25. Jul, 2020

A Mindful Creativity Drawing Practice

The practice of mindful creativity involves inner stillness and openness to new ways of perceiving, which in turn make for clarity and a luminous sense of presence.

Here is a drawing activity that can help you experience heightened perception and a sense of flow and clarity. You don't need to have great drawing skills, just a willingness to carry out the practice.

Get some paper and coloured pens. Avoid pencils, pastels and erasers. 

Go outside in nature and find a tree that stirs your imagination.

Settle at some distance from the tree and find a comfortable position.

Now, soften your focus and keep your eyes half-closed, so that you can see the tree as a shape, but not its details.

All the while, breathe and unclench your jaw.

Now, put pen to paper and trace the space all around the tree in an unbroken line.

Practise a few times, if you need to, keeping an open attitude: don't try too hard.

Once you have drawn all that is around the tree and between its branches, always keeping a soft focus, notice the light.

Where does it fall? Does it filter through the foliage or not?

Draw the light with pens of different colours: orange, yellow, blue, violet, etc. depending on the quality of the light you are perceiving.

Try out different marks to represent that light. Pick the one(s) that depict its movement and intensity best.

Make sure you continue to breathe and keep a soft focus. Do not stare. Let the shapes and colours merge and dance before your eyes.

Now, open your eyes but do not stare. Go closer to the tree. Notice the textures of the bark, and of the leaves. Try out different marks to represent them and pick the one you are satisfied with.

Keep going until you feel the process is over, regardless of the result.

Do not judge what you drew, or if you can't avoid it, notice your judgement and note down what you are thinking. Also, notice repetitive thoughts and patterns. Then, breathe, look at your drawing again and write a statement about the drawing process.

What do you notice? What have you learnt? How did it feel?

Soften your focus again and observe your sketch. Let the critical voice subside by just witnessing it, and being patient: gradually, other, fresh perceptions and observations will set in. Write them down.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash