We have all been thinking a lot about social distancing. We dream of hand washing and we walk outside with anxiety about people getting closer than 6 feet of us. Every cough raises our “Worry Meter”. Maybe we need something different to think about? This doesn’t need to mean that reality changes or that we pretend that we’re not concerned about the future. It can mean that we let our thoughts be what they are while engaging in a mindfulness activity. We can re-focus and let our thoughts go to someplace new- someplace that might bring us some peace and a little hope. This exercise is a simple mindfulness painting activity you can try.
An ordinary object can become a tool for mindfulness painting. You can use the tool to focus on color without distractions. Perhaps you are held back by the fear that you won’t produce a pleasing product? You might notice that you have concerns about subject matter. A simple tool can help you simplify the experience. The eraser on the end of a pencil is excellent for this. You just dip the end of the pencil into some paint and dab the color onto your canvas. This will make a dot of color. A jumbo pencil for preschoolers will have a slightly larger eraser. This will allow you to vary the size of your dot and allow you to place a smaller dot inside a larger one. An apple can be sliced in half and carved to create a stamp. Use it to make an even larger circle. Make a painting with just dots and circles of different pigments. Notice how the colors work together. Look for similar colors and notice how they work harmoniously. Consider how contrasting colors scream for attention and make themselves the focal point. Enjoy the way colors play together. Meditate on what you see. Note what you notice. Think about what it all means to you and how it makes you feel.
Something to Think About:
These rocks were painted by an art maker with limited experience creating mandala dot art. This is a great activity for anyone who wants to paint, regardless of their skill level. The process is very satisfying from beginning to end. You might want to purchase a “Mandala Dotting Kit” instead of using pencil eraser heads to give yourself a greater variety of dot sizes. Use acrylic paint and allow previous dots to dry before adding the next layer to reduce smearing. Sketch your pattern on your rock before you begin applying dots if that makes you feel more comfortable. Finally, mandala stencils are great for those who don’t want to worry about creating their own sketch on their rock. All of these tips can help you stay focused on the pleasure of the painting experience.
Watch what happens to the colors as you layer them. Notice what color combinations please you the most. Meditate in this place of simple choices.
Enjoy the way colors play together. Meditate on what you see. Note what you notice. Think about what it all means to you and how it makes you feel.
While you are creating you might notice that you are thinking about something else other than what concerned you before you started making your first mark. Did a color choice let you forget about what's happening on the news? Did thoughts about a pattern you might prefer then allow a worry to be less powerful? Consider the gift that creative process can offer you during challenging times. Art can be an escape when you need it. It can be peace and it can be hope. Consider making something and see where it takes you. You just might find that your mind takes you someplace better, and your day just might be made new.