I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about compost. The magical process of taking kitchen trash and yard waste and turning into loamy soil, full of nutrients and rich potential for hearty plants. We aren't permitted compost piles here in the manicured wonderland of south Florida planned communities, but that doesn't mean I cannot apply the same concept to other areas in life.
Take this piece, for example. Another paint over! The piece underneath was never photographed. It just sat in the pile of do-overs. Once I began to add collage layers and paint this week, it took on a completely different vibe and became something I really, really like. So, in art compost terms, the underlying piece was my art trash, which transformed into something full of life and good mojo through the composting (painting over) process.
There is a buddhist philosophy which holds the same to be true for our thoughts. You know, those "junk thoughts" that take up space but aren't really healthy or productive? By observing those thoughts and consciously choosing different ones, we "transform" them into something healthy and positive. Our anger, frustration and sadness can also be compost for personal transformation, helping us to choose a different path, different words or helping us understand ourselves and others more deeply.
So now I am looking at the pile of do-overs in the studio with a fresh eye. No longer cast-offs, they are fodder, compost for new work. Who knows what might be growing in there?