Saturday, August 23, 2014

Drawing and Meditative Mindfulness at Otis - Summer 2014

"Current research in neuroscience has demonstrated that meditative mindfulness practice can sharpen perception, creativity, and intuition, as well as increase attention and nonjudgmental awareness. This course for beginners and advanced alike, explores what drawing and mindfulness awareness meditation have in common. Both practices cultivate a state of mind where direct perception and the experience of the present moment are unfiltered by concepts and ideas. Through short exercises in mindfulness awareness practice and guided meditation sessions, students naturally develop the formal skills related to key elements of drawing. As a result, an understanding of composition, contour, gesture, value, mark-making, perspective and color relationships is enhanced through the meditative mind. Each class includes instruction in mindfulness meditation and hands-on exercises in drawing from observation with discussions, demonstrations, and critical analysis. Course also explores a variety of drawing materials and subject matter."

Taught by "Lisa Oxley, MFA in Fine Art, Otis College of Art and Design; BA, University of the State of New York. Ms. Oxley is an exhibiting artist and trained instructor of mindfulness awareness meditation with over 12 years of a personal daily practice. She has studied meditation in both the Soto Zen and Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, and is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Ms. Oxley's art work has been shown locally and internationally in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Madrid and Vienna. She was a recipient of an artist-in-residency grant at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland in 2004." 

I saw this description and signed up for the course.  I had no idea I would be having a summer of hell working 14 to 18 hours every day and weekends.  I didn't get to many classes but here is the work I did

contour drawing

contour drawing

An unfinished still life I didn't make it back for the 2nd week of the set up
a sketch of the Otis studio
 on Wilshire
Last class a got to - still life in pastel

Notes from Lisa Oxley:

Meditation can help our drawing: intuitive, trust oneself, connect with senses, deep relaxation.

Trust in the realization that whatever line we put down was beautiful. 

There is a sense of wonderment and relaxation.

There is a beauty in children's drawings.

Trusting the experience as it is.

There are 3 qualities of the mind 1)stability 2)clarity 3)strength

Follow the breadth

Your hand wants to go faster than the eye so slow down everything.

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