Learning from the “Rules” of Etegami: It is fine to be clumsy

From DosanKodebbie's Etegami Notebook
There is so much to learn from the THE THREE “RULES” OF ETEGAMI, a Japanese style of painting. I could write so much more, but it could not add to these three amazing rules.

1 The motto of Etegami is “It’s fine to be clumsy. It’s good to be clumsy.” What matters is whether or not you have put your heart into your painting, not whether the painting is a fine work of art. Your earnestness communicates to the person who receives the card, and touches his heart. Each etegami should express something of the character of the person who painted it.

2 Etegami is a one-shot deal; there is no underdrawing or practicing on another piece of paper before doing the actual painting. Every time you paint an etegami, you are, so to speak, “broadcasting live.” There is no concept of a “failed” or “ruined” etegami. Every etegami you paint should be placed in the mail box and sent on its way to someone else.

3 Unlike many other forms of traditional Japanese art, there is no “model” etegami painted by a master for you to imitate. The flowers and vegetables created by the hand of God are your best “models.” Observe these models closely before you begin to paint them.

via dosankodebbie’s etegami notebook: a review of the “rules” of etegami.

And because it is Monday and it has been so long since I posted a Monday video, here is Etegami in practice:

2 thoughts on “Learning from the “Rules” of Etegami: It is fine to be clumsy”

  1. Thanks Nancy. The first ‘sampler’ on the site is a good illustration of how these drawings can be made into Hugh MacLeod-style cards. Thanks also for NOT reproducing all the materials and instructions on posture needed to do this “correctly”. I’m thinking of e-mailing photos of these cards once I’ve finished painting them to people I know who are far away, in lieu of the usual email ‘what’s new’ correspondence. Cheers from Kaua’i.

  2. Yeah, the irony is, well, ironic. 😉 I love the card idea. WONDERFUL.

    Send some of those great Hawai’i vibes my way. I feel a part of me belongs on those islands full time….

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