The best thing we’ve heard about making mistakes in life was by the late centenarian ceramic artist Beatrice Wood:

My life is full of mistakes. They’re like pebbles that make a good road.

Beatrice Wood working 2

You have only to read Wood’s bio or her New York Times obituary to glean that her “good road” was mighty interesting: she went from wealthy socially conscious family to bohemian actor to “Mama of Dada” in the New York avant-garde, to late-blooming artist who made art until she was 103. The images of Wood elegantly dressed in a sari and massive jewelry, working barefoot at her wheel say it all.

Beatrice Wood Portrait aaa.si.edu big

Wood’s “mistakes…like pebbles that make a good road”, reminded us of the work of artist Richard Long. As a 22-year-old art student in London, he walked back and forth along a straight line in a grassy field in the English countryside, leaving a track that he then photographed in black and white. A Line Made by Walking (1967) was the first of many remarkable path works he made.

Richard Long
Richard Long

For us, they wonderfully echo the remarkable “good roads” Wood’s mistakes made in her very big life.

Richard Long

…and the many forms those roads can take…

Richard Long

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