Drawing with my father after his stroke

April 17, 2016 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

In the first week of February my father, 65 years old, got several strokes in the left hemisphere of his brain. In hospital his condition first got more severe, probably due to another stroke. There were deficiencies on the right side of his body; he could not walk properly, he didn’t use his right arm and hand (unless we asked him to, but he hardly had any control on the movement), he had difficulties finding the right words, was confused, had problems like memory loss and he couldn’t read and hardly write. Most disturbing for him was the loss of sight on the right side of both eyes.

The brain is a miraculous thing. My father was able to spell words correctly, even write them with his finger in the air, but he could not read. He couldn’t even read what he had just written down with his sub-dominant left hand. He could describe animals, but didn’t recognize them in photos. Rather dramatic for my nature- and bird loving father who loves to walk in nature.

In the first weeks after the stroke I asked my father to describe a stork and draw one for me. The discription was fine but this was the result of the drawing:

tekening ooievaar

Fortunately my father is now recovering in a very fine clinic and he is making lots of progress. He now walks by himself and his right hand is getting more active. Slowly he is starting to recognize words and letters and animal recognition is improving fast too.

In the beginning of his recovery I had the feeling that Zen drawing might be a good exercise for my father. Although he never drew (even my books couldn’t convince him to draw!) and his first interest was to restore his reading and writing abilities, I thought this was the right moment to discover the benefits of drawing. I had to wait untill his dominant right hand had recovered a bit more. When the doctors told us last week, that the main problem for him was focus, concentration and vision I figured the time was right to start. Today we had our first attempt in drawing together.

My fathers fingers are still quite inflexible and stiff, so I need to help him holding the pencil correctly. The first exercise we did today was drawing lines and symbols from memory. This was not a real problem, sometimes I needed to draw an example.

Then I asked my father to draw a stork from memory again (top) and to draw a stork from a photopgraph (below). You can see in the drawing how much his condition had improved already:

ooievaar schetsen

After these exercises I explained how (blind) contour drawing works. We took a ginkgo leaf to practice. He experienced more difficulties with drawing the right side than drawing the left side. I had the feeling that his inflexible arm was part of the problem.

ginkgoblad tekenen

Then I asked my father to draw the stork again (looking at the same photo) but this time using the contour technique. Because he had experienced some troubles while drawing the ginkgo I didn’t expect to much from the drawing. I was amazed when I saw how well it went!

ooievaar goed ooievaar resultaat

Mij father himself was surprised too, especially about the right proportions of the stork. He immediately wanted to draw more and we took an image of his favorite bird; the kingfisher.

ijsvogel tekenen

Finally we took a spoonbill (the writing says in Dutch ‘ This is a spoonbill’)

lepelaar tekenen

After our drawing session his handwriting had improved too. I had to end our session otherwise he would still be drawing right now. He was much more enthusiastic about Zen drawing than I had been hoping for.

This has confirmed my theory that Zen drawing can have many benefits like improving motorskills, and increase focus, attention and relaxation. Also my father told me that the exercise helped him to recognize and remember the animals he had been drawing. Now my father can’t read, and watching tv makes him feel tired, drawing seems to be an ideal way to spend his time. We will continue and I will probably write more about his drawing journey!

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Spring: a lovely drawing season

April 10, 2016 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

foto viooltjes

Here in the Netherlands spring is finally starting to break through. Today I have been drawing in the garden in the warm sun for the first time. True moments of bliss for me.

It will not be surprising that flowers inspire me most at the moment. Every year in April I post something about spring, drawing flowers and feeling lots of positive energy. So perhaps instead of repeating the same word, I’d better show new images of some drawing moments.

In case you would like to draw just like me and you would like to learn about the technique, reading one of my eBooks can be interesting. I offer previews of the books (PDF’s and ePubs) here and here.

