On my drawing table: A small still life

Watercolor and colored pencil sketch of a New Mexico aspen leaf and some apple blossoms

A tiny spring leaf from an aspen in my yard and a sprig of apple blossoms in an espresso cup were my sketchbook inspiration.

Tuesday I plucked a brand new leaf from an aspen tree in my yard and a twig from an apple tree (I think! It didn’t bloom or fruit last year, so I don’t know for sure) and took them to my studio for some sketch time.

It was difficult to get into the focus and concentration mode that day. All the normal little distractions plus the inner disturbances–“I’m chilly. How about some tea?” “Time for a bathroom break, don’t you think?” “Perhaps a dried apricot or two?” “The dryer just went ping.”

Like an apprentice Zen monk, the artist has to keep re-directing the wandering attention to the meditation at hand.

It gets better with practice. Or so I’m told.

Some days are easier than others.

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