Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mindless Creating Leads to Mindful Connections

Drawing For Fun
I gifted myself the book Drawing Lab For Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim, and I'm so thrilled about it.  I love all kinds of art - felting, knitting, collage, art journaling, mosaicing, sewing, painting, photography...  And one medium that I am drawn to, yet scared to death of is...DRAWING!  In the past I've read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and I took a life-drawing class, but I just didn't feel inspired and my practice never really stuck.

This book is super exciting because the exercises are very simple and specifically for artists who love journaling and collage.  The first assignment is to draw 30 cats, quickly and from memory, while lying down.  I love this - using simple materials like a marker and paper, no pressure and no expectations, all while snuggled in a cozy bed!

This page is my first quick attempt...

Quick Cat Sketches

Kestan saw me drawing and wanted to jump in the fun.  So we set up, side-by-side, in the art room and a special thing happened.

Drawing with Kes

We talked.

Well, he talked mostly.

And I listened.

He opened up about things that have been on his mind.  I was amazed to hear his observations, his stories and his feelings about life.

Kes Art
He drew.

He made marks on the page without thinking twice, without editing, and without being critical or negative.

He simply let his intuition guide his way.  And this mindless activity, of making marks on paper, opened up a channel in him that allowed him to express his innermost feelings.

Together we doodled.  We explored.  We shared.  We made new discoveries.

And it reminded me just how important it is to incorporate more mindless creating and spontaneous play in my day.  It's usually in this space, between all the chaos and the busyness of life, where the true magic really happens.  Just as in meditation, where there is a space between each inhale breath and each exhale breath, and a space between our thoughts, art can provide that same experience.  It gives us the opportunity to enjoy the beauty that comes from s p a c e.  

Mindless creating and letting our intuition be the guide helps us connect to our heart centers.  And that's what this very simple exercise - drawing for fun - did for my son and me.  We let go of our vulnerabilities, embraced play and connected to ourselves and to each other on a deeper level.

And this is why I create...

Your Personal Reflection:  Give it a try!  Step away from the computer and turn off your cell phone.  Grab a marker and piece of white card stock paper.  Get cozy and lay on your bed or the couch and draw 30 cats from memory.  Have fun and let yourself to play like a child would - without thinking about it.  Just see what comes out.  And if you have children, let them join you!  Have fun in the space of the present moment and simply enjoy drawing for fun. 


  1. LOVE it!! how - beautiful; drawing, sharing, listening - how touching that you guys shared that meditative space together!
    that book is really cool :) you should consider taking part in Carla's Silly 3, do some of it together with Kestan - it's really fun! I've signed up - I really need some silly in my life ;)

  2. I need to do this. I also need to do this more often. I am always amazed at what happens whenI just sit down to draw. Amazed at what "I" am able to create and amazed at how quickly the kids stop what they are doing and one by one come and join me to draw. I end up walking away with a sense of accomplishment in myself in what I just created, feelings of "wow, I actually can draw" usually surface and those feelings of "I am really bad at drawing"'s a wonderful feeling!

    i like the idea of drawing 30 cats while laying down.

  3. thanks Yvonne! great to hear from you. i will definitely check out her silly course. :)

  4. What a fun task, mindlessly drawing cats. It's interesting that you talk of the magic that happens with Kestan when the two of you are creating as I've noticed that same thing happens when I'm with my grandkids and we mindlessly create. Those truly are beautiful moments. One of them was with my granddaughter while working on one of the assignments for your class. She stills talks about playing with the paint and kitchen tools.

  5. That is so much fun. I can just see the two of you doodling away. I love working on some crafty things with my daughter. Surprisingly, she loves to get involved each time and energizes the whole activity.
    I will try the cats myself ;D
    Best wishes for the New Year!

  6. How fun, thank you for sharing! A lovely image.

  7. i rarely buy mixed media books, but i invested in this one earlier this year and it was fully worth it! love it!

  8. Amazing. This is something I need to do more of during my days. I am finding myself constantly working which is no good!
    Thank you for the reminder! I also loved the year-in-review pics and your post today-beautiful. I am so excited about the new beginnings we are all having! Much love to you and yours and Happy New Year! xo, Ang

  9. So happy to have found you on Picture Winter!! I look forward to following you!! Happy new year!

  10. Thanks for your comments all. Now I'm on to drawing giraffe's...pretty fun stuff. :)


Thanks for sharing!