From today I will start an ‘of the record’ drawing challenge on Facebook too. Feel free to join the community and draw daily with me. You can find the group here.

potlood viooltjes violtje viooltjesorchidee

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Drawing a tree – how to draw

February 12, 2015 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

boom magnolia horizontaal KLEINOne of the most positive effects of Zen drawing for me, is that I am far more aware of the beauty of trees. Sometimes I suddenly look in awe at the shape of a tree and I feel the urge to draw or at least take a picture of it. Before I drew this way, I thought that drawing trees was difficult and boring because of all those branches and leaves. Now I can’t say that it’s easy to draw a tree, but I now find it lots of fun and very inspiring.

The image above  is of my neighbors Magnolia tree and its full of flower buds already. Can’t wait until they open. Magnolia trees are on my list of most favorite trees.

Now if you want to draw a tree, I have some tips for you and below you find a video I made for the eBook version of ‘the Zen drawing Pack’. Here you will see me drawing a willow tree in summertime.

Tips:

* Have a good look at the tree and see what it’s characteristics are.

* Imagine how big you would like to draw your tree to on paper. Now this is important: walk away from the tree to find the right distance. I used to  make the mistake to stand to close to the tree. The result is that my drawing gets too big and I have to leave out top branches to adjust my drawing to the paper.

* Start by sketching the tree trunk and most important branches. This is the basic structure of the tree. You can then start to draw the rest of the tree.  Try to draw blind as much as possible.

* Depending on the kind of tree and the season, you now add smaller branches, leaves and buds. Draw blind! Don’t draw to precise, raise your speed and let go.

* If necessary you can add shadows to finish your drawing.

 

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Drawing Vermeer

January 7, 2015 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist, pencil drawing, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

mauritshuis

In December I visited the ‘Mauritshuis’ – Museum with old Dutch masters and took my sketchbook with me. I came across one of the most famous paintings ever: “Girl with a Pearl Earring. Now the latest news is: she isn’t wearing a pearl, they weren’t available those days. My conclusion after a concentrated look: it could also be a peace of metal, perhaps silver as well. Of course I couldn’t resist to make my own version!

 

michelle dujardin vermeer meisje

The result:

vermeer meisje girl pearl zen drawing

I am lucky to live only 30 minutes from this Museum full of historic art treasuries. There is a lot to learn from these old masters. It was a great relief to find they to struggled with proportions now and then. I sure hope this artist could laugh a bit about the result.  It would make him a real (Zen) master. Just cover the bottom half of the face of this child with your finger and she gets younger instantly.

schilderij kind

Another beauty and famous too: Fabritius goldfinch. Goldfinches have a nickname in the Netherlands; Puttertjes. Referring to the days people kept them for fun and let them get water in tiny buckets. You can see the chain on the birds paw. I felt a bit sad for this beautiful small bird.

puttertje fabritiusMy quick sketch:

Carel fabritius puttertje

Once you have seen something properly you will notice it everywhere:

puttertje donna tart

I always wanted to paint a Goldfinch and the Museum visit encouraged me to draw one. Unfortunately no real life model for me, I had to search the internet for images.

puttertje aqaurel

Last but not least I drew a very quick sketch of one of Karel Dujardin’s paintings. I don’t know if he is my ancestor. I love to believe it, but apparently  he died childless by drowning in Venice! Speaking of Venice… my next topic will continue on this subject.

For now, best wishes for 2015. Wish you lots of beautiful and exiting drawing moments!

 

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Zen drawing Pack for Christmas with video!

December 3, 2014 in Blog bericht, Book posts, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

tekening kerstboom met packThe Zen drawing pack is a very lovely Christmas present; it looks beautiful, contains everything you need to get drawing and it is very well prized too!  Take a look at this video to see the inside of the Pack:

If you can’t find it on Amazon (it seems to be out of stock now), take a look at these shops:

Barnes and Nobles

Q bookshop
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Drawing goldfish

November 24, 2014 in Blog bericht, Geen categorie, pencil drawing, Watercolor by Michelle Dujardin

Nov 24, 2014

 

Over the past few weeks, I have been quite busy re-decorating my living room. As a result it was a bit of a mess and since I also worked until the late hours, there was hardly any time left to sit down and draw. So I decided to take some time out as soon as the most important decorating I needed to finish, was done.

