The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
Learning to paint as meditation can be a freeing and cathartic experience. It will leave you feeling rested and connected to the eternal and is great for stress relief and anxiety. For me, Meditation and painting go hand in hand. One is the other.
Using painting as a form of meditation can be an incredibly rewarding and therapeutic experience. Not only does it allow you to express yourself in a creative way, but it can also help you find inner peace and tranquility. The artist Mark Rothko was known for his use of color and form to create meditative spaces within his paintings, and his work continues to inspire artists and meditation practitioners alike.
Rothko believed that the act of painting and meditation were one and the same, and that both could lead to transcendental experiences. His paintings are often large and immersive, and are meant to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. Many people have reported feeling overwhelmed and moved to tears when standing in front of a Rothko painting, as they are able to tap into the same emotions that Rothko experienced while creating them.
The process of painting and meditating is simple, but requires a bit of preparation. Start by setting up your painting area with all of the materials you will need, such as paint, brushes, and a canvas or paper. Choose a quiet and peaceful space where you can focus without distractions.
Begin by taking some deep breaths, using your belly to inhale and exhale through your nose and mouth. Focus on relaxing your body, starting with your shoulders, jaw, legs, and arms, and eventually centering your attention on your heart and a feeling of openness and relaxation.
Next, observe how you are feeling in the moment. Are you anxious, sad, calm, or happy? Just take note of the feeling and then return to focusing on your breath. You can also use images of nature to help connect with your emotions, such as a cloudy day for a somber mood, or a blowing tree for a turbulent mood.
Think of a couple of colors that reflect your mood, and allow yourself to feel those colors with your eyes closed. Then, begin to paint. Let your feelings guide your brushstrokes, and allow the painting to grow and develop organically.
Try not to judge your painting as you work, and don't worry about whether it looks good or bad. Just allow yourself to be in the moment and enjoy the process. If you need to refine your painting later, remember to center yourself and breathe before beginning again.
By using painting as a form of meditation, you can tap into your innermost thoughts and feelings, and express them in a creative and meaningful way. The benefits of meditation are well-documented and include reduced anxiety, stress, and improved focus and memory. Give it a try and see how it can benefit you!
If you want to learn more about the benefits of meditation, check out Healthline's article on the topic. You can also explore the teachings of Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center, which offer resources and guidance on meditation and mindfulness practices.
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Author: Bruce Black
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