Image credit : mindful.org
If we look up the terms meditation and art, we can start to understand how the two are connected.
Meditation is the single focused action with which to bring awareness and attention to the body and mind. Art is the giving of your attention to the making of things that are an expression of feelings and beauty.
If you are able to give your body and mind to art and creating, you are able to reach a single focus and find a moment where you are lost within the practice. By creating something with your hands, you are slowing your heart rate, generating connections between mind and body (or hand and eye) and exploring the limitations of what your body can achieve and create. With any creativity and meditation, practice and perseverance gives you a great understanding of the craft and therefore a better quality output in the end.
The Washington Post claims that “Art is the Vehicle to Meditation and Self Connection”. Our objectives with drawing and painting are aimed towards tapping into a place of calmness and enjoyment. The objective of meditation is to achieve stillness and calmness within yourself. Creating is a very personal experience. We all have individual styles, trademarks, ambitions and so drawing can allow us to be ourselves unapologetically. No matter what our level is, it doesn't matter how we get there, this is a completely personal experience between you and yourself and the journey provides so much more than the finished result. Like meditation, it helps us to get to a better understanding of ourselves, our craft, and our objectives. We need to be able to accept that this is our own hand creating this work and with practice we can improve and we can continue in this stillness within ourselves and our bodies.
For people like me whose minds runs a thousand miles an hour, meditation can become challenging, difficult to focus and nothing and something at the same time. Ideas wander in and out of my head, past conversations, memories - anything but nothing. When I am drawing, I am finally able to completely switch off and stop thinking about things that can wait. Time doesn’t exist and the next minute the clock strikes 12 and I turn into a grouchy tired pumpkin. Well, maybe less of the mutation but it amazes me how quickly time can pass and I have felt like it has only been a few minutes.
With any drawing class, so long as you are present and engaging with the activity, you are able to also delve deep into this practice and find your own element with just you and yourself and some guidance from the teacher. You are able to feel like you are at one with the group but at the same time on your own journey of self discovering. What do you like to draw? What are you good at? What do you enjoy from other peoples practise that you might enjoy in your own?