How wrong was I? By ignoring my needs for some well deserved rest, my resistance got low and I got a flu instead. I didn’t even have enough energy to pick up a pencil and make some drawings. So yesterday I was incredibly happy that I finally found some time and energy to sit down and draw for while. Especially since my daughter got some new pets; two goldfish! Perfect models as I found out.

 

gold and brown drawing fish ‘Blackie’ and ‘Spotty’ -as they are called- have been chosen by my daughter for their sweet personalities and I liked their ‘modelling’ looks. Drawing fish -especially long tailed goldfish- is great fun if you use watercolors. I fully understand why fish are popular ‘models’ for ink paintings in the East. The ink and watercolor flow on your paper like the fish move in the water, and its a matter of a few strokes to see the fish come alive on you paper. Use diluted ink or paint first for the tail to show its transparencygoldfish drawing.

goldfish watercolor

My first attempt to paint Spotty in action was really fun. It looks hilarious, could have been a Quentin Blake illustration.

For ‘Blackie’ I used a photograph to see the colors more clearly.  If you take a close look at a black goldfish, you will find that underneath it is truely a GOLD fish too.

If you don’t have any fish yourself or a nearby Chinese restaurant to go to, just search for fish on the internet and you will find anything you like.

This picture shows the wet watercolor painting, which makes it look like a real wet skin of a fish.

black goldfish

And the final dried up result:

zwarte vis klein

Another goldfish I made:

goudvis klein

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New Summer challenge: drawing movement

July 14, 2014 in Blog bericht, challenge, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

Tomorrow July 15th we will start with a new Zen drawing challenge: drawing movement!

Drawing moving subjects is a lovely way to let go of the result, let go of your thoughts and finally let go of everything else by seeing and drawing incredibly fast! By drawing daily – sometimes for just 15 minutes or so – you will improve your seeing and drawing skills and feel more relaxed during the day!

Would you like to join us? You are more than welcome to become a member of the Zen drawing Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/zendrawing/

If you would like to get some inspiration, please watch this video about drawing in the city. Yes … (almost) everything moves in the city!

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Drawing faces: September Challenge!

August 26, 2013 in Blog bericht, challenge, pencil drawing by admin

challenge

A new drawing challenge is on it’s way! The whole month of September we will be drawing for at least 15 minutes a day.
This will improve your seeing- and drawingskills and quiet your mind. There will be many more advantages, but you will only find out by participating!

This time our objective is to draw the human face. Will you be able to draw faces without judging/ projections of your mind?
Do you have the courage to watch other people closely ? How will you feel when you are drawing people like this? How do you feel when you are asked to make a drawing of yourself?

These are just some of questions you might ask yourself during the challenge.

Feel free to join this challenge on facebook.

drawing faces

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Drawing of the Sacre Coeur in Paris

June 24, 2013 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

drawing paris

In December 2011 I visited Paris. A friend took a temporary job and rented an apartment. I was invited and went just before Christmas. I was planning to draw while she was at work. Those drawing I would use as illustrations for the book about Zen drawing I was working on at that time.

The evening before I left, my grandmother died. The next morning, in the train to Paris I felt sad and relieved and I knew that Paris was going to be a special experience. I found myself wandering through Paris in the winter sun. It was warm for the time of the year, making it excellent drawing weather. One of my wishes was to draw the Sacre Coeur, and now my grandmother had passed, I decided to light a candle for her there.

