The Crumpled Paper

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For this exercise you will need a piece of paper and a pencil (no eraser), sharpener and one piece of scratch paper- typing paper or junk mail.

Crumple a piece of scratch paper or junk mail. This will be your subject. Using a crumpled paper as a drawing subject is a good exercise because our left brain will not label or assume things about it. There will be no way to draw without looking at it.

Before you begin drawing take a few minutes to relax your body and your mind. Take a few relaxing breaths. Be comfortable. Only your “crumpled paper” drawing paper, pencil and sharpener should be in front of you.

To “connect” with your crumpled paper, allow your eyes to be filled with the crumpled paper before you. Let your eyes stay on one spot at first, and then slowly begin to travel along the papers edges and lines. Think of becoming ant and slowly strolling along the contours of this vast paper world. Do not pick up your pencil and draw anything yet. You are solely interested in getting to know “the subject”. Close your eyes and see the paper in your mind’s eye. Can you follow the lines as you did with your eyes open? Open your eyes and allow your gaze to land a spot of crumpled paper, ask it to welcome you. When you feel recognition, pick up your pencil and allow it to become very corridor of your interaction with this object. During the drawing do not look down at the image you are creating with your pencil, and do not list the pencil from the page.

There are a number of reasons for the final instruction regarding looking at the drawing and lifting the pencil. If you have great expectations of yourself the restrictions will free you from having to fulfill them. Also you can give yourself permission to focus only on Seeing. Lastly, the restrictions free you from the responsibility of the final outcome, helping you let go of the natural desire to be in control of the image.

Please don’t try to evaluate your drawing. Whatever you did is great! The important thing is the process. Ask yourself, did you see the crumpled paper?

Joanie FordFor more on Joanie, visit our Inspirational Team page.


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