Happy New Year

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At Comicon last weekend several of us sketched the dragon boat that hangs in the convention center. I decided to “finish” it by Chinese New Year.  “Finish” is still a little abstract for me. Especially in watercolor, my pictures look unfinished – floating apart or disconnected. My best drawing teacher ever shared a handstand metaphor useful in art and life: “Don’t be afraid to go too far. You have to fall over a lot when you’re learning to do a handstand. If you’re afraid of going too far, you can still be almost upright for a few seconds and with a lot of effort,  but if you go too far enough times, you’ll learn to find that sweetspot where gravity does the work and it is effortless. Go too far often enough and you’ll know when to stop.” I get into that precious mode, where I’m experiencing a little success and start tightening up or quitting so I don’t wreck what’s beginning to take shape. I don’t think I wrecked this, but I learned a few things about mixing media. But if anything is forgiving of going too far, it’s probably traditional Chinese ornamentation (can’t get enough of my liquid gold marker!), so here’s to a second chance at a fresh 2014.

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