Mindfulness through art

Mindfulness Through Art – Elizabeth Guest Blog

It is often hard to find a mindfulness technique that works well for you. Social media has become a place where people show that they are being mindful, whether that be a yoga class, a 20 minute meditation session, or a brisk walk.

Everyone is different, and considering mindfulness relaxes the body, what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Remember that! Through never having mastered meditation myself (the go to form of mindfulness in many peoples eyes) I turned to different ways of calming my mind, and living in the now.

My form of mindfulness is through art. The various forms of art allow my brain to accept the mood I am in, living in the now, and this reflects in the form of art I choose.

Here are 7 forms of art that help me practice mindfulness!

Coloring

I have countless coloring books in my art collection, and they are a go to for when I want to create something colorful with ease. Grab the book, get your pencils or pens, and get cozy.

You can spend hours just coloring, and it is wonderful for relaxing your mind. When you feel comfortable (or you’ve run out of coloring books) get creative, draw your own patterns. A wonderful way to feel free is using a pencil, and running it over a piece of paper without removing the pencil from the paper. This creates a continuous line which will overlap itself, and create a unique pattern for you to color in. Give it a go, you’ll start living in the now.

Sketching

Continuing on from using pencils, sketching using different types of pencils is a great way to become a freehand artist. I started by looking at step by step images of characters I wanted to draw, and then I gradually got better.

After a few months of consistently drawing one summer, I can draw freehand now. It is a great form of art that allows you to take the paper with you, it allows you to sit in nature, and be aware of your surroundings. A beautiful way to live in the now.
However, don’t expect to be perfect at the beginning, practice makes perfect. Also, try out the different types of pencils, you’re likely to find a favourite, but they all have unique qualities which you will come to enjoy.

Acrylic painting

Moving on from paper and pencils, let’s talk about paint.
Acrylic art is a form of art that is normally classed as a beginner stage with paints. This is because this sort of paint is less malleable (some say less forgiving) but it allows you to paint within the lines, but also create a bold piece of art.

I often turn to this sort of art when I am in a meticulous mood.
I find something online I wish to draw (Pinterest is a great place to start) and I paint. I have countless paintings around my house, and it is a brilliant hobby to take up.

Watercolour painting

Using watercolours is so freeing which is why it is a brilliant mindfulness technique. I tend not to use any sketches or online pictures, it is rather lovely to just paint with water, and colour.

I remember starting to use watercolour paints, and getting frustrated that the water would just run all over the page. Then I realized it wasn’t because I was using water, it was because I was using too much water. Your perspective can often change anything you look at, and it is a great technique to help you become mindful of your surroundings.

Oil painting

I won’t lie, this is not my favourite form of art, but don’t let that stop you! Oil paining is know for its flexibility, especially when creating colours. Some of the most famous paintings have been with oil paints such as the Mona Lisa.

The paint does dry very quickly so it isn’t the best form of art if you want to spend time just painting. However, this could become a brilliant mindfulness practice as it creates a long project which will keep your mind active, give you something to practice on, and it will clear your mind to help you relax. Maybe I’ll give oil painting another go!

Digital art

I started following some Instagram accounts which did digital art, and I was so intrigued with how they managed to make this online art look so real! So I gave it a go, and I love it.

It has become my new nightly activity. Instead of worrying about getting the paints out, and cleaning the brushes afterwards, with digital art all you need is a touchscreen, along with a stylus, and off you go.

Here is a great video to get you started, and understand what I mean:


Embroidery

For as long as I can remember I have been embroidering, I love it. Start off simple though because it can get tricky and confusing.

I like to use this form of art as my main mindfulness practice because I’ve been doing it for years. Truthfully, I didn’t know it could even be a form of mindfulness but that’s what I was talking about earlier, that you need to find what works for you. With current circumstances, looking online is the best place to find some patterns, but craft shops will do patterns too!

I really hope you enjoy giving these mindfulness art styles a go,
but don’t begin thinking you’re going to be perfect straight away, you’ll learn to get better every single day.

Remember to live in the now, and find your own mindfulness technique.

Elizabeth.

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