughly “wrong” as well!

Get it “wrong” enough times and perhaps you stumble into some very deep self-knowledge …?

Now then, if for some unfathomable reason you cannot appreciate your inner errors, if you felt you truly must “correct” your mistakes, you’d need not merely to engage in further repetitions, you’d have to “correct” your very thoughts themselves (assuming a true correction can be discovered).  One would need a means for conceiving the image in an entirely new way.

That could be so superfabulously wonderful — a form of invention that’s different from the invention of the “mistakes” — and I definitely counsel in favor of such plucky newness of perception.   Personally I favor any form of going forward, whether its new mistakes, new versions of the old mistakes, or new versions of something that leads to getting it “right.”  But whatever one does, it must be acknowledged that the repetitions themselves were a necessary part, for it was the repetitions — especially their stubborn consistency — that reveals that something was drawn “wrong” in the first place.  It’s this having one path that suggests the possibility of other paths.

As to deciphering what is “right” — ah, that’s a whole other question for other meditations.

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4 thoughts on “Getting Directions in the Land of “Mistakes”

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