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Zen and the Art of Quiet Time

A million years ago when I had the time to take weekend art classes, I spent a day making spontaneous art at a local studio, a magical place overflowing with baskets and buckets of beads, feathers, glass, beans. All sorts of things to play with and make art that would eventually get picked up, each piece you used went back in its proper basket. The lesson was about Zen, about appreciating the beauty you can make, and it's OK when it is gone.

That exercise was followed by painting without first thinking about it. Just grabbing the brushes and going for it. I loved it. It was like being in kindergarten, but in a class with no teacher. It was a delicious escape from preconceived ideas and a career in which a lot of mulling and exactness was required, where somebody else's agenda was my focus.

After that, I started keeping an art journal. It's freeing and way cheaper than therapy. And, when my husband and I (pre-Maria) sat together to paint and draw, I whipped out handfuls of quickie pictures, majority of which I threw away. He, on the other hand, worked meticulously on his style and painted things he wanted to display. His work is all over our house. I just needed to get the art out. Still do.

So, it was pure joy and strangeness to walk into the hallway Saturday afternoon and discover it littered with 15 drawings Maria did during her short 45-minute quiet time. Each was its own thing. Abstracts. Landscapes. Faces. Hearts. Each was ripped from the notebook and dropped from the landing above to the hallway downstairs. They looked like a pile of colorful feathers.

"Ma, what are these about?'' I asked.

"Just pictures,'' she said, shrugging.

Looking at each one, I was transported to that fabulous art class. Looks like my kid does something naturally that I had to learn in a paid class.

They've been on her desk in a neat pile. She hasn't looked at them again. I could throw them out and she wouldn't miss them. I like that. She's so much more evolved than I am.

Thing is, I can't throw her work out.


Click Here to see more of Maria's artwork!


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