Staying Tuned In

Maybe I was tuned in because I needed to tune out from work. When I was out walking one day, I came across this piece of yarn on the sidewalk. Isn’t it beautiful?


Actually, when I first saw it, I thought, “ew, gross!” It reminded me of the yuckiest, cheapest yarn we were given back in the day for elementary school projects. Then I stopped and looked more carefully at it. It was a bright spot in the otherwise brown winter landscape. And when I bent down to look at it more closely, its texture contrasted wonderfully with the pavement. I surprised myself when I took out my phone to get a picture of it.

Now I’ve come across it in my photos folder, and it’s wonderful to me: the texture, the shape, the light, the color. Not sure what I’ll do with it, but it’s a simple pleasure to me right now.

I can’t post something like this without thinking of How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith. And I will link you to it through another favorite website, BrainPickings. Make sure you read the rules. Then follow them.

The Power of “No Mistake” Thinking

I am fortunate to live in a university town where there is a weekly opportunity for figure drawing practice. I spent just over two hours the other evening doing just that and I came away with 5 drawings. Here is my favorite —my fourth of the five. I used a 0.5 Micron pen and a light grey Faber-Castell brush pen. And the main thing about the piece is that I drew boldly and did not worry about being absolutely true to the figure before me.

A friend said the most interesting part is where it is not realistic: her knee. I agree and I love this fact. What I can’t seem to express is how freeing it was to draw in this way. Without the worry of making a mistake, my movements felt free; my brain felt free. It was like being a child before there were any worries about doing art wrong. It was a very good feeling.


Perhaps this is what Picasso meant when he talked about remaining an artist when we grow up. Can we get back to that state of mind that we had as children? When there was no such thing as a bad drawing? When there were no worries about getting it wrong?


It wasn’t a plan or anything. I just sort of started drawing myself as I’d been sitting. This turned into a self-portrait series. I’m thinking of doing a second series based on the first in color, but I haven’t put anything to paper yet. Perhaps a future blog post?

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