Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mindfulness when Life Sucks


I’m averse to it when life sucks. I can’t help but ask myself, “why should I pay more attention to THIS?” So here’s my thinking. Turn it upside down. Look at it (whatever “it” is) in another way; from a different angle. I recently rediscovered the upside down drawing technique when working across the table from some of my clients. When drawing from another image, I’ve found it easier to create a better rendition of the target image if I do it upside down. No, I don’t stand on my head. I spin the original picture upside down.

When I look at a portrait right side up, my mind categorizes “hand, eyes, nose, shadow, chin, hair,” and as I proceed to draw these parts the schemas of these ideas take over. What I already "know" interferes with what I am trying to learn. I find the images I draw turn out to be REPRESENTATIONS of these pre-learned concepts rather than true renderings of what my eyes reveal before me.

I learned this upside down technique years ago from the books Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Drawing on the Artist Within by Dr. Betty Edwards.

I don’t know for sure how to translate this drawing method of turning the book upside down to the broader concept of “looking at life from a different angle.” But I’m working on it.

In the meantime I suspect there is some psychic crossover that aids me, a spiritual gain perhaps, from the tangible, physical act of art making from objects turned on their heads.