I'm heading off to Portland Maine for a weekend-long art workshop. Unlikely but true: I have never been to Portland, and am really looking forward to it. Even if I spend the entire weekend in the hotel, drawing. Rumor has it that the Portland Art Museum is free on Friday nights and very near the hotel--if that's correct, I cannot wait to go and explore!
To warm up, I started sketching another mandala this afternoon after an incredibly hectic day. I have no idea where this is going to go. Every thing I have done on it has been spur of the moment, and I am really enjoying the process. I can see the unevenness at the bottom and will make some adjustments.
On reflection, just about every single thing I have done today has been totally new to me. Meditation, as always, was new. Meeting with an accountant was new. Addressing logistical, legal, and financial issues for opening a new business was new. And trying my hand at this mandala was new.
For some reason, this reminds me of the weekend I spent studying drawing-as-meditation (really a lesson in learning how to see, and a revelation) with Frederick Franck 35+ years ago. It might have been the very first art workshop I ever took, and I remember being terrified. Probably by then I had read his book, The Zen of Seeing/Drawing as Meditation, and loved it; it's still one of my favorite art books. He offered a workshop at a conference center nearby, and once I'd signed up, I realized how truly frightened I was. All I knew at the time was that I wanted to draw and I wanted to do it as a meditation...but after registering I went into a total panic.
When I met him, he was so lovely and kind. I remember he started the workshop by taking a moment to look into the face of each participant. He had such kind eyes. I do not remember much about my drawing, but I do remember him, and what he taught me about seeing. Everything about that weekend was new to me, and I loved it all.
Alas, I did not continue drawing after that workshop, and years went by. My interest in drawing-as-meditation has never diminished, and now I hope to enter into it on a regular basis.
And here is the lotus mandala in stage two. More to come. Right now, it's the end of a very long and productive day.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society