Mindful Art: Mindful Drawing to Sound

Are you looking for ways to feel calmer, happier? Why not try out some mindful art techniques at home? 

This month, we’re taking inspiration from Ilana Halperin’s soundwork in our collection, Vatnajökull, the Farthest North (2002). This is a recording that captures the natural phenomenon of ice crystals melting in water and was made on the banks of an Icelandic lagoon at the foot of the glacier Vatnajökull. 

Ilana Halperin, Vatnajökull, the Farthest North (2002) is currently on display in Domestic Bliss (Gallery 4). 

For this Mindful Art post, we’re going to do some mindful drawing to music or sounds of your choice. Making art in response to music can enhance sensory awareness, stimulate mindfulness and encourage emotional expression. 

Gather your materials and find a tranquil spot in your home or garden. We suggest beginning with a short meditation. There are several free short meditations online, but we suggest this one:

There are also some useful tips on the Glasgow Club website: https://myglasgow.club/customer/index.php/mind

You will need:

  • Blank paper 
  • Pencils, colouring pencils or oil pastels/charcoal- whichever you prefer! 
  • Music of your choosing

First, put on some music that helps you feel calm and relaxed. Below is our suggestion. Alternatively, you may want to play a couple of your favourite songs, or maybe a song that brings back a positive and happy memory? 

Once you’ve chosen your music, get yourself comfortable with your materials. Take some long deep breaths whilst listening to the music and when you feel ready, begin to draw on the page. Try to just focus on the sounds, and allow your physical and emotional response guide your hand across the page. For example, you might find that the tempo of the music influences the pace of your hand. Your drawing can range from being simple doodles to a fully developed scene; you may just want to capture how your body responds to the music, or you may create imagery that you think of when you hear that particular song. 

If any thoughts wander in and you become distracted, simply acknowledge them and let them pass. Keep returning to the music. Remember not to over analyse or judge your result- this is about enjoying the process. Take your time, and try to just focus on your body and the music. 

Once finished, think about how you feel now and compare this to how you felt at the start. Has anything changed? Do you feel calmer? 

If you feel comfortable, share your results with us either in the comments or on social media. #MindfulArt

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