Doodling as Meditation?
This post was almost ready to be published yesterday, and then we suddenly lost our internet connection again. There are system-wide problems in our rural area, and this isn’t going to be solved quickly. The ISP’s phone recording says “We are aware of the outage and are working to restore . . . blah, blah, blah.”
So as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted:
Have you ever taken a phone call while working on an art project? I know everyone has had the experience of doing unconscious doodling during a phone conversation. But while you’re working on a more serious piece of art, have you ever just kept working while you were talking? I’ve had that happen several times, and it’s always had a positive outcome. Somehow, as if by magic, I’m able to converse and at the same time be less tentative about the painting I’m working on. This same thing happened today.
Just as I’ve always said, art is therapeutic for me. It has helped to keep me upbeat and positive for most of the past 20-plus years. I truly believe this. I think it could be good therapy for anyone anywhere.
But in a recent post I talked about sketching and doodling, not necessarily as preparation for anything, and not as a finished product. I began to think of just sitting down to play with paint and drawing tools and paper as a meditative process in itself, without having to be product-oriented and without a goal in mind. In fact, I wanted to get “out of my left brain” for a bit.
For some crazy reason, I can’t bring myself (yet) to start the traditional bound journal. I want to; I really do. But I haven’t yet decided to do that. Instead, today I got out a stack of different colors of great paper and started painting and doodling on those. After all, I reasoned, if I wanted to keep them all in once place I could choose to bind them at some future time. It’s a baby step.
But my main purpose was to just play around with no purpose. Get into a meditative space and just play. Here’s a sampling of the results.
Who knows? After doing these for a while, an interesting new set of symbols might appear, or a juxtaposition of colors, or a way that the paint is laid down. These certainly aren’t meant to be studies. But the fun part might be to look back through an accumulation of them for some pattern to emerge.