Sometimes I pick up a bowl and know exactly how I want to paint it. This bowl was to have a wide orange stripe embraced by the tangle ‘tripoli’ in red. I could see it–as I laid in the triangles that form the foundation of this tangle. I was so sure that I knew what I was doing that I did not refer to the ‘step-outs’ that would show me how to transform the triangles into a magically interactive design with just a few curved lines and circles.
Paint pen in hand, I began drawing circles into my waiting triangles. I completed the circles in one half and was stymied when the design did not match what I had so clearly seen. After retrieving another example of the pattern, I realized that before making circles I needed to make curved lines around the inside edges of each triangle.
There is no erasing paint.
One of the tenets of ‘the Zentangle Method’ is that there are no mistakes. Moving forward from the place found in the moment is the only option–especially when the mistake is indelible.
I was disappointed that my original vision would not be manifest. And, what soon overtook the disappointment was curiosity about what to do with the giant red circles that were so present in those triangles. And it became fun to reimagine the space. I added those curved lines and some gray and orange paint and suddenly the design became something I liked–perhaps more than the original one.
For the other half of the bowl I painted the design that was planned for the entire bowl. It matches what I could see in my mind’s eye at the beginning.
The bowl has now come through the glaze firing and (if I do say so myself) is beautiful. It would be a pretty bowl if it had gone according to plan–but it is because it didn’t that it is beautiful. Something I hope to remember next time things do not go as planned!