Can Painting Be A Form Of Meditation?
When I paint I go into the “zone” so to speak. I block everything out except the canvas, the paint, and my muse. Meditation has to do with precisely focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity. Mental clarity and emotional calm is the only thing that creating art might not bring. If you have seen me paint you would understand what I mean. Most Artists agree that the process of creating art is a form of meditation, but can also be frustrating if it isn’t turning out right. The “ugly stage” of a painting is usually when self-doubt starts entering my thoughts. Sometimes I get those self-doubts right at the beginning and I might procrastinate starting my painting because of them.
Notice that the title of this blog entry is “Can Creating Art Be A Form Of Meditation?” There are many forms of meditation, but there is one common image that comes to mind. It usually is the image of someone in yoga pants, cross legged, eyes closed, and chanting “Oohhmmm”. To understand it better you must ask yourself: what is being achieved with that method? Focus! When you focus your attention on something you are able to escape all the other distractions going on in your life. Painting can result in this but there are also those times when I want to snap all my brushes. Either way, it is allowing me to take a break from life's distractions.
It wasn’t until about 48 years of age that I realized meditation was not a gimmick but a possibility to achieve temporary peace of mind that allows you to recharge yourself. You can then tackle all the stresses that come at you in daily life. It all depends on the person. Unfortunately, it is not something tangible. It is a feeling, an experience that takes you to a calm place. My go to meditation thought that usually works for me are ocean waves. I see them clear as day in my mind. Sometimes a dark green like the seaweed, sometimes a deep blue or a sky’s reflection. These images become so clear when I focus on my memories of the ocean that I have painted them several times. I think about how I feel when I am actually watching them at the beach and mimic the peace I experience. If I look at a blue toned canvas long enough I can start seeing the white foam forming on the surface.
Top Image - “Waves”, Acrylic wrapped canvas 18”x20”by Fatima Learn
Second Image - “Cloudy Beach”, Acrylic wrapped canvas 16” x 20” by Fatima Learn