A few days ago my favorite guy sent me a link to a video on creative meditation with sketching. BAM! Total eye opening video for me. For a long time now I have found that active meditation works well for me. Walking in nature or gardening or even painting. When I let my mind wash out all the pebbles and sand that accumulate during day to day life and suddenly it is a clear and flowing river instead of a stagnant little stream.
I never thought of sketching as a way to empty my mind and just let go. For whatever reason I got myself stuck in a place of needing my artwork to look more realistic. However, in just letting the pencil go wherever my mind takes it I am finding the abstract again. Many years ago (high school era) when I was taking art history and humanities classes I found myself drawn to the art that was more about shapes and shading than looking like a photograph. The way colors morph and merge fascinates me.
This sketching without a definite end result in mind excites me. There is no right or wrong with this. This is about expressing and feeling. Letting go of the constraints of this doesn’t look realistic and accepting that it doesn’t need to look like anything. It just is.
This isn’t to say that I don’t trip up on the occasional mental tree root… the ones that whisper that what is coming out of my brain doesn’t make sense. Part of the benefit of doing this practice is learning to gently and firmly tell that whisper that it doesn’t need to make sense. My hope is that this will follow into all of my life… when that whisper says to not sing because I don’t have a great voice or it tells me to not laugh loudly at the movie theater when everyone else is silent. This is the whisper I don’t want to let control me. Seriously, why would I want to make sense all of the time anyways??
Blending and shading. Not just the way I work with the pencils I am using, it is blending and shading my life. Adding depth and color. Creating a vibrant workspace internally. Using art, yoga, meditation, and relationships to create within my life. As these come together I find a greater appreciation for the little things around me. For the song lyrics that pop into my head, for the way the bark on a tree pulls my attention to it, for the conversations that open my mind, and for the sweetness that exists in unexpected places. For the shared laughter and silly conversations. For the ability to grow and someone who not only encourages it, but keeps me focused on it.
I hope you get out and get creative in your own way, that you tell whatever whispers you might hear to stop trying to dampen your spirit. As for me, I’ll be over here creating and singing and laughing.