Drawing Upside Down

This weekend I began an online version of an art class Drawing from the Right Side of Your Brain.   I have heard accolades about this book and class for years, and I was determined to take the course (even it was in the confines of my own home).  One of the initial homework assignments was to draw a Picasso drawing upside down.  This may sound preposterous to the average person, but there are reason behind these odd instructions.  The instructor noted that many of us tend to use the left of our brain more predominantly, which is more verbal, logical, and sequential.  Yet what drawing and art require of us is to use the right side of our brain, which is the creative and free flowing side.  When we draw for example lips, we draw what we think lips should look like versus what we are actually seeing.  Naming an object actually prohibits our experience of it.  Therefore, to draw an image upside down, we learn to draw what it is front of us versus our perception of what it must be.  This concept reminded me of aspects I have heard authors and speakers Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti discuss before.  

            Spiritual teacher Adyashanti once shared on an interview with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday the following quote: “Once you give a bird name. You no longer see the bird. Try to go through life without naming things. That brings the wonder back. You’re living in abstraction. No longer an intimate experience with life. That’s what we crave.  An intimate experience with existence…That’s what attracts us to the innocence of children. They feel the wonder of the world. They know they don’t know. Adults, we think we know. Just because we can call something a tree doesn’t mean we know what it is. Our labels can disconnect us from the intimate experience of existence.”

            I want to encourage you to reflect on how your naming of an object impacts your relationship to that.  This could be your expectation of what meditation looks like, what a relationship is, love is, one’s purpose, the concept of beauty, and numerous other possibilities.  Our expectations cloud our perceptions.  Try to see something for what it truly is.  Not what the label defines it as.  Maybe even try taking an art class where one draws from the right side of one’s brain. 

For More information on the book and course, check out https://www.drawright.com , Author and Instructor Betty Edwards.

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