Sunday, May 23, 2010

Being in the moment

One of the primary goals of our course is to observe Japanese culture. We have only been in Japan for two days, but we have already experienced a world that is completely different from ours.

This is the sixth time that I have taken students abroad but the first time that we are trying to document how we actually "see" culture. We are staying at Shunko-in Temple, which is part of the Myoshin-ji Temple Complex in Kyoto, Japan. On the first day of class, we spent two hours in drawing practice. The goal was to draw an image of anything that could be seen from within the temple. Some of our students already had a background in drawing while others did not. Apart from the occasional storyboards we draw in advertising I hadn't really drawn anything since high school.

We each picked a spot and started to gaze at the beautiful temple garden in front of us. There were so many angles, so many different textures, colors, and shades. It was almost overwhelming. But Dana reminded us to slow down, focus and to try to really "see" the garden.

We spent about two hours drawing that day and I could feel how everything around me slowed down. I became more aware of what was in front of me. The process of being in the moment and focusing on one thing was something that I had not experienced in years. Although the product of my drawing practice is probably not a piece of art, it taught me to focus on perspective, proportions, and texture. I think we're off to a great start.

1 comment:

  1. It is good to hear from you! Thank you for including the link to the temple where you are staying. The gardens are beautiful. Are any plants blooming at this time? Are the cherry blossoms blooming?