30 Days of Unfurling - Day 20: Mindfulness and Art

Mindfulness, it's a word you hear a lot these days but the concept has been around for a very long time. It is simply about being aware of what is happening right now. Not being distracted by thoughts of the past or future, bringing your attention to the present moment.

So what is the connection between mindfulness and art?

In my work I see the connection as really important. My best work definitely occurs when I surrender to the process. When I get into a state of high awareness about what I am doing. When I allow my senses to relish in the painting experience.

I often get that feeling that it's just me and my paints. All my worries seem to fall away and I feel this incredible freedom.

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Now it doesn't happen to me everytime I paint, often distractions or negative self-talk get in the way. But I do know that my best painting experience occurs when I am able to let go of this noise and instead tune into the things that lift me up ...

The lyrics of the song playing in the background.
The smell of my art supplies mixed with the essential oils and candles that I love.
The dappled light coming through my studio door.
The purr of my cat, snuggled up on my chair.
The sensation of the paint as I scrape, smoosh and drip it over the canvas.
The awakening of my body. How good it feels to stretch it out? Perhaps I'll just put the paintbrush down and dance for a minute or two because I feel so alive and it feels like the most natural thing to do in the world.
I feel so grateful to just be here right now, today, nothing else matters.

Ah, it feels so good.

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This to me is the pinnacle of painting. Sure I get a rush when I sell a painting or my work gets featured on a popular blog. And I do understand that artists need to earn a living and we certainly shouldn't feel guilty about that.

But it's not enough. For me there has to be those moments of dancing in my studio without a care in the world. If I'm not having those moments it's time to check in and make some changes so I can get back to a healthy practice that combines mindfulness with art.

See you tomorrow, thank you so much for being here Xx