When you grow up stabbing Wonder Woman’s outline on empty cigarette cartons with a ballpoint, you don’t develop a light hand. I remember proudly darkening the outlines on all my trees, apples, houses and sunflowers in art class, thinking it made them look neater.
I walked by a Chinese calligraphy exhibit last month and realized that the arm and the body had to flow, like ink and water did. An chubby old lady in a ruffled pink blouse looked like an odd ballerina as she described rivers on a six foot-wide scroll with a giant brush.
I only have a small Moleskine watercolor notebook and a tiny #2 brush, but when I can shape the folds of a pair of jeans in one watery squiggle, I allow myself an invisible bow to an invisible, appreciative audience.