At some point during the past 18 months, I became hooked on the art practice of artist Amy Maricle. Her meditative practice requires slowing down and spending time with simple art materials–perfect for pandemic times. Amy’s invitation to make simple marks on very small pieces of paper was particularly appealing to me; when my mind needs a break, this is a perfect solution. And with very little required to get started, many barriers to “making art” are removed.
Amy, a trained art therapist, very generously gives of herself and her time by hosting slow drawing events on her Facebook page each week. People from all around the globe can gather virtually, in real time, to pause for an hour of meditative drawing together–a true gift!
In addition to her urging to slow down, breathe, and really notice what’s happening during this time of making art, Amy encourages nature walks for inspiration. In fact, most of her “slow drawing” shapes are drawn from her own experiences in nature.
This really speaks to me as a photographer. I’m always looking for the small, perhaps unnoticed things, when I set out to walk with my camera. Shapes, colors, patterns…all can provide artistic inspiration. And now those little treasures I may pocket along the way–pine cones, rocks, leaves and more–can make their way into my little pieces of art, too!
Now that I’ve started a rhythm of creating these small little art pieces, I find myself looking for patterns in nature each time I venture out. It’s just another reason to carry my camera! Looking for those shapes, taking photos, and using those images for reference is very helpful. This practice itself causes me to slow down, look carefully, and think about what I’m seeing.
If you want to know more, check out Amy’s Instagram page as well as her website, or join her mailing list. If you’re inspired to give this a try, I’d love to hear about it! Though Amy share many of her sessions at no cost, you can buy a class (or two) along the way. You can also join the “Simplest Things” challenge that starts February 7, and it’s free!
I hope this short post will inspire you to slow down, see things in a new way, and make time for art. Leave a comment or tag me on IG if decide to join in the fun!
P.S. Exciting news! Amy announced today that she is publishing a book titled “Draw Yourself Calm,” to be released late this summer. Click here to pre-order!