Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

It’s a great book if you haven’t taken it yet. I first picked it up when I had injuries that stopped me from dancing, jogging, and stretching, which were my usual go-tos for self-expression/mental relief.

I picked up drawing again recently. This time because it’s a calming hobby that I can do alongside my 3-year-old daughter. I’ve been drawing the animals on her puzzles. It’s super fun!

There’s something this time around that I discovered. Well, two things really.

One, that when I look at each curve, angle and shape in relationship to what surrounds it, I can actually draw pretty well! I found this last time as well but this time I don’t have to turn the picture I’m trying to recreate upside down (a technique used in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards).

I am proud of the result. And I am noticing the second thing: that the essence of the picture I am copying remains in my version. The life, the vitality. The core of it. I feel the original version in my new version. The drawing comes to life, evoking similar feelings as when I look at the original one—it has personality!

I wonder what would happen if I treated each experience, each moment, each movement in my life with that same keen observation that I do when I sit down to draw. Observing the curves and lines of the objects around me. Engaging with what is in front of me, instead of getting lost in my thoughts.

When everything else melts into the background. When I become focused and intimately one with the picture I am copying onto my paper.

And the feeling of awe that results.

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