My internet friend Benedicte of Carnet de Dessins has shared an art exercise with me and some other friends that begins with drawing any kinds of lines that you want inside a little box. It recreates art in perhaps its most basic form, and in contemplating the exercises I was reminded how much I want to and, indeed, need to make some little landscape sketches of a very free sort.
I have had it on my “to do” list for a very long time to “let myself go” in this carefree way. I’m not sure I can quite explain what I mean because readers might not understand what obstacle could possibly ever prevent someone’s making small landscape sketches if she wanted to make them. Yet I have encountered some kind of strange prohibition inside my head that makes me procrastinate about a happy little thing like this. It’s like something that’s just too wonderful. Some deep engrained even misguided work ethic in my brain portrays this kind of little sketch as too wonderful — too much like chocolate — too much of an indulgence. I have to do other art “work” first.
Silly me. But my friend’s art exercise has enjoined me to be light-hearted, and so I am.
I make a landscape inside a square as big as a postage stamp. My drawing is so small that a single linear gesture of my ballpoint pen becomes a sweeping stroke. It’s haiku art.
And there’s something bonzai-like about these miniature trees of a minature forest. Maybe I could draw actual bonzai trees like this and be doing “life drawing.” Whatever it is, it is free, and I like it. I have a little notebook. Maybe in time I will fill it up with a universe of small things.