Mindful Museum Series #4: Meditation = Painting (and vice versa)If you are finding it hard to embark on a successful meditation practice, maybe you should try painting…
Trying to define meditation is a bit like trying to define art. Both are millenary practices with definitions in the dictionaries of several languages and yet there are infinite ways of describing both. The definitions of these practices are truly subjective, intricately personal and thus, infinite and... intertwined?
Sure, there is art about meditation, the art of meditation, yogis that make art and artist that practice meditation… but does it make sense to combine these two practices?
We think the answer is a definite YES.
Let’s take the act of painting and meditating.Tips from two wise women:
Susan Florence and Patty Van Dyke wrote an essay titled Art as Meditation: Ways to Peace and Awareness through Painting
. They compare painting to meditating and assure that whether you consider yourself an artist or have never touched a paintbrush, you can
paint as a way to just be with your own self.
1. Setting up to begin painting is a lot like setting up to meditate:
- You block out the outside world, hide your phone, turn off the t.v and log out of the internet.
- You forget about your to-do and focus on the task at brush
- You heighten your senses and grow more aware of your surroundings.
2. When you paint, like when you meditate, it is important to give up control. Try painting outside, where you cannot control the sun casting its shadows or the bee landing on the flower you are painting.
3. Be the painting. Ok, this may sound funny or cheesy, but it is a great way to build awareness –the key to meditation. Notice the colors, shapes, textures and the light and dark of what you are portraying. Discover all the details and try to illustrate how it feels, how it smells, how it looks.It’s been done
Art is awareness.
The Abstract Expressionists, for instance, were true masters of awareness, capturing the world around them in all its colors, shapes and textures. Google grand painters like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning.
Joan Miró, one of the most famous surrealists of all times, was convinced that less is more and felt compelled to paint in a minimalist approach that can only be achieved through thorough meditation.
“I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means. It is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness.”
Antoni Gaudí had a keen aptitude for observation and he was able to apply it to his art, by inventing unique methodologies in engineering and design, like his upside-down 3D models. Thanks to this intense awareness, we now have beautiful iconographic buildings like the Sagrada Familia or the Casa Batlo.
So, if you are finding it challenging to meditate, why not try painting? #meditation #art #joanmiro #painting #museummonday #mindfulness #mindfulnessmeditation
Ways to Peace and Awareness through Painting: http://goo.gl/JpEbs9
Joan Miró quotes: http://goo.gl/Y1etGs
Antoni Gaudí: http://goo.gl/vfbW8u
Image: El carnaval de Arlequín, by Joan Miró