Wabi-sabi Wastewater

Here in the studio, it’s warm, but outside it’s snowing. One of the interesting things about Lemuria is that it’s not a 4-season kind of place. It’s the weather you need, but you can’t control it. So today I’m inside, working on handmade paper bowls.

brushwaterOne of them has been painted gold on the inside, and I’m rinsing the brush in water, when I notice how beautiful the water looks. I swish the brush around again, and the gold flicks along the surface in spirals.brushwater2gold.jpg

I’m entranced. Then embarrassed. Wasting time. Not being productive. As I pour the waste water down the drain, I have another idea. What would it look like to paint with this water–to use it instead of throw it out? Won’t know, I just rinsed it down the drain.

wastewater paperBut there are more bowls to be painted, so I salvage some paper scraps, crumple them up, and dip them in the wastewater. Straightening them out, I hang them on the towel rack and work some more. Use the same paper, dip it in another bucket of wastewater. Hmmm. Looks like I have a collage background, or maybe paper for a notecard.

Yep, wabi-sabi works in art. Maybe just as well as life.

(c)2007 Quinn McDonald. All rights reserved. Images by Q.McDonald.