May Challenge has started!

May 19, 2013 in Blog bericht

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 reflex: a kind of automatic drawing.

February 18, 2013 in Blog bericht

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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Drawing the wintergarden

December 7, 2012 in Blog bericht

Wintergarden

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

 

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The Zen drawing story of Holger Wendt

October 30, 2012 in Blog bericht

 

 

Holger was already into meditative drawing when he was a teenager in the 70′s. It was in 1983 when he read the book “The zen of seeing, seeing/drawing as meditation” by Frederick Franck that he realized he was already ‘Zen drawing’. The work of Franck opened Holger’s eyes to a different purpose of seeing and drawing and it gave him more freedom to practice drawing. Frederick Franck is still his most important influence when it comes to drawing.

 

 

In the winter of 1988, Holger Wendt was in New York for business and he brought his Frederick Franck’s book with him. It was pure coincidence that Holger’s eye fell on a address mentioned in the book. Warwick NY it said. Before he knew it, he was looking up the telephone number and dialled the number. It was Franck himself who answered the phone and he was so delighted to speak with Holger, that they arranged to meet.

 

Holger met Frederick Franck three times after that and he joined one of his workshops at ‘Pacem in Terris’. Here he drew these portraits of Frederick Franck, ain’t they beautiful!

Besides Zen drawing, Holger practiced zazen (sitting meditation) a short period in his life. He also practiced Taiji, Aikido and Qigong as a form of physical meditation.

Holger works as a Traditional Chinese Medicine-acupuncture practitioner. In the past years he also taught many people his ‘zen drawing’ method. He says about his teaching:

 

“To teach zen drawing requires a feminine side of me, a sensitivity and perceptiveness to what is wanted and needed for the student. I guess it’s the same kind of perceptiveness I use, when I practice Traditional Chinese Medicine with my patients. I need to see where they are stuck and provide something that can move them further on their way to wholeness and harmony.”

 

To Holger, Zen drawing is a way for harmonising with the universe, to fall in love with it all over again. Zen-drawing is a guide to perceive what “is”, a door to the present, to the moment of now. He explains:

After practicing Zen drawing, the eye-heart connection stays open for a while, or forever, occasionally clouded by the mind. An example of this is given by an Italian young woman who practiced zen drawing with me for a day in Sweden. The day after she returned to Italy, and she sent me a text message, saying:

”I could see with my new eyes and it was simply fantastic! I’ve been exclaiming all the time, “WOW, è bellissima!””

After this beautiful remark there’s not much left to say about Holger and Zen drawing. One thing: take a look at his Blog about zen drawing.

 

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Zen drawing and the work of Betty Edwards

October 5, 2012 in Blog bericht

Betty Edwards
Betty Edwards taught the world how to draw. It’s good to see that her work still gets a lot of attention. If you ask me, her method should be taught to all teenage children, just like mathematics.
Likewise, it’s time to spread the word about zen drawing too! This drawingmethod enables you to draw without rational knowledge, when you are experiencing a relax state of mind. The drawing happens by itself as you use your drawing reflex. It’s great fun, increases your concentration level and your awareness.
In my Dutch zen drawing book I refer a lot to the work of Edwards. I was pleased to find this video on youtube and to see her demonstrating the practices herself. You could look at the video if you have the time, it’s very interesting. And remember that you don’t need any viewfinder with the zen drawing method. Great isn’t it?

 

 

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