The images in my mind of Dorothy Parker and other famous creative women in the arts, always included drinking with their counterparts; a writer sitting at a table with John Updike, or I'd imagine the artist, Louise Nevelson sitting alongside Rothko exchanging quips, laughing, smoking cigarettes.

Swilling while painting seemed perfectly natural to me. Creative people needed loosening up, to be more creative, or so I thought. Hemingway thought so, too.

Turns out, the "loosening up" process loosens the screws in one's brain. Research has shown that alcohol tends to reduce people's ability to focus on some things and ignore others.

Impatience is a hallmark of alcoholism, and it takes patience to be an artist, or to do anything well. Patience to see a work through, make revisions and at times, start over again. With alcohol calling the shots, it's easy to start an art project - or any project - and never finish it. Sobriety refreshes one's curiosity and fuels vision; both are crucial to artists.