We know that art is healing but through my own work and the process, I have also found out that it can be quite meditative. So even if you are not a professional artist and you just dabble, there is something to be said for the process.
The meditation comes through in the process where your entire body and mind is in tune with what you are doing. My process includes sketching, composing, modeling, texturizing and colouring. This is basically a step by step process that flows into each other. Everything I do, every thought I have is concentrated on this one thing. One of the questions I get asked as an artist is if I work on several pieces at once. I do not. Everybody’s brain works differently so I can’t say it’s wrong to do multiple projects simultaneously.
Squares in a World of Circles, 2018 Acrylics mixed media
For me, working on two pieces at once does not give me the kind of concentration I want to put in a single project. The composition of a painting needs attention because I’ll have to decide where the focus lies. This takes place from sketching a single line to sketching a figure; to modeling a face, carving lines, delineating spaces; choosing and applying texture and colour.
All of this is very meditative. My mind has one clear path. All my actions are details that come together to support the whole. At the end its almost like giving birth to something and now I can move on and conceive fresh ideas for another project.
There is no perfection. There is only the best I can do in this moment. Every piece of art that I have ever done could have been done in many different ways. Perfection is really just a prerequisite for procrastination. We know where procrastination leads – nowhere. We must do all we can with the skills that we have and then let it go.
Silence and alone time is the best time for new ideas. We live in a very noisy world with so many things pushing and pulling us that it can be hard to think. It can be hard to hear our own thoughts and separate trivialities from substance. Alone time is precious and can lead to our best ideas. I come up with some of my best ideas when I am alone and there are no distractions.
Patience is indeed a virtue. A piece of work may not always take the direction I want it to but I work through it and persevere until I have something I can be proud of. Patience is a sort of waiting game and sometimes waiting is not a bad thing.
Art has taught me to be more observant; to see more. I see spaces, lines, colours depth and how they are used and how they relate to each other. I have come to appreciate the spaces between as much as the focal point itself. I take this into other aspects of my life to listen more, to observe more and to be more present. Awareness enhances life.
Details matter. It is the details that make the big picture. Every shadow, every line, every colour, every space, everything matters to the whole.