From the February 1949 magazine.

Crayons Are My Hobby

THIS morning I got a thrill from these words in a Christmas thank-you letter from a friend: "You s-m-a-r-t thing! I love my barn. How did you find your talent?" No, I didn't build her a barn for her farm, but had the unmitigated nerve to send her for a Christmas present a framed picture of a red cow-barn cuddled among the trees on a Connecticut hillside--a picture I had created in pastels, copying from an original watercolor my friend had admired.

How did I find my "talent"? I really haven't any talent, but I do have a lot of fun creating in colors on paper, although I don't know the first thing about art, and nothing about techniques of drawing or painting. In fact, I never could draw a straight line, and withdrew on several occasions from art classes in which I had enrolled in abortive attempts to try to learn how to put on paper what appealed to my eyes. It was hopeless, I just couldn't draw and it was no use wasting my time. So, when I came into A.A. in a desperately despondent mood, and was generally jittery, unhappy, and lonely, and old-time A.A.-ers suggested I could give myself a lift by buying a 50-cent box of paints and dabbling in water colors, I rolled my eyes in horror and shrieked, "Not me. I can't draw a straight line, and trying to paint would only add frustration to depression and definitely would drive me to drink. I'm unhappy, but I'm sober and just can't paint." They argued with me to no avail.

-- E.C.L.

New York, New York

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