Thursday, 10 February 2011

Zen and the Art of Measured Drawing


I have now dubbed my professor Doug Norman the Zen Master of Measured Drawing. I don’t know if it has anything to do with his skills, per say, but this man just really exudes calm when he creates a class…and I mean creating, because there is a way that a teacher can create a beautiful environment for learning. He’s always telling us to slow down our process. Don’t jump the gun; Stick with the structure until you’re absolutely sure it’s correct; Always compare; Always measure.
I was thinking about this last night and realized that I often rush my pieces because sometimes I get so excited and I’m afraid I might lose something…some insight or color, that I rush to capture it all and miss some critical details. While this works well for writing a poem, it does not work well for measured drawing. It uses a completely different part of the brain, in fact.
This had me thinking about mental space last night and how I could cultivate a sense of patience in my artwork and I thought about making this mental “bubble” of sorts when I approach painting. It was kind of like convincing myself that I’ve just entered this magical land where time and schedules and responsibility does not exist for a moment….
And the funniest thing happened…I stopped stressing about the drawing. I just experienced it.
To many, I’m sure this comes very easy, but I really had to draw from my experiences with meditation and yoga to try and cultivate this…but once I did, it was well worth it.
I’m starting to see art as an experience, not just me creating works…and from that sense of gratitude; I have found there truly is a Zen to measured drawing.


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