A wonderful friend is working to bring a mindfulness (MBSR) class to my small town this year. I am thrilled to be helping her achieve this.
Why spend time working on this?
Mindfulness has been scientifically shown to improve stress, lower blood pressure, enhance one's ability to deal with illness (or aging), decrease anxiety, increase test scores in children...you get it. The list is long and fantastic.
If you are unfamiliar with mindfulness, there are two resources for beginners or skeptics (like I certainly was) that I would recommend. Both are the work of Dan Harris whom many of you know from ABC. His writing link (or his reading since I like to listen to his books that he reads on Audible link ) is laugh-out-loud funny and extremely accessible. Or maybe you would rather check out his FREE app (10% Happier) and spend 5 minutes a day just experiencing what mindfulness might be about.
WHAT HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH AN ART INFORMATION OR UPDATE POST??
Well, practicing mindfulness has allowed me to 1. quiet (occasionally) the chatter, self doubt, negative voices in my head. Decreasing this "noise" has made space: enough so that I might decide what I want to be doing with my time. This year, I have reduced my total hands-on teaching time. However, my goal is to enrich the time that I spend preparing more intense concentrated class time AND attempt to force my current students (AND ME) to advance. We all know that the only way to get better is to spend more independent time with the brush on the canvas/paper: making messes and solving problems.
I am also hoping that mindfulness will 2. increase my "attention-muscle" (seemingly weaker since menopause). Toward that goal (and hopefully useful to you) is my new "habit".
I have long tried to work out a design before I plunge ahead into my next painting (somehow always better in my mind...) and my "habit" is to actually "plan" and "work out" a painting before I start it.
A GREAT FIND
The Bee Paper Company has a notebook called: Super Deluxe Mixed Media (available at Michaels;I have not tried their sketch book or other paper types). So far, I can only find the 9" x 12" size though I saw a larger super deluxe mixed media book at the Art Of The Carolinas vender display.
To see "sketches" my first completed painting of 2018, watch as I cut the outer flaps to work on the format of this, move the starring chickens from the left to the right, take out the color and play with the background,
work more on just shapes (my daughter's suggestion): dark, middle, light. (I KNOW this: why is this so hard??)
experiment with decreasing left background shapes and altering the background by cutting a paper piece, taping it over the image below etc, you would have to subscribe to my newsletter. The editor on this blog is too unforgiving and I have to move on...
Each of these alterations were done with markers or watercolor. The paper is fabulous: no bleeding, crisp and unrefined by tons of water.
What happens next???
Next newsletter... I did get brave and send the final version into a juried show....
If you actually read this and got to here....please SEND me a comment. That would help my habit and make me write another post sooner.
Happy New Habits!!
Mom, Wife, Former Pediatrician, One who LOVES color, creativity, paint, and lifelong learning.