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Art Experiments: Learning to Break Free from my Fears of Imperfection

Talking about art experiments, I’m feeling more and more at ease these days with doing art however and whenever the fancy strikes as compared to earlier when I had to deal with self-imposed restrictions like – the right time to do art, the right amount of time I need at hand, a tangible idea before I could start working and some more!

No more.

I’m having fun experimenting of late. This one – with white glue and food colour – was so much fun! Check out the process and the pictures and my thoughts on how I’m learning to over-come those self-imposed restrictions on my own creativity…

Why should my soul suffer due to the limitations that my mind has chained itself in?

Who ever said that I cannot do some art during a short tea break in the evening?

Why do I have to wait until I have a whole afternoon free to be able to play with colours?

How does it matter if what I make doesn’t turn out to be pleasing to the eye?

Is it not enough that the brush and colours gave my soul a vent and I relaxed in the process and enjoyed some peaceful time?

Why can’t I be okay with starting art on a whim without even a flicker of an idea about what I’m going to do…

As I let go of my own expectations of and attachment with the end result, I see that my fears start dwindling and the real self starts emerging. The more I am at ease with my imperfections, the more I let go of my expectations for my child. I want to just be and let her be, too…

As I do more and more of this, I will probably have the courage to experiment even more, make a mess of it and yet have the gumption to do a show and tell over here. (wink)

Hope you’ll bear with me. Now, and then, too. (smile)

My love affair with paper bags continue! These are turning out to be my favourite canvas to experiment on. After trying my hands on the brown variety, I recently dabbled with a lovely white bag. This one had a different paper quality – thinner than the brown bag I’d painted on earlier, which was way thicker and the texture was coarse too.

With this white paper bag, I wanted to experiment at will. I had a vague idea to begin with. It evolved as I went along.

I picked up the white glue and started piping it on the paper bag. First, some text; next – random designs.

I had no idea what I was going to do after this. At first I thought I’ll create some resist art. Which means – I’d paint all over the bag after the glue has tried and then peel off the glue. The space where glue was lined would remain white and the rest of the space would be courful.

Then, I realized, the glue would not probably peel off without lifting the paper underneath. So, I quickly changed gears.

Another fun idea struck. How about using liquid food colours – into the glue.

I visualized that once the glue is slightly dry (not fully), I would add drops of food colour and stir gently across the glue to create a marbeling effect.

It worked beautifully!

I took liquid food colours in the four colours that I had in the kitchen at the time – red, yellow, orange, green.

With the help of pointed paint brush, I added drops of colours – just enough to have it merge and marble and create stunning stained glass-like effect.

I wanted to add some blue and purple too but did not not food colours in those hues. Hence, decided to use fabric/acrylic colour. That worked too!

And, this is how it looked once it dried.

What I love about this experiment/process is it’ll work amazingly well with kids. I’m sure Pari would love doing this and will enjoy it in an open-ended way – without any idea of the end result.

I gave this to my Mom as a gift for her birthday/day we celebrated her heart.

Are you also wanting to break free from your fears and self-limiting feelings of imperfection?

What’s been your experience?




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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Haripriya March 13, 2012, 9:47 am


    The bag looks beautiful.. The usage of colour is amazing! I am also working on breaking free from limitations and the need for perfection in art. And this post came as a surprise reinforcement of my own thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:14 am

      Haripriya, so glad my thoughts and experience resonated with you.

  • Ashu March 13, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Lovely bag.Rashmie,thanks for putting this blog.Recently we have tried something,yet to put it into words,but we started the process without thinking what will be final outcome.
    It feels great to do session without any preconceived idea in mind and later result as goal acheived feeling in heart.

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:40 am

      Thanks, Ashu. Yes, you’re right – doing something without a pre-conceived idea can be so much fun as it lets you tinker and be playful…

  • Esther March 13, 2012, 1:03 pm

    Beautiful and l;ove all the colors! I just want to give it a try now.. We can do a Canvas art! wow this is amazing!

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:41 am

      Thanks, Esther. I’d love to see your version on canvas :)

  • Roopa March 13, 2012, 1:19 pm

    This is so beautiful and Unique!! Have seen colored glue drawings (color being added to glue itself), but this is really lovely. Love the marbelling effect:)

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:42 am

      Thanks, Roopa. Glad you liked this. Yeah, we use coloured glue, too, but the effect with this was completely unique and unexpected!

  • Mansi March 13, 2012, 4:16 pm

    You are a great writer. It’s lovely to read your posts which are so descriptive and creative. What a comeback!

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:43 am

      Thank you, my dear, for the encouragement :)
      Glad you like my writings. What’s a writer without a reader? I so appreciate your stopping by to read and comment… :)

  • Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam March 13, 2012, 7:41 pm

    Wow!! You amaze me with your creativity, Rashmie!! This would be great to work with a child on fine motor skills too.

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:44 am

      Thanks, Rebekah :) You’re right – this can work beautifully with children, too. And the fine motor skill – a bonus!

