The Zen of Seeing by Heather Walley

“It is in order to really see ever deeper, ever more intensely, hence to be fully aware and alive, that I draw what the Chinese call ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ around me. Drawing is the discipline by which I constantly rediscover the world.

I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that  when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realise how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.” – Frederick Franck The Zen of Seeing 1973

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Making art is a form of meditation for me as well as being a creative response to the beauty of the world. Drawing requires of me a quality of presence that focuses attention on the world before me in that moment and presents the challenge of capturing that moment even as it passes: the fugitive light, the wind, the weather, life constantly evolving before my eyes. The act of attention could be said to be a form of prayer, as it requires us to see the world as it really is, not as we think it is.

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Drawing also requires being willing to inhabit that creative place of ‘not knowing’ how to do a thing; always as I’m drawing, I have the sense that I don’t know what I’m doing, because it is impossible to perfectly re-create the moment before me, and this is part of the excitement of making an image. Not knowing how my interpretation is going to turn out, whether or not I will succeed in capturing something of the essence of what inhabits the subject, the sense of wonder I feel at the beauty of the world, the attempt to re-create a moment creating something new in and of itself.

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When your brain is weary of its verbal chatter, drawing is a way to quiet the chatter and to grasp a fleeting glimpse of transcendent reality”. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – Betty Edwards

heather_rockHeather Walley has been a resident member of the Newbold Community for over 5 years and before that, lived on the Isle of Erraid as a member of the Findhorn Foundation community there. As well as being an artist, she is a certified Esalen Massage practitioner, teacher and enthusiastic horsewoman!

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