How to Be Mindful When Making Art

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Meditation for Real Life

“Art is a natural way to practice mindfulness. The colors, textures and sounds of creating pull us into the moment. You don’t need any previous training to meditate through art, just a willingness to draw like a child, with freedom and a sense of curiosity.” — Amy Maricle, an artist, art therapist and founder of Mindful Art Studio

No matter how skilled or unskilled you consider yourself, approach your art with a beginner’s mind: Focus on the process of creating rather than the outcome on the page.

Start by drawing or painting something you see every day, such as your coffee mug, or try doodling a repetitive shape such as circles or triangles. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just settle into the process.

As you get comfortable with this practice, you can work for longer periods of time, but as with any meditation practice, short bursts can feel more comfortable at first.

Pay attention to the experience of drawing or painting through your senses. Notice what the pen, pencil or brush feels like in your hand. Is it cool or warm, smooth or rough, heavy or light? Does it glide easily across the page, or require a bit more pressure to move it?

As you observe your artwork, look at it closely. What is the nature of the lines or brush strokes on your page? Are they smooth or bumpy? Light or dark?

Instead of judging it as good or bad, approach the process of creating art with curiosity and acceptance.