When I arrived at the bottom of the stairs of the Sacre Coeur, the sun decided to come out from behind the clouds and I sat down on a small bench that had a wonderful view of the Sacre Coeur. While drawing, I knew I should not think about the drawing result and just enjoy the drawing process. While I was drawing, a security guard fom the Sacre Coeur showed me his own drawings on his mobile phone anda group of Japanese tourist noticed me as well. It felt funny drawing ‘Zen’ with them looking at me. Despite all this small interruptions, the drawing went extremely well. Maybe because I enjoyed it so much; the drawing and the encounters. The result felt like a little miracle to me.

sacre coeur drawing tekeningAfter I finished the drawing, I went upstairs and lit the candle for my grandmother. It was a morning I will never forget.

The drawing did eventually became an illustration in my book, and I decided to dedicate the book to my grandmother.

If you love the drawing as much as I do, you can order a Art Print  here!

 

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May Challenge has started!

May 19, 2013 in Blog bericht, challenge, pencil drawing by admin

cronesteyn park tekening 2

A new challenge has started! The purpose is to draw 30 minutes every day for two weeks, starting at May 17th.

Even though it has already begun, you can still join us and post your drawings on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/137571516430556/

If you enjoy sharing your drawings and drawing experiences, you might like to join the zen drawing group as well:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/zendrawing/

I hope to see your drawings soon!

Greetings,

Michelle

cronesteyn park tekening

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Drawing Sardinia Italy

May 14, 2013 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

Drawing SardiniaI just came back from Sardinia Italy. Of course I took my sketschbook with me. Although Sardinia had the most beautiful and bright colors, drawing with just a pencil can result in great drawings.  The rough coast and cork-oaks are so pretty…

kurkeik klein maddalena porto klein

costa smeralda tekening drawing mddalena drawing tekening Italie

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Drawing a Magnolia tree

April 18, 2013 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing, Watercolor by admin

 

mooie magnolia

magnolia

The first weeks of spring were incredibly cold in Holland this year. As a result, nature got a little confused and all plants and trees flower much later than usual. My most favorite of all plants and tree’s; the magnolia, is still not in full bloom yet.

Last year the magnolia flowered in the third week of March! I tried to draw the tree then, but couldn’t get it on my paper. It was to tall and I was sitting to close. This year, the Magnolia is even bigger. I learned from last year, I will not even try to draw it completely.

tekening magnolia zen drawing

The branches of the magnolia have surprising shapes. The flowers are like jewels on a necklace. Every day, I see them open up a bit more.

Today, I also tried to paint a flower with watercolors.

magnolia drawing tekening klein

 

 

 

 

 

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Drawing in the ZOO

March 17, 2013 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

drawing in the zoo
You might have noticed that I love drawing animals. Maybe I should say: I love animals, so that’s why I love to draw them.
For animal lovers like me, the zoo can be a perfect place to draw: a lot of diversity and the animals are always close enough so you can see them very well. I actually don’t think that its really necessary to explain the benefits of drawing in a zoo.
Last december, I visited a very small and strange zoo in Holland, the Oliemeulen in Tilburg.
It’s more likely a reptile house, with al kinds of snakes, spiders, birds, frogs and turtles.  I took my sketchbook and had a great time. Reptiles are perfect models, because for most of the time they don’t move very fast.
The Oliemeulen also has a ‘two headed siamese snake’.

Although I have seen very special and exotic animals, I had my favorite moment while drawing an ‘ordinary’ turtle, that was slowly passing in front of me with some food in his mouth. Then, suddenly, he seemed to notice me and turned towards the window. He sat still for a while, turning it’s head as if he could see my drawing.

It was so much more than drawing an animal. I was meeting the animal, feeling connected to it. When I think about him it feels like remembering a good friend…
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A zen drawing Etsyshop

February 27, 2013 in Blog bericht, NEWS, pencil drawing, Watercolor by admin

gebera klein

This week I opened a new Etsyshop with my Zen drawings. You can find original drawings and reproductions.
And of course my Dutch book about Zen drawing. The shop is attached to this website, you can find it in the menu (shop)!

