The Art of Practice – Tip #5

I like today’s tip from The Art of Practice. It relates to all I’ve been discovering recently about letting go and letting art flow through me.

Balance Through Movement

Let it flow. Respect natural movements on the page. Keep your corrections simple. 

Or, to put it in popular parlance, relax, take a deep breath, and go with the flow.

Go With the Flow

Other artists told me about going with the flow, but it took me a while to discover it for myself. It’s not something that we can consciously search and find; rather, it’s something that finds us, I think.

It first found me as I sat in our city park sketching a tree trunk and became lost in the moment, wholly absorbed by drawing. I seemed to become one with the tree in a zen-like moment of pure pleasure.

Each day as I sit outside drawing and enjoying the beauty of nature, I can recapture that feeling of joyful serenity, and through patience, I’m beginning to experience that quiet calmness whenever I draw or paint. I am taking my time, taking deep breaths, relaxing, and fully enjoying the process.

I think more, too, about movement and balance. I think of colors and concepts. I am now learning to feel my way through a painting, finding and exploring different thoughts and emotions. In my tree-sketching practices, I’m looking at each tree and asking:

  • What size is this tree?
  • What’s the essential shape of this tree?
  • What movement do I feel in this tree?

Recently I began reading about seascapes. I love water and I love paintings of the oceans — from gentle waves lapping at the edges of the beach to wild, turbulent storms at sea.

As I painted the crashing waves in this seascape, I let myself slip into that meditative state. I imagined the cry of sea gulls. I listened inwardly for the sound of the waves.

Framed Seascape

I have my likes and dislikes about this seascape, but for me the important thing was the enjoyment I felt in painting it. Hopefully my next seascape will be equally enjoyable.

So, for today, let your art flow. Feel the movement around you, and enjoy all that you do.

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