From Auguries of Innocence
by William Blake
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Creativity is not only fun but also a great form of relaxation. Many people don’t bother trying creative pursuits because they consider themselves not to be “artistic”. They usually base this evaluation on grades they received for art in kindergarten or primary school. Forget about being “good” at art, just enjoy the fun side of being creative. In tribal societies everyone is an artist, musician, dancer and story-teller. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself or worry what anyone else thinks of what you have created. Just have a little bit of a play. You never know, you may actually create something quirky, or even beautiful, and possibly find the activity meditative in the process.
The creative exercise on this page is fun and simple, so why not get out some paints and have a go?!
Being artistic can often be such a serious affair, rather than the fun and joy it should be. This exercise is designed to be a game, without any attachment to the finished result. It could be likened to taking a “child-like” approach, uninhibited by outcomes. This is an ideal exercise for a party game, but can be used, just as easily, as a personal explorative, creative experience.
You will need either a set of water-colour pencils; alternatively choose one of the following—pencils, felt pens, pastels, crayon, and this will be used in combination with water-based paints (watercolour, acrylic or gouache).
This technique depends on you NOT seeing what you are creating, while you are creating it! So you will either need a blindfold handy—the type used while napping to shut out the light is ideal, but even a large handkerchief will do the job (but no peeking once you’ve started!) Another option is to do this exercise at a table where you can place the sketch book on your lap under the table, out of sight. The advantage of this alternative is that you can see what colour media you are choosing while you are working. If you are choosing the blindfold option, it may be wise to line up your pens, pencils, crayons, or pastels in front of you from lightest colour to darkest colour, or just choose a minimal number of colours to work with. Select a small to medium sized sketch book or paper to work on.
Now choose a theme for your creation. Here are a few suggestions: -
Most of these topics are child-like to help you allow your imagination run wild, which it should!
If you are using this technique as a party game, everyone can choose their own topic, or make one up, but each person needs to announce what topic they have chosen before they start.
Once everyone is seated with their sketch book either on their lap (if not using a blindfold) or on the table if using a blindfold, pens or pencils handy and their topic chosen, it is time to begin. There is virtually no way that your picture will look like the theme you have chosen. In fact, it will probably look more like a series of wild marks on the paper. However some ingenious people have devised ways in which to coordinate their picture by feeling for the corners of the paper, and either starting at the edge or feeling for the most central point—but this isn’t necessary because it doesn't matter if your creation looks like a "real picture". Set a time limit on this part of the exercise - minimum: half hour - maximum: one hour. At this point, everyone takes off their blindfold and has a little bit of a giggle at what they have created.
Then the second stage of the exercise begins.
If you have used watercolour pencils for the first part of the exercise, simply choose different marks on your drawing to drag and blur with a paint brush and water. Be selective in which parts you wish to alter with the water wash until you feel you have finished changing the marks on your paper.
Those who have used felt pens, pastels, crayons or ordinary pencils will need to apply washes or brush strokes with water-based
paints to get a different, but also visually interesting, effect.
You may find that the finished product is more like an abstract, than a themed, painting, but this exercise’s objective is the fun of creating, not the creation of a “masterpiece”. But some people do end up with amazing pieces of visual art using this technique, although it may be more luck than good management?!
If this technique is used as a party game, there will probably be a variety of possible winning entries —the most unusual, the most humorous, the most beautiful, the most like their chosen topic. But whatever the results, as long as the artists, adults and children alike, enjoy the process, then the objective of this exercise has been achieved.
Recommended Book List
Interesting collection of books on a variety of topics, particularly self-development and spiritual awareness, worth checking out.
- THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron
- INSPIRATION SANDWICH by SARK
- DRAWING ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF YOUR BRAIN by Betty Edwards
- THE RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS by Richard Florida
- HAPPINESS– THE 30 DAY GUIDE THAT WILL LAST YOU A LIFETIME by Patrick Whiteside
- WILD SUCCULENT WOMAN by SARK
- THE JOURNEY OF THE HERO by Friedmann Weiland
- FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY by Susan Jeffers
- THE LITTLE BOOK OF CONFIDENCE by Susan Jeffers
- THE FORCE OF CHARACTER AND THE LASTING LIFE by James Hillman
- THE FIVE STAGES OF THE SOUL: CHARTING THE SPIRITUAL PASSAGES THAT SHAPE OUR LIVES by Harry R. Moody and David Carroll.
- HEINERMAN’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND HERBS by John Heinerman
- THE HERB BOOK by John B. Lust
- THE DEATH OF FOREVER—A NEW FUTURE FOR HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS by Dr Darryl Reanney
- PSI—PSYCHIC DISCOVERIES BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN by Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Shroeder
- RELATIONSHIP RESCUE by Dr Phillip McGraw
- FAMILY FIRST by Dr Phillip McGraw
- THE FEEL THE FEAR GUIDE TO LASTING LOVE by Susan Jeffers
- THE ACHILLES SYNDROME -Overcoming the secret fear of failure by Petrūska Clarkson
- TOXIC PARENTS by Dr Susan Forward
- THE ADD ANSWER by Dr Frank Lawliss
- SUPERNANNY:HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM YOUR CHILDREN by Jo Frost
- THE COURAGE TO HEAL by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
- ON DEATH AND DYING by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- LIFE STRATEGIES by Dr Phillip McGraw
- SELF MATTERS by Dr Phillip McGraw
- REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN by Gloria Steinem
- PEACE IS EVERY STEP by Thich Nhat Hanh
- HOW TO SURVIVE THE LOSS OF A LOVE by Melba Colgrove, Harold H. Bloomfield & Peter McWilliams
- WISDOM OF THE ELDERS by Peter Knudtson & David Suzuki
- THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird
- NOW WE ARE SIX by A. A. Milne
- ESSENCE OF ALAN WATTS (Series)
- THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD Compiled & Edited by W. Y. Evans-Wentz Psychological commentary by Dr. C. G. Jung
- THE SECRET PATH by Paul Brunton
- HOW TO MEDITATE by Lawrence Le Shan
- THE QUIET MIND—Sayings of White Eagle
- THE LITTLE BOOK OF NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM by Steven McFadden
- MYSTICISM—A STUDY AND AN ANTHOLOGY by F.C. Happold
- MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS by C.G. Jung
- THE WAY OF PERFECTION by St Teresa of Avila, Translated and Edited by E. Allison Peers
- LIFE AFTER LIFE by Raymond A Moody Jr MD
- THE WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR by Dan Millman
- THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF JESUS—FOUR GNOSTIC GOSPELS Translated by Marvin W. Meyer.
- THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS by Elaine Pagels
- THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran
- JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach
- THE NEW NUCLEAR DANGER: GEORGE W. BUSH'S MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX By Dr. Helen Caldicott
- ON PURPOSE by Charles Birch