Updated: Sep 26
Practice Creative Mindfulness through the creation of simple marks. Make a beautiful abstract series of painting one mark at a time throughout the week as a way to connect with yourself and the present moment...
Over in the Creativity, Art and Mindfulness Facebook group we have been creating with intention just a little bit each day as a community while we practice social distancing in our various corners of the planet.
Over the last 2 weeks we have been exploring poetry and this week we are taking pictures.This series will have you begin each day with a grounding meditation and then a mark making activity.
By the end of the week you will have created a series that acts as a container or our anxiety, stress, happiness and hope. Here is the results of my week long mark making adventure (scroll to the bottom to see how the process unfolded!)
To prepare for the week:
Get 1 piece of art quality paper (i.e. mixed media or watercolour)
Use masking tape or washi tape to mark of a 2x2 or 3x3 grid (see at the bottom for examples)
Gather 2-3 different mediums
We begin our new creative mindfulness activity today! Throughout the week we will slowly be layering on single marks of paint, pastel or marker. Each day we will ground ourselves and observe a feeling or emotion happening inside of us and release it out onto the page. I am recommending that we work in a series, but you can use a single page throughout the week if you like. (See my previous posts for preparing you paper.) By the end of the week we will have a series of mini paintings that will act like a container for the feelings we uncover throughout the week. Tiny marks capturing big feelings.
Today we are going to attune our attention to life. Where it is available to us, what it looks like, how we understand it and how it moves through us onto the page. As you make your marks you may want to respond to the previous marks or keep them separate. You may want to choose a new medium or stick with the same. Feel it out in the moment, remember at the end of our 7 days we will have layers of marks and colours that express our attention in each of these frames.
Today we are going to turn our attention to space, the space inside of our lungs and the space on our page. I would imagine many of you may feel a bit cooped up from time to time. This breathing practice is helpful for those moments when anxiety hits or when you are feeling things tighten in your world. When we pair the breathing exercise with mark making we begin to notice space in different ways. Not only within but also outside of us, how available it is and how we can intentionally manipulate it.
There are many ways to arrive in the present moment. Today we are going to pay attention to the sounds around us something we often take for granted or don't pay attention to fully. Our environment is full of sounds that layer on one another creating different textures. Does the texture of the space you are in feel busy, soft, subtle, complex? Take a moment to notice and absorb as much of this as you can. As always our imaginations are on standby waiting for us to make sense of our world.
Today we explore the idea of surrender. Surrendering and letting things, go, be or just accepting them as we are. A huge part of mindfulness is seeing ourselves and our connection to the bigger world and seeing where that begins and or ego interrupts. Many times in art we want to try, force, make things go a certain way. You may be feeling that already with your piece. Wondering how it's coming together and where it's going. None of this matters, it simply is with or without your concern. Today we will practice the art of surrendering to an object! Letting it take the lead instead of us. Putting our own thoughts and desires on the back burner and seeing what happens when someone else is in charge!
One of my favourite quotes is 'Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.' from Mary Oliver. It can be so easy to have our brains and hearts dwell in things we think we know and understand. To get lost in anxiety and close our selves of to the idea that things could play out in any other way than we imagined. Mindfulness teaches us to stay open and flexible, to let judgements fall aside and to be with what is. As we know art is also the great teacher of the unexpected! So today let's play, and revel in possibility and remember that all we know is this moment nothing else. Today we shake it up and discover a new medium!
This is our last mark for our pieces! Today we will explore our impulse. That little niggling thing inside of you asking you to do something, move a certain way, make a certain thing happen. We spend a lot of our energy overriding the healthy impulses we have and instead following the debilitating ones. Getting back to knowing and listening deeply to ourselves helps us understand which impulses are nourishing and which ones arn't. Have fun with this last bit and don't forget to share your favourite image along with a tittle with me and others!
Take a peek at my own process as it evolved over the 7 days...