Sometimes before I start a picture, or in odd moments between sessions of work, I do quick line drawings of the koi. They are like the imaginary bees that frightened my childhood sleep, huge bees that were invisible, paradoxically invisible given how vividly I kept seeing them, a circumstance which was occasioned by the black contours that outlined them as they flew around my room. Well, the linear koi are much pleasanter images. And they do not sting.
These quick drawings are like tunings of an instrument, or are like a runner’s bending to stretch muscles. They warm up my mind. They go back to the beginning in an easy way. No pressure, no worries, just lines.