Meditative Painting to Relax your mind and enjoy Mindful Art
Spoiler Alert – Before I begin writing on this post, I just want to say I am NOT an ARTIST, but I am a Mom who has felt depressed, overwhelmed with parenting, stressed, a failure mom, a happy mom and plethora of emotions which can go on and on. And to give an outlay to the turmoil within me I found meditative painting a way to relax my mind and at the same time enjoy the mindful art process.
I always loved to paint or doodle, while talking over the call or in a boring meeting my hands always kept moving on any random paper. All I would do is make flowers, sun, funny faces etc and feel good. Since I became a mom, I explored and nurtured this side of me through my foodarts, honestly unknowingly if you may ask. But during one of these lockdown days, I felt so frustrated and miserable that I told my husband I could not take any of the motherhood responsibility and needed a break. As kind he was to tolerate my tantrum that day, he gave my space and took my little one responsibility and told me to pamper myself. As I sat in the room crying, i just picked up my little one’s paint box and literally started scribbling on the paper and I went on and on for more than an hour. That entire experience of an hour felt therapeutic to me. I felt light , at ease, a little calmer and peaceful and that is how I found solace in painting.
So after 6 months of drawing and painting in my book and random sheets of paper and seeing incredible benefits, I thought of sharing it with you all moms the idea of meditative drawing/ painting.
what is meditative painting ?
Meditative painting is a visual technique to be aware of the surroundings ) inner and outer ) and align your attention by putting your mind in a calm and relax state with added benefit of giving exercise to your creative muscle too
Our Mind has two clear ways of processing knowledge – attention and awareness
- Attention is where you put your focus. You cook your focus is cooking, you eat your focus is eating, you bath your focus is bathing ..reading this article your focus is reading
- Awareness is what’s being processed n the background. Externally as you read this could be sound of your fan, birds chirping, etc.. internally can be your thoughts, body alarm like my neck is hurting etc.
Mindfulness is the optimal relationship of the two, where you bring your awareness to the moment and focus on the same without doing anything else. And that is how when you get into meditative painting zone, you get into the present moment and get immersed in the act of painting thereby relaxing your mind and being in the process
What Supplies would be needed to begin your meditative painting practice ?
You would need basic supplies which i am sure will be available at home, since kids would be using the sets
- A journal
- Paints ( I prefer water colours ) & Brushes
- Doodle pens ( recommend using professional pens instead of ball pens )
- Your Trust in the process
Kindly note – Meditative painting is about the process and not the end results. So do not worry if you have not made the most lovely flower or coloured the sun yellow or just scribbled all over It is just letting your hands flow and be immersed with the act.
so moms let’s begin with meditative painting to relax your mind and enjoy mindful art
The exercises I am mentioning below are great starters to cultivate mindfulness. Remember this can be done with zero drawing or painting skills. Also do not judge yourself or try to interpret the end product. Just believe and go with the flow and enjoy the mindful art you create.
Also before you begin, create a space for yourself with the materials in hand. Keep a cup of your favorite beverage ready and on some music if you like !! What else ??? nothing more lets begin moms
Draw Your Breath
Take a pen and paper and bring your attention to your breath. As you breathe in move the pen in clockwise direction and as you breathe out start moving your pen in anti clockwise direction making it a natural rhythm.
As you continue with the exercise, focus your attention on your breath and let your awareness take care of the drawing part. Please don’t try to modify your breath to fit with the movement of the hand. the idea is to go with the flow and create no space for any anxious thoughts coming in between.
You can check the video here
Another similar exercise you can do is start moving the pen up when you inhale and start moving the pen down when you exhale true to the natural rhythm of the breath.
You can even paint the sheet later on if you wish to just to add a little colour to your final outcome and more importantly feel good. You can take a look of the technique in this video
Slow Drawing with Circles
It’s time to draw not one or two but many circles on the paper and create your own design. But the condition is the circle should be closed and not left open. It does not matter whether it is oval or every circle size is different as long as you draw a circle which closes because that is very you will put your focus on while remaining aware on how you drawing is expanding on the paper.
Start placing circles randomly or in a series the way you like and go slow to be in the moment. Keep repeating the process until you feel comfortably mindful. You can even choose to paint the picture at last or leave it open, the choice is upto you.
You can level up this exercise by connecting with your breath. As you begin the circle breathe in and the moment you reach halfway breathe out to complete the circle. This is a mindful expansion exercise.
Cloud Paint with Colours
This is a simple exercise wherein you have to make use of each colour in the palette and make cloud like image as shown in the image below.
The idea is to be attentive on the image you are building on the paper and be aware of the colours you are using and how you want to place it. A piece of advice hear would be to start from the center and expand beyond. Colours are naturally a healing medium to many of us and once your page is filled up with these miniature clouds you can use your art to write the affirmation of your choice. I would also suggest try not to repeat the same tone of colour you can have a lighter shade or darker but not the same.
Also you can upscale this exercise by observing how you are breathing. There may be moments when you hold for few secs to complete the coloring. The idea here is to be aware about of different sensations of the breath on your body and again broaden your awareness.
Meditative Painting/ Drawing helps to become more mindful, calmer focused or is simply a way to develop a connection with your inner being and higher power.
Start simple with basic art journal by doing simple exercises like above and progress to complex stuff like mandala. Once your body and mind are in conjugation with each other, the beauty of your art will reflect on the surface. Your final output may surprise you and you may a earn a title from a no artist to mindful artist, is a journey you created for yourself.
I hope you enjoyed reading and look forward to implement Meditative Painting techniques to Relax their mind and enjoy Mindful Art. Plz do share me and tag on my Instagram, whenever you practice any of these exercise. It would motivate me to share the information and my practices a bit more with all of you.
These techniques mentioned in this post were inspired from journalsmarter.