Erasure art is a special pleasure. Different from collage, which often assembles things from various sources, the act of making art through erasing depends on the form of the original staying (to some extent) intact. There is the story of Robert Rauschenberg experimenting with erasure and, finding erasing his own pieces unsatisfying, asking Willem de Kooning for a piece to erase—who then proceeded to give Rauschenberg the most built up and worked-over drawing in his possession. (You can see the result here.) And Tom Philips’ decades-long project A Humument is a breathtakingly beautiful and transformative work where he drew, painted, and collaged over every page in a threepence Victorian Novel. But he left a few words uncovered on each page, leaving a sense of the source and weaving a narrative as the diary of a love story. There are also great books by Sunday Poets Mary Ruefle and Jen Bervin. This week, we wondered what would happen if we erased (digitally) the lines of a paint by number. (See above image. We really love paint by numbers.) In a sense, it becomes a truer form of itselfthe numbers are literally all you have to paint by. At first glance, it might resemble an ocean chart or blueprint, a document which needs a key to be deciphered. If we add a titleLighthouse, Tree, and Ship with Cloudshapes might start to emerge from the page. We are curious what would happen if we handed out these versions of paint by numbers to people as an alternative to their traditional form? Wonderful things? Maybe! As my art studio neighbor recently told me, “It’s not that I’m opposed to coloring books or coloring inside the lines… I just want them to be my own lines!”