Weighed down with the business and worries of the world? A thread of conversation that has kept cropping up for me this past week has been about escaping worries and troubles by doing art. Not art with a capital A arting but just playing around, doing a creative activity to stop whirling thoughts going around and around in your head. As I chatted with people in the Watercolour class run by Vicky Alchin on Thursday everyone was thoroughly enjoying just the doing and the inner stillness that came with concentrating on a creative act.
I often lose myself in playing with paint. Not even painting a specific thing, just watching paint interact with surfaces, brush strokes, mediums and textures. It becomes a moving meditation and an escape from the niggling worries in my mind. Like my colourful piece below.
Years ago I came across this book by Nancy Azara ‘Spirit Taking Form’ which formalises guided art meditations. The book is about letting go of the inner critic and opening up to the spirit of creating within your deeper self. Although a bit spiritual in nature which some of us may not find comfortable it is a great way to approach art and creating with a different mindset. She asks you to treat each creating moment like it was your first and enjoy the mark making, paint effects or whatever you are doing as a process.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. New York: John Weatherhill, Inc.,1970 (a quote in her book)
Finding a way to quiet down and enjoy being creative is one of the great benefits of painting, drawing or making. If your life is so busy that you can’t find the time to create, pay for a class, join an informal session, just being with likeminded people doing art in the same room as you can give you the push that you need to just do it.
Following are some links to investigate the book I mentioned and one you might have read as a free pdf "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards as well as some cool links to art as meditation.
Check out what Jullienne Juschke gets up to here: Lee and Crackers