March 28, 2020 2 min read

 

I recently started going to life drawing class again. It's been years, probably at least a decade actually, if I am honest! I'd been meaning to go for months, but there was always an excuse to miss it, too busy as always! I think also perhaps, I was a little apprehensive about painting and drawing again around company.

I needn't had worried. My first class was tucked away down a little ally in central Brighton, a makeshift room filled with an eclectic mix of Brighton artists. Men and women, ranging in age from 20 year old students to seasoned pro's pushing 75. A friendly bunch and a really relaxed atmosphere. I took my place in the semi circle and got myself ready. I decided to keep it simple and stick with pencil and paper for this first session. 

A few quick 5 minute poses to loosen everyone up and then we moved into some 20 minute poses. As the evening progressed I become more and more aware of the concentration in the room. The only noise was that of creative strokes on board, paper or canvas, along with quite a few heavy sighs and deep breaths, further emphasising the level of people's focus on the job at hand. I was struck by the simplicity of it all. In this world now filled with technology and instant distraction, the experience had such a grounding and back to back basics essence to it. Even the midway break was filled with tea, biscuits and arty conversation without a smart phone in sight!

It reminded me that art is not just about the creation of images and stories. It is also about the experience and what sitting down to paint or draw does for the mind and soul! These days I try and practice a bit of meditation and mindfulness every day, it helps keeps those stress levels at bay and gives my mind a bit of what it needs! For me painting and drawing captures what mindfulness is all about, we switch our minds off for a while and very much sit in the present moment. And right now that can only be a good thing.

Happy painting all and here are some articles on the connection between art and mindfulness.

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-creativity-leads-to-mindfulness-happiness-and-peace/

Keep well everyone!

James

 


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