Posted in Week 21 - The Line Project 1/22/17 - 1/29/17

A Meditative Line Experiment, Week 21

Last week we had our PBL night at school. Once my own students were finished, I checked out what other teachers had going on. My wanderings (and search for my husband for cash, so I could get some cookies from our special ed kids) brought me to the art display cabinet. 

Now, I’ve checked out the amazing art work of our students here many times. It’s right next to my husband’s choir room, and I always marvel at what these kids can do. One of the projects usually displayed is a series of lines,  and I’ve always wondered about it, and when I walked over, the art teacher was explaining it.

The point is to teach students how it’s impossible to do a straight line and consistency and control in using their tools. He calls it “one breath one line” (although it is impossible to do just one breath while drawing that line). Students start with one line, trying to get it as straight as possible. Then, the next line they need t o draw as close to the first as they can and make it parallel – bumps and all – lather, rinse, repeat until they get to the other edge of their paper. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but they end up with these wonderful contoured drawings. (And they get a lot of practice in muscle control in a similar fashion to the Karate Kid.)

A couple years ago, I used to wake up with minor panic attacks, and I’d have to calm myself down as soon as the alarm went off. I’m pretty sure it has more to do with being startled by the alarm than it does with any worry about my day. It still happens occasionally, but one thing that helped was a bit of meditation as I went to sleep – using an app on my iPod – and having it handy when I woke up. If needed I could use it during my one time snooze button allowance. 
I don’t need that any more, thank goodness, but I’ve had a few more moments of anxiousness than I’ve had in a while, and I have to talk myself down. Thankfully, I recognize that the initial “flutter” was from the alarm, so things aren’t nearly at the level they once were. 

However, although I think we’re OK with money, my husband isn’t happy with the cushion we have. At the end of the last several months, he was wanted us to spend less. Saying things like, “Can we get by spending less than x amount until the end of the month?” It’s usually pretty reasonably, but halfway through this month, he wants to spend no more than $500. And he keeps asking about stuff — and wondering why I spend so much at the grocery store (fair, I’m not sure why it’s so expensive, either) — and canceling some subscription stuff. His worry is freaking me out.

What does this have to do with art? Well, the line art project sounded not only cool but meditative, and my husband’s anxiety is freaking me out. So I decided that instead of some sort of them and sketch this week, I’d give it a try. I’m going to spend 5-10 minutes every day this week, setting my meditation timer, puttting on some calming music, breathing in, then breathing out slowly as I draw each line. Each photo this week will show progress on the piece as a whole 

I started out pretty bumpy today, and I’ve already got some major contours. I used some instrumental worship music, and the first few pieces were a bit lively, though I can say for sure if that had anything to do with it. My cat hopped up on the last line as well, but my line is pretty consistent despite that. Where it’s darker is where I got too close to the other line. The art teacher said it was usually where students got “hung up” in their stroke, but I’m using the brush end of a pen, so I’ve had smooth strokes the whole time.


If I’m consistent in my blogging to reflect my thoughts during this process, it will be interesting to see not only the end result but also how my thoughts affected each day’s progress.

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I'm a humble little Anglophile with obscure talents.

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