Simplicity

1This is a story about "Simplicity" and how less is more and how in life the simplest of details can be most beautiful.

When I was in art college 30 years ago we had an assignment in research drawing that required us to bring a drawing that we made in of nature and the teacher would critique it. The morning of my class while having breakfast I decided what I wanted to draw. That week I learned how to do a 30 second blind contour drawing where you didn't look at your paper at all while drawing. Instead you focused on looking at the image you were drawing and blindly letting your hand move around and through the image without lifting your pencil off the paper…in 30 seconds. I decided I would draw a blade of grass. It was so simple yet beautiful with it's slender blades.

As we arrived in class I was reluctant to put my picture up because everyone had put so much effort into drawing every little detail of a tree or bouquet of flowers. My drawing stood out like a sore thumb and I could hear chuckles from the other students. As the teacher examined the drawings looking closely at all the details and just walking past mine barely glancing at it…I had an uncomfortable feeling.

The teacher began by congratulating everyone on a job well done. He began by saying,"Out of all the beautifully detailed drawings we have in front of us there is one drawing that stands out. This one."

As he points to my drawing I try to hide. The teacher then points out that the reason why this one is my favorite is because of it's simple beauty and that sometimes the simplest of drawings can be the most beautiful. He asked who drew this and I raised my hand and the other students no longer chuckled.

To this day I use this advice in a lot of my work and the minute I think I need to add more I think twice about what my teacher said.

"Life is like a blade of grass in the morning breeze, reaching up to embrace simplicity."