The activity for this months Expressive Arts Carnival is to:
Draw or paint your breath.
On one sheet of paper, draw or paint your breath in the moment. Then, immediately after, listen to some soothing music (if you want), close your eyes (if it is okay) and focus on your breathing. Do this for a couple minutes and try to relax.
When you are done with the breathing exercise, come back to the drawing and draw your breath again on the other paper.
When I thought of this activity, I had a very preconceived idea of what I was going to draw. I had the patterns and colours planned. I was “set”. In my minds eye, the two images looked similar to these photos that I took awhile ago.
This is typical of what happens when I do conscious breathing. I become calm and return to a central place of being where everything flows. So when I sat down to do this exercise, I went with these images in my head.
What I drew, was nothing like I intended.
The first drawing was very easy, and very symbolic. My breathing can become very shallow, choppy and quick. It feels like I have a huge blockage in my throat that prevents my breath from going down into my lungs. While the exhalations are short and sharp. There’s very little fluidity about my breathing, and I can be like this for hours or days if my stress levels are high.
After doing the conscious breathing and relaxing, I came back to the paper ready to draw my nice flowing swirls to indicate how centered and aware I was. I used finger paints, because I thought it would help me to blend the colours and feel as if I was more in touch with the whole experience. I had six colours to chose from, and was going to cut this down to five by removing the black punnet – black didn’t fit into my view of the flowing picture I was about to draw. But there was a strong internal message about being a censor if I didn’t allow for the possibility of black to be used; so it remained in front of me.
I’m aware that I started off with a central core of yellow, then moved outwards to the other colours. The next thing I was aware of, was sitting back and looking at the image below.
Not quite the flowing picture I had in mind.
But in that moment, this is what was happening. When I relaxed, the emotions came forward and were expressed through the drawing.
I think the only reason that some colour remained, was because there was an internal conflict, or backlash, about erasing another ones work. I know I took a risk in using finger paints, I could tell there was curiosity about them. The last time I used finger paints was probably in kindergarten. I was aware of smiling as I dipped my finger in the yellow punnet of paint.
What’s interesting, was that there was a need to eliminate the yellow colour first.