Drawing in difficult times…

For some of us the confinement is finished, but for a lot of people life is still very difficult.

I was mainly following the urbansketchers movement, and drawing has meant a lot to many people in recent months – to those who were stuck at home and either had too much or too little commotion around them.  To those who had sick loved ones or who were sick themselves… It’s remarkable to see that in difficult times making art and especially drawing is a form of meditation which can really lead to more peace, to a deepening of attention and…to more contacts between artists!

Also exercises and sketchcrawls from Urbansketchers online turned out to be excellent experiences, with #virtualsketch meetings, #uskathome (urbansketching at home), the USKtalks on Instagram with sketchers all over the world sharing every Sunday their experiences, creative struggles, techniques and giving us creative sketching challenges! You can still watch them on the YouTube channel or on IGTV (www.urbansketchers.org ).

It was en still is a period full of stress, and drawing kept my mental healthy…

Van Gogh wrote admiringly: “If you immerse yourself in Japanese art, you see how undeniably wise a philosophical and intelligent man spends his time studying the Bismarck police? No, he’s studying …a single blade of grass. But that blade of grass leads him to draw all the plants, then the seasons, the great aspects of the landscapes and finally the animals, then man. This is how he spends his life and life is too short to do it all”.

Drawing is a way of seeing the everyday things around us with different, new eyes. It’s a form of silent, but active meditation: you don’t isolate yourself, but rather you are fully present in the here and now. This helps you to stand with full attention in life.

You can draw anywhere and anything. Everything in our environment is subject and all ordinary everyday things become special when you see them with a drawing eye. When you draw you see and when you see you are connected to what you see. It’s plain mindfulness….

Did you experience something similar?

I want to share the book I’m reading about “zen seeing, zen drawing” which develops drawing as a meditation, from Frederick Franck. It teaches to pay attention and to truly see, which is half the “work” when you want to draw. Even if you’re inexperienced in drawing, this book will make you see and draw in a different way. There are exercises on drawing from the heart, caressing, catching the lightning, and how to develop your attention to become like one with the subject you’re drawing.

The author notes: “The moment the eye opens up, all becomes equally fascinating, equally inspiring, equally pregnant with meaning.” This book is a wonder-inducing and deeply spiritual resource.

Last weekend I went for a weekend trip to Normandy, in north of France (it’s only 3 hours drive from our home) and we visited some lovely little towns near the seaside.

I made 2 video’s (well, my hubby made 2 video’s ;))

Here’s one made in Mers-les-bains with wonderful colourful houses. So full of details, so I tried to simplify them…

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