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Father and…

February 19, 2013 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist, pencil drawing by admin

Father and

Last weekend, I drew at Scheveningen beach. There was no wind, and the sea was calm. While drawing, a father and son appeared. I only drew the son.

 

scheveningen 2 kleiin

 

Than my uncle told me, the drawing reminded him of the film ‘Father and daughter’ by Michael Dudok de Wit. I had never really seen the film until now.

Here it is, very pretty:

I now see the coincidence with not drawing the father in Scheveningen…

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Drawing reflex: a kind of automatic drawing

February 18, 2013 in Blog bericht, Buddhism, pencil drawing by admin

contour tekening eenddrawing reflex
The most amazing thing about Zen drawing, is that if you just step aside and let your drawing reflex take over, it feels like your hand is able to draw by itself. What in fact 
has happened is what the Buddhists call "the awakening of your inner artist" and you will discover that if you give room to your inner artist, this way of drawing is easy
 and above all, fun! 

But it must be said: for most people stepping aside is not as easy as it sounds! So what does it mean: stepping aside? It means that you try to minimize the influence of 
your personality (or ego) and control mechanism in the drawing process. For it is your personality that is responsible for criticizing and controlling the result of your drawing 
and this personality is not satisfied until it sees a certain quality. For instance, you will notice, that when you start drawing by only using the reflex, your mind will slowly 
quiet down. That is the moment that a little voice inside your head starts talking to you... 'this can't be right, you must be doing something wrong, go on... have a look!' 
Don't worry, let it talk, just stay with your inner artist and continue to draw, because this is just your personality getting nervous and wanting to interfere. 

Sadly, this inner chatter also negatively influences the drawing result. Somehow your hand gets confused by that conflict of letting go and regaining control and this can be 
clearly seen on paper. As a result each Zen drawing is a reflection of the stillness of your mind, your inner focus and your concentration. But don't worry if your personality 
keeps interfering. It is a proces and you have to give it some time!

Here is some advice to help you find your drawing reflex and reduce the influence of your inner chatter:

- relax, tell yourself to be quiet.

- draw complex and irrational shapes, usually found in nature.

- tell yourself not to focus on the result: whatever happens, is ok 

- pay attention to your  subject. Try not to interpret what you see and focus on the way it looks.

- If you experience difficulties in relaxing, try fysical exercises, like grounding and/ or relaxe breathing before you start drawing.

Hopefully this will help you on your way!
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Challenge Feb 13 image gallery

February 17, 2013 in challenge, pencil drawing by Michelle Dujardin

februari 2013

 

The February Zen drawing challenge has passed, but I guess no one has really stopped drawing! It only made us more addicted to zen drawing!

The drawing group has gathered in this Facebook Community. Please join, if you would like to participate in future drawing challenges or if you would like to follow new drawings.

And take a look at this drawing gallery to see the favorite drawings of the February participants.

The drawing of the reed is probably my best drawing moment this challenge.

The challenge personally inspired me to draw more and use watercolor paint. I will write about it soon!

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Challenge drawings

February 14, 2013 in Blog bericht, challenge, pencil drawing by admin

challenge

Recent drawings I made because of the challenge:

vrouwenweg klein

Lemoni slaapt klein

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Challenge

January 23, 2013 in Blog bericht, challenge, pencil drawing by admin

 

challange

challenge

Holger Wendt has come up with a lovely challenge that I would like to share with you. He created a facebookpage, an open event, that you can join. If you don’t have a facebook account, no problem! You can share your experience on the forum!

Here is the challenge:

Seeing-drawing at least 15 minutes every day for a month.

Start: February 1st, 2013 – Finish: March 1st, 2013

Purpose. To get into the practice of zen drawing, to rediscover it all over again, to become more present in life and to make a powerful reconnection with nature.

Rules: One has the intention to do this every day. If one misses there is no blame. If one succeeds to draw 6 days in a row, one are rewarded (by one self) to draw at least one hour another day.

