I have been drawing more than I’ve been writing recently. When I was studying art in college, I made a few replications from Monet paintings, and I remember feeling surprised by how much I enjoyed looking at the colours. It’s this weird tug you feel inside, when you want to eat something when you’re not hungry, or want to buy something, or open up an app looking for likes and affirmation. This is the effect looking at really colourful artwork has on me. It lights me up inside, it makes me feel happy.
And so I’ve restarted my previous project, 11 years on. I’ve been looking for Monet paintings that catch my eye; this is the first one I have attempted with a building, and none with people yet. It’s from Monet’s painting called “Garden in Bordighera, Impression of Morning” (1884, oil on canvas). I know there is a lot more finessing I could do with this piece; each time I look at it now I see a patch of shadow I need to add, more green here or more blue there, but I still enjoy looking at it. I think perhaps the idea with impressionist work is not to overthink the details.
I have done a couple of pictures with haystacks now too, and I am going to work on a new piece today.
It’s so unbelievably calm, sitting in our office / creative room which we recently renovated, looking out the window, listening to the radio and drawing. I work in quite a quiet office, but it does not compare. Although at times I feel impatient with the pace. Each piece can take up to 10/12 hours to produce, and there are a couple I have started but not finished, because I wasn’t satisfied with the composition. I have one piece which I have spent 2 hours on already, which I might try to finish today.
Although time consuming, creating these artworks has made me feel incredibly calm. I have tried meditating before, but often feel distracted and listless. But I have found that while drawing, I am using a little bit of my brain to think about composition and placement, but I am also sorting through thoughts, in what I suppose is a reasonably quiet, meditative state.
If meditation hasn’t worked for you, I would thoroughly recommend some drawing. The materials aren’t too expensive or difficult to come by, and it may help with stress, anxiety, and make you feel more relaxed.