Feelings aim left
White is all around
Red is where it hurts
And if this makes you want to ask
Let the questions go
To where the questions come from.
I’ll go line by line in the end. But first I’ll say this:
The poem is how I read the art. At first it is just finding content, quite intuitively. As this inner seeing goes on, a deepening of the awareness happens on its own. A deeper view becomes available and it expresses itself in the end of the poem.
This is a general characteristic of art making. When making art, any form of art, we tune in to deeper layers of who we are. You can call it a meditative effect. The noise of the outer layer of our life calms down. More subtle energies start to be noticed.
This happens too in the drawing and in the addition of background colors. The drawing already is a process of increasing awareness. So when the background colors’ time comes, I am already in a deeper state than the way I started, and the background colors are added with greater understanding and compassion. (Note: I do the background after I do the line-work.)
The whole event, the drawing, painting, reading and interpreting, is about introducing awareness to what is going on in the mind at the time of making the art and reading it.
Now line by line (almost):
I took the drawing to be the thoughts. They created in the picture a bridge like shape that feels as if it goes to the right.
The background color shapes seem to be aiming at the left and I took them as feelings or the energetic movements under the thoughts.
There seems to be a contradiction here. Why would the thoughts and feelings go in opposing directions? This question is not being answered. But note that the color shapes were added when already in a deeper state than in the beginning.
White all around is the feeling of the infinite awareness that is everywhere.
The pain is in my feet. In almost all of my artworks there is some expression of the pain.
And here, in the end of the poem, comes the advise from the deeper and wiser state. Go to an even deeper awareness. Answers that come from shallow layers of us will not encompass the whole picture. They will be partial, and more questions will have to be asked and answered. Better to sink deeper into the infinity that is us, and allow something more fundamental to emerge.
And better yet: No matter how deep the answers come from, It is awareness that notices them.
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.