Just a little while ago, Liz Steel asked, on her blog, the following question:
Why do you sketch?
Here is my answer:
My sketching is – at the moment – a kind of mindfulness praxis. Mindfulness is usually defined as “a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.” Instead of observing my thoughts and feelings I direct my gaze outwards, observing my surroundings. And just as in ordinary mindfulness, sketching gives me peace of mind.
My sketches are processes, not results. I like to share them, but they are not products for sale – they are more like fleeting moments. Thinking about my sketches as artworks for sale would totally destroy my pleasure in making them.
One thing I forgot to mention in my answer, which is maybe the very essence of it all, is that sketching makes me aware of the abundance of beauty trickling through everything, everywhere I look – even in the saddest and dreariest of places & situations.
But what about you? Why do you make things?
Imitate the habit of twilight – take time to open the well of color
— John O’Donohue