Life lessons from life drawing

 

I took myself to a life drawing class last night. I’ve found confidence from my recent painting adventures, and I felt like getting out of my comfort zone, as you do.

“What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t like my drawings?” I said to myself, and off I went.

Here’s my takeaway from the night.

We are our own worst critic.

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It was truly a beautiful experience. There was 9 of us, four men, five women. The model was a gorgeous young woman, maybe 20, and it was her first time. Before she unrobed, she said, “Please don’t judge my body.”

My heart swelled for her, because she was so beautiful. It was a potent reminder of how we are our own worst critic. So with that, I picked up my pencil, tried not to look at what my friend was doing, and focused on what I could see in front of me.

Perfection is a myth.

In the lines of her shoulders I could see the insecurity, but in the lines of her ribcage and sternum there was courage, and in her belly, vulnerability and power. So much beauty – and isn’t that what art is? Capturing beauty? It’s all gorgeous and raw and imperfect.

Presence is key.

I think my meditation practice is really filtering into the finer details of my existence. I was so present, aware of my fingers around the pencil, taking in the details of what I could see, feeling the freezing cold air around us. There wasn’t really any mental chatter. There was judgement, but not the “I’m not good” voice; just seeing something on the page that needed tweaking. I was peaceful, focused, intent, compassionate. In the zone.

It’s a process.

I looked at the model and saw a line, so I drew it. Then I saw shadow, so I shaded it. Then I saw another line, drew that, and added some shadow… and then I had a female body on my page, using lines, light and shadow.

I didn’t like all my drawings – but that doesn’t actually matter. It’s part of the process, discerning what you like and what you don’t.

Here’s the ones I liked:

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And the ones I didn’t like:

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We are our own harshest critic

Perfection is a myth

Presence is key

It’s a process.

I love the dual nature of these lessons. Where in my life am I judging myself, being harsh or criticising? Where am I striving for perfection, instead of seeing the beauty in what I’m experiencing?

When I’m present, none of those thoughts or judgements can impact me.  That’s when things flow. When I stay with the process and put one foot in front of the other, take the next right step as it comes, I feel on track… whether I like the experience I’m having or not.

I’d love to know if you resonate… do you have your own creative process? Do you feel like judgements get in the way of you achieving your dreams? Or do you feel a sense of ease, flow? How do you create that? Let me know in the comments.

 

Lots of love,

Emma xo