Nashville artist Chip Boles returned to the Curb Center on April 10th, 2017, to lead a session on drawing as a practice in mindfulness. Touching on his experience of immersion in Japanese culture and Buddhist traditions, he led the group through a series of exercises designed to help participants practice being present in the moment.
Chip gave each person a dried leaf to use as a model for his/her sketch. He began by asking everyone slow down and spend a few minutes simply looking at the leaf, noticing as many details as possible.
He then introduced each new exercise as a stage in a process: looking, feeling, and drawing something as one sees it, as opposed to a caricatured representation of how we think the object is supposed to be drawn.
Using the examples of a tree and a human eye, he noted that we often draw symbols of things rather than how the thing actually looks. While one can learn the skills needed to draw something in realistic detail, he pointed out the importance of rendering the thing as it feels to the artist.
Chip’s approach to drawing as a form of meditation and focus provided a relaxing and timely session. Participants in this workshop learned how to use creating art as a tool to help slow down, de-stress and center themselves in the present moment, and received a fun and insightful lesson on drawing.