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The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation Paperback – September 12, 1973
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A Dutch artist offers his concept of seeing and drawing as a discipline by which the world may be rediscovered, a way of experiencing Zen.
About the Author
Frederick Sigfred Franck was a painter, sculptor, and author of more than 30 books on Buddhism and other subjects who was known for his interest in human spirituality. His drawings and paintings are part of the permanent collections of numerous museums in America and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Fogg Museum, and the Tokyo National Museum. For three years he served on the staff of Dr. Albert Schweitzer. He was the only artist to record all four sessions of The Second Vatican In Memory of Pope John XXIII. He was a native of The Netherlands and became a United States citizen in 1945. He died in 2006.
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This is really not a book about creating "Art." It's a book about the reverence of life for those who would use a sketchpad instead of a prayer book. Franck doesn't teach you about perspective or negative space, anatomy or shading--he's not teaching you *how to draw.* He's doing something far more important. He's showing you the *why of drawing.*
You can draw on anything with anything and in the end it doesn't matter what your drawing looks like--or doesn't look like! What's important is the act of drawing itself, the quiet contemplation of the thing drawn that engages you fully in the moment and opens your eyes and your heart to the world around you. Have you ever seen--really seen--a sparrow, a turnip, your child's face? Chances are you haven't until you've sat with them, a pad on your lap and a pencil in your hand, and traced their outline as if you were touching them with your heart's own flesh. Chances are you'll see things in each that you've never seen before, that you'll never forget, that will become a part of you forever. For those moments when you draw an object, a person, or a landscape you become a part of what you see--and it becomes a part of you. In this way, drawing becomes a form of meditation, the Zen of Seeing.
For those who already love to draw, this book will serve as inspiration; for those who think they'd like to draw, it will encourage you to do so. For both, it's the sort of book one should have on one's shelf even if it sits there untouched and forgotten for many years. On a rainy day of the heart, on some idle restless afternoon of the spirit, it's the sort of book one stumbles upon again and maybe that's exactly the time you need it most, when what Franck has to say sets off that lightning flash of understanding and you pick up your pencil and begin to see for the very first time the heretofore invisible world all around you.