I have been attempting to draw something everyday. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to be able to draw things. It looked like fun, and seemed a simple enough way of getting creative. Not having any skilled stetchers nearby, I asked the internet what the best book for learning to draw was. I was led to Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. Using the techniques from the book (I am a little dubious about the “science” behind why it works – but then, if it is stupid and it works, it’s not stupid) I have learned to draw things that look like what they are supposed to.
The act of sketching is a way to take my focus and put it completely on one thing for a while. The time that I spend doing these drawings passes wonderfully fast. I start, soon an hour has passed and I have just managed to get the angles right on the leg of a chair, or to get the contours of a jacket to look like the contours of a jacket.
At the moment we hear a lot of talk about mindfulness meditation and the benefits that can be accrued through learning to focus, and practising focusing. I meditate everyday – my wife says that she can tell when I haven’t been doing it, I get agitated – and I recommend it to everyone. But it does have a bit of a stigma of New Age Hippies about it. When I tell people that I meditate, they expect me to whip out my orange robes and my Buddhist bells. There is a lot of eye-rolling involved with telling people that I meditate.
Drawing has none of that stigma attached to it. It is a good way of taking ourselves out of the chaos of life and to settle into a little flow of our own. Drawing can have a little ceremony to it too. I like to have my sketchbook and pencils together. I enjoy the routine of sharpening my pencils and priming the page, ready for the lines that go where I put them.
So, for your appreciation, I present the sketches that keep me sane…(and I apoligise for the poor quality photos – my phone is not the best phone)