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Go With The Flow | Meagan Burns


Continuous Line Drawing as purpose


My whole life I knew I was an artist, I felt it in my bones, yet for a good portion of my life, I ignored the calling and struggled to make meaning and material in jobs I didn’t like, knowing I was lost without a purpose. Ugh, it was a massive sea of discontent.


My mom and I had a complicated life; she loved me, but didn’t exactly like me. She preferred my brothers who spoke of sports, weather and traffic, and so we bristled through life together, but as she began to unravel in the winter of her life, we were brought together for one last magnificent rally. The exchange of this time together continues to haunt me, as we spoke of nothing and everything. My mom explained why she made me the executor of her life. “Your brothers would string me along for years to keep me alive and I know you won’t.” It’s true, I didn’t string her along.


Before my mom passed, and in a moment of strange clarity she said, “Meag, I was really wrong about you, I wish I had been nicer to you.” “Ohhh Ma, stop it.” “No really, I wish I had been nicer to you. I was wrong about you.” With those words, my life was forever changed. I had to quit my job, I had to leave Chicago, get to the country, and be close to cows. I began to draw,

everyday. Everything was different, everything was new but old and although I was lost, I was found. I started drawing in 2013 and haven’t stopped.


I returned to San Miguel de Allende and turned my ex-husband’s cattle ranch into a grass-fed beef operation. I organized the SMA sketch community to become an official chapter of Urban Sketchers, a worldwide network of sketchers and I continue to be one of three admins of Urban Sketchers San Miguel de Allende.


Of course everything came to a screeching halt in 2020, and with that strange uncertainty, I dedicated my time to improving my drawing abilities so I could continue to teach and ideally draw the world. I moved to Mexico City, I needed a new muse while I kept myself afloat by teaching online. Mexico City challenged me in ways I'd never experienced and although I’d been drawing for a good number of years, it was here I truly leaned into my drawing practice and discovered the power of continuous line drawing.


The continuous line's not only a fantastic method to catapult one's drawing abilities, but its principles have also become my mantras in almost every arena of my life.


Keep going, keep breathing.


Go easy on myself, go easy on others.


Finish big with a heart.


Breathe.


Repeat.


I've discovered a sense of belonging within my drawing community. Here we prioritize process over product and we encourage experimentation, risk taking and curiosity.


Drawing has given me purpose, it centers me in this sea of constant chaos, and has created a supportive community. All those years of uninspired jobs have helped me arrive at this place, and my mom’s final send off set me free to become the artist I am today. The power of an apology, the power of love.


Thanks, Mom.


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