Don’t do more … hide less.

This is what my pirate buddy Karen Montanaro reminds me all the time, though I always forget who she’s quoting, and then she reminds me its Jerzy Growtoski.  (“How will I ever remember this?” I asked her yesterday.  “You don’t need to,” she said, “Just remember me and I’ll remind you.”)

So I’m unhiding Happy Little Monster.

Drawing makes me happy.  No.  Scratch that. I make myself happy when I draw.

At the museum of Fine Arts last night, I was marveling at how an artist would spend hours, days – (years??) – capturing one millisecond, a single gesture.   What would make them so hungry to do that??   I mean, I get it.  I spent years learning to orchestrate, writing and rewriting a piece for the moment of experiencing a single moment.  I do that over and over again with music.  I know the experience I want to create and I’ll keep working ’til I create it, no matter how long it takes.  Not because I’m

But the beauty to me of sketching is that it’s so easily begun and done. Finished! It’s so easy to tell when I’m about to ruin it by adding more.  The sketches are so irrelevant to any sense of taking responsibility for my artist’s work in the world, and they so easily enhance my experience of being in the world.  It’s just fun. I watch what emerges. I cover my walls with these personalities.  I love them.

I think – but I don’t know – that this is what tells me I am not a visual artist. I draw for fun. I put pencil – or even pen to paper (yes! that’s how much it doesn’t scare me!) – personality emerges, and I’m delighted.  Seriously – I delight myself.  I never try to get ‘better’ unless I decide I want to try to draw a new animal, and then I work at it until it’s good enough to satisfy my hunger to see character and personality emerge – until it makes me laugh.

And that’s all that matters.

It’s part of my enjoyment of myself.  The artistic expression for myself.  Meaning nothing about me except that I delight.


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