Tuesday, October 17, 2006


When I visited a friend recently, I found her upset because she'd just discovered a garter snake caught on a "sticky-trap" that she'd put out for mice on her patio. It was really caught, she couldn't get it off, and it looked like the skin under the snake's chin might tear if she kept trying. We took the poor thing to the Humane Society, which has a specialist in wildlife rescue. He removed the trap with cooking oil (good to know) and we brought the snake back with us. Snakes do eat mice, after all.

This whole time, I was wondering if the snake was injured, because it wasn't moving very much, even though only its head & a few inches were caught on the trap. She set it down on the patio, and I was amazed to see it come to life - zzzzzzzzzip - it took off. It was suddenly powerful & graceful.

I wonder if the reason our sketching & painting isn't always powerful & graceful is due to our being caught on something... expectation (our own or someone else's), conventional ideas, fear, left-brain thinking, the inner critic...(fill in the blank).

In one of Jeanne Carbonetti's books, she says, "There's no way you can fail." if you're responding to the painting as it is evolving. There's no need to be fast, just be free.

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