Original Artwork: Marker and Pencil on 4 1/2" x 6" Bristol Board
“The fact that we all make mistakes makes us more friendly. Brotherhood comes along the path of errors, not along the path of perfection.”
- Maria Montessori
I love a good painted-over-wall or an accidental pairing of color, born from happenstance or from disrepair and neglect. After my daughter was born, I started walking around our neighborhood a lot, with her in the stroller or baby carrier, noticing and photographing these walls and spaces. At some point I started thinking more deeply about these painted over spots, these haphazard color combinations, that showed the accumulated years. They reminded me of covered over errors, mistakes that we try to put away but stand out all the more. They made me think about trying to be okay with error, with my own mistakes.
Maria Montessori talks a lot about mistakes and children’s ability to learn and grow from them. She also recommended “becom[ing] friendly with...error” and thinking of it as “a friendly person living among us....” I laughed at that image and imagined a person following me throughout the day - a friend, someone comforting, someone who represented my mistakes. I also started thinking of my accumulated photographs as: Friendly Mistakes, as something beautiful, from something not quite the way it should have been, not quite what it was meant to be.
Often when I make my work I create a framework or a set of rules for moving forward. This not only helps to tie the work together but it also helps to keep me focused on what I am trying to show, say or create with the pieces of work. In this case I decided that the details in the image would not be my main focus, instead my focus would be on my impression, the color and the intersection of form. Additionally, I wanted these images to be small, to be precious and fine. This made the drawings very different from their origins: on the side of walls, under bridges, down alleyways. I decided to use architectural markers on textured bristol board, a combination that was reminiscent of watercolor. I then repeated the images over and over, creating drafts until the colors bled just right, until the proportions worked, until the image conveyed the picture that I had in my mind. In the end each drawing became its own being, separate from the source, separate from the photograph, that were captured on the run, on my way around the city.
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