Do you take time to look and see carefully?

Be the drawing subject, become the flower, become the house, be the sunset you want to draw…

Be here, be now, be present.

Drawing is an active meditation: a feeling of being, of connecting, of time stopping to wonder.  The subject you see goes from your eyes, through your brain, through your heart, through your hand and on the paper.

Not to have drawn, but to be drawing.

You draw a flower: be that flower: look until you really see the flower, until you really are the flower….

This is what I learned from the book of Frederick Franck : “Zen seeing, zen drawing”. I applied it during my workshop two weeks ago “meditation and drawing”, and the results were impressive with some participants. And everybody seemed very relaxed after the two days… 😀

Putting the focus on seeing was a great way to experience drawing, even for total beginners, because a very common problem of frustration I see with my students is that they don’t take enough time to look carefully and really SEE… and DRAW what they SEE instead of what they THINK they see… This results in a kind of “sloppyness” and unfinished drawing and frustration of not improving over time. If you want to have a good result take time to carefully SEE and go into some details…. And draw everyday, even if it’s only a small drawing…

A long way…

I’ve come a long way… I want to try to write down here all the “work” I’ve done to get to this painting style… :

It starts with looking for a subject to sketch, walking around. When I let my lizard brain take over: I can walk around for hours “looking for the perfect subject to draw”!.. STOP! Just sit down “anywhere”, and make something of it… Otherwise too often you end up not drawing at all!

So I sit down. Now I look for some “clutter” instead of a “nice” view, because human clutter and old buildings are more fun to sketch.

When I open my sketchbook to a blank page, it all comes back! The monkey mind who ‘s trying to protect you from failure is saying things like:

“OUCH! I don’t feel well today. Let’s stop drawing now before you make a fool of yourself!!

Your drawing is going to be ugly! Take care: someone is coming and they’ll see this ridiculous sketch and laugh!

AWW you’ve drawn it too big here! It won’t fit the page ! You’d better stop and go for a walk…

Hei stop: there’s a window missing there!

the perspective is not correct!! Did you forget all about your drawing classes or what??!” SHUT UP !

And then suddenly, when I just continue and concentrate on the edges, shadows and directions of where the lines are going, and I make some splashes to dirty the whiteness of the paper, all the voices shut up and go quiet ! The little girl who was afraid to disappoint and have bad grades started “playing”. I become the river, the tree, the old house I’m drawing. I get into a flow. The house is dull and grey. Let’s make it a lovely burnt sienna color! And the grey window: let’s make it turquoise, because turquoise makes me HAPPY! and turquoise fits well with the orange shade of the burnt sienna…

And don’t be afraid to go really dark and bright… I used to make my paintings really light and airy with faded colours (too much water and not enough paint)… afraid they would pop out too much just because I was afraid to be seen and afraid to show up and stand out. The girl who was afraid to be too loud is gone as well… allthough I’m still very introverted…  😉

It feels so good to draw! It empties my head, to heart, to hands… on to the paper.


By the way: I’ve made some new tutorial video’s

Have a great day and thank you all for showing up here 

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