Visit Imperfection Isle

on the Maps of Mistake. I mean, Map of Mistakes.

‘Art is about turning unevenness into beauty’

On the Map of Mistakes, where

mistakes art Swain

The Maps of Mistake
I mean
the Map of Mistakes

the sun un-shines, you

fail to anchor in the Bay of Blotch after churning through Splotchy Sea. You attempt (unsuccessfully) to reach Error Archipelago. You run aground in the Haphazards and topple off Mess Mountains to land with a bump on the Forest Flaw.


It’s been a week of glitch and dissonance – luckily only minor problems, unlike drastic cyclones and floods up north or reigns of terror around the globe. (Sending love and care to suffering people).

Monday morning, I forget a loved one’s special event. This is spectacularly unusual for Ms Diary-In-Her-Head Sally.

Monday night, my printer makes a screeching parrot sound, rolls over and dies.

Tuesday morning, I witness a woman drive her ute into a pole and scatter bits of plastic and metal over the road. She is unscathed.

Tuesday night, I watch a huntsman spider devour a cockroach the size of a hippo. Nice.

And so the days progress, with messy mishaps and peculiar dramas unfolding in and around me.

fungus odd art mirror

Starting as a spreading stain, Uluru paints itself in a bathroom mirror.

At work, I encounter a whole other level of challenges.

I need to use art to debrief, express, channel the craziness. I find a piece of black paper with leftover silver marks mooshed onto it.


I mean, imperfect!

I mean, this is perfect in its messed-up imperfection!

Debriefing from difficulty

by making art

is the BEST.

Processing, venting, exploring, scribbling, scrawling, letting it out – getting all the mixed-up, muddled-up

thoughts, feelings and events out onto paper.

So I grab the black paper with silver stains. My impulse is to outline the splotches. I’ll make uneven shapes around them, much like an old-style teacher would circle your spelling mistakes in red pen.

I will draw (ha. Draw) attention to the ‘mistakes’, rather than trying to cover them up or chuck them out.

imperfection drawing Swain

Map of Mistakes
scritchy scratchy
blobby slobby

The shape looks like an aerial view of a small, wobbly island. And so the Map of Mistakes begins.

It’s too neat and clean.

I blob white paint on it, not worrying too much if I obliterate words. I scratch charcoal pencil into the paint once it dries. Et voila!

mistakes art Swain

The Maps of Mistake
I mean
the Map of Mistakes

And so unfolds (unexpectedly) another story in line (and squidgy spot) with my recent theme: facing the mucky muddle of life and making art from it.

(See What’s wrong with pears anyway?

and Looking the Monster in the Eye 

for starters).

It’s all very wabi-sabi, this embracing of cracks in the polished surface.

I work with a dementia-scrambled aged care resident. Nothing unusual about that, but I do think that people who prided themselves on orderliness face a particular type of hell as everything appears to tangle and dissolve. Recently this impeccably dressed lady emerged from a cavern of confusion to remark with calm eloquence, ‘Art is about turning unevenness into beauty’.

native violet crack growth

Don’t you love it when a native violet grows in the cracks?


9 thoughts on “Visit Imperfection Isle

  1. I’m always happy to see a sign of life where everything is barren … a tiny violet peeping its head through a crack in the sidewalk is a sign of life that would make me smile for sure, especially living in a four-season state, where we were blessed with a mild Winter, but we are still anxious for that season (which insists on lingering) to make a hasty exit. The spider devouring a cockroach would have me hyperventillating – very scared of any spider. I thought it was terrible to hear that the python devoured a man last weekend. He went missing and they found his boots in the python’s stomach. Horrifying to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda, for your fabulous, full message. Glad that the little violet made you smile… Wishing that lingering winter on its merry (or not always merry) way… I’m grateful to not be arachnophobic. I’m scared of many things. Many. Fortunately spiders are not a big huge fear for me. Glad I didn’t share a photo of the sight here, which I found both repelling and intriguing…and finally: you wouldn’t wish anyone to be swallowed by a python. Nope.
      wishing you well and great to have this little chat

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally – I wish I was not arachnophobic, believe me. This two days of solid rain we’re having is going to bring ’em out … I don’t like centipedes either … truly, I don’t like anything that runs faster then I do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Sally – Actually I have written a lot about my fear of spiders in this blog – in fact I wrote a blog post one time about a huge spider that made a web at my garage door – I was scared to tear down the web, and yet, what I had to go through to not go near the spider was incredible. I finally asked my neighbor if he would deal with it for me. (He doesn’t like spiders either and was a little squeamish.) I wrote about watching that big spider trapping bugs in the web – I found it fascinating, yet it was a little gory as well. Nature fascinates me and is often a subject of my blog posts, which are primarily about walking. In fact, my 03/29/17 post was about watching seagulls fighting over a fish in the middle of the street – I was rooting for the fish who was fighting for his life. Unfortunately I don’t draw or do any artwork. I use “Pixabay” for artwork and used to use “Dollar Photo” but they are out of business now. I am a very very amateur photographer and I do take some photos while out walking though. Years ago I took an art class to learn pastels, but that was a very long time ago. Here is the recent blog post I referenced about the fish – in fact, I almost mentioned it when I did the initial post to your blog post about watching the spider. Intriguing watching nature, yet a little horrifying as well sometimes:


  3. I will add a Thursday… my home, the washing machine begins to leak over the laundry floor. So now we are wet inside and out. The out is drenched with remnant rain from Australia’s cyclone Debbie. How to make art of this? I don’t know. But the sun shines brightly on Friday, and I can forgive the washing machine for its leaking. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hooray for Friday! And yeah … I wonder how to make art from it. Well, water plays a part in much art. Watery paint etc etc. A slooshy sculpture of wet inside and out? Humans are comprised of a washing machine full of water. ?

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.