I have become more interested in the reasons that we make art, both the inspirations and emotions behind a piece of art and the effects that creating art has on us. The coloring book craze, for example, has shown us that some people color because they find it relaxing. So, when Quarto Group offered me a review copy of their Drawing Calm: Relax, Refresh, Refocus with 20 drawing, painting, and collage workshops inspired by Klimt, Klee, Monet, and more, I accepted.
Drawing Calm is dedicated partly to "anyone who is looking for a bit of artful calm", and is divided into 3 main topics:
- How to get started - finding time and space, supplies you'll need, and some warm-up exercises
- 7 chapters containing an emotion and 3 or 4 projects each inspired by a work of art by a known artist
- Maintaining the calm - a chapter with more ideas and exercises to continue your artful calm
The projects involve a variety of media - acrylic, gouache and watercolor paint, pencil crayons, collage, and pastels. A beginner might follow the step by step instructions for each project and a more experienced artist might adapt them to their favorite medium.
Art is very subjective, so naturally, not all of the works selected for inclusion inspired me. The selection is broad enough, though, that I found several that I hope to pursue. Similarly, the warm-up exercises and ideas for continuing the journey are varied so that something will appeal to everyone.
The book is an interesting collaboration between an artist and a Creative Healing Educator. Together, they provide the art instructions and commentary about how and why we respond to art to send you on your creative journey.