(mid-2002; a tragedy on 9x11 lightweight)

The hand glides across the paper, brush grasped loosely, casually - too casually. In greatest confidence, the artist sketches in ink, trusting skill alone to formulate the perfect curve, the straightest line, and the neatest angle with no margin for error or room for change. The first strokes are lovely; solid leaps and bows that capture the essence of the subject with an easy grace. They flow over and about, broad streaks and delicate nuances of shade that project both depth and a superficial beauty. The artist smiles, made bold by success.

But success is fleeting, and escapes the fraying tip of the tool before the vague form can become whole. Something - perhaps an outside distraction, the whisper of a disrespectful neighbor - distracts the artist�s attention, and an edge destined to be curved becomes angular. Initially, the issue seems minor - surely the line can be strengthened, or the flaw made to look like an act of intention rather than irritation - but once corruption has been introduced, more breeds. The top arcs too high above the bottom, the sides curve with too much energy, and grace slowly melts away, leaving only a stark practicality in its place. Despite great effort on the part of the brush and its arrogant wielder, the image grows ever less perfect, ever closer to ruin, irrevocable in ink.

Wishing for the forgiveness of the pencil forgone in favour of this mistake, the artist resigns in unhappiness, hand lifting from the paper as a blank sheet is placed on top. The lesson has been learned, and the brush will no longer take precedence. But somewhere beneath, the sketch remains, a malformed little figure bearing testament to the errors of its creator.