If one likes, one can publish drawings here every day, or less often. And if one wants to wait publishing:

The 1st of March we publish together comments and one or a few of our drawings here, as a collective and concerted expression of this project. What it might lead to next is a mystery for now..

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Drawing a Dutch landscape

January 13, 2013 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

Dutch landscape

Every now and than when it is nice weather and I have some spare time, I get on my bike for a ride around the countryside. Because just minutes around the corner from where I live, you can find yourself in a typical Dutch landscape, named a ‘polder’. As you may or may not know Holland is extremely flat, and these flatlands are called ‘polders’ in Dutch.
Although I miss having mountains on my doorstep, I really love these ‘flatlands’ and always bring my sketchbook, for I never know what I might find.

 

This scenery is near Leiden in Zoeterwoude Dorp. Absolutely a perfect spot to draw!

 

 

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O Christmas tree

December 19, 2012 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

christmas tree drawingChristmas tree

Here it is, our little Christmas tree. This is already the third year that it’s celebrating Christmas in our home. It has a corner in our garden where it stands all year. I didn’t expect it to survive, but it does and it is growing a few inches every year. Because it is standing in a corner, the shape of the tree gets a little weirder every year. But we don’t care, we love the tree anyway. My daughter gave it a name: O Denneboom. It’s Dutch for ‘O Christmas tree’. I can’t think of better name myself.

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Drawing the wintergarden

December 7, 2012 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

Wintergarden

This is me, drawing the garden. Today was the first day with snow in the Netherlands.

 

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Drawing leaves

November 23, 2012 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

drawing leaves

 

It’s autumn in Holland. I have seen so many beautiful colored leaves on the trees. The last weeks many fell on the ground and now I mainly see bold branches.

Leaves are always great fun to draw. I found many different shapes and brought them home. I will post some beautiful October autumn pictures and some of my drawings.

 

 

 

 

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Mindful drawing

April 2, 2012 in Blog bericht, Buddhism, pencil drawing by admin

mindful
Mindfulness has become very popular in the West over the last few years. Lot’s of people discovered the benefits of keeping their attention in the moment and to practice a tolerant attitude towards everything that happened in their lives. Sitting in meditation however, trying to get a still mind by thinking about ‘nothing’ is very difficult for some people. Simply because doing ‘nothing’ is something we just do not do in the West. For those people who have difficulty quieting their minds, Zen drawing might be a better way of practicing meditation. It’s meditation in action, which means you can be active while reaching a meditative state. Instead of ‘doing nothing’ you will focus on a subject you wish to draw. By looking at it in great detail, your concentration will improve and you might feel committed to your subject as well. It is like a positive spiral: drawing increases your concentration and by concentrating more, your drawing skills will improves.
Realistic Zen drawing can be the perfect practice to become more loving towards your environment as well. If you see how things really are, you will be amazed by the beauty and complexity of all things. That’s why I think that Zen drawing might be the easiest and most pleasant way of becoming Mindful. If sitting in meditation ‘isn’t your thing’, try this for a change!
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Drawing a Pussywillow

March 27, 2012 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

There’s a ‘pussywillow’ in my garden. This is the popular name for the Salix caprea Pendula. This past two weeks, the days were getting warmer and so it started to grow hairy flowers. After a few days, yellow anthers appeared and attracked lots of bee’s, so whole of last week I have been looking at all those different kinds of bees coming and going.

 

Now the bees have taken almost all the pollen, the ‘catflowers’ have become softer and less brighter yellow. The perfect models for Zen drawing.

Wow, only the end of March and the first blossom is already appearing in my garden. There will be a lot to see and draw. I think I can safely say:

Here in Holland the Zen drawing season has started!

