artist’s way III: week 2 • artist date

Those of you familiar with me as a human, or through my blog are probably aware that I’m an endearingly charming human who is irrationally scare of, well, life. While I do force myself out of my comfort zone, the level and regularity of those efforts can vary drastically.

I attended a Mandala Making art workshop, focusing on mindfulness and meditative art as a form of healing. The class was taught by the lovely mandala artist, Ann Viveros.

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January mandala drawing • India ink • Carly Swenson • 2018

This week my artist date was unique, because it sounded both amazing and a bit awful.
Why amazing? It’s an art workshop! Yay! It’s always fun to learn something new or different art techniques.

Why a bit awful? Well, because of a lot of very normal things that probably wouldn’t cause anxiety in the average human. Going to a building I don’t know…to go a workshop about an art style I don’t know…with people I don’t know…taught by someone I don’t know.

I’m always uneasy when I don’t know what to expect from a given situation or setting. However, I know the more I push myself to face this irrational anxiety, the anxiety will diminish more and more.


Well, as an artist date, I ended up cheating a bit (because I did go with a friend). I already bought my ticket and was prepared to go alone, but a friend decided to join me (because I thought the class looked neat, so I invited a few friends who I thought might also appreciate it). However, the majority of the class was very introspective and independent, which fit with the solo artist date concept.

After a brief group guided meditation, and Ann’s discussion of her work and what we would be doing–it was a lovely self-focused mindful process. I’ve always appreciated the intricacy and and aesthetic of mandalas, but in my mind, they were always firmly categorized under the heading of “Nope-that-is-far-too-detailed-and-precise-for-me-to-ever-do-that-and-be-happy-with-it”.

However, if this was an art form I was ever going to try–Ann’s technique and perspective were perfect for me. She had a very relaxed, open, and intuitive style, focusing on being present with the process and just following your instincts about what to do next without over thinking. Ann also emphasized that when patterns don’t line up, or if you make a ‘mistake’, it’s important to both reflect on your self-talk responses to those perceived errors as well as work on embracing those imperfections as a beautifully unique part of the process. (Which I just super loved!)

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January mandala drawing • India ink • Carly Swenson • 2018

7 Replies to “artist’s way III: week 2 • artist date”

  1. It looks lovely. I want to give it a try too some day, at them moment I’m trying zentangle patterns and zen doodles, I even started an art journal.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love it, but when I see the beautiful art some people do with it I get insecure, I’m not ready to show it to other yet :D

        Like

        1. I think they say “the shortest path to unhappiness is comparing yourself to others”? Or something along those lines that sounds more poetic? I completely understand that feeling though, it can be hard to work past sometimes. I will definitely have to look into that more though.

          Liked by 1 person

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