Commitment to Eggs, Comedy, and the Pen, by Elizabeth Mesh

When I started creating pysanky (batik decorated eggs) in an attempt to understand my ancestors from Poland, many unexpected benefits transpired. Besides learning an incredible art form, which is both meditative and beautiful, I have also learned how to commit. In pysanky, when you render a wax line on an egg, you basically have to leave it there or risk smearing. While this is not a hard and fast rule, I have used it as such. And I have rarely regretted leaving my “mistakes” on the egg.

Similarly, as an improvisation actor, having no lines to memorize or prior ideas I never know what is going to happen. I am literally making up a character on stage and committing to it no matter what. For instance, if I come out on stage as a debutant that hates blue, I commit to that stance until the end of the scene–even if it does not make sense that my acting partner has decided that I absolutely have to wear a blue gown for the prom.

And so it goes with the pen. When I am creating a botanical drawing, I never use a pencil to outline things and I commit to each and every line I render in ink. “Mistakes” are left for the eyes to see.

In all of these circumstances, I am risking the perfection of a batik egg, a character, or an ink line and committing to my original line or thought. This helps me to build confidence as an artist and as a human being.

To learn more about what I teach, or to comment, go to Artists for Hire at, or email [email protected], or call 505-795-8137.

Thanks and seize the moment with art!

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