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Drawing the work of Saul Leiter

January 31, 2012 in Blog bericht, Inspiring artist, pencil drawing by admin

Saul Leiter
At this moment (januari 2012), the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam is holding an exhibition of the artistic work of Saul Leiter. I had never heard of him before, but friends recommended me to go and have a look. So I visited the museum last saturday for the first time.
I took my drawing-book with me to Amsterdam, but I had not expected his work to be so suitable for blind contour-drawing. Especially the pictures of gentlemen in fifties outfits, wearing beautiful hats where perfect…..! Saul Leiter himself seemed to be quite ‘Zen’ to. He did not like the ego elements of the art business  and instead saw creating as a way of life.
If you know his work, maybe you will recognize some of his pictures in these drawings:

 

 

 

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Relaxation excersise: drawing circles

January 18, 2012 in Blog bericht, Buddhism, pencil drawing by admin

 

Before I start drawing I begin with drawing spirals and circles. I found out this improves my concentration and focus. It's the perfect excercise 
for me when I want to get rid of tension and unwanted thoughts. In just a few minutes I become more relaxed. It's a perfect way to open my mind.

The only thing I have to do is to draw circles and spirals without thinking or influencing the result. I just let it happen and I try not to interrupt 
the drawingprocess. I try to continue drawing circles until I feel a little dreamy, as if I am balancing between normal consciousness and a daydream. 
This  exercise has proven to  be useful in all kinds of situations. I also do this when I am feeling anxious or nervous. It helps me enormously, 
so why don't you give it a try and see if it works for you too!
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Drawing people

November 29, 2011 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

Drawing people

Last week a friend of mine graduated at the University of Leiden. Her thesis was about "A cultural analysis of older middle-class 
people's social Lives in Kerala, India". My friend did a great job and I never saw a PhD student in such a relaxed state of mind 
when defending their research!

While I'm listening, I also love to draw and this ceremony proved to be the perfect place to draw people, mostly because people 
tend not to move a lot on these occasions!

Here are some of the drawings (and a quote, that I loved so much I had to write it down):


“Do things for others and not for yourself”
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“Please sit still!!”

November 17, 2011 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing by admin

sit still
Most difficult, in realistic Zen drawing, may be a moving model. If you want to draw the outline of anything that changes in shape, you have to be quick and extremely alert. I guess if you practice a lot, more than a lot, it will get better.
I love drawing animals, but unfortunately, most of them are not used to modeling that much. Drawing a flying bird or a swimming fish feels like running against time. This may not sound ‘Zen’, but it can be a perfect excercise to surrender to the moment and forget about the result of your drawing.
Last weekend I did find a creature in my garden, that did exactly what I ask it to do: it sat still. If you ever need the perfect model, good looking, elegant and subtile, this may be what your looking for:
Seeing the beauty of a spider might even cure you from aragnofobia!
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Zen drawing: a neuropsychological view

November 9, 2011 in Blog bericht, pencil drawing, Post on Psychology and science by admin

neuro
It was as early as 1979 that Betty Edwards, an American art teacher, published her book ‘ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’. She used findings of brain research done by Roger Sperry and others, who found in their studies on split-brain patients, that the two hemispheres of the brain have different functions.
For example, our left hemisphere is involved in our rational and linear thinking, focuses on details and ‘thinks’ in language. Our right hemisphere on the other hand, is involved in perceiving complex visual information as well as other information from our sensory organs, and combines this information to one experience, the experience of the moment.
They also found that in our right hemisphere there is no inner chatter and we experience inner peace and silence, not unlike the qualities and the effects that, for example, Buddhist look for when in meditation.

Edwards showed in her book, that everyone can learn how to draw realistically by involving their right hemisphere when performing any drawing task. When reading Edwards book, I asked myself if our Ego is also located in our left hemisphere. I searched the internet and found this very interesting story by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor on YouTube:

I have red her book ‘My stroke of Insight’, and if you like to learn more about our brain and the way we perceive reality, I can strongly recommend it. In my opinion any kind of drawing and especially Zen drawing, can help you experience your right hemisphere consciousness. All you have to do is ‘step aside’, literally take ‘a step’ from left to right.
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