This is such an ego-post but recently on twitter I discover #drinkanddraw where twitter artists and non-artists record a quick hour or two session of drinking and drawing to see the results, compare and laugh. I was lucky enough to send my ugly mug to @edcross and he used my gorgeous visage as his muse. Despite myself and to the glory of my ego, I enjoyed this experience so much that I may actually drink and draw next Saturday (actually two Saturdays from now since I am going to be in Denver this weekend).
The Zen artist, on the other hand, tries to suggest by the simplest possible means the inherent nature of the aesthetic object. Anything may be painted, or expressed in poetry, and any sounds may become music. The job of the artist is to suggest the essence, the eternal qualities of the object, which is in itself a work of natural art before the artist arrives on the scene. In order to achieve this, the artist must fully understand the inner nature of the aesthetic object, its Buddha nature. This is the hard part. Technique, though important, is useless without it; and the actual execution of the art work may be startlingly spontaneous, once the artist has comprehended the essence of his subject. [from Zen Buddhism and Art]
The arts of Zen are not intended for the utilitarian purposes, or for purely aesthetic enjoyment, but are meant to train the mind, indeed, to bring it into contact with the ultimate reality. ~ D. T. Suzuki
In this case, the ultimate reality is my hat.