On Sunday morning I went to a local pool with a friend to swim laps. It had been a very long time since I had been in the pool so I tired out a little before my friend did. While I was hanging out in the Jacuzzi and later in a chair beside the pool I decided to “practice” painting in my mind. I visualized a painting I wanted to paint and mentally went through the motions of how to accomplish it. It was a fun exercise, one that made me realize how very reactionary my painting tends to be. Typically when painting I put down a color and then decide how to respond to it.
So later in the studio I tried to recreate the exercise in real life. The mental painting had informed me some about how I would proceed, but after the first few steps of laying in the first layers of paint nothing was like what I had imagined. I found myself having to rely on the moment, by being in the present.
I am coming to realize that it is the requirement of being present - being mindful that makes painting such a wonderful experience. Anna T. over at the See. Be. Draw. blog has been writing a number of posts that cover being mindful when creating art. It has been a great inspiration to me lately.