Drawing as Meditation and Therapy

About a year ago, I started drawing. It all started with this journaling group that meets once a month at a coffee shop, led by Lynn Fisher. When I saw the notice about the journaling group in a newsletter I thought, hmmm… I like to journal, but what exactly would a group of journalers do when they get together? I was curious.

What I didn’t realize is that the group was mainly for art journalers — I didn’t even understand what that was. I simply wrote in my journal, pretty much the same old complaining, whining, promises to do better tomorrow drivel, day-after-day.

I was thoroughly enamored with the artistic ways of these women but held no hopes that I could do the same sort of thing. But then I took a class with Roz Stendahl, who is amazing! I’m not even going to try and keep up with her. Roz taught a group of us how to make our own journals and some basic principles of drawing and painting.

Okay. So I still don’t know how to draw worth a darn. But what I’ve discovered is that drawing is like meditation for me. It forces me to slow down and notice things. My brain tends to operate like a pin ball machine, flinging thoughts this way and that way, some thoughts setting off bells and whistles and lights while others just end up in the gutter. But anyway, drawing stops all that chaos — at least for a little while.

And what came as a total surprise is that drawing is fun! Yeah, you have to struggle with all those voices in your head, telling you that you have no talent, this is a waste of time, blah, blah, blah. But if you can get past your inner critic, you start to remember what it was like when you first discovered crayons and pencils and the joy of making marks on paper. 

So the heck with being any good at drawing. I just look at it as:

A more interesting way of creating to do lists.

Of recording an interesting event.

Or recording the weather conditions.

Oh, and you don’t have to draw. Lots of art journalers paint, collage, or use photos. The main, thing is to take a moment to be still, and notice what’s going on in your life, right now. Actually, when you think about it, that’s what blogging is all about. But I do enjoy getting off my computer and putting a pen or pencil to good old fashioned paper…

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  1. A great post. And, you’re a great drawer.

    I bought myself a small, but nice, camera that I’ve been carrying in my pocket for the past couple of months. I’ve found exactly what you’re talking about in this post. I notice things that I never noticed before. I’m not engrossed in my thoughts when I’m outdoors – rather I’m engrossed in the world around me.

    It is like meditation in some ways.

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve been looking through your adventures in the rockies and you have taken some really great photos! I’m in awe of how you get out biking in the snow and on all those challenging trails. But it looks like you are having a great time and your dogs are loving it too.

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