I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “I’m terrible at art.” Or, “I can barely draw a straight line.” You may even be one of these people saying this yourself.
Like with most other things, drawing comes with practice. I guess it’s just the law of probability. The more you do it the better you’ll become.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t think drawing is wholly dependent on skill. It’s probably equal parts skill : seeing. Some of you are probably thinking, well of course drawing has to do with seeing! (duh!) But I don’t just mean seeing something with your eyes; I mean really looking at it – for a long time. If you pause and look at something, you can see how everything in our world (more or less) is made up of different geometric shapes. See what I mean?
Still don’t believe me? Okay – look at the object closest to you. (No, not the device you’re reading this post on. The other thing closest to you.) Break it down. What shapes do you see? You may have to take artistic ‘license’ with this practice, but still, you were able to see a few different shapes, no? This is one of the first things they teach you in art class – break everything down into geometric shapes!
The same thing is true for colour. We all know clouds are white, the sky is blue, sunlight is yellow and grass is green. We’ve been colouring them this way since kindergarten.
If you happen to be sitting by a window, look up at the sky and ask yourself this: How many colours do I actually see in the cloud outside this window? How many shades of green can I see in the grass over there? What’s the colour of sunshine on that stretch of pavement?
In general, glass isn’t really something we pay much attention to. We use it to drink from, to dip jam out of, to store food in. But it’s such a mutable thing. Looking at glass in sunlight makes it appear to be an entirely different object than if it’s sitting on a dark surface or against a plain white wall. I love glass for this reason. It’s probably the only mercurial thing I enjoy looking at.
So what’s my point in all this, you ask?
Well, only to say that this is a really simple way of slowing down and pulling yourself into the present, of becoming more ‘aware’ – of being mindful.
And here’s a tip. If you’re ever feeling anxious or overwhelmed, pause and notice the subtle shades of colour or the shapes of things around you.