"Washing away the Dust" / by Jeannine Cook

Autumn seems finally to be here, with a crisp sunny day that implored one to go out and enjoy it. I managed to get the chores of daily life either done or postponed and went out to draw, feeling a fraction harassed and short of time.

Then - bliss! I settled down to draw a wonderful old oak tree which had split in two. One portion had simply fallen over into the marsh mud, and has now died. But since it is a live oak, the graceful skeleton will remain as a frame for the marshes and salt water creek for many years. It was a peaceful afternoon with just soft bird songs and a gentle Labrador friend who came to greet me with a wagging tail.
I was working in silverpoint, so it was slow and meditative work. The world fell away from me, and by the time I had finished the small drawing, I was feeling much better, albeit a bit weary. I then remembered a wise statement (of the many!) that Pablo Picasso purportedly made. He remarked, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life". He was exactly right.