The process of marking watercolour edges on paper that I use to create art is peaceful and restorative for my mind. There is something satisfying about making something from nothing that boosts the production of those feel good hormones. Seeing something come to life slowly. One ink line at a time.
I am by no means a therapist or have any authority or training to claim that this way of art making is therapeutic in nature. I can only share what I have experienced and what I have heard from other people who have tried this method.
How it helps
This process of finding the next shape or edge to trace with ink provides me a distraction. Even though it may only a temporary one, sometimes even having a small break for thoughts to calm down can help my busy brain feel less tired or overwhelmed.
When I have that ink pen in my hand, I am only thinking of the line that I am currently marking. This is how my mind is able to slow down and feel quiet and be in that meditative state. I can temporarily push out all thoughts and focus only on that one line and then the next one when that is done. One line after another.
This process trains my eye to concentrate on minute details. It helps me slow down. It can act as a way to relieve stress; make me feel calmer and give me mental clarity. It basically gives my brain a rest from the usual humdrum of life and in turn helps it focus on what I am currently doing in that present moment, which is adding that next line.
Another nice thing is that I don’t really have to finish the whole painting in one sitting. It also doesn't have to be a large shape. 5 - 10 minutes here and there everyday are plenty and then I can finish it over a few days.
It’s also something that can be easily put away, which helps since I don't need to have a full blown setup to get started on 5-10 minutes of art making. The only steps that will take some space will be the time when I make the base painting since it needs some supplies. Need to have a cup of water and some paints spread out for that step. But, other than that. All I need is the base painting and that ink pen to begin adding those lines. Put it away and pull it back out to work on as I please!
I happily make mistakes while working on this sort of art.
Mistakes can be beautiful when it comes to art. Most times when I make a mistake, I add a line around it or add a little circle near it. Most mistakes makes the painting prettier if you ask me. Each is a sign that we are human, and it is natural to make mistakes. And like I add these circles, I'm not erasing the mistakes or covering them up, it’s just that I am making the best of that mistake and learning from it. As best as I can.
Keep inking. Will you try this method of marking watercolour?