Mindful Artist: Birds and Botanicals
A meditative guide to using brush pens and ink to create birds, flowers, and more
by Monika Cilmi
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 08 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 27 Jan 2022
Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster, Walter Foster Publishing
While harnessing the power of meditation, you will learn to create personalized pieces in black ink as well as color. There's no need to follow the instructions exactly; just make what inspires you.
Begin with an introduction to mindfulness and the connections between art and meditation. Then dive into detailed sections on the tools and materials needed to create the art in the book, as well as inking and coloring techniques, including brushstrokes.
The step-by-step projects that follow take you through the process of creating your own ink-and-brush art, with large images that illustrate the techniques and detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for brushwork, adding color, and more. The layout design is airy and contemporary to match the art style.
The Mindful Artist series from Walter Foster Publishing encourages artists to enjoy working in their favorite media to create relaxing, reflective art. With this series, artists of all skill levels can learn to focus on enjoying the creative process, rather than worrying about the end result. Throughout the books are tips for practicing mindfulness and meditation through art.
Mindful Artist: Birds and Botanicals encourages you to remain zen as you create beautiful, calming artwork.
Explore even more mindful creativity with Mindful Artist: Sumi-e Painting.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 22 members
Whether you use the traditional ink stone, stick and brush (used for calligraphy by Buddhist monks and scholars), or ‘fudepens’ (the modern Japanese brush pen), this inspiring book guides you through the process of creating beautiful and simple birds and flowers. The author explains that by practicing the drawings you will also have a positive mindfulness experience. The book has sixteen painting subjects. Thank you to Monika Cilmi, Net Galley and Quarto for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Free Netgalley book for review!~. A beautiful book with some inspiring tutorials! This really does show that sometimes less is more. I’m wanting to pull out my black brush markers again for sure after reading this.
I’d argue that this is definitely more focused on birds than flowers though. Out of the projects there are only a few flowers (rose, cala lily, water lily [I think that’s it?]) along with some drippy flowers —and you guessed it, another bird! Not that there’s anything wrong with that but if you’re wanting more botanical flowers I wouldn’t look here first.
However the way the artist draws birds is truly amazing, I’m super impressed and not at all sure I could replicate the confidence of those simple but effective brush lines.
As for the mindfulness/spiritual bits, not sure how to review that since it’s not a part of my working process when making art. I’ll leave that for some other review to cover. 🤷♀️
This was a gorgeous book of mindfulness and using mindfulness to create art.
The beginning section explored the tools used (both contemporary and traditional) before leading the reader down the path of meditative drawing using step by step tutorials that both guide your pencil and your mind. Each illustration has a theme to focus on while drawing, which in turn becomes something conveyed in the drawing itself.
A beautiful book that I look forward to re-reading and working through again.
~Many thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review~
Beautifully, well done book combining the thoughtful brush strokes in effort to make heartfelt, beautiful paintings, with the basics of mindfulness. I love the concept of this - basically an embodiment of mindfulness in action.
This title is part of a series, aimed at artists of all skill levels. The stated purpose is to encourage you to focus on the process of creation rather than the end result. In doing so, it becomes much more relaxing and fun. "Drawing is active meditation" was a statement that really stood out to me.
I should note I am not an artist by trade and I have minimal formal education in it. So this review is from the perspective of an amateur.
The focus of the book is loose, stylized, simple drawings in the style of Japanese brush paintings. Projects are attractive and I believe close to universal in appeal.
The author details brands of brush pens which is much appreciated, as well as discussing more traditional tools. For someone new to this hobby, you could begin very inexpensively. One pen and plain paper would get you started.
Projects are detailed step by step, in words and photos. The author did an excellent job explaining the process, while keeping the focus on enjoying the process.
Mindful Artist: Birds and Botanicals is a meditative guide book teaching you how to use brush pens and ink to create birds and botanicals. The tools section demonstrates the traditional tools and methods for brush and ink.
Step by step tutorials are are given that will help you to draw and explore the mindful and spiritual side of doing each project. Each one explores a particular theme and guides your focus. It is a beautiful book with lots of meditative food for thought. It would make a lovely gift.
What an incredible book. I don't draw myself, but with these steps it made it feel both simple and beautiful. You don't have to be an expert in drawing, but drawing can be a good way to connect with the creative side of your brain and feel less stressed, and be more calm. It was a really nice journey to be on in this book, and I would love to see what comes next.
I love this book! I like to draw but I don't really have a knack for it, so my drawings don't usually turn out like the examples in "how-to" books like this. This book focuses on how you can make drawing a meditative practice, so that it's' a positive experience no matter what the end product looks like. It gives suggestions for and pictures of relatively inexpensive materials that you may already have at home. The projects are beautiful and flexible, so you can draw what you are feeling in the moment, and walk away feeling calmer, not frustrated. It was helpful to me that for the different strokes, the instructions described how much pressure to apply at each part in order to create the different effects. It even has suggested breathwork that you can incorporate too if you are so inclined. I can see myself coming back to this over and over again even after completing all the projects.
I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
If your new years resolution is to be more present, take up a new hobby or incorporate mindfulness into your day, then this is the book for you.
I felt calmer even just reading the introduction to the book which outlines that the point of the drawing exercise is the process and not the finished result. There's a great section of resources at the beginning of the book which lists the materials needed and tips and methods to help you. There are step by step instructions to complete the mindful drawings and each exercise is themed with a mindfulness concept like capturing the moment or letting go.
All in all it's a great resource both for mindfulness and for Japanese inspired art. I would certainly recommend it.
"Mindful Artist: Birds and Botanicals" described meditative brush pen drawing for 11 birds and 5 flowers. The projects didn't look like specific types of birds, though they were posed in a variety of positions. The flowers were also usually vague "flowers" rather than specific types. The author focused on describing how to make the experience meditative rather than on things like proportion. The point was the process, not the end result. The text and step-by-step illustrations showed what part to draw next. There were some tips on getting the stylized look using brush pens, but most of the instructions were along the lines of "draw a few short, curved strokes around the center." Most of the projects were in black ink, but some added bright colors. Overall, I'd recommend this book to people interested in "mindful" art.
Many years ago I learnt how to do Chinese painting with an ink block and special brush. Time has taken me to the use of other mediums, but I never forgot the simple art of the Chinese painting and the complete focus the stoke and flow of the ink and brush.
Whilst this book uses Japanese ink brushes, it has the similar concept and the projects are very simple yet refine, and take artists to a more gentler place. I love the fact that it covers birds and botanicals as each stroke of the brush can say so much.