Contour drawing/sketching sets in motion the shift in our brains enabling us to clear our minds of pre-conceived notions,the monkey chatter of our rushing around life-styles etc.
As fine motor skills, the connection between eyes and hand develops, children can be introduced to drawing as a game that roots them into their world called Blind Contour Drawing. Artist/teacher Frederick Frank said, “Blind Contour drawing builds trust between the eye, heart and hand connection.”
Inevitably a side effect of this practice is the ability to draw more realistically. However, this drawing game is not about the finished product but about becoming anchored in the moment and learning to see.
Blind contour drawing can be one of the most intimate ways of connecting to another human being without literally caressing the object of attention. I personally believe that if the intention is set that love, in its purest form, can be sensed through this powerful process.
Inherent in this drawing practice is a willingness to be vulnerable, there are no words to get in the way, the drawer is committed to truly seeing the one they are drawing, while the one being drawn must agree to sit with a quiet willingness to be thoroughly seen.
As a young mother I used blind contour drawing to deepen the intimate connection with my children. I remember creeping into my sleeping baby’s room with my pad and pen. I sat down and began to draw. I didn’t take my eyes off of her as I methodically took in the texture of her skin, every eyelash, gentle curve of arm and subtle dimple. In the silence, my pen followed as my eyes navigated this little being.
Through the practice of blind contour drawing I dropped down into the soft, weightless realm of the present moment and was held suspended in intimate connection. When I felt finished, I looked down at the drawing. It wasn’t a realistic representation of my baby, but by having consciously taken her “in” through my eyes, my heart and out my hand onto the paper I felt that I held her, in a sense, more deeply than if she were cradled in my arms.
Try taking just 5 minutes to pluck your energy out of the frazzle of everyday life to drop into this meditative drawing practice. Begin with a simple object that you see every day. If it helps use a pen that is out of ink or a sharpened chop stick so that you won’t be able to judge the final product.
This practice has been known to balance heart rate, blood pressure, energy level and restore connectivity to one’s world. With all of these benefits why would drawing not continue to be cultivated in our children and in ourselves?
Next time someone asks if you can draw, you might just reply with a twinkle in your eye, “Of course, silly…EVERYBODY CAN DRAW!”-Pamela Underwood.