I am going to start with an assumption, as a child you loved drawing and painting. Most children love to draw and paint, before we wrote a word we scribbled and sketched. We created things without fear of being judged and looked happy while we did it. . They are mindful and focussed on making something and care little for the result.
Then as those children grow older they become aware of an end result, that the art was for a purpose, what purpose they don’t know but they just know that their end result doesn’t look like someone elses. They see that adults and older people prize one persons work “better’ than another and they grow disillusioned.
I loved art as a child, I would while my days scribbling and sketching and then I got to secondary school. Then the adults and the older people start to judge and comment on my art and so I drew less and I sketched less until the fire was expunged by the criticism of others.
The embers remained, under the surface. An itch that cannot be scratched. 13 years ago somewhere shortly after the camera phone was popular I began to take photos, real thoughtful photos and think about composition and colour and story. It scratched and itch I needed to be creative. Somewhere in the soul those embers burned.
I picked up a pencil about 8 weeks ago, and I drew again. I re-remembered the value and love of drawing and wanted to share that with you here. The embers of my drawing began to ignite and I was again thinking of drawing again. I walked past WH Smith’s (a stationary/news agent in England) and I purchased a sketch pad and some pencils.
I have for the last month been drawing at every opportunity. I took some of the photos I liked and I sketched them. I noticed that when you draw or paint something you spend much longer really looking at the subject than if I took a photo. A photo is an immediate reaction and drawing is a meditation or a mindful craft which connects your eyes with your hands and then in turn you create something. It is perhaps hyperbole to write I have rediscovered the world! but there it is, I have written it now, so it’s done. I have rediscovered the world at aged 47.
The act of drawing and painting has enabled me to breathe new life in the ordinary things around me. To see the ordinary as extra ordinary. Vincent van Gogh believed that the Japanese artist concentrated on a blade of grass only and in that focus discovered the universe. I am not sure about that but I can testify that in looking, I mean really looking you will see that colour and light illuminates more than its subject.
A road which was grey in a photo when you look for a long time is so much more than grey. But you must look, really look. I have feel in love with the beauty of the ordinary. That in my search for an extra ordinary life with extra ordinary things to share I have become blind to the beauty that was beside me all the time.
Drawing is an exercise in seeingAustin Kleon
Drawing and sketching is helping me live in a moment and concentrate on what is really in front of me. Drawing is an exercise in seeing, you don’t really need to be good and what is good anyway? Phot realism? if thats the case just take a photo. No but it does however help you really look. It is a means of experiencing a moment and after all isnt that all we are trying to do?
Pick up a pencil and draw or sketch. Look and live, for the brief moment we are here together. We should look, see and feel every moment. To live both the length and breadth of a day. That is what drawing has given me and why I shall keep this fire going as long as I can.