Danny Gregory has always been a favorite of mine. I love his journals, and his approach to art. Not only do I credit him for inspring me to create visual journals, I also credit him with helping me get over the "I am not an Artist" lie. Mostly, he has helped me learn a new way of seeing things.
"My art is an opportunity to reflect on the everyday, from the clutter on my desk to my neighbor's fruit stand, from what I ate for lunch to my unfolded laundry. In recording and meditating on it, I find beauty and significance in the things I do.My art is an opportunity to reflect on the everyday, from the clutter on my desk to my neighbor's fruit stand, from what I ate for lunch to my unfolded laundry. In recording and meditating on it, I find beauty and significance in the things I do."
Danny begin his journaling after a tragic accident within his family. As he tried to make sense and find perspective on what had happened, he found a saving grace through illustrating his life in journals. (check out his book Everyday Matters).
There have been so many times I have wanted to write about a moment in time, but when I opened my journal, the words just wouldn't come (this happens ALOT). After reading Danny's books, I allowed myself the freedom of drawing instead of just writing. For me, this was an easier way to express what was happening around me.
When I draw exactly what I see, instead of what I think something should look like, it brings about a totally different result (and it gets me into this super-chill mode). As I document what is before me, really seeing life's details, I find I can remain present and I slow down. This is my kind of meditation.
Now, before you say, "That's good for you Jen, but I cannot draw a staight line," you should know something... I am FAR from being anywhere close to being an illustrator, you would probably chuckle if you saw my doodles! But that does not matter to me, it's the experience and the feeling I get when I take time to draw. It's kind of like singing. I would never not sing just because I don't have a record worthy voice. This isn't about how "good" you can draw...
Danny says its best:
"Illustrated journaling gives you a way to slow down and see your world clearly. It is a meditation on the blessings you have and forgot to count. It is a way of creating memories, of distilling down the moment. It is also a great way to make a habit of drawing and being creative because it is non-threatening and as private as you want it to be. Regardless of your experience with drawing, it is a great thing to add to any life."
Watch Danny do his thing...
Consider doing a drawing meditation sometime this weekend... Take a moment to see the beauty and the details that are right before you. Put that journal of yours to use!
Remember, your journal can be your own private Idaho.
*Photo of Danny by Andrea Scher
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