It is difficult to calm ourselves when everything around us seems to be chaotic. But our minds don’t have to be chaotic too. If you’ve attempted mindfulness but felt it didn’t work out for you, try this:
To quiet our thoughts, we need to find something to focus on. Pick up a pencil, or a pen, and a piece of paper. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable.
With the pencil in your hand, let your gaze wander around you, and just imagine that the pen or pencil you have chosen is patiently resting in your hand, happy to simply exist until you are ready for it to fulfil its special purpose and make a mark.
I usually let my eyes see the objects around me as simple shapes. For the meditative drawing in this post, my gaze rested on the simplest object in the room: A cone-shaped biscuit tin, shaped like a Christmas tree.
Simplify the shape in your mind until it looks like something you can easily draw. I simplified my cone-shaped tin to a triangle.
Then, when you’re ready, just shift your gaze from the object to the paper, and trust in yourself that with your simple, helpful tools, you will make a pleasing mark on your paper.
For this drawing, my first marks were several triangles of different sizes, scattered around my paper.
Look at what is on your page with kindness, and thank your body for working together as a team (your eyes, your hand, your wrist etc.) to produce these marks. Thank your pencil and your paper, too.
At this point, the most important thing to do is to continue making marks.
You can look up again at the object, or you can let your imagination fill the page. Just keep the pencil or pen moving, and continue for as long as you feel comfortable.
Remember that today’s reason to draw is to meditate, not to satisfy the critics. Let’s not get tied up in knots ‘thinking’ about drawing. Lets draw.
Does the thought that you are not a celebrity chef ever stop you making yourself something to eat? No. So don’t allow the thought that your are not Rembrandt to stop you drawing.