Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small.
We haven't time, and to see takes time,
like to have a friend takes time.
- Georgia O'Keefe
The practice of drawing is about so much more than making a picture.
Drawing from observation trains us to tune in, and actively engage with our senses, and our perception, as we coordinate the motions of our eyes and hands, relate meaningfully with our environment, and respond consciously with an act of creation.
For me, it's a way of experiencing the world on a deeper level.
Most of us scan our way through life, merely glancing, judging, dismissing, all in a nanosecond . . . without taking time to see, observe, study, inquire, get curious, appreciate.
We gloss over the surface appearance of things, without investigating deeper.
How can this be a satisfying way to live?
If you treated all people this way, passing them by after only saying "hi" -- what kind of relationships would you have? What kind of social life would you have?
Our world is alive and full of mystery and beauty and it is waiting for you to engage with it, by using your senses and taking in what it has to offer.
You can do this by slowing down, by paying attention to the subtleties, by exploring and questioning.
The practice of drawing can help with this. You can feel more alive, more appreciative, more aware of yourself and your interaction with the world, through this practice.
Through drawing practice, we learn so much about ourselves.
We learn to tune into our senses, trust our perception, and let our mind rest in the background for awhile.
We become aware of the voice of the Inner Critic, which grows so loud whenever we take a risk and do something we might fail at. And the more we practice, the quieter this voice becomes until it eventually goes away.
If you hear a voice within you say
"You cannot paint"
then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced.
- Vincent Van Gogh
We grow stronger and gain more confidence in ourselves as we persevere despite the Inner Critic. We learn that we can move forward in spite of the uncertainty, discomfort and obstacles.
We learn that we can trust ourselves.
We learn to trust our vision.
We learn that we can find the answers by seeing, sensing and experiencing, for ourselves.
We learn that we have a unique perspective on the world.
We learn to honor ourselves, in drawing practice.
Once we have this knowledge, we can never lose it.
No matter what the results of each drawing are, we change within, through the act of seeing, sensing, and being open to creative possibilities.