Mark Making Five Minutes a Day

I'm a complete sucker for sketchbooks, journals, notebooks, etc. A few weeks ago I bought a gorgeous example with a leather cover and three different 80 page notebooks inside; one lined, one blank white, and one kraft paper. "Perfect," I thought. "Creating poems and drawings all wrapped up in one beautifully tactile package."

I'd decided on poems for the lined and ink and pencil drawings for the blank white pages, but I wasn't sure how to best use the book of kraft paper. Until now. For five minutes at the start of each day, I intend to fill a page with marks. Expressive, intuitive, blind, abstract marks, one page a day. This is the first:

I began by turning the book upside down, closing my eyes, and scribbling over the page with a black Sharpie using my left (non-dominant) hand. Then I added other media from my kit, alternating right and left hands, eyes closed and open, and page upright or upside down. I find the resulting image pretty in its own way; my favourite colours red, grey, white, and black are all there, the variety and distribution of marks is pleasing to me.

More importantly, though, is the physical effect the exercise has had on me. With my eyes closed I was very aware of the smells of the Sharpie marker and oil pastels. Using my non-dominant hand made me very aware of the feel of the material I was holding and how it felt moving over the paper. Being able to create without thinking for just five minutes pretty much had the effect of a good nap; I feel wide awake, refreshed, and energetic; ready to get on with and get the most out of my day.

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