I Paint with my Feet

No I don’t mean I stick a paint brush between my toes (though that IS on my to do list)- I mean I paint with my feet in the same way I paint with my eyes.

Let me explain.

I’m a huge Yoga with Adriene fan. She has a YouTube channel where she releases a free yoga practice once a week. I’ve been practicing with her most days for the last five years. So as I’m painting at my easel I sometimes think about my yoga practice of the day and how it might inform my painting practice. Here’s where the feet come in:

In yoga practice Adriene says to be conscious of all four corners of your feet on the floor. When I’m standing at the easel I think about standing this way activated and aware. My soles and heels are what are physically tying me to the motif. My feet and the motif are both touching the same ground. The motif and I share the same foundation. So I like to think that if I work to be aware of them, my feet can interpret the motif as much as my eyes.

I think that feet can read the energy or “vibe” of a place. What role does the vibe of a motif play in a work of art? To me the vibe is the unseen livingness connecting all things together. The vibe is the mysterious music between colors and forms. The vibe is the language a scene speaks when it says “paint me! See me!”

When Adriene begins and ends her practice she brings her hands together at the heart and then raises her thumbs to her third eye and with a little nod she says she is bowing the mind intelligence to the body intelligence. How does this attitude translate to a painting practice? I think it could mean that the awareness required in painting can extend beyond the head and hand and into the whole body.

When I studied in Italy in Israel Hershberg’s masterclass I was happy to meet lots of other artists who also practiced yoga. There seems to be an interesting connection here. Readers, do you paint? Are you yogis? Are you both? How do you think the two practices might be related? Leave a comment below!

Yoga with Adriene’s Mountain Pose video- this is one of my favorite poses to think about at the easel.

Yoga with Adriene’s Mountain Pose video- this is one of my favorite poses to think about at the easel.