Observational drawing is a form of meditation. When done with a spirit of open, clear seeing, free of the judgement that often occupies our minds, drawing becomes an immersion into the experience of simply looking. To look at a view, an object or a thought and record it to the best of our ability without adding anything such as a narrative, meaning or feeling, can bring us to deep experiences of oneness and connection to our living world. This is in fact the exact meditation practice taught in the contemplative traditions of Zen, Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism
It is this practice that I attempt to teach in my classes and workshops. To simply see without judgement is the highest form of intelligence according to the late, great Indian scholar, philosopher and teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti. It allows us to simply gather input without coloring it with our assumptions. While the method of drawing is not generally considered a spiritual practice in our culture, it is in fact a valuable tool in teaching the practice of self inquiry. This in turn can lead to a discovery of our true selves and a clear and direct experience of reality.
It is through this direct knowing of reality that ultimately benefits us in our day to day lives. To be fully present in our families, jobs and relationships is a skill that can be practiced, taught and even enjoyed by anyone willing to sit down and just look.
Classes are in a self led, workshop style, generally outdoors and somewhat spread out. unless we are in a formal class setting such as a private workshop. It is best to bring some layers as it can get chilly just sitting there for long periods. Generally, you should bring:
•Sketchbook. You can really bring any drawing or painting medium you prefer, But a sketchbook will allow you to move around and not get too attached to one place or set up.
•Something dry and soft to sit on. A beach towel, outdoor seat cushion or camping chair work great.
•A beverage of your choice. Some tea or coffee, energy drink or water (especially if you are doing watercolor) Feel free to bring a lunch or picnic if you wish. Its a great way to spend a day at the park. Please be respectful of local alcohol/cannabis laws.
•A tennis ball, football or something to play with during breaks. This will help break up the monotony of concentrating for long periods of sitting and help keep the blood moving. Movement is life!
•A desire to learn. I generally wont be giving lectures or group instruction due to the direct experience aspect of the class. However I am always available for dialogue, critique or demos upon request. Please do not hesitate for a second to ask me anything.
please join the Meetup group sketchsundays