With a piece of charcoal in hand, we were told to draw something, anything, on the A2-sized paper. Then to pass it to the person on the left.

There were twelve of us at the Absolute Beginner’s Painting Course. Each with a drawing sheet. Each tentative. Each unsure.

When the next bit of paper came to me. I drew again. Then passed it to my left.

I did this twelve times and we were done.

All of us had contributed to the 12 charcoal drawings.

Our Art instructor got us to choose the best and the worse of them.

Here’s the worse:

Too confusing?

Here’s the best:

That's better!

We discussed what made a painting good.

What gave it quality.

The exercise reminded me of a novel I read as a teenager. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

It was a hard read. Especially since I couldn’t quite fathom it.

I read it again. Perhaps I understood more. Perhaps I didn’t.

But it was about Quality.

What makes something good? What makes it not good?