exercise two: process and product
Why do it?
Once we have come to terms with the idea of drawing as a process rather than a thing we can put in a frame it is time to consider how to use the process as a meditation. One of the things you probably noticed during the first exercise was a sense of focusing. This focusing is the basis of the meditation. Rather than using the breath as the point of focus, as is traditional, we are going use seeing and drawing as that point of focus.
To do this we need to become aware of what we are doing, that is to say aware of doing drawing. As drawing is making marks as well as seeing we need to look at those marks occasionally. The problem as we have seen is that when we look at the marks it is very easy to consider the marks in terms of a product rather than a process.
It is vital then that as we refer to the marks made by the pencil we remain focused on our feelings and how we react to those feelings, what we are calling, reactivity. During this exercise every time before you look down at the marks you have made and when you actually look down, focus your attention on your reactivity. How do you think you will feel? and how do you feel?
The reactivity you notice and how well you are able to see it as something separate from your conscious thought, rather than it taking over your thoughts and reactions, is a vital element in developing you ability to meditate.
Stay with the same plant that you used in exercise one, turn it around if you like, and and tape a new piece of A3 paper to the table.
resharpen your HB pencil.
Again spend a moment or two looking at the plant and choose a place to start. This time you can move your eye, followed by your pencil slightly faster. The important thing is not to loose sight of the edge you are following. Never make a mark unless it is what your eye sees. Authenticity is crucial. dont “cheat” that is draw something you have not seen, or if you do cheat own up to yourself and ask yourself why?
Trace the edge or line with your eye and this time when you reach the end of the line, because it hits another line or there is nowhere else to go. look down at the paper and place the pencil to start another line. Remember, the rules about reactivity each time you look down.
Continue for around 15 minutes.
Reflect on the three reactions:
how did I feel doing the drawing?
how did i fee before i looked down?
how did i feel when i looked down?
Ask yourself what is more important, the drawing you have made (product) or the drawing and thinking process you went though (process)