When I opened the door to hang the laundry on the clothes line this morning, I noticed the sun was shining through two large spider webs attached to the line. The threads were connected so gracefully, it seemed unfair to demolish all the spiders’ hard work, so I carefully placed the towels across the line without breaking the webs, making us all happy. A few pencil sketches helped me understand how the spiders connected their cables to the line above and the sage bush below.
Since losing my beloved Noodlers Flex Nib fountain pen, I am back to micron pens but have missed the pressure sensitive lines my fountain pen produces. So I chose to render this sketch with a dip pen and bottle of ink.
After a few minutes of drawing, I dropped a pea size black blob of ink in the middle of the sage bush (Hooray for Photoshop!), which renewed my appreciation for the rapid, rhythmic, fluid line work of pen and ink masters such as Walt Kelly and Quentin Blake .
Dropping blobs of ink reminds me that it is better to take imperfect action than to take no action at all. An obsession to be perfect and get it all right stops us from even starting. It seems easier to be really proficient at making very perfect plans than to get started. As Julia Cameron points out in The Artist’s Way, the only way to make a great painting is to make lots of bad paintings first.