"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
I first came across this quote when I was getting my hair rinsed before a cut at a shop in Amherst. It was plastered to the ceiling, and with not much else to look at or think about, I made an effort to remember the author's name: John W. Gardner
I have to say it's become clearer and more applicable by the day. By some strange coincidence, I recently lost my actual eraser that I'd been using to draw with (given all the free time I've had, I've been sketching and drawing more than I have in a long time).
Thus, I've found myself literally drawing without an eraser and it's given me a unique opportunity to reflect on the quote as it relates to my situation. I view Gardner's metaphorical drawing instrument as a pencil; its marks are not permanent but without an eraser, each line has a consequence. There are ways to obscure mistakes or make small changes that in the long run make a significant difference for the picture (smudging or shading, for example), but these are cosmetic rather than wholly corrective changes. Paint or ink would mean real permanence eraser or not.
Without my eraser, I've used those techniques in drawing. I'm not a terrific artist and I make plenty of mistakes. If you're still with me, the drawing that depicts me in Prague for the year was begun, but now I'm in the process of changing the outlines; I can't erase those marks, but I'm trying to alter and integrate them into whatever comes next.
A scene from the Royal Gardens next to the castle.