The idea of developing a daily practice to promote our well-being has become mainstream, be it meditation, yoga or journaling, amongst others. However, the concept of making a regular physical mark still seems in its relative infancy, and the shame or fear of ‘getting it wrong’ still prohibits many from being attracted to the visual arts as a vehicle for self-care.
The motivations of our ancestors to grind up raw materials to make pigments with which to draw and mark-make on walls of caves, can only be speculated on. However, the emotion felt when seeing ones own handwork, can be an affirmation of our beingness; if we can make a mark, we are here.
Within our post-industrialised culture, making a physical mark can be a daunting prospect, many of us have a preconceived idea of what is ‘right’ and judge our own marks as harshly as we fear the worst critic would. This can be debilitating, and even when we do feel the urge to pick up a pencil, any resulting marks can leave us with a sense of inadequacy.
No wonder so few of us decide to make marks as a daily practice and we can only begin to tap into this well of energy if we move our attention, yet again, from the outcome to the process. Making art as a daily practice reminds us to be in the present, revel in the process and let go of our imagined ideas of the future.
by Lucy C Campbell
Lucy and Edward C Campbell run a new independent art school in Palnackie. A weekly ‘Open Studio’ evening (term time Tuesdays, 7-9pm), supports the development of regular creative practise.
Contact 01556 600526 firstname.lastname@example.org