JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools header image 2

The only way to cope with conformity is to make mistakes the norm

November 17th, 2004 · 3 Comments

Others might have to live with my mistakes but I can only live with them for so long. Sunday night I decided to try to paint the bathroom again. I had hoped that adding a second bottle of color would hide the errors from the first, but I soon realized that the application process for Watercolor Walls was irreversible. Unlike latex, I couldn’t cover my mistakes. In order to create the look outlined in the instruction booklet, every stroke on the wall with the kit-supplied rag must be identical. No drips, splashes or uneven amounts of paint. Conformity is required. Mistakes are not considered possible or incorporated into the design plans.

After applying two coats and realizing that my errors would never be hidden by the second bottle of Watercolor wash, I knew I had only one solution. To make my mistakes my goal. To make my mistakes appear as if they were part of my plan. The only way to cope with conformity is to make mistakes the norm. At least this is true for paint on my wall.

By that time I had found another rag to use, since the one that came with the kit was beginning to disintegrate on the walls. Inspired by my frustration and the dark chocolate and red wine I’d had for dinner, I found a pattern that fit into my mistakes: I started throwing the rag against the wall.

Soon I realized that I liked this new painting technique. The previous owners of our first home had decorated one of the bedrooms with multicolor paint, as if brushes had been flung against the wall. We liked the look. Now it was my turn to fling a rag against a wall. Again, I liked the look.

It was fun to see the print left on the wall by the folds of cloth as it hit. I realized that I liked the new look better than the gentle but boring watercolor tone I had been trying to achieve. The new pattern on the bathroom walls reminds me of ocean waves and motion. It’s active and creative. It’s conforming, to the mistake I had made first, but it also felt free and fun to express myself outside the boundaries of the instruction book.

So I spent Sunday night tossing a pair of Ted’s old underwear against the bathroom walls. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.


Now I know this blog is becoming intimate: I’m even revealing pictures of our bathroom…;-)

Tags: journal

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Nov 17, 2004 at 9:45 am

    Very funny, Julie! Looks good.

  • 2 Janelle // Nov 17, 2004 at 3:56 pm

    OOO love the green color! Goes especially well with the potty chair. hehe =)

  • 3 ilona // Nov 17, 2004 at 4:35 pm

    I absolutely love the look! *applause*

Leave a Comment