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Watercolor shaman

I was drawing this morning. I’m trying to get into the habit of drawing a little every morning. Watch out – I have watercolor pencils and I know how to use them.
Well, sort of. I know how they work. I’m not quite patient enough to draw real things. I make up excuses for myself, saying that the real things are there, and I can’t improve upon them. Why draw them when I could just take a picture? But I know that is a cop-out. I know that is me trying to not do the work required to learn how to translate something three-dimensional into something two-dimensional.
There is something to drawing what is there. It slows you down. You have to really look at things if you are going to draw them. Does this angle go straight up, or slightly to the right? Oh, look, there’s a crack there. I thought that spot was flawless.
Sometimes I learn things when I’m drawing. I’ve learned that figs aren’t just purple. There is a little green in the skin too. And they have really interesting spots, tiny ones. But sometimes what I learn isn’t right in front of me. I learn things while I’m drawing that have to do with how I draw, and have to do with where my head is at the time.
I’m trying a technique called “Praying in Color”. I saw this book by Sybil MacBeth at the library and have decided to incorporate its ideas into my morning routine. I like to draw, and I like to pray – and I don’t have a lot of spare time. So why not do both at the same time? I’m not sure that I do it exactly the way it is in the book. I think I have put my own spin on it. I offer this idea to you, if you are trying to find a new way to pray.
I take a piece of paper and I write today’s date and my prayer intention on the back of it, towards the bottom. Then I turn it over and start drawing. I doodle. I pick up whatever color that comes to mind, and I draw whatever shape that I’m feeling at the moment. I think that is important. I’m not trying to draw something real. Then, while I’m in that space where I’m not controlling what is happening, I get answers to my prayer intention. Quite often it isn’t what I thought it would be, and I’m surprised. It is a bit like being a shaman, but using watercolor pencils.

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