Friday, December 11, 2009


White paper anxiety can stifle even the most skilled writers and artists. The more you think about not choking, the more likely you will. After going through a whole sketch book and making lots of folded paper “magpies”  Finally, I painted something that looked like one of the pictures in my instruction book.

Yeah, still pretty wobbly, but better.

Then I went to U-Tube for help. I found a teacher who said to practice on paper towels and newsprint. Whew. I’ve got plenty of that stuff. But I still couldn’t manage the wedgie stroke that I needed for birds and butterflies. I convinced myself I needed new gear.

I don’t know about you, but when I go into a store that carries supplies for my hobbies I want to buy everything and take it home and arrange it on shelves and stash it in boxes just because it is SO COOL! This reminds me of a painting by James C. Christensen called, “Six Bird Hunters in Full Camouflage.” A copy of it is in his book, A Journey of the Imagination.

Christensen says you may only be able to see five of the six hunters. “The sixth bird hunter is very, very good.”

The tool is only as good as the user. Right. But, maybe, a new brush would make me paint better. You know, like those new shoes that turned your feet to wings.

It came in the mail today.

“The Medium Flow top quality, hand-selected combination brush…handmade by a master calligrapher.”
The brush is a wonder. Or, like Dumbo’s magic feather, it helped me jump off the cliff and fly.

Look! Birdies. The paper is just newsprint. Imagine what I can do if I go to the art supply store and buy rice paper!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post - and your work - absolutely fabulous - I'll have to come back and look at it again. Do you think if I bought a new sewing machine I would become a wonderful quilter?!!

Linda Sue said...

do you think that if I bought a space ship I could really be spacey? Next time I am in Vancouver I can look for stuff for you- Loads of paper and ink and brushes but I don't think the brushes in chinatown have brids like that in them- only failed squiggles. Your birds are wonderful!

Janie said...

I love what you're doing with the new brush! Love the birds.
(A new brush wouldn't help me a bit. I have zero artistic talent.)

Anonymous said...

...oh and you KNOW you will!! Go get that rice paper Leenie ASAP - want to see more of your stunning work! Everything in this post is a thing of beauty, including the brush!


Give me a new brush and I'd still make blobs on the paper. I celebrate your talent with a tinge of envy.

Anonymous said...

I've just bought a Chinese brush and paint set (and had to restrain myself from buying a lovely set with ink stones and chops and red ink and everything!)

Your work is gorgeous..