What Do You See?

October 22nd, 2008

About a week ago, I participated in a call with coaches of creative artists, chatting about Art Every Day Month. At the end I led the call in an intuitive art exercise meant to help get you going if you're feeling stuck creatively. In case you didn't get the chance to listen in, here's the exercise I shared:

  1. You'll need a writing utensil (pen, pencil, marker, crayon, etc...) and piece of paper. I used a page in a sketchbook, but you could use something in any size available.
  2. Put pen to paper and close your eyes.
  3. For at least 15 seconds, scribble, let your hand move across the page freely doing whatever it pleases (but try to avoid drawing on yourself.) You can do this to music if you'd like.
  4. Open your eyes and look at what you have there. Do you see a face, a figure, an imaginary monster, a house, a fish? One person on the call saw symbols.
  5. Whatever you see, use your pen (or whatever tool you'd like) to begin to bring it out.
  6. You can continue to develop this drawing into something more or use it as the starting point for a journaling or writing exercise. Sometimes this kind of scribble inspires a future piece of artwork and sometimes it's just play. Often times it gives me a little glimpse into where my mind is at.

I told the folks on the call that I'd post a picture of the scribble I did along with everyone else, so here it is:

In my scribble, I saw girl, perhaps wearing a crown, with her hands dug into her pockets.

Last night, I had an urge to paint and pulled out a canvas, some supplies and worked in big strokes of purple fluid acrylic along with a sprinkling of salt that made great patterns in the paint. I stopped there to let it dry and worked on other things. Out of the corner of my eye, I realized I was seeing something in the painting. It's fun to paint like this, with no plan, just beginning and see what it leads to. I had to leave it be as it was time for bed, so I snapped a quickie pic to share.

I'll tell you what I saw in it later on. But I'm curious, what do you see?

16 Responses

I see a smiling woman’s face with arms folded as though cradling something. When I tilt my head to the right (so that the long dark border is on the bottom), I see in the salt sprinkles some leaves on trees, and a structure (such as a house) within the dark purple lines. The light box suggests windows to a house on a dark night.

I’m joining in for AEDM this year!

I see two people embracing.

I see a woman’s face with maybe a tree at the bottom right corner of the canvas – her arms are crossed in front of her – like hugging herself!
almost like she is a larger image among trees…(make sense??)
the scribbling sounds like fun – i will let you know if I do it!!
take care

I see an angry bear. Sheesh, should I admit that?

i see a being/little person/animal yelling out through a window in the top right corner…

I see a woman’s face. I love it Leah! I really do. This my be my favorite piece you have done so far. Elizabeth Taylor comes to mind because she is supposed to have lavendar eyes. Did you know that?

I see a girl with the sun and mountains behind her.

i see a sleepy rabbit. i know it has been a long day, but that’s what i see…this was such a great post. i wanna use the intuitive art exercise tomorrow during my lunch break. thanks for inspiring me.

I see a woman’s face. She’s looking back over her shoulder with a defiant,confident attitude.

hi leah–i joined late on the art every day month last year but would like to be included this year! cool exercise by the way! thanks!

I really enjoy your call and all the wisdom you share. I enjoyed following along with the exercise and discovering I had drawn a trepidatious bird.

In your picture I see 2 women. One in the top left, turned away, leaving. The other, hip and cool but at this moment falling apart, maybe running away in her big black boots.

I also see the woman cradling something in her arms (thought that before I read the other comments). :)
I’m considering the AED challenge. I’ve fallen behind my goals because of all I’ve had happening lately & have had the longest pause in blogging since I set it up last year.

Very cool exercize… I’m going to try it. In your purple painting I saw right away a very happy new mom cradling her new baby… must be the mother in me… and yes, one day I’d love to be this woman once again. :)

Very cool exercize, I’m going to give it a try. In your purple painting I saw right away a very happy new mom cradling her new baby… it must be the mom in me :) And yes, one day, God willing, I’d love to be that woman once again.

Now this is weird… i came back to your post to print it out so I could try it at work. The comments printed out as well. I KNOW I am NOT going crazy because those are not the words I posted! I told you I loved the color choice. Now I did see a woman but it reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor because she has lavendar eyes. Wonder what happened to my words?

I see a Geisha holding a plum (or an orchid?) up to her lips.

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