The Zen of Seeing
Seeing/Drawing as Meditation
I read in the ‘Zen of Seeing, Seeing/Drawing as Meditation’ by Frederick Franck on the feelings Franck experiences at the beginning of a drawing session. He tells that at the beginning of a drawing session he is often in a state of agitation, even panic. His ‘Me’ is calming down as soon as he relates to the object of his drawing. Once he starts to ‘see’, the anxieties, memories, daydreams cease. Franck quotes the Indian philosopher Aurobindo, who was also a poet, mentioning that the consistent practice of an art in the end constitutes a kind of yoga.
I often feel the same. I plan an hour of drawing and as soon I have everything organized, I feel intimidated by the object that I plan to draw. That is because I look at all the different colours, the twists, and turns and the difference in structure and oh…there is so much to see and draw, will I be able to catch all I see?
Because of feeling intimidated, I consider easy ways out. Shall I make a photo and then study the lines? Oh, no. I dislike sitting in front of a screen, making photos or any other short-cut. I want to draw! I love freehand drawing. The last thing on my wish-list for an hour of uninterrupted drawing is the use of a camera or a computer or any digital gadget. I want to sit and draw, and feel that timelessness that comes when you are absorbed in the process of mindfully drawing.
When I study the object, I bridge the distance between the object and me and the result is pleasing. I feel much better and up to the task. If I do not get ‘there’, if I do not get focussed, my drawing most likely ends up in the bin. This is, of course, nothing special.
All artists do something to get focussed. Do you listen to music that helps you to concentrate? Do you take a few deep breaths? Or you drink tea? I can only draw when my beloved family members are relaxed and happy. Only then I can withdraw and draw.
How does this work for you?
Paula Kuitenbrouwer sells exquisite original drawings, fine art cards of her drawings as well as reproductions, and fabrics.
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