Drawing as Koan - Drawing as Meditation

Wendy Ann Greenhalgh Mindful Drawing.jpg

Mindful writing about mindful drawing

In this short, poem-like, piece of mindful writing, I've attempted to describe what mindful drawing means to me, and what my process is about. I'm pretty good with words, but trying to describe a non-verbal and often non-dual experience with the duality of language, of object and subject, is a difficult - though very enjoyable challenge - in itself. Perhaps that's why I got so fascinated with the fact that drawing is both a verb and a noun. Anyway, I thought I'd share it here to mark the half-way point of the January 2018 Mindful Drawing 30 Day Challenge, and would love to hear how you experience mindful drawing too... if you can find some words for it.

Drawing as Koan

koan

noun

a paradoxical riddle without solution, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and provoke enlightenment

 

drawing

to draw

verb

 

when I begin

to begin

another verb

when I begin a drawing

 

drawing

noun

a blank piece of paper

an empty space

a presence

 

nothing there

nothing there - apparently

 

when I begin a drawing

I don’t think about

the empty ground

the surface

 

the drawing (noun)

the drawing (verb)

lies beneath

 

the empty

the blank

the space

 

are not empty blank space

 

drawing

another verb

to raise to the surface

or from a container

 

I am the container

I am the surface

not the paper

 

when I begin a drawing

I close my eyes

drop down

this is where drawing begins

beneath the surface

 

my blank

empty

space

 

but never empty

 

movement

felt

takes shape.

 

Drawing

verb

again

to be filled with wind

 

wind

breath

spirit

essence

 

drawing up

to the surface

 

there’s always something there

drawing

verb

meditating

verb

 

same difference

same questions

 

what is this?

what is here?

 

drawing

noun

the answer on the paper

 

it is this

it is here

 

direct experience

only this

only here

 

breath

body

paper

 

all of them drawing noun

all of them drawing verb

not separate

 

mark noun

making verb

not separate

 

same difference

same question

 

stillness

into movement

emptiness

into form

the void

and the tangle

 

same difference

same question

 

paper

two sides

body

mind

two sides

 

from this side

from that side?

 

When I begin a drawing.

When I begin drawing.

 

 

© Wendy Ann Greenhalgh 2017