  • Deeksha March 14, 2012, 4:26 am

    Dear Rashmie,

    B’ful art!I I had been reading your blog for quite a while now..I posted a comment some time back on your post “5 Super foods..” while re-reading it .Guess, it got missed,since I know you are a person who takes time out to reply everyone individually :) ..So , here it is again
    Your blog is such a pleasure to visit!I had been a reader of your blog for quite some time now.I don’t know why I could not comment earlier.
    Coming back to your blog, its a mood lifter for me of sorts.Sometimes, I re-visit already read articles to remind myself that I should take care of my own self , my hobbies and dreams like I did today.Like other married Indian women, I realize stress holds a permanent place in my life post-marriage.Trying to meet expectations,balancing work life and family life, takes a toll of you and even if you pull it off well, you surely are doing it at the cost of your ” me time” as you would say.After all, a day would still remain 24 hours long! What can help is a good health and a peaceful mind.I was losing both – when I came across your blog , and it actually helped me get back to my hobbies of painting,book reading and writing.I felt healed.Though occasionally, the pressure builds up on me, given a large family and a hectic job , both of which I love equally- I do not remain lost for a very long time.Thanks to you.I look forward to share ideas with you sometime.

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:54 am

      My dear Deeksha,
      First off – I’m so so sorry I missed such a heart-felt comment from you on the ‘5 super foods post. I don’t remember seeing it so I’m sure it went into spam. Will fish it out now…

      You rightly mentioned about the ‘unconscious’ stress in the life of a woman for the sheer fact that she has to play so many roles – wife, home-manager, mother, professional! In the middle of playing all these roles with perfection, she loses touch with her own self. The pity is – we don’t even tend to realize that we’re ignoring our selves till the time the negligence takes on the form of stress and then depression.
      I am so glad that your found your lost connect with your self through my blog in some way.

      Can there be a bigger reason for me to be happy and celebrate today? :)

      Keep connecting here, my dear, and yes – I’d love to exchange ideas and thoughts with you in email, through blog and/or facebook. You can write to me at – rashmiejaaju at gmail dot com. :)

  • Anu March 14, 2012, 5:36 am

    This is so beautiful!!!! The idea is great and the bag looks lovely! will def try this one out!

    • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:55 am

      Thanks, Anu :) Do try this. it’s sheer fun!

  • Nisha March 14, 2012, 6:47 am

    Very nice & innovative attempt. I was thinking of painting a cloth bag that I have.
    How long it took to dry fully?
    P.S.- Came here from Anu’s blog.

  • Rashmie March 14, 2012, 6:59 am

    Nisha, welcome to Mommy Labs :) So nice to have you!
    I painted this late evening and left it to dry overnight as Feb/march is still cold here in Delhi. it may take lesser time if done in summers or during day time.

    Just note that – the glue will soak and go off if you wash the cloth bag. Of course, the washing off will create another type of effect as the cloth will reveal where the glue was. As it happens with resist paintings…!

  • Prabha March 14, 2012, 8:45 am

    the paper bag is awesome. I connected more with you on your inquiry into why can’t be art done during tea time breaks. In the past, I used to wait for the right moment like a “Some day may be”. We have been very busy recently at the personal front. Having plunged into the habit of doing art and craft works nowadays, I notice how a small and quick ‘something’ really heals us from the stress and work load we are going through. We are learning to enjoy making quick (even though it is imperfect) things and celebrate the same. Very thoughtful post and thanks for sharing. How about having a virtual event – “Teatime Arts”.. :)

  • PlayDrMom March 14, 2012, 8:45 pm

    This turned out so beautiful! Thanks for sharing your PROCESS and PRODUCT!

  • Ann March 14, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Pinned on both my Art & Green Crafts boards!

    What a beautiful effect you have achieved with this beautiful paper bag creation! I can’t wait to try it! Fear loses here!

  • Srishti@ProlificCooking March 15, 2012, 6:38 am

    The colors use are so vibrant so much representing Holi that whenever I see the Paper Bag hanging at the wall in Mom’s room, I think of Holi and feel like painting one myself. I am yet to explore this creative side of me, but I am sure the day I will break the boundries and try it out, I would love it :). If we keep staying nearby for some more years, Sarah would be really lucky to get exposed to the creative side of life through her Bua :)

  • Swapna March 16, 2012, 7:28 am

    What a lovely idea Rashmie!!! I love collecting paper shopping bags but never knew what to do with them. Now you have opened my mind to endless possibilities. These will make beautiful gift bags and so personal too. Even I suffer from this time-bound attitude and lose out on spending precious time with my daughter. Lesson learnt. :)

  • Valerie @ Inner Child Fun March 18, 2012, 8:56 pm

    This is beautiful, Rashmie! Love how it turned out, and can’t wait to try it myself! :-)

  • maryanne @ mama smiles March 19, 2012, 12:50 am

    This is so pretty! We’ve mixed food coloring into glue, and loved it, but never anything this elaborate!

  • Laura March 20, 2012, 4:58 am

    ♥ ♥ ♥ this post! Very encouraging words – I need to incorporate these ideas into my life and not only let go when I feel it to be easy, but also if the desire strikes – do it, despite the limitations I can come up with (and wow can we come up with them, huh!?) Again, loving the bag art ideas and this one is so pretty – I’m sure your mother loves it!