the work of Paula Kuitenbrouwer
Many of us know what mindfulness is, but what is mindfully drawing? How can a beginner start with mindfully drawing?
In ‘The Zen of Seeing, seeing/drawing as meditation’, Frederick Franck describes drawing as ‘The Way of Seeing’, as a way of meditation, a way of getting into intimate touch with the visible world around us, and through it…with ourselves’.
That is how I view mindfully drawing too. But there is more. In ‘The Zen of Seeing’, Franck is not concerned about the end product. I am, but I don’t feel this concern is impeding my drawing meditation. I carefully prepare my drawing session by laying out all the tools. I think long about what I want, and I pay attention to the composition. I also do research, because I like to know what I am drawing. When I draw a bird, I study that bird in real as well as with the helps of books. When I draw a flower, I have it seen in nature or it is right before me on my table. I read about the flower, and I like to study and know its Latin name. The same counts for bugs: I do not draw any bug I haven’t seen or studied. I need a connection of seeing and knowing my object. Only then I can picture my object in a habitat, a scene, and give it a proper background and let my drawing tell a (short) story that is accurate.
Mindfully drawing is an active meditation. It keeps my hands busy but it brings a calm mind. That is because when I draw, I open my eye and my inward eye. My eyes study the objects and my emerging drawing. I am never hurried. Ask me anything during my blissful moments of mindfully drawing and you will get a peaceful and kind answer.
My portfolio of mindful drawings is HERE.
Here are some of my fine arts drawings made into cards.
– Paula Kuitenbrouwer
© 2013, essay, artwork and photographs, Paula Kuitenbrouwer, All rights reserved
PAULA KUITENBROUWER ~ is a Dutch nature artist living The Netherlands and sharing her work with us on her blog, Mindful Drawing and on her website. In addition to art, Paula’s main interest is philosophy. She studied at the University of Utrecht and Amsterdam. She has lived in Eastern Europe and in Asia. Paula says that in Korea, “my family lived next to a Buddhist temple. In the early morning we would hear the monks chanting. During my hours of sauntering with my daughter through the beautiful temple gardens, I felt a blissful happiness that I try to capture in my drawings.” Paula sometimes teaches children’s art classes. She lives with her husband and daughter and close to her father. She has designed some special cards and gifts for Father’s Day HERE.