2 August 2021

When I was a child, I was pretty proud of my prowess in art. I drew a picture of a cat, perhaps I was 7 years old, and showed it to my grandmother, no doubt expecting praise. Dottie was an accomplished portrait artist, though she dismissed her skill as being “a knack”, and I believe harbored lifelong regrets about not devoting her life to painting. She looked at my ballpoint pen drawing and said “that’s fine, but cats are soft and furry. Can you make your drawing show that?” I remember feeling piqued and frustrated. I came up with another drawing that outlined the cat in zigzag wiggly lines instead of plain straight ones, and figured I had met the challenge adequately. How else do you show fur with a ballpoint pen? (Of course now I have many more answers to that question, but at that time I was ready to be done.)

So this evening, I was coming off a day of work and meetings, and no ideas or ambitions for my daily arting. So I amused myself making a thing of cuteness, and making it look soft and furry, and thinking about painting for my own joy and not to fulfill some ambition. Or perhaps my ambition has always been to experience joy in art and music. So I share these musings with you, and hope that you are finding joy or good satisfaction in at least some of the work and play that occupies your time.

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