So today is Halloween Day – actually I am hearing a bunch of Kids rehearsing their trick or treat rhymes from outside as we speak. And it’s also – well, as you all know – the last day of October.
In a wonderful circle of creative People I have drawn and painted almost each day of October thanks to Tara Leaver’s “31 days of playful drawing” Project, also see recent Posts, which will get an update pretty soon.
As the everyday-creativity feels very healthy and makes my life richer in many ways, I decided to find a new Project in November. Let’s have a look at November for a moment… Many People find it a wet, foggy, cold, grey month.
Now, let’s reframe November:
mystic? Yes, I think so, thanks to the foggy mornings. A gift for photographers by the way.
Lots of invitations to get the candles out. To find a lovely spot for fairy lights.
a time for cocoon, maybe, to catch a big breath before the Christmas crazyness begins. And speaking of “breath” – how about refreshing your Meditation / mindfulness practice if you are interested?
Besides sitting Meditation the Enso painting is a way to do this. And *bam* – there we are in the middle of what I want you to invite you to.
What is an enso?
An enso is a hand-drawn circle. Traditionally it’s drawn in one, (fluent) movement, not too slow, but definitely not fast. Moderately, a mindful circle comes to life.
Some buddhist monks have giant brushes, big as brooms, to draw an enso on a big table-cloth sized surface on the ground, it’s very fascinating to watch this as it is a whole-body experience. If you have the opportunity and a room, I highly recommend trying this.
What is an enso and what does it mean?
Enso is a japanese term which means circle. It corresponds to the wabisabi concept. If you look at photos of enso, see inserted links below, you see the opening of the circle as a typical trait and the obvious fact that it’s not made with any kind of compass. The drawing wants to remind of the imperfection which is an inherent part of our existence. It also stands for enlightenment, strength, the universe and the Buddhist understanding of the void (meaning, in very short terms not an emptiness but the lack of “not-connectedness” of things and beings)
How about a November of Ensos?
So, here is the Basic idea:
For each day of November, we will take a good ten minutes out of our busy days, sit down, light a candle maybe, and drawn an enso.
What do we need?
Here are my recommendations – but you are totally free to choose whatever art supply you feel drawn to, just stick to a brush or maybe your fingers, not a pen.
- a thick brush, a round tip
- a thick paper, at least 100g/square metre
- a quiet space
- a table where you can move your arm without stopping
Making it a meditative practice – further ideas
Here is how I will go about my daily enso practice:
-lighting a candle, probably even finding a candle which will stay at this spot for every enso drawing day of November.
-sitting with a straight, yet relaxed back
-breathing deep and watching my breath for at least 3 in- and outbreaths
-then slowly taking the brush, dipping it in the colour of my choice and drawing an enso.
Further creative Ideas are:
– if you feel especially crafty, of course it’s fantastic to prepare a few backgrounds.
– to do so, choose acrylics or watercolour and paint the backgrounds with them so you have a few waiting for the next ensos to come.
-if you have A5 index Cards, These are great for ensos, too. and they are small enough to Frame or hang a collection of your favourites.
-I am planning to paint a few dark backgrounds, maybe dark marroon or dark Petrol blue, and paint a White enso .. just one way to Experiment with colour combinations.
If you feel like joining, please feel free to drop a comment and maybe a photo Gallery contact info, maybe us interested People can blog-link each other to Exchange. I am very much looking forward to Hearing from you!
To see you off, here are a few inspiring Impressions from Thich Nhat Hanh’s beautiful artwork: